AI4AGRI – Romanian Excellence Center on Artificial Intelligence on earth observation data for AGRIculture

Project ID: 101079136

Duration: 36 months (2022 – 2025)

The world population will increase from 7.5 to 9.7 billion by 2050, boosting agricultural demand and adding pressure on natural resources. Although agriculture remains the main activity in many countries, the decline in agriculture’s share of total production and employment is observed. Agricultural investments and technological innovations are needed to boost productivity. Romania, with an agricultural capacity of 14.7 million hectares from which 6.8 million hectares are not or under-exploited, could play a major role in the strategic autonomy and food security and sustainability of Europe. Romania’s agricultural capacity is heavily underexploited due to obsolete technology, soil fragmentation/erosion, desertification and difficulty in accessing funds. Artificial intelligence (AI)-based systems and applications have a significant potential for agriculture. The Copernicus EU Programme, offering free access to accurate Earth Observation (EO) data provided by the Sentinel satellites, opens incredible possibilities for future research and AI-based applications for the purpose of sustainable development of agriculture in Europe. The AI4AGRI project aims at creating a dedicated research center for AI in EO for the agricultural sector. The research excellence will be achieved through dense networking activities with two top research institutes in France and Italy in AI and EO. AI4AGRI research center will become a reference to train young scientists in the domain of AI for agriculture, providing maps of vegetation status for Romanian farmers based on EO data using AI. AI4AGRI will develop administrative and management skills for research and innovation. To achieve these goals, AI4AGRI twinning will enhance the networking activities between partners through a strategy comprising of joint research, short-term staff exchanges, expert visits and short-term training, joint summer schools and workshops, as well as conference attendance, dissemination and outreach activities.

The AI4AGRI project received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under the grant agreement no. 101079136.