For a Human-Centered AI

AgrifoodTEF: the first field tests

January 16, 2024

One year after its launch, the European project coordinated by FBK is working for companies wishing to validate their innovative solutions under real-life conditions of use.

In the first year of the AgrifoodTEF project coordinated at the European level by FBK to develop test infrastructures dedicated to new Artificial Intelligence and Robotics products and services in the agrifood ndustry – the first experiments are already underway. We literally went to the field to see how they are providing support to companies that want to validate their innovative solutions under real-life conditions of use.

“Here, in the apple orchards of Val di Non,” project coordinator Raffaele Giaffreda explained, “with the AgrifoodTEF project, we aim to collect data from a test we are running with GeoInference, whose solution helps farms produce, more efficiently and sustainably, apples, but also other fruits in general, thanks to accurate monitoring at both the treatment and harvesting stages.”

“The AgrifoodTEF project,” Stefano Martini (GeoInference) pointed out, “for us started from an article we saw in the newspaper.  From here, we later contacted FBK through Raffaele Giaffreda and Fabio Antonelli. We set out along this path, which we find interesting as it allows us, thanks to these services, to test our solution: the Biosmart application for counting and sizing apples in real time from the tractor.”

The project also intersects with other innovation programs that have spin-offs in agriculture and agribusiness production.

“In particular,” Fabio Antonelli, a researcher with FBK’s OpenIOT (Digital Industry Center) Unit, stressed “as FBK we are also testing robotics solutions that allow us to build digital models of the field, on which we then test company solutions to validate their effectiveness in parallel and often as an alternative to field trials. Here in Tres, in Val di Non, we are also carrying out the IRRITRE project to optimize the use of water resources in agriculture in the province of Trento, a project that may have a correlation with AgrifoodTEF since it also gives the opportunity to test new technologies in the field, demonstrating how optimized water use can impact production improvement.”

Having won a call launched in 2022 by the European Commission (part of the Digital Europe program) and beng launched in January 2023, the AgrifoodTEF project has a total funding of 60 million euros. The consortium coordinated by FBK is composed of some of Europe’s leading players in the field of digital innovation applied to agrifood production and targets companies and developers across Europe.

AgrifoodTEF is financed 50 percent by the European Commission and the remaining 50 percent by the governments of the countries participating in the consortium, The Italian node specializes in the quality of “Made in Italy” agrifood and the traceability of the production chain, promoting production that is increasingly good quality and increasingly sustainable at the same time.

In addition to its coordinator, FBK, the Italian node includes national organizations of excellence such as the University of Naples Federico II – coordinator of the National Agritech Center – the Polytechnic University of Milan and the University of Milan, the Edmund Mach Foundation, a center of excellence in agronomic research and innovation, and Engineering Informatica, a reference company for the digital transformation of the agricultural sector.

Thanks to Giorgio Gaiardelli and the Consorzio Irriguo at Tres for allowing the service to be implemented in their apple orchards


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