Holonix is a spin off from Politecnico di Milano based in Meda (Italy). The mission of its highly skilled team is to provide innovative and advanced ICT solutions, based on IoT collected data. Its core solution is the “i-LiKe” (intelligent Lifecycle data and Knowledge) platform, which is suitable for companies who look for optimizing the entire Product Lifecycle Management, increasing the real and perceived quality, reducing costs and being more competitive in a market that demands high quality standards.
ENCO is an hardware and software provider experienced in the monitoring and control of real time data using sensors system. ENCO is based in Naples, Italy and its uniqueness relies on the established expertise in providing tools for optimising the supply chain of foods and achieving waste reduction.
Holonix and ENCO have already worked together in the past for studying some technical solutions in the logistic sector. They have been strengthening their collaboration within the PerishABLE project, funded by the first FInish Open Call. Together they have been providing smart solutions for the agrifood sector
Tell us something about AgriAware, a smart harvesting time prediction
The goal of the AgriAware project is to develop and place on the market a unique system made up of a core logic, web interfaces and two different apps, named TrustLabel and FarmerAssistant, respectively for consumers and for farmers. On one side, through the TrustLabel app, the system offers consumers the opportunity to be informed about the properties of food and the quality of the production process.
On the other side, FarmerAssistant is an app that by constantly monitoring environmental conditions, suggests the best moment in which they can pick the products and, consequently, allows to book in advance the process industry and to organize the proper logistics.
What is the goal of AgriAware?
Our goal is to focus on the olive oil sector, and once tested and validated our solution there, to deal with a wide range of foods and drinks produced from fruit trees. The main benefit of our solution is the consumers get awareness, simply scanning the QR Code, of the origin and quality of that specific bottle/jar they buy. This is obtained tracking the supply production chain from the tree to the bottle/jar, from the fruit picking to the final production and packaging by. Concerning farmers, the main benefits are to improve the procedures for the production of high-quality and certified products tracking the maturity stages and, consequently, to improve the product’s logistic chain, as well as to avoid waste of time and reduce energy consumption and perishability of fruits.
How did you come up with the idea for AgriAware as a smart harvesting time prediction
The AgriAware solution comes from the willingness to support the market of food and drinks produced from fruit trees (e.g. wine, cider, marmalade, jelly, preserve), for which Europe is famous, by taking into account the needs of both consumers and producers. As a matter of fact, nowadays a wider growing percentage of consumers of these products are becoming extremely careful and accurate in the selection of what to consume and demanding in terms of quality. Consumers, buying a food product, want to be sure to bring in their tables products with traceable origins, produced accordingly to biological processes. At the same time producers don’t have a single tool able to track products from their origin till the final packaging, proving to the consumer the provenance of the raw ingredients and that the transformations of such ingredients along different phases have not introduced any counteraction or external elements.
Moreover, they need support from tools able to improve the quality of the product. We strongly believe in the potential of organic and high quality food as leverage for both stimulating the growth of local and regional economy and enhancing European competitiveness. Being Italian we feel particularly passionate about that and we have decided to commit in the challenge of placing in the market a smart solution such as AgriAware.
Who are your business partners and why did you ask their involvement within AgriAware?
For the development of the AgriAware solution we count on the support of two business partners, that got in touch with Holonix to discuss how IoT solution could help them having a better control of the production process and make the tracked information available to demonstrate the quality of the final product to their clients and consumers. Since during the project we focus on the olive oil sector, we have decided to involve PoggioLecci, an agriculturally sustainable estate in Southern Tuscany with 2700 olive trees of seven different Tuscan varieties, and the Mastacchi Mill, based near Grosseto (Tuscany) and processing olives to produce high quality extra virgin olive oil, with DOP certification. Both of them reacted to our idea with great enthusiasm and decided to participate in our project for different reasons. In particular, PoggioLecci sustains the project as they want to enhance their competitiveness through innovative ICT technologies. Moreover they strongly believe in providing detailed olive oil production traceability to the end consumers, especially nowadays that organic producers are hurt by the bad publicity/scandals around big Mediterranean extra virgin olive oil producers and distributors. While the Mastacchi Mill aims at contributing in the system’s development and testing phases with the final goal to offer their clients innovative services.
For which purpose are you using FIWARE technologies?
Recently we implemented the KeyRock authorization procedure in one of our projects, obtaining a Facebook-like authorization process for our users. The implementation was easy and fast, allowing us to focus on other activities and aspects of the project.
During the analysis of the needed functionalities of the Java based backend server, we noticed that we needed a strong and reliable big data analyzer in order to process all the data coming from the sensors. For that purpose, we studied and decided to use the Cosmos GE. We created a test instance in the FIWARE Lab started communicating with the underling Hadoop server.
While testing the Generic Enablers in the FIWARE Lab, we had the opportunity to use and comprehend the functionality of another Generic Enabler, the Wirecloud. The possibilities given by this GE were taken in account and we want to try and upload a widget for testing purposes.
Overall it was really easy in terms of implementation for the GE, nevertheless each step required a deep analysis and study of new technologies and tools, which for sure extended the intended period of developing.
Are you using FIspace for AgriAware?
At the moment we only created an account to test and see the functionalities of FIspace. We don’t have a specific purpose to use the platform, and we noticed few minor bugs during our experience, already reported to the platform support. The login process usually fails at the first try, with the need of refreshing the page or re-run the procedure. Also we can’t create our company in the system, since the form for registering a new one simply doesn’t work. We have also tried to buy and use some free widgets, and although they were free, we had to insert our billing information.
What are your dreams for the future of AgriAware?
Our dream is to become by 2020 one of the leading European solution providers for stakeholders acting in the field of food and drinks produced from fruit trees. In particular, AgriAware will be strategically established in Italy, Greece, Spain, France and Germany. Furthermore, as AgriAware is highly scalable, by setting up small modification to the system, we plan to enter other markets for that date. Indeed we have already identified some interesting opportunities in the sector of organic food, luxury foods and cosmetics and alternative medicine. We are sure to put in the market a smart solution able to improve the production and the logistics of food and drinks and to enhance consumers trust and awareness. Our commitment is to actively contribute in the competitiveness of the European agrifood sector.