DATI brings together a multidisciplinary consortium consisting of 6 partners from public research organizations and institutions, from 5 Mediterranean countries (Italy, Spain, France, Portugal and Morocco).
The participants have been specifically brought together to provide the multidisciplinary necessary blend of knowledge, skills and expertise and with the joined focused purpose of developing a data-driven model based on machine learning algorithms and a micro-irrigation system, and they will be tested and validated on three different crops, tomato and melon as annual crop and grapevine as perennial crop. The technological components will be affordable, flexible and adaptable to be replicated in different locations and applied to different crops and farming systems.
More specifically, each TS will be developed as a lean package and will support Mediterranean small-scale farmers to increase the profitability of irrigation and to achieve optimal crop yields, while ensuring water quality and quantity, through the optimization of water use efficiency with a low-cost approach.
The application of precise amounts of water to crops,
in precise locations and at precise times.
Who are DATI?
National Research Council (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche – CNR) is the leading public research institution of Italy and depends on the Ministry of University and Scientific Research.
CNR was established in the 1930s to conduct strategic research of National interest, and its first president was Guglielmo Marconi. Today CNR covers all fields of Science and counts 107 Institutes spread across the Country. Among them, the Institute for BioEconomy (CNR-IBE) is an R&D institute dealing with the definition of strategies for mitigation and adaptation to climate change. The main mission includes the development of sustainable systems for the use of bioresources for food, industry, building and energy. The institute covers the topics of primary production of agro-ecosystems, protection of vegetal biodiversity, sustainable use of wood and maintenance of timber art craft heritage, development of new technologies for management and production of biomass, precision agriculture, meteorological modelling. The Precision Agriculture team has taken a leading role at the international level in remote sensing applications in agroforestry ecosystems, with a wide range of platforms (satellite, aircraft and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle). Since 2010 the research team acquired expertise in UAV applications in agriculture (focus on viticulture): photogrammetry 3D canopy reconstruction with RGB cameras and spectral vegetative response analysis with multispectral, hyperspectral and thermal imaging sensors to monitor biomass, plant health status, biotic and abiotic stress in vineyard. CNR-IBE has over 250 staff members. CNR-IBE will be the coordinator of DATI project and will lead the WP1, WP5 and WP7
Dr. Alessandro Matese – Senior Researcher – Coordinator of DATI project. Expertise as coordinator of research projects at the national and international level. His research is focused on remote sensing of agroecosystems, precision agriculture and forestry, unmanned aerial vehicle, multi-hyperspectral and thermal imaging, crop modelling, data fusion, machine learning, computer vision and geostatistics. Dr. Matese has authored and co-authored more than 50 peer-reviewed international journal articles. He has been a keynote speaker and an invited speaker at several international and national conferences and meetings. Dr. Matese is Editor of Forests and Remote Sensing MDPI and Frontiers in Plant Science.
The Spanish National Research Council (CSIC, by its Spanish acronym) is the largest public multidisciplinary research organisation in Spain. Its mission is to promote, coordinate, develop, and disseminate multidisciplinary scientific and technological research to contribute to economic, social, and cultural development. It has a staff of more than 3200 scientists. CSIC has 126 Institutes or Centres in Spain and a delegation in Brussels. One of the most outstanding CSIC Research Centres in agriculture is the Institute of Agricultural Sciences (ICA, by its Spanish acronym), located in Madrid. The structure of ICA is composed of two complementary departments, named the Plant Protection Dept. and the Soil, Plant and Environmental Quality Dept., which makes this Centre appropriate for the scientific progress on several of the most important aspects related to crop production and protection, as well as for the implementation of the latest technological advances in the agricultural sector. The main task of the ICA-CSIC group will be to develop the TS #1, which will focus in monitoring crop response to different irrigation regimes with multispectral unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) -based technology and advanced image analysis algorithms that will allow assess plant status over time and obtaining inputs for a data-driven UAV-based decision support system (DSS) for crop management in the context of precision agriculture (PA). The ICA-CSIC group is a reference in Spain in the area of PA, since its researchers were pioneers in combining the use of geo-spatial technologies (UAV images, sensors, 3D crop modelling) and advanced machine/deep learning algorithms for investigations in crop production and protection. The ICA-CSIC scientific team will apply its long experience in analysing UAV-based crop data with current standards and to develop new models to estimate crop status and irrigation requirements by applying the mentioned advanced procedures.
