NextChallenge: Lighting focused on the development of advanced lighting technology ideas, concepts and intellectual properties for Ford Motor Company and RecoveryPark, a Detroit-based urban farming operation.
Launched in 2014, NextChallenge: Lighting aimed at inspiring the development of lighting innovation in the automotive and urban farming industries. In partnership with sponsors Ford Motor Company and RecoveryPark, this effort invited lighting innovators from around the world to address specific industry needs through their technology solutions, with the end goal of building relationships and business opportunities between industry leaders and technology providers.
In collaboration with Ford, NextEnergy crowd-sourced innovative interior and exterior automotive lighting concepts to add value and product differentiation in Ford’s vehicles. Entrepreneurs submitted their novel ideas for consideration, and selected innovators pitched their solutions to Ford’s lighting team. As a result, three companies moved forward in discussions with Ford including Arborlight, MagWerks LED, LLC and Van Straten Heated Tail Light.
In partnership with RecoveryPark, an urban farming operation located in Detroit, NextEnergy sought solutions to optimize horticultural lighting systems that produce year round yields for greenhouses and hydroponic operations. The winning team—led by Light-Speed USA—was awarded $80,000 in cash and in-kind services to support the development and demonstration of a next generation greenhouse lighting technology system for RecoveryPark. The solution combined specialties of three Michigan companies – LumenFlow’s advanced photonic LED and optical engineering technologies, AMF Nano’s specialty control sensor system, and Nextek Power Systems’ direct current (DC) distribution system. The team is working with Michigan State University to demonstrate a very energy efficient LED lighting system for greenhouse operations that is expected to take advantage of LED color tuning to improve produce growth, yield and cultivation cycles.