Controlled Environment Food Production Research Complex

Controlled Environment Agriculture Research Complex (CEARC).  

The Controlled Environment Agriculture Research Complex (CEARC) opened in September 2022 and provides a platform for interdisciplinary research at the nexus of horticulture and crop science, engineering, entomology, plant pathology, food science, computer science, and human nutrition/health. The $35.8 million project was constructed at Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory and offers dynamic platforms for hands-on teaching, outreach, and engagement activities. 

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Additional Details

By more accurately controlling environmental factors such as temperature and light, researchers can explore new methods for improving nutrient density and flavor in vegetables and fruits. Large quantities of produce grown under standardized conditions make possible clinical studies examining the efficacy of enhanced nutritional value in the human diet. Advanced sensing technologies optimize harvesting, with integrated machine learning and integrated pest management practices to promote more precise control of insects and pests. The CEARC is an interactive communication hub between departments and stakeholders, enabling collaborations and workshops. It empowers The Ohio State University to: 

  • enhance food security in urban and peri-urban settings. 

  • facilitate globally applicable food production research at various scales with commercially relevant technologies. 

  • provide the foundation for expanded research in modern plant breeding and high tunnel production. 


Project Timeline

  • 2017
  • 2019
  • 2020
  • 2022

Project Team

Project Manager 
Morgan Richardson

Project Accountant
Jasmine Myles

Erdy McHenry

Construction Manager
Corna / Kokosing