SUA is part of the new AGRIHUB CZ&SK project and with it the European community SmartAgriHubs 

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The aim of the project is to support the digital transformation of the agricultural and food sector by conducting innovative experiments with digital technologies aimed at addressing current challenges, for example in the field of land fund management, crop growth monitoring and health status, addressing the consequences of extreme weather events or mapping the attractiveness of rural areas. The tool to identify and select relevant projects is a series of hackathons, the first of which is already open. 

The AgriHub CZ&SK project, included in the Europe-wide SmartAgriHubs network, supports the activities of digital innovation hubs in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It will enable the faster development of digital innovations in the agri-food sector and facilitate the implementation of innovative experiments in the region, together with assistance to ensure their funding. The main idea of the twelve-month pilot project is to integrate existing digital innovative hubs in the Czech Republic and Slovakia with specialisation in the agricultural and food sector into a pan-European network of similarly focused organisations. This will allow interaction between digital innovation players with stakeholders in the agricultural production chain (farmers, advisors, agricultural technology vendors and operators, researchers and developers) in order to direct Czech and Slovak agriculture closer to Agriculture 4.0. 

“The Slovak University of Agriculture, which is already part of the Digital Innovation Hub thanks to the project Polirural, is an important scientific-pedagogical institution in Slovakia, active in several areas of Agriculture 4.0. It is therefore a great pleasure to contribute to digital innovation in the agricultural and food sectors in order to promote sustainable development of the regions," said prof. Zuzana Palková from the Faculty of Engineering.  She adds that the current pandemic has also highlighted the need for food sovereignty and the need for innovation in the agri-food sector. “The development of agricultural primary production, the introduction of innovative environmentally friendly technologies, the promotion of biodiversity and sustainable rural development is the way Slovakia needs to choose if we want to move forward significantly. It is this objective and the networking of communities that have so far insufficiently communicated — farmers and food producers on the one hand and digital innovators on the other — to help the AgriHub CZ&SK projects.” 

AgriHub CZ&SK has the ambition to become a platform supporting various players in the fields of industry, education, start-up support, advisory sector with a focus on agriculture and services related to the introduction of farming technologies 4.0. The aim of this platform is to build an environment for cooperation between organisations and individuals, to mobilise talent in companies and agri-food chains and to facilitate their cooperation. These efforts should help to create innovative and environmentally friendly, socially and economically sustainable agriculture. 

The AgriHub CZ&SK project involves eight organisations — Slovakia - SUA in Nitra, Technical University in Košice and ADDSEN. The Czech Republic is represented by the coordinator of the Plan4All project, CzechInno, the Agricultural Union of the Czech Republic and the Czech Centre for Science and Society. The eighth partner is the German organisation AGCO. The partners bring to the project not only their expert capacities and relevant competences, but also a common Czech-Slovak approach to digital innovation in the agri-food industry. The main ambition of the project is to foster the development of digital innovation in an environment that is relatively “digital immature” while addressing, in the specific circumstances of Central Europe, a number of current challenges linked, for example, to the social direction of rural landscapes or the departure of residents from rural areas to cities. The strategy of the project is therefore to promote efficient and forward-looking approaches and to help regions and specific areas of expertise to transition smoothly into a new period involving new social and climate challenges. 

In this context, the project identified seven areas of innovative experimentation to help accelerate the growth of digital maturity in agriculture and food. These include topics focused on soil work, energy use, irrigation optimisation, weather management, or monitoring the production and distribution of agricultural crops and commodities. The tool to develop these themes is a series of hackathons that aim to develop these themes and design their innovative solutions using digital technologies. The AgriHub CZ&SK project will help to expand these themes towards relevant communities, create communication channels between farmers and digital innovators and promote a better link between recent research results and the latest innovations with the needs of the agricultural and food sector. An important part will also be the design of new business models, the use of which will lead to a more efficient commercialisation of research results. 

More information about AgriHub made in Czechoslovakia is available on the project website: https://www.plan4all.eu/projects/agrihub-czsk/ 

The list of calls opened under AgriHub INSPIRE Hackathon is available on the project website at https://www.plan4all.eu/updates/agrihub-inspire-hackathon-challenges/ . 

 

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