With the HORIZON2020 Project SmartAgriHubs, Europe is investing in the further development and expansion of digital innovation hubs. These hubs serve as a platform for each actor in the Agri-food chain. The aim of this European project is to accelerate the digital transformation of sustainable precision agricultural and food processing. Despite the increasing number of available digital solutions, the use in practice seems to be rather fragmented and limited to the early adopters. SmartAgriHubs runs from 2019 to 2022 with a budget of €20 million. The project partners are currently meeting for a three-day kick-off conference in Prague. The partners in the new consortium will then have a first opportunity to network with each other, to share knowledge and common challenges and focus on project objectives.
Clusters and experiments for 2 million farmers
SmartAgriHubs brings together no less than 160 partners from all EU Member States: startups, service providers, technology companies, technological experts, digital innovation hubs, knowledge centres and end users from the Agri-food sector. The latter form the core of the project and the driving force behind the digital transformation.
The ambition is immense. In total, the partners want to support approximately 140 digital innovation hubs, expand this network to 400 hubs and conduct 28 so-called flagship innovation experiments, distributed among nine regional clusters. New innovation experiments will be launched via an open call. More than 2 million farms in Europe are hoped to be involved in the digitizing.
"Precision agriculture will thus be closer to the needs of farmers. One of the main experiments performed for and by the agricultural sector in Belgium and the Netherlands is about monitoring ammonia emissions. All experiments will be discussed in detail at the kick-off meeting, says Diederik van Damme of ILVO.
The kick-off makes a logical connection with running project IOF2020 and takes place on 4, 5 and 6 March 2019 in Prague. The organizers are proud to present a number of important speakers from the sector, including Tom Tynan of DG AGRI, other representatives of the European Commission, IoT specialist Wilhelmina Jewell Sparks from the United States and Vit Simral, Representative of the Prague Department of Innovation.
In addition to the main program, there will be booths of the nine regional Clusters with their respective Flagship innovation experiments. This is a great opportunity for the attendees to network with minded experts from the research, business and technology worlds.
SmartAgriHubs and the already running Horizon2020 Project IoF2020-in which ILVO also participates and leads a work package - are strongly linked. Both EU projects are coordinated by Wageningen University & Research (WUR). "They complement each other perfectly, given that they both control the digitizing process within the European Agrifoodsector," says project coordinator George Beers.
It is therefore logical that the kick-off conference was organized together with the IoF2020 Partners event. The Prague program is therefore a synergy day, with all-encompassing workshops led by partners from both projects. A visit to an agricultural company is also planned where different IoT technologies are being applied.
4-5 March | SmartAgriHubs Kick-Off Conference March 6 | Synergy-Day SmartAgriHubs & IoF2020 7-8 March | IoF2020 Partners-event to keep abreast of all the latest news, which will be the event of the year, you can visit the various social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Insta gram)!
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement Nº 818182.
Dr. George Beers, project Coordinator Wageningen University & Research Wageningen, the Netherlands
T + 31 70 335 8337
M.Sc. Edwin Hecker Schutte & Partners Brussels, Belgium
T + 32 2 502 20 08
Jürgen Vangeyte, Scientific Director Ag Engingeering at Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (ILVO), Merelbeke, Belgium
T + 32 9 272 27 65