The agriculture and food industry is experiencing a digital revolution with the advent of AI and robotics. Osnabrück is at the forefront of this transformation, thanks to the collaboration between Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences, DFKI, and Agrotech Valley Forum. The agrifoodTEF funding initiative, with up to 50 million euros, is creating a hub for AI and agricultural robotics testing in Germany, Italy, and France, with Austria, Poland, Sweden, and Belgium also involved.
“The foundation has been thoroughly studied,” says Prof. Dr. Joachim Hertzberg, head of the plan-based robot control research area at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) in Lower Saxony. “In agrifoodTEF, we view the last crucial step as transferring the technology towards its practical application in AI-based agri-food technology. Then, we can test and validate machines and their components in real-world conditions, in the field, with all the factors that affect them. I am thrilled that DFKI is one of the German partners in agrifoodTEF, as this further strengthens the advancement of digitized agricultural technology and robotics throughout Europe.”
Each country is focused on a specific topic in agriculture and technology and is working to establish the necessary infrastructure to develop practical and functional products. The Agro-Technicum at Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences serves as a test environment for AI and agricultural robotics, equipped with a 500 sq. meter hall and an adjacent test field. Companies and researchers are welcome to bring their ideas to the Osnabrück partners or to utilize the existing infrastructure for their projects.
According to Prof. Dr. Stefan Stiene from the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science, “In recent years, Osnabrück has established top-notch conditions for developing intelligent agricultural systems, thanks to the strong collaboration between the university, DFKI, Agrotech Valley Forum, and the state of Lower Saxony. Our focus has always been on ensuring that our research results in tangible products that bring genuine benefits to farmers.”
The demand for AI and robotics solutions in the agriculture and food industry is growing, and the agrifoodTEF initiative is helping to improve AI-supported agricultural technology in Germany and Europe. In the future, AI will play an increasingly important role in meeting the needs of customers, society, and politics. The agrifoodTEF initiative helps to facilitate access to data and competencies and to improve or create new AI-supported agricultural technology.
Image provided by Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences