LIFE GAIA Sense - Innovative Smart Farming services supporting Circular Economy in Agriculture

LIFE17 ENV/GR/000220

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Contact details:

Contact person: Nikolaos Marianos
Tel: 302104101010
Email: n_marianos@neuropublic.gr

Project description:


To meet increasing demand for food, the agricultural sector has historically raised production through a high usage of fertilisers, pesticides, water and fossil fuels. This has led to negative environmental impacts, including soil degradation, freshwater shortages, pollution of soils, air and water, and climate change. Moreover, some resources, such as phosphorus, are non-renewable and current levels of consumption raise serious concerns for future food security. Given that the world’s population is predicted to reach 9 billion people by 2050, there is a vital need to develop farming systems that sustain or increase crop production while utilising all the necessary resources in the most efficient way.


The LIFE GAIA Sense project’s main objective is to demonstrate an innovative, adaptable and affordable smart farming system. The aim is to reduce the consumption of natural resources and agrochemicals, while maintaining or increasing crop yields. The project will install 18 demonstration systems on farms in Greece, Portugal and Spain, covering nine crops (olive, peach, cotton, pistachio, potato, table tomato, industrial tomato, almond and kiwi fruit), under different terrain and microclimatic conditions. LIFE GAIA Sense will assess the performance of the system, for example, on soil, water and air quality; savings on water and pesticide use; greenhouse gas and other air pollutant emissions; and farmers’ incomes. The results will help the project team adapt the system for use by farmers in different regions. Although based on high-end technology, the system will be designed to be affordable for both agricultural cooperatives and individual farmers. The project team will promote the smart farming system to help ensure its adoption within the agricultural sector. By promoting more efficient resource use, the project contributes to EU policy supporting sustainable farming practices and the development of a circular economy in agriculture.

Expected results:

  • The development of a large-scale smart farming infrastructure for data collection and analysis, comprising 18 demonstration systems on farms in Greece, Spain and Portugal, actively involving agronomists and 40 farmers, and supporting a further 750 farmers by providing relevant advice;
  • Extension of smart farming services (e.g. fertilisation and irrigation advice, automated irrigation and hazard warnings) for nine crops in a variety of terrain and microclimatic conditions;
  • Development of a smart farming method for more efficient resource use in agriculture, leading to improved nitrogen use efficiency (up to 30 %), reduced pesticide usage (11-25 %) and less water consumption (25 %), dependingon the crop;
  • Reductions in energy consumption (up to 25 %), of greenhouse gas emissions (32 %), PM10 emissions (up to 10 %), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emissions (up to 15 %), ammonia emissions (up to 30 %), and irritant/corrosive/toxic and persistent/bioaccumulative substances (up to 11 % and 34 %, respectively);
  • Increased farmers’ incomes due to lower cultivation costs while retaining the same – if not enhanced – productivity, as well as enhanced quality and added-value of agricultural products due to reduced agrochemical use;
  • Validated business plan for GAIA Sense’s deployment in three countries;
  • Creation of 134 new jobs by January 2023;
  • Development of a network of well-educated farmers, cooperatives, professionals and specialists using the smart farming model across the EU;
  • Implementation of circular economy policy in the agricultural sector and contribution towards implementing the Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe; and
  • Promotion of compliance with the environmental and resource management concerns addressed in the common agricultural policy (CAP).



Environmental issues addressed:


Land-use & Planning - Soil and landscape protection
Industry-Production - Agriculture - Forestry


agricultural method‚  water saving‚  air quality management‚  greenhouse gas‚  water resources management‚  pest control‚  resource conservation

Target EU Legislation

  • Waste
  • COM(2015)614 - "Closing the loop - An EU action plan for the Circular Economy" (02.12.2015)
  • Land & Soil
  • COM(2006)508 - “Communication on the development of agri-environmental indicators for monitoring ...
  • Climate Change & Energy efficicency
  • COM(2011)885 - EU 2050 Energy Roadmap (15.12.2011)

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Type of organisation SME Small and medium sized enterprise
Description NEUROPUBLIC is an Information and Communication Technology SME that develops applications built on Cloud computing architecture. Its products and services are used by more than 800 000 end-users, in the fields of agriculture, local government and healthcare. In 2015, the company launched a programme that promotes smart farming in Greece.
Partners ARISTOTELIO PANEPISTIMIO THESSALONIKIS (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki – Special Account of Research Funds), Greece Agricultural Cooperative Partnership Mirabello Union S.A., Greece Agrotikos Synetairismos Epexergasias kai Poliseos Oporokipeftikon Proionton (ASEPOP) Velventou SYN.P.E, Greece Confederação Nacional das Cooperativas Agrícolas e do Crédito Agrícola de Portugal CCRL, Portugal VIÑA COSTEIRA SCG, Spain GAIA EPICHEIREIN ANONYMI ETAIREIA PSIFIAKON YPIRESION, Greece


Project reference LIFE17 ENV/GR/000220
Duration 01-JUL-2018 to 30-JUN -2022
Total budget 2,979,291.00 €
EU contribution 1,751,574.00 €
Project location Galicia(España) Anatoliki Makedonia, Thraki(Ellas) Kentriki Makedonia(Ellas) Dytiki Makedonia(Ellas) Thessalia(Ellas) Peloponnisos(Ellas) Attiki(Ellas) Kriti(Ellas) Alentejo(Portugal)


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Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version