The Internet of Things (IoT) is a powerful driver that is rapidly transforming our society and economy and will also turn the entire farming and food domain into smart webs of connected objects that are context-sensitive and can be identified, sensed and controlled remotely. As such, IoT will be a real game changer in agri-food that drastically improves productivity and sustainability.
The technology to make this vision reality is already available, although there are specific IoT challenges in this sector. Agri-food things are often living, natural objects and attached devices have to work in harsh environments, while network connectivity in rural areas can be challenging. In fact, a large-scale take-up of IoT in agriculture is in particular prevented by a lack of interoperability, user concerns among others about data ownership, privacy and security, and by appropriate business models that are also suitable for (very) small companies. Consequently, current IoT applications in farming and food are still fragmentary and mainly used by a small group of early adopters, despite the great world-wide interest of IoT technology providers and investors.
Hence, IoF2020 is dedicated to accelerate adoption of IoT for securing sufficient, safe and healthy food and to strengthen competitiveness of farming and food chains in Europe. IoF2020 will consolidate Europes leading position in the global IoT industry by fostering a symbiotic ecosystem of farmers, food industry, technology providers and research institutes. The consortium of 73 partners, led by Wageningen University and Research will leverage the ecosystem and architecture that was established in previous projects.
The heart of the project is formed by 19 use cases grouped in 5 trials with end users from the Arable, Dairy, Fruits, Vegetables and Meat verticals and IoT integrators that will demonstrate the business case of innovative IoT solutions for a large number of application areas (see also the attached infographic).
A lean multi-actor approach focusing on user acceptability, stakeholder engagement and sustainable business models will boost technology and market readiness levels and bring end user adoption to the next stage.
A coherent dissemination strategy for use case products and project learnings supported by leading user organizations will ensure a high market visibility and an increased learning curve.