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S&P at the forefront of the IoF2020 kick-off

On 21-22 February the EU-funded IoF2020 project was officially launched in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. An inspiring start of the project enabled project partners to establish a structured collaboration and present their innovative research endeavors, aiming at improving agricultural production through the use of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to answer societal challenges encountered in the food and farm sectors. The event gathered more than 140 stakeholders from the European institutions, Member States, academia and industry. S&P was co-organising the kick-off event and its related communication activities.

IoF2020?

The IoF2020 project fosters the large-scale uptake of IoT technologies in the European food and farming sector. With a €30-million budget co-funded by the EU, the project has the potential to drastically improve the sustainability and efficiency of agricultural production in Europe, while demonstrating the added value of smart webs of connected objects.

Clear political support

The kick-off event was an occasion to remind of the clear support the project receives from the European Commission and Member States representatives. Marjolijn Sonnema, Director-General of DG Agri & Nature at the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, confirmed the positive impact of IoF2020: ‘Digitized agriculture in Europe will contribute to a more nature inclusive way of producing, to better jobs and new business models, while addressing the challenges of better informing consumers and making food chains more transparent.’ 

Tom Tynan, member of the Cabinet of the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan, expressed the importance of continuous research and innovation in the European food and farming sector by stating that ‘the EU pursues the objective of securing viable food production through the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP); and delivering on this objective requires new technologies. We need innovation. Therefore, the European Commission has set up the long-term research priorities in the area.’ While Mechthild Rohen, Head of the IoT Unit at DG-Connect emphasized the importance of building a sustainable ecosystem for the long-term application of IoT technologies in the European agri-food sector. ‘Agriculture has entered a new era of digital transformation, where farmers, machine producers and other actors increasingly use IoT devices to ensure efficient farming. This includes acquiring data at every stage of the agricultural production. A dynamic ecosystem, working in the best interest of end-users and producers alike, is being formed as we speak’.

The political support from the plenary session was transposed into the successful presentations of the project’s governance and work packages, including 5 areas (dairy, meat, arable crops, fruits and vegetables) and 19 use case demonstrations throughout Europe - the core of the IoF2020 project.

The second day was dedicated to EU-related initiatives such as the Large-Scale Pilots and FIWARE. The presentations emphasized the importance of crowd-funding in the large-scale uptake of IoT technologies in Europe.

…and communication activities

S&P organised different internal and external communication activities before and throughout the kick-off event.

On the one hand, the S&P team delivered the visual identity and templates used by the partners for the different presentations, produced the posters of the 19 use cases spread throughout Europe, prepared the banners and helped the WUR in organizing the kick-off event. Several interviews (video and written) were also conducted during the event. The interviews provide content to the S&P team to build the project website and the newsletter.

On the other hand, S&P ensured the external visibility of the project. At the occasion of the kick-off event, the project one-pager website and the Twitter account were launched. Two press releases were also sent out and allowed the publication of around 42 articles about the project throughout Europe.

For more information about IoF2020 contact Edwin Hecker – ehecker@schuttelaar.nl