Will Estonia be the first proud owner of a Polydome sustainable agriculture system in the world? During the second half of 2015 we researched the feasibility of a Polydome in the Arkna Eco Park. Our study and supporting business plan were funded by Horizon 2020.
Together with the developers of the Arkna Eco Park we are developing the production of a wide variety of sustainable fresh food for visitors and the wider community surrounding the park. The project is driven by Polydome, our innovative agricultural system that produces large quantities of high quality food, while creating environmental and social benefits. Utilizing a Horizon 2020 subsidy program we explored Arkna and are developing the feasibility study of a one hectare Polydome in the Eco Park: Polydome Arkna.
Polydome Arkna focuses on selling fresh, local and organic food year-round. The demand in this market segment is steadily growing in Estonia. Moreover, Estonians are willing to pay a premium price for locally produced food. The combination of the Arkna bio-local brand and efficient production by using locally available resources give Polydome Arkna a strong competitive advantage. Moreover, competition for bio-local produce is low in Estonia.
Financial analysis shows that Polydome Arkna is financially feasible and economically viable. The return on investment is achieved in year 6. When financing is secured in 2016, the facility can start production in 2018.
For the design of Polydome Arkna, a standard Venlo-type greenhouse proved most practical. The greenhouse has three different levels to allow the optimal height for different trees and crops. The visitors center and restaurant offers visitors an opportunity to taste, buy, and experience what Polydome has to offer.
The Polydome food production ecosystem is designed according to two main principles:
Focus is given to closing loops and materials flows, and using sustainable and local sources. For the internal systems and installations we chose readily available technologies from suppliers with a reliable reputation. Preference is given to international suppliers with local presence and contractors in Estonia to allow for high-tech and efficient construction.
We're excited about the positive results from the feasibility study and are now in the second phase of funding under the same H2020 scheme.