Precision Agriculture, Food & Environment

Precision Agriculture, Food & Environment

Ensuring global food security requires smart, climate-proof agriculture and food processing. OnePlanet Research Center provides companies across the agrifood chain with solutions that enable the production of food in a precise, controlled and sustainable manner.  

What if we lived in a world where the quality of fresh produce, and the health of plants and livestock could be autonomously and continuously monitored and adjusted when necessary, at precisely the right place and time?  It would make agriculture and food processing significantly more sustainable, as it enables the production of more food of higher quality with less input of fertilizer, water, agro-chemicals and human labor. It would reduce the emissions of methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide and it would boost biodiversity. Farming operations would no longer require the physical proximity of farmers. Instead, farm management would become data-driven, anticipatory, highly optimized and individualized. It would provide new opportunities for producing fresh food at locations where space is limited, such as in urban areas, and retailers would be able to substantially reduce their food miles by growing fresh produce locally indoors.

Well-considered actions

Precision Agriculture, Food & Environment focuses on the development of sensing technologies and digital applications that enable smart precision farming and food processing. Industry programs will be initiated that deliver solutions for real-time monitoring of individual plants, animals and their environments. This enables growers to farm as efficiently and circularly as possible, dosing precise nutrient volumes, whilst minimizing the use of agro-chemicals and so reducing their environmental impact. Examples include sensing solutions for autonomous indoor farms, in-soil sensors that monitor the internal quality of fruits and vegetables, and sensors that measure nitrogen emissions. In food processing, new sensing applications are envisaged for real-time monitoring of food quality and food safety. OnePlanet’s smart technologies will enable circular food processing with a minimum of food waste and efficient resource (re)use.

Interdisciplinary approach

OnePlanet has a unique, interdisciplinary approach, working at the cutting-edge of agriculture, food, and advanced chip and digital technology. The specialists working for OnePlanet come from world-leading organizations in their particular fields: imec (chip and digital technology), Wageningen University & Research (agriculture, food, nutrition and health), Radboud University and Radboud Medical Center (healthcare). They perform application- and requirements-driven research, working closely with industry, startups and multinationals. This ensures impactful innovations that are economically viable.

From emerging sensing to indoor autonomous farming

Various groundbreaking innovations are underway. Advanced (combined) sensors to non-invasively measure the ripeness of fresh fruits and vegetables will be one of the outcomes of Emerging Sensing. This innovation track will also investigate how to measure plant health. In Indoor Autonomous Farming, OnePlanet is developing a sensor-based, integrated data platform that opens the way to autonomous greenhouse production and, in the longer term, fully-controlled vertical farming systems. Digital Orchard is dedicated to the gathering and integration of data on – and prediction of – fruit-tree health and fruit harvest quality.

Animal wellbeing is developing digital solutions to improve animal welfare and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, whereas the Digital Food Factory works towards new sensors and digital technologies to gain real-time insight into – and maximum control of – food processing and logistics. The different innovation tracks will result in the development of digital twins: AI-guided, digital copies of plants and animals, which detail timely and appropriate interventions and their potential benefits.


Indoor Autonomous Farming

Digitization of agriculture and horticulture is essential in order to produce food in a precise, more-sustainable way. OnePlanet integrates existing and new sensor technology into usable prototypes in agriculture and horticulture.

Food Factory of the Future

Improving product quality, increasing production yields and reducing food waste are key to sustainable food processing. OnePlanet deploys new sensor and digital technology to obtain real-time insight into – and gain maximum control of – food processing and logistics.

Environmental Impact

Creating a healthy environment asks for reduction of agricultural nitrogen and methane emissions, and efforts to increase biodiversity and soil health. OnePlanet is developing advanced sensor and digital technology that allows farmers to measure the impact of their business on environment and nature, and take targeted interventions.


Want to know more?

Interested in OnePlanet’s advanced sensor technologies and data sciences, and in the development of innovative solutions for intelligent, climate-smart agriculture and food processing? Contact us for a no-obligation conversation.