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 Next Steps

First step will be to set up a “Task Force” among the different identified projects (all working in the agriculture sector), which, coordinated by Tecnoalimenti (project partner, “ambassador” for the agri-food domain), will collect requirements / needs / results from the Innovation Actions (Large Scale Pilots) and transfer them to OPEN DEI for cross-domain awareness channels and on the other side could broaden the target of our surveys and Coordination-Support activities to the agri-food domain.

OPEN DEI will soon produce some questionnaires to be circulated to the relevant projects in the four DT domains (included agri-food) as well as look for cross-domain collaborations and dissemination events.

agri food sector opendei