Leveraging advances in information and communication technologies in traditional industries is a frequently untapped source of value added that has the potential to propel early adapters towards acquiring global competitive advantages. Such a potential is clear today in agriculture, where ICT advances are enticing businesses to rethink their processes along the full value chain – from the field to the table – and consider a vast array of innovations.
At the same time societal challenges foresee serious potential impacts on the agro-food sector: concerns include food security and food safety, energy efficiency, efficiency and sustainability of the use of resources.
There is a vast range of innovations that businesses and consumers are looking forward to in the agro-food industry: from sensors providing ever more accurate data, visualisation and predictions of conditions for farming; autonomous monitoring and interventions in farming and food production processes; highly integrated communication from sensors to tractors to processing and logistics infrastructures; monitoring and control systems informing and assuring consumers of food safety and sustainability, to name a few.
Interlinking the ICT industry with the agro-food value chain – including farmers, food processing industry, distributors, retailers, regulators, and end consumers – to discuss current unsolved challenges essential to identifying where ICT – and IoT in particular – have the greatest potential impact.
The format of the session will provoke discussions between different actors involved in ICT research and innovation and the agricultural value chain capturing both key problems and potential innovative approaches and solutions.
The session will begin with a series of pitches from pilot projects featuring innovative deployments of ICT / IOT in the agro-food sector. Speakers from Spain, Poland, Hungary, Romania and Ireland will present innovative deployments of ICT in agriculture.
The second part of the session will discuss a series of challenges in optimising the uptake of IOT in Agriculture and realising its full potential in boosting regional innovation. Opportunities to collaborate will also be discussed in future initiatives e.g. formation of a consortium for the IOT Large Scale Pilot on Smart Farming (April 2016)
To arrive at a set of high potential innovations in the agro-food sector that can add value to the sector, underpin regional competitiveness and enable European agriculture respond to the challenges and opportunities of a mounting global population, market pressures and increasing concern about environmental impacts. The application of ICT in agriculture has potential at all stages in the food chain – on-farm, through to processing and retailing – and this networking session is expected to identify new approaches to realising this potential. It is also expected that new opportunities to collaborate will be identified including forming a consortium for the IOT Large Scale Pilot in Smart Farming