An Ecosystem of Networked Devices and Services for IoT Solutions Applied in Agriculture

The Internet of Things (IoT) is an evolutionary step in the development of the Internet and technologies that will significantly affect society as a whole in a variety of areas, from transport, autonomous vehicles and smart cities to the environment and agriculture. IoT is defined as a global infrastructure for advanced and innovative services based on networked devices, so-called Things, and interoperable information and communication technologies (ITU-T, 2012). Given the ubiquitous smartphones and the fourth generation (4G) mobile network, networked devices, i.e. devices connected to the Internet, with a series of built-in sensors and actuators, today form the backbone of the development of diverse and innovative applications. For example, remote access to networked devices via a smartphone allows you to receive real-time environmental data or remotely and reactively manage the device environment. Due to the heterogeneity of devices and applications in the field of IoT, numerous research and development issues are focused on IoT platforms, i.e. software systems for networking, management and maintenance of a very large number of devices, and their interoperability and information security as prerequisites for wider application.

IoT has significant potential for application in agriculture because it enables continuous collection and processing of microclimatic and agronomic data in order to optimize and timely application of agrotechnical measures and reduce costs. This continuous monitoring is extremely important, especially for the analysis of the impact of drought on agricultural crops in the Republic of Croatia because drought has been identified as the main and most common cause of unprofitable yields of the most important crops in the Republic of Croatia. It is expected that more frequent droughts of stronger intensity and recent processes of climate change will significantly affect the sustainability of production of the most important agricultural crops of strategic importance for the Republic of Croatia.

The purpose of the project Ecosystem of networked devices and services for the Internet of Things with application in agriculture (abbr. IoT-field) is to encourage the application of IoT solutions in agriculture in the Republic of Croatia through interdisciplinary research of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (abbr. FER), the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Information Technology (abbr. FERIT) and the Agricultural Institute Osijek (abbr. PIO) to reduce the impact of climate change on agricultural yields in the Republic of Croatia using advanced IoT technologies. Project activities are focused on research and development of interoperable and safe technical solutions of ecosystems for the collection and advanced processing of real-time microclimatic and agronomic data, in order to improve crop production in the Republic of Croatia. The ecosystem will integrate the existing available infrastructure and data sources and introduce innovative technical solutions for a complete picture of the state of the crop as it enables

  1. the application of statistical methods over completely new data sets and
  2. the introduction of new practical applications for different stakeholders in agriculture.

Special attention will be paid to the study of the impact of drought on crop production in order to apply timely agrotechnical measures and assess the physiological condition of crops based on chlorophyll fluorescence. The design and development of an innovative networked device for measuring chlorophyll fluorescence in real time and a corresponding wireless sensor network are envisaged. Then, the application of a block chain is planned for

  1. monitoring the condition of crops,
  2. carried out agro-technical and phytomedical measures and
  3. compliance with legal directives related to the application of pesticides.

The aim of the project is to increase market-oriented research, development and innovation activities in the areas of the Internet of Things and plant sciences to establish ecosystems of networked devices and innovative services with application in agriculture. The importance of the project is reflected in the significant opportunities for improving crop production in the Republic of Croatia due to the application of interoperable and safe IoT solutions in agriculture, which are of exceptional importance for the Republic of Croatia. The project will enable the transfer of knowledge and technology to Croatian ICT companies and increase the competitiveness of family farms.

The project is implemented in accordance with the accepted description and budget of the project and according to the Grant Agreement for projects financed from the European Structural and Investment Funds in the financial period 2014-2020. under the number KK.01.1.1.04.0108. The project was contracted on the basis of the call "Investment in Science and Innovation KK.01.1.1.04." under the authority of the Ministry of Science and Education (MZO), announced within the Operational Program Competitiveness and Cohesion 2014-2020 and co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

 

Project details

Project title An Ecosystem of Networked Devices and Services for IoT Solutions Applied in Agriculture
Acronym IoT-field
Project number KK.01.1.1.04.0108
Project duration 13.03.2020. - 13.03.2023. (36 months)
Project leader Prof. Ivana Podnar-Žarko, PhD