On the 16th and 17th of January, 2023, the city of Athens, Greece, played host to the inaugural meeting of the SmartVitiNet project. SmartVitiNet, standing for Smart and Sustainable Drone-assisted Viticulture Excellence Network, aims to revolutionize the viticulture industry by integrating advanced technology into traditional farming practices.
SmartVitiNet is set to scale up, pilot, and introduce an innovative, holistic phytosanitary and plant protection system to the market. This system will leverage the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, cutting-edge observational platforms, and new ready-to-use sensors. Additionally, the project will establish a Competence Center for Precision Viticulture, further solidifying its commitment to sustainable and efficient farming practices.
The kick-off meeting, held at the Agricultural University of Athens, brought together all partners involved in the project. Our hosts, who are also the coordinators of our project, warmly welcomed everyone, setting the stage for a fruitful discussion on the current status of all activities, the challenges that lie ahead, and the actions planned for the next three years of the project. Special emphasis was placed on the work that must be accomplished in the coming six months, leading up to the next transnational meeting.
The meeting also served as a platform to clarify certain points and introduce the Project Officer, Mr. Erik Hengmith, and one of his colleagues, Mr. Tomislav Pinter, from the European Commission. Both gentlemen attended the two-day kick-off meeting in person and shared a presentation related to the project, the Interregional Innovation Investments (I3) Instrument, and the related goals of the European Commission.
The project aligns with several smart specialisation priorities of the regions involved and is expected to have significant impacts on regional and EU sectors of Agriculture, Health, Environment, and ICT.
The kick-off meeting provided an opportunity for all partners to meet in person and mark the beginning of an extremely interesting and important project for the Green Transition. Our team is eagerly looking forward to reconvening and discussing the project's progress in the near future. SmartVitiNet is not just a step, but a leap towards a more sustainable and technologically advanced viticulture industry.
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