AgTech in Space

Gaia Projects Australia, a previous participant of the La Trobe Industry Global Markets Accelerator Program, is reaching outer space through their innovate solutions in AgTech.

The team at Gaia Projects Australia are utilising innovative technology practices to build sustainable agriculture practices with renewable solutions. Their solution? A highly efficient growing system for ‘Controlled Environmental Agriculture’ that utilises vertical farming and maximises greenhouse systems which has piqued the interest of NASA.

The modular leafy green cultivation system capable of mimicking a plants natural growth cycle is increasing output production by 100% was submitted to the NASA Global Food Space Challenge. Gaia won $20,000 alongside 11 USA-based teams and 3 international team, to head into phase 2 of the challenge with their Controlled Environmental Agriculture solution.

From here, Phase 2 finalists will have their solutions and technology evaluated on-site with then up to five top scoring U.S. teams will be recognized as Phase 2 challenge winners, each awarded $150,000. Up to three top scoring international teams will be recognised as Phase 2 challenge winners. Gaia as an international finalist has been recognised as top 3, with the US based Phase 2 winners scheduled to be announced in April 2023.

Proudly, Gaia participated in our Global Markets Accelerator Program in 2021, funded by AusIndustry, the two-part program was designed to help start-ups understand and access the potential power and growth of international markets.

A major hurdle for start-ups looking to scale and grow globally is to understand is if their product, service, or the problem you are looking to solve translates across markets. Through our delivery partners attendees received personalised mentoring/coaching approach, workshop and events program and extensive network, to support achieving agreed program goals.

“The GMAP program at La Trobe University provided us with the necessary momentum to identify potential pathways and connect with a diverse group of industry experts from around the world. Through this program, we gained valuable insights into various disciplines, which enabled us to explore new opportunities and expand our networks.”

Gaia continues to work collaboratively with La Trobe University across many facets including with Associate Professor, Mathew Lewsey, who along with 15 academic institutions, five space agencies and enablers, five Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) companies, six education providers, and seven government and technology partners are establishing a Australian Research Council ‘Centre for Excellence in Plants for Space (P4S)’ to establish a long-term human presence in space, while also developing innovations on earth.

And additionally with Dr. Alex Stumpf and Adam Console on a robotics project in building an AI Enabled transfer system for our ICCM (Intelligent crop cultivation module) as part of the PHASE 2 prototype for NASA under DSFC (Deep space food challenge).

La Trobe Industry

Through the La Trobe Industry – Innovation and Entrepreneurship team we support people and businesses realise their full potential through access to our accelerator, incubator and start-up programs. Building entrepreneurial and innovation capability through programs, workshops, hackathons, and mentoring sessions with our expert community.

We support the newest of entrepreneurs on their innovation journey, through to established businesses ready to take the next step through connection to the La Trobe ecosystem of research, learning and development, industry and specialist facilities.

To discover the entire entrepreneurial network and programs available, please contact our Innovation and Entrepreneurship team on

La Trobe Industry contact: Hope Terdich, Manager – Marketing and Communications,

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