Smart AgriMatics 2012 A great networking event!

Smart AgriMatics 2012 A great networking event!

The international joint conference Smart Agrimatics on the future use of ICT and robotics in agriculture and agri-food has been held in Paris on 13th and 14th of June, 2012. It has been organised by a committee formed by 3 EU-FP7 funded projects:

  • agriXchange (www.agrixchange.eu), which aims at coordinating and supporting the setting up of sustainable network for developing a system for common data exchange in agriculture,
  • ICT-Agri ERA-NET (http://db-ictagri.eu/ict-agri/content/home.php), which aims, among other objectives, at encouraging and stimulating trans-national and interdisciplinary research and innovation activities concerning ICT and robotics in agriculture, in particular by Private Public Partnership Actions,
  • SmartAgriFood (www.smartagrifood.eu), the key objective of which is to elaborate requirements that shall be fulfilled by a ‘Future Internet’ to drastically improve the production and delivery of safe and healthy food.

The conference has been supported by 3 sponsors: Tuinbouw Digitaal (The Netherlands), IRSTEA (France) and VNU exhibitions Europe (The Netherlands).The conference was a real success with over 170 participants coming from 22 countries, mostly from Europe, but also a few other continents. The participants belong to 106 different organizations including commercial companies and research institutes.Six keynote speakers gave very interesting talks during both the opening and the closing plenary sessions:

  • Adrie Beulens (Wageningen University, The Netherlands, member of the Architecture Board of the Future Internet Public Private Partnership program),
  • Steve Holcombe (Pardalis, United States, catalyzer of the Whole Chain Traceability Consortium™ a/k/a @WholeChainTrace),
  • Niels Goetke (Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation, Denmark, overall responsible for ICT-agri),
  • Timothy Hall (DG Research and Innovation),
  • Nuria de Lama (Representative of Atos Research & Innovation to the EC, Spain) and
  • Peter Pickel (deputy director John Deere European Technology and Innovation Center and chairman of the working group Agricultural Engineering & Technology of the European Technology Platform Manufuture).

Other presentations were held in parallel sessions, around 6 themes: Smart Farming, Smart Crop Protection, Smart Horticulture, Smart Food Awareness, Information and Data Exchange in Agri-Food, Towards an European strategy for ICT in Agri-Food. During these parallel sessions a combination of presentations, hands on working on issues and a lot of time for discussion ensured a lot of interaction. Group sizes of the parallel sessions varied from 5 participants to around 40 participants. Some sessions led to spontaneous breakout sessions where participants were able to go deeper into a subject.The Semantic Web and Ontologies in Agri-Food workshop was held as part of Smart AgriMatics on Wednesday 13 June. An exciting collection of speakers drew a crowd of over 40 participants, and concluded with a wide ranging discussion concerning incentives for providing data, the role of regulation in making data available, the need for EC regulations to be available in structured formats, and the role technology could play in reducing waste and pesticide use and identifying the total environmental and social cost of food production.All presentations and pictures are available on the conference website www.smartagrimatics.eu