The objective of this report is to provide a Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) which reflects the business demands for utilisation of ICT and exchange of agriculture information supported by current standardization, but also by future research in ICT for agri-food industry. It reflects the needs of the agriculture business. The focus of the SRA is on identifying major ICT challenges related to the utilization of ICT and information standards in agriculture and agri-food industry sector.
The agenda defines not only the necessary ICT standards, but also in broader view the Research and Technology Development (RTD) areas which will be selected as key priorities in order to achieve the challenges identified. The wide deployment of knowledge management, which will include ICT technologies, exchange of information and utilization of ICT standards specifically oriented to the agri-food industry, will support the transformation of agriculture production into competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy as well as facilitating the participation and ultimately the complete integration of the EU agriculture production into the Knowledge Society.
The SRA is mainly focused on the KBBE and ICT programmes within the FP7, but it is based on activities on regional and cross-regional level as well as within other EU programmes and initiatives. It is critical to follow the main trends, but also cooperation with the main industry and ICT players involved. The definition of the SRA required a deep knowledge of previous activities, state of the art in agri-food ICT area, but also consultations with representatives from industry, governments, agencies, operators, and agri-food authorities and stakeholders involved in rural development in all Member States. The discussions with stakeholders during events such as the GeoFARMatics conference in Cologne or the EFITA congress in Prague played an important role.
Currently, the first version of the SRA document is presenting the draft strategic lines that, after validation (mainly planned for the Smart Agrimatics conference), will support all domain stakeholders in the process of implementing a number of specific measures to achieve the stated objectives.