This call aims to support research projects with potential impact to enable digital technology solutions for a transition towards more sustainable and resilient agri-food systems. The proposed research projects shall be consistent with the scope of this call and with the national/organisational thematic priorities of the countries/regions involved in the projects.
Research projects should investigate, develop and test digital solutions for the rising demand for food, competition for land and other natural resources from other biomass uses, globalisation, and threats from animal or plant diseases, environmental and climatic changes, public health considerations and economic constraints. Tackling these challenges will require a coordinated transnational approach, which uses the available financial, intellectual and structural resources to maximum effect.
The scientific scope of the call addresses collaborative projects in the two research topics described below:
TOPIC 1 - Data-driven ICT platforms and solutions to improve the sustainability of agrifood Systems
This topic relates to the development and/or application of data-driven ICT platforms and solutions that derive value for multiple actors1 from the data collected throughout the agri-food chain (including e.g. research infrastructure, administrative authorities and policy makers), considering the following aspects:
- Possible technologies that should be developed for use in the agri-food system which may include for example the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data technologies, Remote and Local Sensing, Distributed Ledger Technologies/Block chain technologies, Distributed Databases.
- Projects may foresee new approaches to data management and storage reduction, data compression, data redundancy and data presentation.
- Data regarding sustainability, environmental impact, origin, nutrition, safety, integrity, underpinned by the concept of transparency and existing certification systems should be used in order to empower stakeholders (e.g. farmers, advisors, processors, consumers, policy makers and public authorities) to make smarter, more sustainable, healthier and more personal choices.
- The optimisation of resource efficiency through by-/co-products across the value chain, such as wastes, losses and residues management is a relevant issue. Projects could focus on how ICT can be applied to valorise by-/co-products, facilitating the use of more integrated approaches across value chains and operations.
- Integration of results and data of already funded and successfully concluded projects in this area are also favoured.
TOPIC 2 – Identify and address barriers for adoption of ICT technologies in the agri- food systems
This topic relates to identify and address institutional, economic and social barriers on the application of ICT technologies for achieving sustainability of the agri-food systems. The following aspects need to be included:
- Integrating social science research to understand social and cultural practices within e.g. farming, food processing, distribution and consumer behaviour aimed to identify mechanisms and models for enhanced adoption of technological solutions and data sharing within agri-food systems.
- Understanding how digitalisation affects structures and behaviour of actors: identifying successful value chains and business models, looking at governance, leadership and organisations within new innovation arenas (e.g. from start-ups to large companies) of digitalised agri-food systems.
- Identifying solutions to develop more user-friendly technologies and services, such as ethical nudging tools (for e.g. direct marketing and shopping experience), information tools (e.g. social media, apps), gamification approaches, co-design etc.
- Stepping further from barriers identification towards concept solutions, including for example standard development (if applicable).
Deadline for submission of pre-proposals: Tuesday 3 March 2020, 13:00 h (CET, Berlin time)
Source: ERA-NET Cofund ICT-AGRI-FOOD
Illustration Photo: Farmer with Ipad (credits: The United Soybean Board / Flickr Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0))