The purpose of the networking session was bringing together key players in the ICT and the agro-food sector across Europe to see how farmers, the food processing industry, distributors, retailers, regulators and end consumers can all benefit from the use of smarter, futuristic technology in the sector and ultimately boost regional innovation right across Europe.
At the standing room only session, delegates discussed current, unsolved challenges and were setting out to identify where ICT and the interlinked, data-sharing elements of the ‘Internet of Things’ have the greatest opportunity to stimulate innovation, capacity and growth within all the regions of Europe, and beyond.
The workshop session began with a series of pitches from pilot projects featuring innovative deployments of ICTs in the agro-food sector. The second part of the session examined future challenges and how ICT can be used for the benefit of all in the sector and get more farmers, more countries, more regions involved.
The session explored challenges faced by different parties along the value chain and brought together creative researchers and innovators to think of new solutions to existing problems and innovative approaches that can lead to a competitive advantage in these fields.
WIT-TSSG has taken a lead role in Ireland in recent years in linking up experts in ICT with the food and farming sector and has hosted a number of events to bring the various sectors together to achieve a competitive advantage.
According to the main session organiser, Mr. Brian Foley, "We feel that now is the time for WIT-TSSG to go one step further and take a European lead in this area since we have a well-established ICT group and have been working with the Agriculture section within WIT and within the region. We feel we have a competitive advantage and a multi-disciplinary approach. We are only at the very beginning of uncovering the potential for ICT in this critical agriculture sector and we want to be in the driving seat in the EU and beyond."
Mr. James Clarke, the coordinator of the EU-India FI-MEDIA project, participated to the networking session and states that "The work being done in this session at ICT 2015 hosted by my Institute and its follow-up resonates well with the clustering activity between EU and India on the topic of smart villages and smart agriculture, being done in conjunction with the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan
initiative, coordinated by IIT Delhi. Through our EU - India clustering activities, we will explore how these activities can be taken forward together in both the EU's H2020 programme and in the India researech and innovation setting also."
More information on the session can be found here