Innovation That Matters

Floating hydroponic unit enables coastal veg farming


SEALEAF is a device that could help coastal cities turn their seafronts into local farms.

Sign in or buy a plan to view this innovation

Rapid growth of the world’s population has made food security much more of a serious issue in recent years, prompting food producers to look beyond the traditional model of land-based agriculture. While urban farming has in the past seen locations such as city rooftops harnessed for growing plants, now SEALEAF is a device that could help coastal cities turn their seafronts into local farms.

Out of the world’s megacities — urban areas with more than ten million inhabitants — the UK-based project’s Idrees Rasouli, Roshan Sirohia, Jason Cheah and Sebastiaan Wolzak have identified 18 that lie on the coast. Due to the lack of arable land in these locations, some — such as Singapore — import more than 90 percent of all of their food from various sources around the globe.

The SEALEAF solution to this problem relies on the one resource that is abundant in these coastal cities and is cheaper to rent than land — the water surrounding them. The project’s hydroponic units work much like those currently used on land, except that they’re powered by the sun and use natural rainwater to irrigate the plants inside. The devices can be placed in modular clusters in areas outside of shipping lanes and can be easily accessed by boat. The video below breaks down the details of the system:


The idea is that cities can grow plant produce in a low-maintenance way close to the city, significantly cutting the carbon footprint and costs associated with imported goods. Could this idea be implemented in your city?



Download PDF

Springwise Services:
Our expertise in spotting the latest innovations is the best resource to empower your team’s future planning.

Find out More