The AGRI-FOOD Sector

OPEN DEI will be an essential pillar of the implementation of EU digitisation policies by addressing in particular the “support” to the Large-Scale Pilots (LSPs) and platform projects financed by the European Commission under the Digitising European Industries (DEI) Focus Area and currently ongoing, which work in different strategic sectors: one of them is represented by agri-food.


Food is traditionally regarded as a sector with low research intensity (Martinez and Briz, 2000). Farmers and food companies are slower to adopt digital technologies in comparison with other sectors and are just starting adopting and standardising digitisation at proper scale. Innovation and investments in technologies and information technologies are differently interpreted according to the company size, but also according to the propensity of the owners.

However, agriculture remains one of the most important sector of the current economy and fundamental to face the challenge of security food of next years and cannot allow itself to lose the opportunities offered by digitisation. Some progresses have been done in the very last years for embracing ICT innovation and a lot of data are already available at different levels of the value chain. But often such data cannot be matched among them and the gap is really the low data management and their exchange along the supply chain, which is desired but not adopted yet. The opportunity

is a desideratum, but not a reality yet in this sector. It is necessary to show farmers the opportunities offered by digitisation in their specific context, informing and training them on which applications, already available, are the most effective to meet their production needs (including also decision support systems) and to put farmers in the conditions to have access to such innovations, in the full respect of cyber security in terms of data sharing and re-use of data.

OPEN DEI and significant Agri-food Projects covered

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DT-ICT-09 rural economies (cross-domain)

Starting in November 2020

OPEN DEI Activities

To date, two H2020 Innovation Actions, ATLAS and DEMETER (DT-ICT-08) and some other pre-existing more mature projects, IoF2020 IoT LSP, SmartAgriHubs and AgROBOFood (DT-ICT-02), for a total of 5+ projects all working in the agriculture sector, represent the “Agri-food Ecosystem” of OPEN DEI. OPEN DEI will integrate also the winner of the Call DT-ICT-09 from November 2020 onwards before considering complete its Ecosystem.

The mechanism of collaboration activated by OPEN DEI and the Ecosystem’s projects foresees on the one hand the set up and animation of Working Groups (WGs) on specific topics required by the projects themselves. Such WGs have to be intended as stable groups of people experienced in common issues which discuss among them along regular meetings for making emerge opportunities. OPEN DEI offers a support in practical terms for managing such inter-projects meetings and material exchange (rapporteur, repository, mailing list).

On the other side, exploiting the cross-domain nature of OPEN DEI Action, the main goal of OPEN DEI Agrifood Ecosystem is to populate with agrifood experts the leading community of targeted Task Forces (TFs) launched on specific topics, guided by experienced people from OPEN DEI Consortium, with different iterations which will include meetings, consensus meetings and a final strategic outcome (e.g. White Paper). With TFs, OPEN DEI intends to open a debate and collaborative work environment among cross-domain IAs where OPEN DEI can validate its original knowledge assets (Platform, Pilots, Ecosystem, Standards) in close co-operation with the representatives of the four domains, Agrifood included.

Agrifood domain is leaded by Tecnoalimenti , an Italian non profit research organisation active in the agri-food supply chain since almost 40 years, very close to farmers and food producers needs.

agri food sector opendei