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S&P coordinates the communications of a H2020 project

S&P leads the communication activities of the IoF2020, a Horizon 2020 project aiming at demonstrating how the agri-food sector can benefit from the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) technologies. The project is expected to deliver full-scale demonstrations of IoT solutions into the agri-food sector and pave the way towards a more sustainable and efficient sector (e.g. food waste reduction).

Bridging the 'Internet of Things' and the agri-food sector

By 2050, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates the global population to reach 9.5 bn and assumes that the food production will have to increase by 70% to cope with food security requirements. At the same time, increasing environmental pressures on arable lands, water availability and quality, climate change effects and biodiversity loss challenge the food production and its long-term sustainability.

The ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) has the potential to bring a paradigm shift in the way we produce and consume food. IoT is about people, objects and data. People and objects are interconnected through communication networks and are able to report about their status and/or surrounding environment, while the objects collect and exchange data to feed the system and ensure its improvement. Take the following examples: Uber connects you to a taxi driver, himself embedded in a network of other drivers; with airBnB you access a database of private accommodation facilities and exchange experience with flat owners.

With the IoT technologies stepping in into the agri-food sector, farmers are now able to check i.e. the status of their yield and/or pigs health on their smartphone; while consumers can access information about i.e. the origin of their food and its producer.

The Internet of Food and Farming 2020 (IoF2020) is just about that. It aims for a more productive and sustainable European agri-food sector by promoting innovation and data-based control e.g. sensor-controlled rooms growing altered lettuce, connected cows to improve milk quality. transforming the sector into smart webs of connected objects that are context-sensitive and can be identified, sensed and controlled remotely.

IoF2020: 5 trials, 19 case studies

The digitalization and automation of the agriculture sector remains a challenge in Europe. Although past initiatives and projects (SmartAgriFood2Fractals) showed the eagerness of the sector to seize the opportunities offered by ICT, network and data –oriented technologies, the sector lacks large-scale demonstrations. In addition, current available applications for the sector are fragmentally and mainly used by a small group of early-adopters.

IoF2020 addresses the organizational and technological challenges the sector faces associated to IoT. Focusing on 19 use cases, the project provides close-to-market solutions to 5 agri-food areas: arable farming, dairy, meat, vegetables and fruits and takes into account their own needs and obstacles.

A multi-actor and iterative approach with farmers at its heart

IoF2020 involves the actors from the overall food chain, from the farmers, cooperatives, equipment suppliers, food processing companies, logistics providers to consumer organizations and includes ICT solution providers. In the approach, the end-users are the heart of IoF2020’s. They will participate in assessing and improving the technologies used in the trials, ensuring the solutions developed meet the requirements and the expectations of the sector for the challenge to come. 

Schuttelaar & Partners’ role

S&P coordinates the communication activities of the project. Its objective is to create and strengthen a sustainable ecosystem for the long-term application and appreciation in the agri-food sector of IoT technologies by demonstrating the added-value of the technologies tested and improved in the 5 trials of the project.

In this context, S&P provides the full range of communication services: from the project communication strategy, the design, to the organization of the dissemination activities at the internal and external level.

The IoF2020 project is expected to start in January 2017.