NGIoT Thematic Workshop: Agrifood and Rural communities

March 30, 2021 @ 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm Europe/Zurich Timezone


NGIoT Thematic workshop series on IoT and Edge Computing

This workshop is part of the thematic workshop series organised by Next Generation IoT (NGIoT). The workshops are hosted by NGIoT and EU-Iot projects together with the European Commission + relevant associations, networks, projects and organisations.

The objective of these thematic workshops is to mobilise the community in anticipation of the upcoming Horizon Europe and Digital Europe programmes, and to consolidate priorities from the communities of stakeholders in a roadmap for Europe (the main objective for NGIoT), both relating to technologies and with respect to supporting the range of relevant policies, including the green deal.

NGIoT Workshop on Agrifood and rural communities

The afternoon of 30 March 2021 will be dedicated to presentations and discussions in the domain of agrifood and rural smart communities. The workshop will bring together the visions on smart communities from several associations and projects: Living-in.EU, AURORAL and dRural and the more sectoral aspects DEMETER, ATLAS, IoF2020 and SmartAgriHubs.

In the agricultural sector, the geographical conditions are essential parameters, e.g. growing cereals in North of Europe may be totally different from growing it in South of Europe. Interventions of farmers have to be based on thorough analysis of a maximum of local data from fields and farms. The deployment of edge computing capacities in rural areas, e.g. grouping farms at co-operative level or any other trusted intermediaries, will offer local data from field sensors and machinery from neighboring farms to be analysed in a local, regional and wider geographical context. Edge nodes entails the provision of new functionalities (e.g., AI algorithm implementations) for IoT applications by more sensors and equipment providers (e.g. tractor manufacturers) as to enable more autonomous operations (e.g., ploughing or spraying a certain farm field) or coordination of multiple neighbouring vehicles or devices, e.g., tractor or drones. Special attention will be given to the role of “Edge Nodes”, which are mentioned in the Commission communication on ‘Europe’s Digital Decade, with reference to the goal of 10,000 climate-neutral edge nodes.

In the agrifood domain, the quality of products may largely depend on local conditions (water, sun, animal welfare, environmental conditions, fertilizers..) – instead of requesting farmers to disclose massive datasets a local aggregation at the edge would safeguard their knowledge and allow a minimum transparency in the food chain. Edge computing nodes will facilitate an effective flow of information between farms and their cooperatives, however, the role of and potential investments in Data Gateway Platforms and Decision Support Systems has to be widely explored

The purpose of this half-day workshop is to:

  • identify research, innovation and deployment priorities;
  • identify trends and gaps related to the uptake of IoT and addressing convergence of IoT with other technologies, specifically, the current shift from cloud to edge in the domain of agrifood and rural communities;
  • address challenges that cut across the verticals and to provide a platform for discussion and  exchange of learnings and use cases
  • mobilise communities around the identified solutions and the upcoming calls under the Horizon Europe and Digital Europe Programme.


13:30 – 13:45 Welcome

  • Joel Bacquet
    Policy Officer, IoT, European Commission
  • Doris Marquardt
    Policy Officer, DG AGRI

13:45 – 15:45 Part I: Strategic Agendas and Positions

Priorities and starting points

Rural Smart Communities:


Roundtable: Agrifood + Living-in.EU (white paper overview)

Use cases for Local autonomy and edge computing


15:45 – 16:15: Part II Visions and Statements

  • Short (2-minute) pitches from the audience (submit your own and see other statements here).
  • Open discussion


16:15-16:30 Next steps: Sector Workshops

  • Roadmap outlook: Federico Facca, Martel Innovate, NGIoT
  • Short introduction to the thematic workshop series (March – May).
  • Wrap-up: Joel Bacquet & Martin Brynskov

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 970 8421 1412
Passcode: 490876

We welcome your vision

NGIoT invites European industry and the public sector to reflect on the results from the NGIoT workshops and convey their position or provide spontaneous feedback on the role of IoT in Agrifood and rural communities with a focus on the convergence of technologies, as between IoT and Edge computing. We collect vision statements through our website: Feedback could be provided orally or through quote and/or expression of interest in supporting the future strategic discussion on Edge Computing at the European level.