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Small Ruminant Technology - Precision Livestock Farming and Digital Technology for Small Ruminants

Project description

Smart innovations to improve the small ruminant sector

Small ruminant (SR) systems represent a considerable sector in the rural economies of the EU and associated countries. However, precision livestock farming (PLF) and digital technologies (DT) that improve SR farming are not yet widely used by farmers. The EU-funded Sm@RT project will boost understanding, knowledge transfer and uptake of existing advanced technologies in the SR sector, encourage a solutions-to-needs approach and identify technological gaps. It will develop a long-term and self-sustainable European and international network to promote the use of PLF and DT across the sector using an original interactive transdisciplinary and multi-actor method based on well-equipped demonstration farms ('Digifarms') and innovative commercial farms. Sm@RT also aims to motivate IT companies to develop suitable PLF and DT solutions for the sector to increase the efficiency and sustainability of SR farming in Europe and beyond.

Objective

Rural economies across Europe, and associated countries, heavily rely on small ruminant (SR) systems, particularly in areas unsuitable for other alternative agriculture purposes. Despite recent advances in precision livestock farming (PLF) and digital technologies (DT) to improve farm practices, the SR sector shows a slow rate of practitioners’ uptake. There is a need to improve awareness and knowledge transfer on the potential of technology applications and return on investment. Sm@RT aims to improve understanding, awareness and uptake of the different technologies currently available to the SR sector, and further to facilitate ‘solutions to needs’ and identification of technology gaps.
The project will develop a long-term, self-sustainable European/International network to encourage the use of PLF and DT across the SR sector. The network will stimulate knowledge exchange and cross-fertilisation amongst a wide range of stakeholders, including drawing upon the valuable input and knowledge of farmers to farmers, to help increase uptake across the industry.
Sm@RT will focus on the use of PLF and DT across all types of sheep and goat management systems and environments. Sm@RT will use an original interactive transdisciplinary and multi-actor approach, relying on well-equipped demonstration farms (‘digifarms’) and innovative commercial farms to foster exchanges with the SR industry. This iterative step-by-step approach implicates relevant actors at the right level in the knowledge exchange process, thus boosting dissemination in a trusting environment and creating a dynamic to motivate IT companies to propose suitable PLF and DT solutions for the SR sector. Sharing of experiences across both local and transnational levels will create wider opportunities to collect and exchange knowledge, thus enabling Sm@RT to communicate and disseminate information and guidelines widely, increasing efficiency and sustainability of SR farming in Europe and beyond.

Call for proposal

H2020-RUR-2018-2020

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Sub call

H2020-RUR-2020-1

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Coordinator

SRUC
Net EU contribution
€ 255 644,76
Address
West mains road
EH9 3JG Edinburgh
United Kingdom

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Region
Scotland Eastern Scotland Edinburgh
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Other funding
€ 0,50

Participants (13)