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FP7

FRACTALS — Result In Brief

Project ID: 632874
Funded under: FP7-ICT
Country: Serbia
Domain: Agriculture and Forestry

Innovative FIREWARE-based apps for more productive farming

The EU-funded FRACTALS project provided EUR 5.52 million in funding to 46 SMEs, who collectively produced a portfolio of disruptive FIWARE-based applications for agriculture.
Innovative FIREWARE-based apps for more productive farming
Introducing state-of-the-art technology into traditional industries can be an effective means of boosting productivity and ensuring competitiveness. With this in mind, the EU-funded FRACTALS project set out to encourage the development of innovative technologies focused on increasing agricultural productivity. To do so, it provided funding of up to EUR 150 000 to web entrepreneurs developing FIWARE-based applications for the agricultural sector.

FIWARE is an open, public and royalty-free architecture and set of open specifications for digital applications. Applied to the agriculture sector, FIWARE can be used to create crop sensors that tell farmers when they need more nutrients or ground sensors that instruct sprinklers to dispense the exact amount of water needed. ‘These types of applications create Smart Fields that have the potential of making food production much more sustainable and helping reduce both waste and costs,’ says project coordinator Goran Hodoba.

Levelling the playing field

According to Hodoba, FRACTALS focused on agriculture due to a recognised need for technological innovation in the area. ‘Less than a quarter of European farmers use ICT in their daily work,’ says Hodoba. ‘This is significantly lower than in the US, where technologically-enabled American farmers operate more efficiently, increasing communication along the supply chain and thus achieving better margins.’

To help level the playing field, FRACTALS-funded and nourished the creation of 43 innovative, market-ready FIWARE-based applications that address concrete problems and agriculture needs in 12 different countries. In addition to the funding, the project also provided developers with ongoing technical and entrepreneurial support and training. The project also established new models of communication and collaboration between ICT industry and agriculture by involving end-users in testing and validating the applications via a Living Lab environment and by organising demo days and matchmaking opportunities.

One example of the type of applications coming out of the project is AgriSens, a backend system that helps farmers make decisions about their crops by leveraging remote sensing and drone technology. AgriSens products and services are used by large agricultural producers, individual farmers, researchers, seed producers, insurance companies and banks in order to gain valuable insights into the field and, when necessary, take quick corrective action. Today, AgriSens applications are being used by more than 200 users in over 30 countries.

Positioning Europe

In total, FRACTALS invested EUR 5.52 million into 46 SMEs, which produced a portfolio of disruptive FIWARE-based applications for agriculture, all of which are currently benefiting farms in 26 European countries. But the project’s impact is much bigger than this immediate benefit.

For Europe to catch up with global competitors, it is critical to invest in a smart way and to combine priorities in order to maximize impact. ‘This combination is what made FRACTALS a smart investment for European taxpayers,’ says Hodoba. ‘It simultaneously helped the South Eastern Europe/Balkan region to bridge the gap with the rest of Europe through implementing FIWARE technologies whilst, at the same time, contributing to safe and adequate food for future generations of Europeans.’

Related information

Keywords

FRACTALS, agriculture, ICT, precision agriculture, FIWARE technologies
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