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Intelligent Agricultural Technologies with Synergy to Food Industry and Society



Research director:  Svend Christensen


The vision of the project is to integrate domain knowledge about agriculture and food industries in the next generation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), intelligent sensing and robotics in multi-purpose solutions. These solutions will simultaneously reduce environmental impacts of agriculture, enhance traceability and documented quality of agricultural products, improve farm management, and stimulate innovation of intelligent agricultural technologies.


Institute of Agricultural Engineering, Aarhus University(Claus G. Sørensen & Svend Christensen); Institute of Agroecology, Aarhus University (Iver Thysen); Institute of Integrated Pest Management, Aarhus University (Lise N. Jørgensen); Institute of Food Science, University of Copenhagen (Lars Nørgård); Danish Agricultural Advisory Centre (Peter Enevoldsen); Innovation Lab (Peter Dreyer)


Primary agricultural production is often managed on a rather crude level. Plant nutrients and pesticides are applied equally not only over fields, but to all fields of the same crop type. Farm animals are fed and treated according to standards defined by simple, easily observable parameters. Likewise, society’s regulation of agricultural production is on a crude level as, for example, nitrogen quotas are regulated on a farm level, because only a farm’s purchases and sales are available for the required supervision. Both farm management and environmental protection could be improved significantly by a more detailed management and regulation.The combination of purposes and technologies may be named “multi-purpose, multi-agent networks”. The term “multi-purpose” refers to the use of the facilities in the network comprising farmers, advisers, food industry, authorities, etc. The term “multi-agent” refers to the nodes in the network being humans, sensors, robots, simulation programs, etc. The overall objective of this proposal is to initiate theoretical research on the design and functionality of multi-purpose, multi-agent networks.

The project addresses key research challenges identified by the Technological Foresight “ICT from farm to fork” of applying sensor networks, ICT and robotics in agriculture with potential synergy to the food industry and the society. The project contributes to the Collaborative Working Group (CWG) “ICT and Robotics in Agriculture and Related Industries” under the Standing Committee for Agricultural Research of the EU Commission. The aim of the CWG, being lead by Dr. Svend Christensen, is to establish an ERA-Net and project collaboration in the 7th Framework Program.

The research is organized with a work package for each of the two objectives of the project and a project coordination work package:

1.Organization, data transmission and databases in multi-purpose, multi-agent networks

2.Analysis of usage needs and interface design in multi-purpose, multi-agent networks

3.Project coordination


Direktoratet for FødevareErhverv