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'Smart' greenhouse research partnership unveiled
Date:4/30/2008

Cleveland, Ohio (April 30, 2008) Cleveland Botanical Garden and Kent State Universitys Liquid Crystal Institute today officially launched a pioneering research project to explore the potential of liquid crystal technology for creating more sustainable, energy-efficient greenhouses.

At an event held on Wade Oval, the Garden and the University unveiled the two greenhouses that will be used in the first phase of the project. One contains liquid crystal panels and the other, a control, has plain glass. A demonstration revealed how the panes switch to manage the amount of sunlight that enters the greenhouse.

This initiative speaks to our ongoing commitment to sustainability and conservation, said Natalie Ronayne, the Gardens executive director. The energy crisis and corresponding global climate change issues call for increasing partnerships to contemplate alternatives, educate the public and push ourselves to maximize our energy conservation and minimize our footprint on the earth.

Said Kent State University President Dr. Lester A. Lefton: I see this initiative as a testament to two institutions that are committed to public service and understand the power of partnerships. Because of the complexity and scope of most modern problems, our research increasingly brings together multiple academic disciplines and other institutions, such as Cleveland Botanical Garden. This partnership says a lot about our willingness to think outside the box and it shows our desire to maximize and share regional resources both intellectual and physical.

The results from the experiment unveiled today will be collected throughout the next several years. Through this research, the Garden and the University aim to create a fully automated smart greenhouse that is easily programmed to provide the ideal growing environment for a variety of plants.

Cleveland Botanical Garden, which began as the Garden Center of Greater Cleveland, the co
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Contact: Kimberley Sirk
kgallek@kent.edu
Kent State University
Source:Eurekalert

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