An international research partnership on the Internet of Things (IoT) is set to improve productivity and sustainability in the farming sector.
Academics at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow have been announced as partners in the four year Internet of Food and Farm (IoF2020) project, co-funded by the European Union through Horizon 2020.
The €30 million project aims to encourage large-scale take-up of IoT technologies, which have the potential to help the European farming and food sector face future challenges through real-time monitoring, better decision making, and improved operations management.
Focusing on 19 trials throughout Europe, the project will explore five agri-food areas; arable farming, dairy, meat, vegetables and fruits. Strathclyde is the only UK partner in the 71 member consortium, which has representatives from 16 countries.
Dr Craig Michie and Professor Ivan Andonovic of the University’s Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, will advise on how dairy producers can implement IoT technology to maximise the productivity and profitability of their farms. This will involve trialling technology with farms and evaluating the results, before making recommendations to Horizon 2020 to help shape how they should be implemented within the wider agriculture sector.
Dr Michie said: “From monitoring cattle movement, remotely assessing milk quality or detecting breeding and welfare problems, IoT products for the farming industry have the potential to significantly improve productivity and sustainability, while saving farmers time and money.
“Once IoT technologies are in place, producers can spend less time directly observing the herd and focus on other essential operational tasks. As farms increase in size to meet the demands of 21st century farming, this is of particular importance. Implemented correctly, the right technology will add value to the business operation and improve the wellbeing of the cattle.
“We are delighted to be collaborating with leading research universities across the world and it’s testament to the work done at the University to be chosen as a partner.”
George Beers, Project Manager at the Wageningen University & Research and IoF2020 Project Coordinator: “IoF2020 does not only bring IoT in the food and farm sector, it stands also with the tremendous objective of delivering technologies that fit the needs of the entire value chain and the end-users, more particularly, and strengthen them for the challenges ahead. Together with our 70 partners we believe IoF2020 has the potential to bring a paradigm shift in the way food is produced in Europe, from the fields to the plates, and will contribute to reinforce European competitiveness and excellence in this area.”