Fruitful Progress Made: Conclusions from the Farmtopia Project Consortium Second Plenary Meeting

Farmtopia project plenary meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania

The Farmtopia Project has made significant strides since its start in September 2023. Just as the 6-month mark of the project’s beginning passed, the Farmopia consortium gathered for its second plenary meeting, held in Vilnius, Lithuania on March 13th and 14th.

Farmtopia partners discussed progress so far, and the steps that are to be taken soon. Read on to see the next planned steps towards a sustainable and innovative future involving small farmers in Europe.

Day 1: Farmtopia Project Partners Discuss Sustainable Innovation Pilot Activities Start

On the first day of the meeting, Farmtopia partners gathered in the Vilnius Town Hall.

The networking event, the Bioeconomy Changemakers Festival, took place in the same location. Farmtopia had a chance to present itself and network with the other projects and initiatives there. As this was a satellite event happening in 30 locations in 18 countries, it is important to note that Farmtopia was present the same day at the same event in Novi Sad, Serbia. More specifically, Farmtopia partners Foodscale Hub, present both in Vilnius and Novi Sad, showcased the Farmtopia project at the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Novi Sad.

The day’s agenda was packed with presentations aimed at outlining progress and future directions. Dionysios Solomos, the project coordinator from NEUROPUBLIC, provided a comprehensive overview of advancements made towards the democratisation of digital farming. Nikos Kalatzis, also from NEUROPUBLIC, delved into the specifics of Work Package 1, focusing on the co-development of Agricultural Digital Solutions with farmers. Christopher Brewster from Green Supply Chain shed light on the progress of Work Package 2, particularly emphasising advancements in data governance within business and governance models. Kęstutis Skridaila from AgriFood Lithuania presented the plans for Work Package 3, detailing their engagement strategy with Sustainable Innovation Pilots (SIPs).

Notably, discussions also revolved around pre-selected SIPs, with updates provided by respective SIP leaders. Consortium members from NEUROPUBLIC, University College Dublin, W. Govaerts & Co, ART21, ITC Murska Sobota, Agricolus Srl, ANAMOB, and ARVALIS INSTITUT DU VEGETAL showcased their progress.

Farmtopia project coordinator at the Bioeconomy Changemakers Festival in Vilnius

Day 2: Wrapping up with Dissemination, Communication and Exploitation

On March 14th, the Farmtopia project consortium moved to another location for its final plenary meeting presentations.

Day two highlights included the Agricultural University of Athens providing updates on pre-selected SIPs, Dušan Pevac and Julia Mitrovic from Foodscale Hub presenting progress on Work Package 4 activities, including Dissemination, Communication, and Exploitation. The Foodscale Hub team also extensively presented the impending Farmtopia Open Call, and a long and fruitful discussion commenced afterwards. Project coordinator Dionysios Solomos introduced, for the end, the dedicated Farmtopia External Ethics Advisor who will help the project follow the recommended and required ethics guidelines.

Farmtopia project partners gathered for a group photo on the second day of their meeting

Farmtopia: Reaching Out to Small Farmers

The Farmtopia project, through its Open Call initiative and its overall aim to co-develop Agricultural Digital Solutions (ADSs), seeks to empower rural entrepreneurship by activating 18 Sustainable Innovation Pilots.

While nine pilots have already been pre-selected, the remaining nine will be chosen via the mentioned Open Call, offering a dynamic response to evolving policies and technological advancements. These SIPs are primarily aimed at addressing specific crops and livestock for which current ADSs are lacking, as well as significant regional crops. With a fund of €900,000, each selected SIP will receive around €100,000 to collaboratively develop and test smart solutions, utilising Farmtopia’s reusable software modules.

Demonstration events will be held to disseminate knowledge and tools, facilitating the creation of success stories. Additionally, the Open Call process may introduce additional technologies such as agricultural robots, provided they are suitable and mature enough for small farms. All ADSs will be accompanied by appropriate business and governance models, developed in parallel to ensure their seamless integration into targeted value chains.

In Conclusion: Progress and Next Steps

A short sum up of the two-day meeting is as follows:

  • Discussions continued to centre around the imminent delivery of SIPs execution plans and the forthcoming launch of co-development efforts for digital solutions tailored to small farmers.
  • Additionally, the consortium reviewed the outcomes of the recently concluded analysis of user requirements, laying the groundwork for informed decision-making moving forward.

Follow Farmtopia for more future updates – stay tuned at our Farmtopia Newsroom.

For more interesting blogs on Farmtopia-related topics, check out the following:

Democratizing Digital Farming for All – FARMTOPIA’S PATH TO EMPOWERING SMALL FARMS WITH DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES

Project Coordination:

Mr Dionisis Solomos

NEUROPUBLIC AE PLIROFORIKIS
& EPIKOINONION

Methonis 6 Kai
Spiliotopoulou 18545,
PEIRAIAS, Greece

d_solomos@neuropublic.gr

Project Communication:

Dušan Pevac

Foodscale Hub
foodscalehub.com

Narodnog fronta 73,
Novi Sad 21000, Serbia

dusan@foodscalehub.com

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