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Smart Agriculture Data Fusion for Decision Support

Alternative title: Smart Agriculture Data Fusion for Decision Support

Awarded: NOK 10.0 mill.

The farmer's societal mission has increased in importance, as they must produce more food for a growing number of people on a smaller area and in a more sustainable way - parallel to society's increased focus on the world's food security, degree of self-sufficiency and improved sustainability in food production. In order for the farmer to try to fulfill these requirements, he must have access to tools, resources, technology and new knowledge and science. This is the premise for the project's societal relevance. The project seeks to create interoperability between different technology providers towards the farmer, who in turn will experience it as a "one stop shop" and ease accessibility as all providers will communicate and be available in the same digital service, i.e. on the same software platform. The solution is therefore a data-based service that makes it possible to reduce time consumption, simplify and coordinate processes, and increase the farmer's options for ordering services online. In the current situation, the farmer must contact each individual supplier and order the services directly. At the end of the SMARAGD project, the goal is that everyone is integrated with each other so that it is easier for the farmer to take advantage of the jungle of providers and services. In addition, the project must have a commercial perspective, where the sustainability perspective is visible and the value of interdisciplinary collaboration increases the degree of innovation. The project will result in a concrete and functioning service for the farmer.

Despite the availability of smart sensor-based solutions in land-based agriculture, their universal adoption and the potential to address the needs of end users is still limited. On one hand, small agritech providers focus only on a single vertical aspect of a complex precision farming ecosystem and do not offer a holistic unified product. Existing solutions are often based on home-made non-standard data processing architectures, with little interoperability across individual vertical elements. To make use of the collected data, farmers must manually correlate disjoint datasets. On the other hand, large agritech vendors, albeit with an interoperable ecosystem in place, offer generic non-tailored solutions, whereas farmers need information and decision support fine-tuned to their actual needs. To tackle these challenges, it is required to conduct R&D work to enable i) interoperability across siloed vertical agritech services and data sources, ii) end-to-end transformation from disjoint raw datasets into a semantically interoperable open data space, and iii) 'one-stop shop' user experience via an integrated farm management platform for tailored decision support. As a result, individual agritech data sources will be converted into interoperable data assets in a common shared data space and offered to end users in an understandable and tailored manner. Such enriched decision support will allow farmers to maximise productivity and profitability in farm and business operations with reduced manual efforts and costs. To achieve this, the SMARAGD consortium brings together three pillars of precision farming: sensor-based environmental monitoring, aerial spraying and inspection using drones, and harvesting robots. This way, the project will tackle the challenges in a holistic manner, aiming to make the results re-usable by the wider agritech community. Raspberry production will be the pilot to validate the project results at one of the largest berry producers in Norway.

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