The Synergy Days Conference, held on October 4 and 5, 2023, in Thessaloniki,brought together dozens of projects and agri-food stakeholders from across Europe for engaging workshops, interactive panel discussions and networking opportunities. Stratos Arampatzis (Noosware) led a workshop on “Emerging Drone Opportunities in Europe: The Case for Agriculture and Rural Development” and Mackenzie Baert (FSH) presented the ICAERUS Open Calls during “Funding Opportunities for Agrifood Innovation: Cascade Funding Calls.” workshop. Katerina Kassimati (AUA) also joined sister projects CHAMELEON and SPADE, in a joint workshop called “A Synergy for Unlocking the Power of Drones for Sustainable Agriculture, Environmental Monitoring, and Governance.”
ICAERUS partners AUA and HCPA both represented the project at the ESYF- AgriBusiness Forum, where Professor Spyros Fountas also took part in a session on “Innovation, new technologies, sustainable solutions’.
ICAERUS has been developing strong collaboration with sister projects beyond Synergy Day, First co-leading a MDPIworkshop on “EO & GEO Series Webinar: Drones for Rural Development” with SPADE and CHAMELEON to discuss the use of drones in agricultural production, forestry, and rural communities. Katerina Kassimata also represented ICAERUS in the “Horizon Europe Sister Project Workshop in Mobile Robotics,” exchanging knowledge and experiences with projects FEROX, DIGIFOREST, FLEXIGROPOTS, and AUTOASSES.
The Open Calls have been a very important topic. Foodscale Hub informed attendees of Sploro’s “Cascade Funding Info Webinar” about the opportunities provided by the ICAERUS 1st PULL Open Call for farming, forestry and rural challenges. Together with the TITAN project, FSH also organized an Open Call preparation webinar to break down the proposal process and answer questions. ART21 and AFL also shared the Open Call during a webinar in Lithuania.
Institut de l’Elevage (Idele) is developing a method for automating sheep counting based on low-altitude drone videos (<10m), moving away from conventional aerial surveys for improved accuracy. They showcased ICAERUS at the European Federation of Animal Science and the European Association of Animal Production conferences, highlighting the innovative potential of drones.
HCPA wrapped up the year with their annual Christmas event, including ICAERUS and the progress made on the drone spraying use case during their presentation of the 2023.