Research and innovation at BioSense is developed in a close interaction with farmers and the agrifood sector, government bodies, entrepreneurs and business community, international researchers, and citizens. We work together to create a new generation of open innovations which will be readily used, and which will bring benefits across the entire value-chain.
As a meeting place for all the relevant stakeholders, we have established PA4ALL – Precision Agriculture Living Lab. This is the first living laboratory in Serbia and one of the first in Europe to focus on precision agriculture. PA4ALL takes full advantage of inter-sectoral cross-fertilization of ideas and offers possibilities to test ideas and prototypes in the real-world setting.
Over the last 5 years, PA4ALL has been placing an increasing emphasis on the importance of multi-actor and transdisciplinary projects. Since Living Labs provides a meeting point for true engagement of diverse groups of actors in joint research and innovation, PA4ALL based its activities on educating its community on precision agriculture, motivating end-users to test and validate the IT innovations and ensuring their adoption among various stakeholders. It is, therefore, not surprising that PA4ALL strives to even change the curriculum in high-school education in order to cultivate the knowledge on precision agriculture in the society.
PA4ALL activities are bridging the gap between the leisurely changing public sector and modern technologies which are modifying the way agriculture is perceived today. By reinforcing co-creation and multi-stakeholder participation, PA4ALL is not only gradually widening its network but also encouraging and supporting new Living Labs which emerged in the region in the meantime. In addition to the above-mentioned, throughout the Living Lab approach, PA4ALL plans to create a future network of actors who are expected to closely cooperate in the field of agroecology, which is a new concept thriving to become a pivotal change in the way agriculture production impacts the environment.
It is relevant to mention that PA4ALL also encourages the academy to engage more with the users of research, industry, government, and other relevant actors in order to implement precision agriculture in real-life decision-making processes. One of the methods mostly used for the purpose of implementing Living Lab approaches among the research community is RRI – Responsible Research and Innovation. RRI involves engaging the communities affected by innovation and ensuring that they have the knowledge necessary to understand the implications by furthering science education which is exactly PA4ALL’s main goal for the future.
BioSense provides the connecting link in the value chain by:
– Promoting the use of advanced ICT technologies to local farmers and assisting them in improving their performance and complying with environmental regulations;
– Developing win-win synergies with agri-business support companies of the region (providers of fertilizers, pesticides, consulting services), that currently consist the most agile and motivated link in the value chain, since they have both direct access to farmers and clear motives to introduce advanced technologies as complimentary services to their existing portfolio;
– Encouraging the local ICT sector to move towards a paradigm-shift, namely from a strategy based on outsourcing that simply exploits the relative low wage costs of developers, to one that is based upon the competitive strengths of the entire regional eco-system and the exploitation of own solutions, with significantly higher added value.
– The introduction of ICT subject in high schools specialized in agriculture and educating younger generations on the implications which arise from AgTech will increase the awareness of the relationship between technology and agriculture and therefore make agriculture more attractive to younger generations.