AGRIPIR: Bringing innovation to traditional upland farming
An initiative based in the French and Spanish Pyrenees has brought together players from the agricultural industry, public research institutions, high-tech SMEs and local development agencies. Their goal has been to find ways of introducing innovative technologies to the region’s traditional upland farming sector in order to make it more competitive.
" The AGRIPIR project has been very positive and concrete for our company. AGRIPIR allowed us to explore problems experienced by farmers in the mountains, which are common on both sides of the border, and imagine innovative solutions. That’s how we met our Spanish partners and decided to put together the HY-POWERBOX project. "
The AGRIPIR network, made up of 150 organisations and over 300 people, set itself the task of introducing more innovation and technology to the region’s agricultural industries. Businesses from the IT, electronics and space sectors worked together with researchers, clusters and development agencies to come up practical measures that could change the face of upland farming. The objective was to pool resources and come up with R&D projects with genuine economic potential.
This ambition was achieved as the AGRIPIR team settled on developing five distinctly different innovation projects, which will serve to be the network’s lasting legacy and most significant impact. Following the completion of the R&D stage, each project looks set to move on and eventually start marketing products, process or services.
- The E-PASTO project has created a geo-location device which can find animals grazing on high summer pastures. This product is at prototype stage but discussions are taking place between the project partners with a view to full production.
- The COWMON project seeks to develop a continuous surveillance system for livestock which roam over large areas. The end-product would work using open systems, be low in cost and self-sufficient in terms of energy use.
- The LIVE-PRE-LIFE project’s objective is to create a comprehensive system that will improve cohabitation between large predators and livestock in mountain areas. The finished package will include systems for the enclosure of animals, early detection of predator attacks and active exclusion.
- The MASTECH project aims to develop a system for the early detection of mastitis in sheep, goats and cattle. Cutting-edge technologies, including nuclear thematic resonance and thermography, will be tested in the proposed solution.
- The HY-POWERBOX project looks to help mountain farmers become self-sufficient in energy use as they carry out their daily tasks in areas that are difficult to access.
Progress using the AGRIPIR template will continue, as its working groups are still running thanks to the critical mass which has been created through the programmed activities.
Total investment and EU funding
Total investment for the project “AGRIPIR” is EUR 958 526, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 640 592 from the Operational Programme “France-Spain-Andorra” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.