Hosted at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR), the annual Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) Summit East brings hundreds of producers, educators, scientists, engineers, developers, extension specialists and other industry members together. Building alliances, sharing information and forging new connections are key themes that drive the success of the event.

“The CEA Summit exemplifies the collaborative spirit that defines our mission. It’s rewarding to see industry leaders from all sectors of CEA convene here to share lessons learned, best practices, research findings and ways to help accelerate our collective growth.”Scott Lowman, Co-Director, Controlled Environment Agriculture Innovation Center and Vice President, Applied Research, IALR.

Jointly hosted by Indoor Ag-Con and the Controlled Environment Agriculture Innovation Center (a joint project between the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech, Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center at Virginia Tech and IALR), the event provides a variety of lectures, exhibits and networking opportunities.

The event includes keynote speakers from industry experts and government leaders, tabletop exhibits and networking opportunities, graduate student poster competitions, and more. Participants can choose between various educational tracks – such as Grower, Business & Marketing, Up & Coming Technology and Education, Outreach & Workforce Development – that bring academics, growers and business experts together to cover a wide range of topics ranging from scaling up and negotiating energy costs to the future of CEA crops, getting started in aquaponics, and lessons learned from recent college graduates entering the CEA sector.

A rapidly growing industry, CEA helps protect plants from disease and stress while providing ideal growing conditions for high-quality, quick-to-harvest food products. Technology, automation and indoor growing environments create a variety of benefits for CEA, including uniform, year-round production, potentially pesticide-free agriculture and greatly reduced land and water requirements.

2023 CEA Summit East Recap

2022 CEA Summit East Recap