Dr. José M. Peña
He received his PhD in Agricultural Engineering in 2006 and since 2017 he is a staff scientist at ICA-CSIC. He has published 59 articles in SCI scientific journals (85% in Q1), endorsed in different areas such as agronomy and horticulture (precision agriculture), remote sensing, computer sciences, artificial intelligent, instruments and instrumentation, and electronic. He is associate editor of the Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing journal, in charge of the Remote Sensing-Vegetation section, and he was subject editor of the Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research, in charge of the Agricultural Engineering section, for 9 years (2011-2019). He received the Pierre C. Robert award (best scientist under-42 in Precision Agriculture) in 2014 from the International Society of Precision Agriculture. His current research lines involve crop monitoring, plant phenotyping, yield estimation, integrated pest management supported by data collected with sensors from multiple platforms.
Based in the north-eastern Portuguese city of Vila Real, the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (UTAD) became a fully-fledged Public University in 1986, although its history also includes a valuable heritage received from its predecessor, the Vila Real Polytechnic Institute, created in 1973. UTAD ́s core objectives are high quality teaching, research and community outreach, striving to be a Centre of Excellence for lifelong learning and for the creation, transmission and dissemination of culture, science and technology. Furthermore, to strengthen, increase and value its R&D and innovation potential, UTAD is actively engaged to local, national and international communities of researchers. UTAD’s team is primarily responsible for work package 3. The aim is to take our working cloud-based platform – https://mysense.utad.pt – that has being developed throughout the years to support precision agriculture and forestry activities and to further enhance its capabilities to support DATI’s main goals, namely to: (i) develop new modules to address precise irrigation and the overall water usage in farms; (ii) create mechanisms to seamlessly integrate WSNs-acquired sensor data with both UAV and satellite imagery equipped with different types of sensors; and (iii) improving, applying and developing OBIA and ML algorithms to foster automatic data analysis and predictive mechanisms that will facilitate the transition towards efficiently monitoring and managing agricultural products regardless of context and crop. Moreover, UTAD’s team will also have a very relevant role in work package 5, by conducting a study on the Douro Region (Portugal) vineyards acquiring thermal imagery by means of an UAV. Models can be developed to assess grapevines’ status and estimate irrigation requirements. The significant experience with sensing platforms (in-field WSNs, UAVs and satellites) will be coupled with more recent but already significant research developed with AI in precision agriculture.
Dr. Joaquim João Sousa
He got his Ph.D. degree in Surveying Engineering from the University of Porto (and TUDelft), in 2010, writing his thesis on the “Potential of integrating PSInSAR Methodologies in the Detection of Surface Deformation”, and the Master degree in Surveying Engineering from the University of Porto, in 2001, working in the DEM Extraction using Radargrammetry. In 2010, he became Assistant Professor and joined the Department of Engineering of Sciences and Technology School of the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro. He is author of some 28 publications on GIS and Topography. Nowadays, his main interest focuses on the use of UAV for forest and agriculture applications, especially with regard to image processing algorithms, using RGB, NIR, multi and hyperspectral, Thermal and LiDAR sensors.
“Faculté Pluridisciplinaire de Nador (FPN)” (http://fpn.ump.ma/) is an academic establishment that belongs to the “Université Mohammed Premier” (http://www.ump.ma/). The faculty has more than 20,000 students and is located in Seloaune, Nador, Morocco. The FPN presents a multidisciplinary scientific and literary academic formation and training. Scientific research is one of the major priorities of the establishment. Several research disciplines exist within the FPN. The faculty is committed and involved in the economic, social and environmental improvement of the region and the country and also develops activities involving studies and research to solve problems related to agriculture and the environment. The “Applied Biology and Biotechnology Research Team (ERBBA)” is a research structure and platform located within the FPN. ERBBA is part of the Laboratory of “Bio-resources, Biotechnologies, Ethno-pharmacology and Health (LBBES)”. ERRBA’s mission is to promote scientific research and the transfer of technology. Multidisciplinary and complementarity constitute the foundations of this structuring. The lines of research are oriented towards sustainable development and promotion in the fields of the environment, agriculture, marine sciences, biochemistry, microbiology and biotechnology. The scientific objectives of the team consist of the management of natural resources, environment preservation, optimization of agricultural production and the orientation towards sustainable agriculture, the development of solutions based on the biotechnological exploitation of microorganisms in agriculture and environment. Finally, deepening in food biochemistry and the study of marine sciences are also among the team’s objectives.
