The European AgrifoodTEF (Testing and Experimentation Facilty) project will set up testing and trial facilities for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics in the European agri-food and forestry sector. Set up as a network of physical and digital facilities across Europe, the project offers services that help evaluate and validate AI and robotics solutions from companies, especially SMEs, in real conditions to maximise the impact of digitisation in the agricultural sector. These companies will be able to test, validate or certify their products and services before market launch, both in physical facilities and on virtual testing platforms.
The TEF-type projects are part of the Digital Europe Programme (DEP) Work Programme 2021-2022 in which the Commission launched a call to support a single pan-European network of controlled artificial intelligence test sites for the agri-food sector. AgrifoodTEF was the only project chosen with an investment of €60 million for the next four years spread over main nodes and satellite nodes deployed in nine member states (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands, in total 30 participating entities).
The new consortium, which has recently joined this network, will manage €5 million. The Official State Gazette published today confirms the commitment of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to the Spanish node of AgrifoodTEF through the funding of €2.5 million which will complement the €2.5 million already granted by the European Commission through its Digital Europe programme.
The Spanish node focuses on three geographical areas that concentrate most of the physical infrastructures: Cordoba, A Coruña and Lleida. Cordoba, through the facilities and resources of the University of Cordoba, with a range of services oriented towards arable crops, horticulture and fruit trees, extensive livestock farming and the food industry. A Coruña, through the facilities of the Agricultural Research Centre (CIAM) in Mabegondo (belonging to AGACAL) and the equipment of the Gradiant technology centre with services aimed at fodder and dairy production. Lleida, through the facilities and resources of the University of Lleida, Agrotecnio, the Centre for Pig Studies and the Lleida Agrobiotech Park, which will focus its services on the pig sector, fruit growing and agri-food data spaces.
Initiatives such as this will accelerate the digital transformation and boost the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises in the agri-food sector.
AgrifoodTEF has received funding from the European Union’s Digital Europe Programme under grant agreement nº 101100622.
- AgrifoodTEF website
- Spanish Oficial State Bulletin, from 18th January 2024 (BOE): “Resolución de 9 de enero de 2024, de la Dirección General de Desarrollo Rural, Innovación y Formación Agroalimentaria, por la que se publica el Convenio con la Universidad de Córdoba, para la puesta en marcha de un nodo satélite español del proyecto europeo AgriFoodTEF aprobado en el marco del programa europeo digital”.