Test beds in Sweden for a digitalized agriculture

Author: Margareta Emanuelson (SLU) - October 12, 2017

Digitalization and the Internet of Things will have a revolutionary impact on the food chain. The possibilities to increase the productivity per animal or per hectare is big and the development of new technology is immense. However, to reach its full potential and be of good value for farmers, there is a great need for integration and collaboration between the different technical solutions. To reach this the systems must be transparent and all actors; farmers, industry, advisors etc need to collaborate. RISE, Research Institute of Sweden is coordinating a big project in Sweden aiming at developing test-beds for digitalized equipment’s on the whole farm. Other partners are among others; SLU, Swedish university of agricultural sciences, Lantmännen, Telia and Ericsson.

Lövsta Research centre, outside Uppsala in Sweden. One of the presumptive test-beds for digitalized agriculture. 

The group has received funding’s to prepare a bigger application to VINNOVA, Sweden’s Innovation agency and are now in a process to decide which places are suitable to become a testbed. To be able to test new technology there is a need to have reliable data and skilled personal resources available for companies to collaborate and interfere with. Lövsta research centre, outside Uppsala, owned by SLU is one of the presumptive testbeds (see figure). The farm is very suitable for this purpose, with a big dairy herd, pigs in an integrated system and poultry as well as farmland and pastures, including semi natural pastures, and above all, the farm has reliable data from many more registration-sites, than are available on a conventional farm. There is also a biogas station and adjacent slaughter facilities close to the farm. The testbeds are now under development and a new application will be prepared to VINNOVA for next spring. 

A first contact has been established with the Horizon2020-project IOF2020. IOF2020 involves some 72 partners with a budget of EUR 30 million. The aim is “to build a lasting innovation ecosystem that fosters the uptake of IoT technologies”. The amount of money invested in this project reflects the potential that society sees in the field of technology and agriculture. See more information on their homepagehttps://www.iof2020.eu/.