Since already 2009, the ERA-NET ICT-AGRI is supporting the development and implementation of new technologies for a competitive, sustainable and environmentally friendly agriculture. Purpose of ERA-NETs is to pool fragmented human and financial resources to improve both, the efficiency and the effectiveness of Europe’s research efforts.
The overall goal of ICT-AGRI has been to strengthen European research within the diverse area of precision farming and develop a common European research agenda concerning information and communications technology (ICT) and robotics in agriculture, and to follow up with calls based on funds from the participating countries’ national research programmes. The purpose has been to pool fragmented human and financial resources, in order to improve both the efficiency and the effectiveness of Europe’s research efforts.
More specifically, the objectives of the ERA-NET ICT-AGRI have been:
- mapping and analysis of existing research and future needs;
development of instruments and procedures for transnational funding activities;
development of a strategic transnational research agenda and programmes; and,
establishing and maintaining international collaborations and networks.
The ICT-AGRI-1 Project Consortium comprised 18 partners and 12 observer organisations covering 20 countries. The underlying rationale of ICT-AGRI-1 was that modern agricultural engineering tools (e.g., precision crop and livestock farming tools) are necessary to enable agriculture to meet the global challenges. During ICT-AGRI-1, three transnational calls were conducted in 2010, 2012 and 2014 (in collaboration with SmartAgriFood2 and supported by the EU project Future Internet PPP). In total, 24 projects were approved for funding.
The ICT-AGRI-2 Project Consortium had 23 partners and four observer organisations covering 17 countries. The principal objective of ICT-AGRI-2 has been to contribute to the development of an eco-efficient, resource-efficient and competitive agriculture through an enhanced and improved use of ICT and robotics. ICT-AGRI-2 has pursued this objective through own calls and within the framework of related European initiatives including Horizon 2020, EIPAGRI, Joint Programming Initiatives and other ERA-NETs. ICT-AGRI conducted
In December 2012, ICT AGRI 1 published a SRA concerning the global challenges in agriculture and a discussion of how ICT and robotics could contribute to their resolution or mitigation. The conclusion of this report defined the focus of calls for transnational European research projects, both within the ICT-AGRI project as well as influencing other funders.
Since then, the use of new technologies in agriculture has grown immensely in significance. There is widespread expectation that we are on the turning point of a “digital revolution” in the agri-food sector, which will revolutionise the primary sector, dissolve the boundaries between agriculture and food systems, create new markets for data, as well as showing the importance of creating new global policies. Therefore ICT-AGRI SRIA aims to describe the state of the ICT and robotics art and trend and its mapping, as well as the current and future challenges of ICT and robotics adoption in agriculture.