The rapid progress of digitalization provides new opportunities to enable traceability, quality, and the efficiency of production across the entire bioeconomic value chain from production to consumption
For this very purpose a new form of cooperation between science, industry, politics, and the general public is necessary. With the goal to harness expertise from various fields the “Innovation Initiative ‘Agriculture 4.0’” was started in 2016 by the Leibniz Research Alliance ‘Food & Nutrition’ and a position paper was published.
The amount of data that is being collected within bioeconomic value chains has risen drastically with the advancing of digitalization. This opens up the opportunity to describe the complexity of agricultural value chains that rely heavily on the interactions of plants and animals with their surroundings and can vary in their productivity and needs, in their entirety while assessing it in regards to its sustainability.
Ideally, ‘Agriculture 4.0’ could help meet the societal demands as well as the individual needs of producers and consumers better than has been possible before. On a regional as well as on a global level, fortified information networks and new documentation methodsare making the production of foods and bio-based commodities more transparent. For the members of the Initiative ‘Agriculture 4.0’ isn’t just the multifunctionality of agricultural production systems but also the connection of down- and upstream processes in the context of bioeconomy.
The innovation initiative has set a goal to connect societal interests and consumer demands for the quality of a product and the transparency of processes with its production.
In actualizing ‘Agriculture 4.0’ society, economy, industry and politics face a range of challenges. Besides interdisciplinary research an especially well connected group of experts, from various social fields, is vital to the success of this endeavor. These must agree that the new quality and quantity of data collection and decision making plays a major role in knowledge-based bioeconomy as a part of ultimately more sustainably productive agri-food systems.
With the position paper and the research initiative, key questions are tackled, e.g. barriers which limit the potentials of digitalization being realised and how these barriers can be overcome, how transdisciplinary research approaches could help to identify and close those gaps which constitute barriers to bringing out the full potential of digitalization.
By encouraging knowledge transfer, politics and administration, producers, business and consumers were reached e.g. in the scientific service and in a hearing in the German parliament, as well as in a podium discussion at the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture 2019.
Prof. Dr. Reiner Brunsch
Speaker of the Research Alliance 'Food & Nutrition'
+49 331-56 99-105
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