Prof. Kamal Aberkani
Professor and Researcher at Faculté Pluridisciplinaire de Nador – Université Mohammed Premier, Selouane, Morocco. He received his bachelor in Agriculture Science and his M.S. and Ph.D. on plant science at Laval University, Quebec, Canada. Pr. Aberkani has been a researcher and teacher since 2015. His research is focused on agriculture production practices, plant physiology and microclimate. Pr. Aberkani has authored and co-authored more than 12 peer-reviewed international journal articles. He has been an invited speaker at several international and national conferences and meetings. Pr. Aberkani is currently president of the Mediterranean association for science and technology transfer and he is involved in many proposals of national and international projects.
Intitut Agro – Montpellier Supagro is a public academic institution under the responsibility the ministries of Agriculture and of Higher Education and Research. Montpellier SupAgro has around 80 academics, covering education programmes in agricultural sciences from bachelor to PhD levels, among which agricultural engineers selected through highly competitive exams. ITAP is a joint research unit supported by the Institut Agro-SupAgro and INRAE. The involved team of ITAP (AgroTIC), hosted at Montpellier SupAgro, carries out its research on spatial and temporal data processing methods to implement precision agriculture mainly applied to viticulture. The AgroTIC team led various research projects in the field of precision viticulture, both at European level and national level, with academic partners as well as with private companies. The team also lead consortium in strong connexion with service companies and agriculture industry: the AgroTIC Consortium which gathers 27 companies on digital agriculture and the digital Mediterranean farm (Mas numérique), a living laboratory on applied digital viticulture which gathers 18 companies on a same vineyard estate.
Prof. Bruno Tisseyre
Team leader, professor in precision agriculture and agricultural engineering, 25 years of experience, ass. editor of Precision Agriculture and OenoOne. Chair of the last European Conference on Precision Agriculture in 2019. He will lead studies on the benefit of Information and communication technologies for water status diagnosis and irrigation advice.
The Consorzio di Bonifica 6 Toscana Sud (CB6, by its Italian acronym) is a public authority configured as entities operating in a regime of functional autonomy that are administered through their own bodies whose members are chosen by the consortium members. They are framed among the associative structures that participate in the performance of activities of general interest in the context of state and regional laws governing the environment and territory sector in a manner competitor. The CB6 covers an area of approximately 6120 km2, involving wholly or partially 56 municipalities in the provinces of Grosseto, Siena and Arezzo with approximately 180,000 consortium members.
The CB6 carries out the river’s maintenance and management, manages a modern irrigation system for sustainable agriculture. It is a technical – operational body structured to design and carry out works internally and through external contracts, whose ordinary activity is financed by the reclamation tax. Irrigation district of CB6 partner, this area of interest is represented by the agricultural areas served by the consortium irrigation system, in the South-West area of the city of Grosseto, in the Maremma plain.
The irrigation system feeds on the surface waters of the Ombrone River and the administrative area of the irrigation area is 3,354 Ha, of which 3,132 Ha equipped area and 1,114 Ha irrigated area. The farms served are about 240, with an average size of 9.5 Ha. CB6 will be Task 7.3 leader-Market analysis and involved in Task 5.1 ITALY thanks to expertise in this topic. Moreover, CB6 will be active in WP7 on the dissemination. Such activities will be an useful opportunity to define appropriate irrigation strategies to optimize land use and to promote water saving in agriculture by increasing their productivity. The Consorzio di Bonifica 6 Toscana Sud issues annually, according to the crop statistics of the previous year, an irrigation contribution, irrigation water and the management of the consortium irrigation system financing interventions for the restoration, improvement and maintenance of the network. There are about 600 citizens and farms that use our water to ensure quality productions linked to our territory, of which 239 are represented by farms. Obtain a more efficient irrigation system, to support quality agriculture in the Maremma plain, it is the main interest of the Consortium.
Ente Terre Regionali Toscane is a public body established in 2012 by the conversion of Alberese Regional Farm. Ente Terre Regionali Toscane manages three regional farms and supervises the management of over 110.000 hectares of forests.
Ente Terre Regionali Toscane is involved in many activities, among them biodiversity protection, experimental field work, innovation and research in agriculture. Terre Regionali Toscane has agricultural fields, qualified employees, experimental farming equipment and expert units for results dissemination available for the project.
This uniqueness of the subject, linked to the need to proceed with the enhancement of the agricultural- forestry heritage and other agricultural and forestry areas available to the Tuscany Region, has led to the inclusion of the Azienda Regionale Alberese and the Azienda Agricola di Cesa (in Marciano della Chiana – Arezzo), with the aim of maintaining in the context of public management only the activities aimed at responding to needs of public interest, such as the protection of biodiversity, innovation and research in agriculture.