Fairer and greener agriculture is one of the key objectives of cooperation among Serbia and Visegrad countries (V4+ region) vital not only from regional but also European point of view. Both have a very large production potential in agriculture, as evidenced by, i.a, the amount of agricultural land, number of animals, economic and labor force. Agricultural techniques that are economical, productively, socially and environmentally sustainable are on high demand, especially today when, given the war in Ukraine, the issues of ensuring food security in Europe become especially pressing. Digital technologies (such as precision agriculture) have the potential to revolutionize agriculture by helping farmers and food producers work more precisely, efficiently and sustainably. However, the uptake of new technologies lacks robustness and varies along the food supply chain. So far, the application of precision agriculture was mainly directed to the beginning of food chain and adopted by the farmers. We believe that there is a need to extend these practices to food production companies. To make it possible V4+ region needs a dynamic professional research and innovation network that will facilitate and accelerate the digital transformation in agriculture adjusted to regional conditions and leveraging regional potential. To lay the ground for data-empowered V4+ agriculture, we have initiated long-lasting cooperation for facilitating sustainable and resource-efficient agricultural practices based on digital solutions in food production, in particular food quality evaluation.

The University of Belgrade-Serbia-FOOD Quality in Digital Age-five Universities-V4+region

General Description

The project will build a professional network of educational institutions in the field of digital food quality evaluation solutions and support mobility of PhD students and researchers to share best practices, exchange knowledge and improve the regional ecosystem for innovation in the field. A particular focus will be put on involving regional business into cooperation with academia.
The project helps to accelerate the adoption and maturation of ICT in the agri‐food sector. The consortium gathered in this proposal, thanks to the complementary potential and expertise of its partners, will:

  • build a network of specialists in the field of ICT-based innovative food quality evaluation methods,
  • carry out collaborative research endeavour to showcase the potential of digital food evaluation methods,
  • exchange results of the research conducted at each participating University for innovation and scientific research facilitation,
  • conduct professional, 5-modules training for researchers and PhD students for knowledge exchange and spread of research methods,
  • disseminate knowledge about innovative food quality evaluation methods among the regional stakeholders (and beyond),
  • involve regional stakeholders (ex. food production companies and their associations) in cooperation with academia for technology testing and transfer.

As a result, the consortium will provide support to regional agri-food sector by gathering, sharing and showcasing up-to-date methods of evaluating food products with greater (digital) precision and enabling precision food production according to consumer preferences.

Regional Relevance

The project will increase awareness and adoption of precision agriculture in general and precision food production in particular in Poland, Serbia, Czechia, Hungary and Slovakia. Initial cooperation between partnering Universities proved that V4+ region is equipped with innovative expertise in the field of IT-supported food production. However, this knowledge is spread out throughout various institutions, what significantly reduces its potential for application. By joining forces we will be able to offer a comprehensive set of scientific methods that could be easily adjusted to different needs of food producers. By building a dynamic network of academic institutions in the field of digital food quality evaluation solutions, open to cooperation with the regional agri-food sector, we will pave the way towards data-driven food production that is capable of providing higher production yields in a more sustainable and environmentally-responsible fashion, while also making the respective sectors more competitive in an increasingly globalized food market. Producing food with more precision and exactly according to specified consumer’s preferences will reduce the amount of food that will be discarded by them as suboptimal and eventually wasted. Reducing food waste will affect the environment and will decrease climate changes because food waste is responsible for 7% of all global greenhouse gas emissions. Food waste reduction has financial benefits for food businesses as well. By reducing the tones of food going to be wasted every year, we can improve food security in Serbia and V4 region.

Other Languages

The project is co-financed by the Governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad Grants from International Visegrad Fund. The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe.