Agriculture

Coming soon ...

Industry

Technology is at the heart of the experimental approach of AnaEE. The experimental simulations of various levels of ecosystems drivers as well as the measurements of response variables require sophisticated equipment and instrumentation. It is necessary for platforms to master these techniques and to stay up-to-date with cutting-edge technologies leading to new understanding of processes. Setting up technological watches and developing/adapting specific technologies in collaboration with private companies will help meeting evolving research needs. The AnaEE Technology Centre is in charge of developing and sharing new technology knowledge within AnaEE. It will connect the scientific demand for new technology related to ecosystem science instruments as well as green economy with the supply of innovative ideas. 

Keeping the technologies of the national platforms at a state-of-the-art level and contributing to their further development is a task that AnaEE will vigorously pursue. Technology foresight workshops will bring the Technology Specialists from the science community and from industry together with specialists from disciplines upstream of the instrumentation used in AnaEE platforms (physics, chemistry, informatics, depending on the type of techniques to be addressed) or from disciplines where such instrumentation is more developed than in our fields and could be transposed to our domain (e.g. medicine, high energy physics, space science, other research infrastructures, etc.). 

AnaEE will pursue both demand-driven innovation (by identifying solutions to specific technical needs) and a supply-push dissemination of innovation (by identifying users for innovation generated internally or externally).

The demand driven innovation will be initiated at the technology foresight workshops mentioned above where the most promising direction for innovative instruments will be determined. Active scouting will be performed to identify components that may fill an empty space in AnaEE technological capacities. The development of new instruments will be done either in national platforms or in partner labs were the technology is mastered and/or jointly with private companies. The technology centre will implement the needed technological developments by establishing contacts between relevant scientists, laboratories and industries, also in other markets and applications.

Conversely, AnaEE will provide a European-wide testbed for external innovations. By providing a wide array of environmental conditions (various climate and soil types, diversity of crops and un-managed ecosystems) as well as contrasted technical settings, AnaEE will offer very suitable conditions for testing innovative technologies. Through its central role in the European ecosystem-science community, AnaEE will facilitate access to potential users of tested new technology and will contribute to their dissemination.

AnaEE platforms already have industrial users (Figure 16), but a core aim of AnaEE is to increase the interaction with AnaEE (see also section 4.6)

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Percentage of projects from industry across platforms. Data from a survey among platforms updated in 2019.

 

Examples of collaboration of AnaEE with the industry

AnaEE platforms in the Czech Republic were used in collaboration with the Czech company GISAT s.r.o. for the development, testing and validation of remote sensing methods on estimating the impact of climatic conditions (mainly drought and heat stress) and nitrogen availability on crops biophysical parameters (chlorophyll content, nitrogen status, leaf area index, above-ground biomass, grain yield, protein content in grain). Developed approaches are based on new spectral reflectance indices, radiation transfer model and machine learning methods. The products are currently used by both agriculture and by the government to increase the use of precision farming technologies, reduce the impact of climate change on agricultural production and reduce the risk of environmental pollution by nitrogen leaching and pesticide residues.

AnaEE experimental as well as analytical platforms in the Czech Republic (Flying laboratory of imaging spectroscopy) were used in collaboration with the Czech company Gryf HB spol. s.r.o. to develop a new type of active on-line spectro-radiometric sensor based on red-edge wavelengths for simultaneous estimation of biomass and nitrogen status. This sensor is independent of the changing incident solar radiation as it uses a modulated LED light. The prototypes were successfully tested and the commercial production of sensors is ready.

The long-term agricultural experimental AnaEE platforms in the Czech Republic served as testbed for the development of new technologies of Biochar activation and carbon sequestration by biochar application with the Czech biochar industry (company AIVOTEC s.r.o). The technology of biochar composting is currently the most promising method of biochar activation, which provides benefits for growers and mitigation of climate change (carbon storage in soil).

In Denmark, the Brandbjerg experimental platform was used for development and testing of a novel technology, i.e. an automated chamber for both light and dark measurements of greenhouse gas exchange between the ecosystem and the atmosphere. The first prototype came out of the EU-infrastructure project INCREASE, but it was further developed and commercialized by two companies, of which one was a direct spinoff (Larsen Environmental ApS). It is now available through the Danish company DMR+Prenart Equipment (www.prenart.dk/eco2-flux/) and AnaEE Denmark has facilitated its usage now also at two agricultural Danish AnaEE platforms.`

In Finland, the Suonenjoki experimental platform (research nursery) was used to develop and test novel technologies in container seedling production. These developed technologies are now used in Finnish commercial nurseries. The developed technologies included the use of different wavelengths of light in controlling the growth of seedlings and the treatment of seedlings after cold storage in preparing for planting.

In France the SME Cesbron company, which manufactures cold chambers and chillers for the food industry, was engaged in the prototyping and construction of the new climate chambers at the Ecotron Ile de France. Thanks to the expertise gained (four EU patents were registered) and the skills developed, it supplies now the horticulture sector with growth chambers.

Lumartix, a company specialized in test benches for the qualification of photovoltaic cells or light appliances for the cinema and events industry, has developed in collaboration with AnaEE-France light appliances for the horticulture sector that can resist in tropical atmospheres, opening a significant market for this company.