Smart-AKIS is a European Network mainstreaming Smart Farming Technologies among the European farmer community and bridging the gap between practitioners and research on the identification and delivery of new Smart Farming solutions to fit the farmers’ needs.
Why a Network on Smart Farming?
Response to the global food challenge of feeding more than 9 billion people in 2050 and the sustainability and competitiveness challenges of the European agricultural sector, demands a wider adoption of Smart Farming Technologies allowing for a more sustainable, resource efficient and more productive EU agriculture.
Adoption of Smart Farming technologies allows for increases in the sustainability, resource efficiency and yield of agricultural production. However, a number of technological, social, regulatory and economic factors have hindered the widespread adoption of these technologies, both in large but also in small and medium scale farms. Amongst these factors, the gap between the needs, interests and expectations of the research and the farming communities has greatly contributed to the low adoption of these technologies, preventing fully tapping their potential for a more productive, resource efficient and sustainable EU agriculture.
A call for mainstreaming Smart Farming in Europe was made in 2015 by the European Innovation Partnership ‘Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability’ (EIP-AGRI), a challenge responded to by the Smart-AKIS Thematic Network.
Smart AKIS in a nutshell
Smart-AKIS Network will:
- Create and disseminate an inventory of direct applicable solutions from the large stock of research results and commercial applications in Smart Farming in Europe, tailored to the needs of farmers.
- Foster the collaboration between the farming community, extension and advisory services, research and Smart Farming technology providers. This will promote new innovation projects and processes for the development of new Smart Farming solutions taking into consideration end-users’ needs and interests.
Such an approach will take place both at regional level, in seven Innovation Hubs located in France, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Serbia, Spain and UK, as well as at a European-wide level. The online Smart Farming Community Platform will facilitate the dissemination of results and interaction between stakeholders, and being compatible with the EIP-AGRI Service Point, will ensure the long term accessibility of results.
Smart-AKIS Network approach
Smart AKIS is a so called Thematic Network, a particular format of multi-actor projects promoted by EIP-AGRI and funded by EU’s Horizon 2020 programme.
As a Thematic Network on Smart Farming, it will collect existing but insufficiently used scientific knowledge and best practices, making them ready to be used by practitioners through accessible and understandable materials, resources and tools that will enrich the EIP-AGRI database with concrete solutions that farmers can easily implement.
Specific Objectives of the Network are, to:
- Create an inventory of direct applicable solutions from the large stock of research results and commercial applications.
- Assess end-user needs and interests, and identify factors influencing adoption taking into account regional/national specificities.
- Generate multi-actor, innovation-based collaborations among different stakeholders.
- Set up an ICT tool for the on-line assessment of the Smart Farming Technology solutions and the crowdsourcing of grassroots-level ideas and needs.
- Liaise with EIP-AGRI and its structures.
Smart-AKIS objectives in figures
- 2 ½ years, starting March 2016.
- € 1,997,731.25 budget funded by Horizon 2020.
- 200 Smart Farming solutions showcased and assessed on Smart Farming Platform.
- + 50 Smart Farming solutions adopted by farmers and practitioners.
- 760 stakeholders engaged in 14 regional and 1 transnational Innovation Workshops.
- 35 collaborative innovative projects generated from regional workshops.
- 10 transnational collaborative innovative projects generated from workshops.
- 50 links created with Operational Groups.
- 700 users of the Smart Farming Community Platform.
Smart AKIS is composed of 13 partners from 8 countries, representing academia and research, farmers associations and cooperatives, advisory and extension services and the agricultural equipment industry.
- Agricultural University of Athens
- Stichting Dienst Landbouwkundig Onderzoek
- Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research
- BioSense Institute
- Instituto de Tecnologías Agrarias y Agroalimentarias
- German Agricultural Society
- Provincial Secretariat of Agriculture, Water and Forestry
- Iniciativas Innovadoras S.A.L.
- CEMA aisbl
- Fédération Régionale des CUMA de l’Ouest
- David Tinker & Associates Ltd