Phase II depends heavily on results, feedback, and lessons in our proof-of-concept phase – so detailed planning now does not make sense. We know that our goal at the end of 5 years is to create an ecosystem of farmers, researchers, and consumers that is self-sustaining. The Bionutrient Meter and platform will pay for its own on-going development through sales. Consumers will buy the meter because they see value in choosing healthier food and finding like-minded farms. Researchers will use the platform because it is a rich source of data for publications. Farmers will use the platform to track their own crop quality, and find better production practices to improve their bottom line.
So Phase II should put the project on stable ground to accomplish these goals. As such, Phase II work will be focused on the following:
Expand data collection
Phase I builds a library of nutrition information on a small number of crops. Phase II should expand the survey to more crops and locations to improve the prediction algorithm and improve the Bionutrient Meter.
Commercially develop the Bionutrient Meter
Creating a commercial product (rather than a prototype or short-run product) requires up-front money for manufacturing large quantities to reduce costs and ensure the design is manufacturable at scale. Furthermore, the long-term maintenance and improvement of the meter will require a relationship with an established company.
The mobile app for collection of nutrient density information is just a small part of the broader platform. To engage a broader group of farmers, researchers, and consumers, we need to fund additional features, including:
- analyze the data more quickly and comparably
- allow researchers or farmers to create and share farming practices which can be easily implemented by others
- provide social features to help connect users, identify the most nutritious nearby food, connect measurements directly back to farms from the store, etc.
A great deal of research will be produced throughout the project, and the hope is that research sheds new light on our relationship to our food and farming systems. The BFA will need a team of skilled communicators – skilled in traditional media, social media, and scientific publications – to make sure this information gets out as broadly and accurately as possible.