Main research question/goal
ISense is an ILVO financed research platform on precision agriculture. The main goal is to (1) follow up on the rapidly changing technological landscape regarding sensors and its associated data management, and to (2) develop useful applications given the existing sensor technology for the agro-food chain. Advances in sensor technology and ICT are scattered over different scientific research and social sectors. But in agriculture, fisheries and food, the effective applications seem limited. Technology developers often don’t seem to be aware of the specific challenges in the agro-food business (primary sector). This leaves part of the market potential unused and causes the primary sector to lag behind on the fourth industrial revolution. ILVO wants to facilitate the introduction of existing sensor technologies to the agro-food market using ISense. Research approach
From the start, ISense’s multidisciplinarity is guaranteed by the involvement of six relevant ILVO research domains. Three working cases have been selected where important challenges are matched to adequate technology based solutions. Opportunities are created by adopting technologies from other sectors. The three cases are:
Biosensors: We aim to transfer medical and pharmaceutical technology for the development of biosensors for food applications..
Precision Livestock Farming (PLF): Ultra Wide Band (UWB) technology –originating from the logistics and health sector – is applied in an animal health management application based on the positioning and movement of the animals in the pig stall. We will also research the development of inexpensive and robust gas sensors for emission measurements in the stable.
3. Precision Crop Farming (PCF): the drone- or UAV technology (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) – from the military sector – is branched to the innovative imaging sensors (multispectral digital cameras) raising opportunities for crop monitoring and efficient management. Relevance/Valorisation
ILVO’s ISense is an integrated knowledge platform to successfully introduce existing sensors into the agricultural and food sector. Links are strengthened with other research institutions and industrial players in the sector. Effective information flow will facilitate introduction of knowledge to the primary sector, in an early stage. The platform is to become a visible and extensive concentration of expertise on sensor technology in agriculture, fisheries and food. We expect real valorization of the sensors/ICT-technology to the sector.