ASBTDC Client Wins USDA Grant for New Vertical Hydroponic Design
July 19th, 2017 by Rebecca Norman
GSS Group LLC based in Bella Vista has received notice of a $100,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture Small Business Innovation Research grant to produce a vertical hydroponic design that can grow crops either alongside horizontal hydroponic systems or in someone’s window.
Existing hydroponic producers can benefit from the market-ready apparatus by using it to maximize their greenhouse capacity.
GSS stands for “Grow-Supply-Sustain,” reflecting the company’s emphasis on sustainability in every aspect of business and its social responsibility to promote reduce-and-re-use policies.
Danielle Dozier, GSS Group president, began exploring her passion for sustainable food production while attending the University of Arkansas, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in horticulture sciences in 2015.
“During my college years, I made friends from Africa, India, and other Eastern countries. I began to see a need for sustainable food production in these population-dense areas that are going through major urbanization revolutions,” said Dozier. “God then came to me and instilled purpose. I must do something, even small, to do my part.”
The GSS Team
Through GSS Group’s USDA SBIR award, Dozier will hire an engineer experienced with water apparatuses and countless hours of computer -aided design experience to operate the large-format 3-D printer.
“My team is small but fierce. I have dedicated my life to this food production method and to progressing the efficiency and sustainability of hydroponics,” said Dozier.
“The ASBTDC staff was the key to our success. Rebecca Norman is a gem! She never delayed in responding to my many questions and review submissions. She helped me properly register for everything and did not let me forget one syllable,” said Dozier.
Advice for Prospective SBIR Applicants
Dozier said, “My advice to other potential SBIR applicants is to not be afraid. Do what you can and find others to help you do what you cannot.”