Kick-off event IoF2020

Date: 21-22 February 2017

Venue: Passenger Terminal Amsterdam

Piet Heinkade 27

1019 BR Amsterdam, the Netherlands


On 21-22 February 2017, IoF2020 was officially launched with a kick-off event in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The 70+ partners met with policy-makers from the European Institutions and Member States, presented their innovative research endeavours and established a structured collaboration. More than 140 stakeholders from European Institutions, Member States, academia and industry, exchanged views and got inspired to make IoF2020 a success.

The future of agriculture

After a welcome speech of IoF2020 project coordinator Dr. George Beers from Wageningen University & Research (WUR), the floor was given to Marjolijn Sonnema, Director-General Agriculture and Nature at the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. She outlined the potential positive impact of IoT technologies: ‘digitized agriculture in Europe will contribute to a more nature inclusive way of producing, to better jobs and new business models, while addressing the challenges of better informing consumers and making food chains more transparent.’

Innovation, research and data

Next, Tom Tynan, member of the Cabinet of European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan, provided a policy-perspective on IoT technologies and expressed the importance of continuous research and innovation in the European food and farming sector. Mechthild Rohen, Head of the IoT Unit at EC DG-Connect further elaborated on this and emphasized the importance of IoT technologies for the European agri-food sector, stating that ‘agriculture has entered a new era of digital transformation, where farmers, machine producers and other actors increasingly use IoT devices to ensure efficient farming. This includes acquiring data at every stage of the agricultural production. A dynamic ecosystem, working in the best interest of end-users and producers alike, is being formed as we speak’.

Building sustainable eco-systems

Following the successful first day of the event, participants had the opportunity to discuss the project’s more technical aspects on the second day. Use-case leaders presented their innovative research endeavours, that will be implemented over the next four years. In addition, Ovidiu Vermesan from SINTEF Norway, coordinator of CREATE-IoT, presented the actions which will bridge all IoT Large Scale Pilots, including IoF2020. In another session, the FIWARE Platform demonstrated its open-source software standards that are also promoted within IoF2020 applications. All presentations emphasized the importance of i.e. crowdfunding and the building of sustainable ecosystems for the much-needed long-term take-up of IoT technologies in the food and farm sectors in Europe. 

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