Foodscale Hub member of OpenAgri consortium: The EU Project Empowering Farmers with Open-Source Tools
OpenAgri, a Horizon project funded by the European Union, running from January 2024 to December 2026, aims to empower farmers with free, open-source tools that can operate even in remote locations with limited network connectivity. Led by the University of Maastricht and a consortium of 18 diverse partners, the project connects farmers to cutting-edge technologies, closing the gap between rural and urban communities. This fosters a more inclusive and prosperous future for all. The project will address several key problems faced by the agricultural sector, particularly related to the accessibility, performance, and sustainability of digital farming tools.
From Promise to Action: Co-Creating Tomorrow's Agriculture
For years, the potential of Agricultural Digital Solutions (ADSs) has been discussed, yet widespread adoption has been slow. OpenAgri will address this by placing farmers at the core of its mission. The project will collaboratively develop cost-effective and energy-efficient open-source tools tailored to the specific needs of farmers including those in remote locations.
“OpenAgri signifies more than tools – it’s a paradigm shift,” Prof. Christopher Brewster, Coordinator of OpenAgri emphasised. “We’re putting farmers at the heart of the digital revolution, equipping them with open-source capabilities that foster co-creation. We will create an open-source ecosystem that breaks down cost barriers, builds trust, and overcomes connectivity hurdles, putting farmers in the driver’s seat of a sustainable agricultural future. Within our 14 Sustainable Innovation Pilots (SIPs), spanning 10 European countries, and ranging from secluded mountains to peri-urban farms, farmers and technology developers will work closely to craft solutions addressing their challenges. Together, they design innovative answers tailored to the specific needs of agriculture in diverse landscapes.”
OpenAgri is not just a lab experiment; it is a living community. That’s why beyond farmers, a variety of agricultural actors will be included, such as advisors, scientists, and ADS providers that will be collaborating in real-world testing grounds.
OpenAgri’s Open Call
The upcoming Open Call will enable creation and testing of new Open Source ADSs. The Open Call will fund small consortia of two entities, a farmer and an ADS provider. It will select 9 new SIPs. A total of €900,000, equating to €100,000 per SIP will be distributed.
“Foodscale Hub is proud to be leading the Open Call, as well as dissemination, communication, and exploitation activities for OpenAgri.”, explained Prof. Mladen Radišić, CEO of Foodscale Hub. “We will ensure the project’s open-source tools, co-created solutions, and valuable knowledge reach a broad audience of farmers, policymakers, researchers, and the public. Through clear, understandable information and an inclusive Open Call process that includes partnerships between ADSs providers and farmers, we will address on-farm challenges.”
Making Informed Choices with AI Support
But OpenAgri does not stop with pilots. The project will develop an AI-powered Decision Support Tool that will guide farmers, advisors, and policymakers in selecting the best possible solution for any situation, from cloud-powered analytics to edge-based sensors.
The consortium participating in OpenAgri is dedicated to the vision of a future where sustainable, resilient agriculture thrives, powered by the collective ingenuity of farmers, nurtured by open-source solutions, and fuelled by collaboration.
The OpenAgri project has received funding by the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme. All the information is available on the project’s website, as well as Facebook, Linkedin, X and Youtube.