Finnish AgriHubi Network promotes farm business management and digitalisation

Farm Business Competence Network Finland is a new national initiative that brings together research, advice and education and builds interaction with other actors in the food system.


The aim of the collaborative network is to promote and facilitate scientific knowledge into the better use of farm enterprises. The AgriHubi Network promotes cooperation between actors and builds new connections thematically. Main themes are farm business management, knowledge management and smart farming. Here Sari Forsman-Hugg, head of the AgriHubi Network, and Liisa Personen talk more about the network.

Makes farm enterprises stronger
“AgriHubi helps farm enterprises develop their competitiveness, resilience and renewal in a chancing operational environment. We are currently building roadmaps on the themes of farm business management and smart farming. Roadmaps will be developed together with network representatives. The aim of the roadmaps is to make visible and concrete what changes and action points are needed to make the Finnish agriculture more profitable and competitive in 2030”, says Sari Forsman-Hugg, Head of the AgriHubi Network.

”AgriHubi is connected and willing to collaborate with other national and international networks within this field. Collaboration with European SmartAgriHubs network is important for us, as well as introducing testbeds among AgriHubi partners to the Nordic Testbed Network”, Liisa Pesonen emphasizes.

Actors on the area of ​​discomfort
“The strength and effectiveness of AgriHubi comes from working together. Real change arises from questioning established patterns of action. We must step into the zone of discomfort and experiment new ways of doing things. Farm entrepreneurs are encouraged to participate in pilot projects”, Sari Forsman-Hugg emphasizes.

AgriHubi provides an interaction forum where farm enterprises can influence and participate in the reform of education in the field, especially in farm management and the digitalization and the development of advisory services. A web service will be built for AgriHubi, where network operators will compile the latest research data and solutions based on both research and development work.

Coordinated by LUKE
The AgriHubi network is coordinated by the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke). To support the network, a steering group has been set up, representing a wide range of actors and stakeholders in the sector: farm companies and producer organizations, educational institutions, advisory organizations, research institutes and companies in the food chain. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry supports the work.

For more information about the AgriHubi Network, contact Sari Forsman-Hugg, Head of the AgriHubi Network:


Nordic Testbed Network provides funding for two testbed initiatives

Due to minimal traveling caused by Covid-19, the Nordic Testbed Network used less of its 2020 budget than planned. We therefore invited all of our testbeds to provide ideas for relevant activities in line with the core of the network, which the network could fund.

We are happy to announce that AgroTech and Alovivum have been granted funding for their respective initiatives.


Digital tests for optimised spraying with minimal overlap

The Danish Technological Institute’s initiative lies within the area of precision agriculture – a key element in the digital transformation of the bioeconomy. The use of pesticides can be optimised by using GPS systems, drones, and camera technologies. However, also the precision of the field sprayers can be optimised using digital solutions, by new add-on technologies and computer control.

The aim of this project is to demonstrate the quality of agricultural sprayers by measuring of the boom movements with/without a technology controlling the yaw movements.

– I think there are good possibilities for ensuring a more sustainable plant production, by using digital solutions both implemented on new sprayers and the farmers existing equipment. However the producers of digital solutions are often start-ups ag-tech and SME companies and the cost for proving the effect for the farmers can be relatively costly and difficult to finance. The funding from the Nordic Testbed Network gives the possibility to measure the estimated positive benefit for a more accurate spraying, says Birgitte Feld Mikkelsen, Danish Technological Institute.


An outreach for co-creation, data sharing and demonstration

Photo: Alovivum’s pilot site in Gödelöv, Genarp, Lund, Sweden.

Alovivum’s initiative involves an outreach of the testbed for co-creation, data sharing and demonstration to the local bioeconomy and food community, in order to interact with farmers to co-develop indoor farming applications, retrofit farm buildings and select plant species for local supply chains. The interaction may eventually be extended to consumers, retail and other stakeholders.

– We chose to apply for this project since we believe that sharing data and results from our testbed and pilot site for hydroculture cultivation and farming will help us and others to make this innovative way of indoor farming and its benefits and KPIs more visible and subject for further development, comparison and benchmarking, as well as mutual sharing of progress among the Nordic testbeds and other stakeholders, says Henrik Hedlund at Alovivum.

Contact: Henrik Hedlund, Alovivum



Smart Agtech Sweden – one of the EDIH candidates

Smart Agtech Sweden is one of Swedens 15 European Digital Innovation Hub (EDIH) candidates, competing of becoming one of the up to 6 EDIH in Sweden. The proposed hub aims to improve innovation rate of the Swedish agricultural sector by further integrating it with the ICT sector based on 3 pillars: Smart Farming (i.e. Precision Agriculture and Precision Livestock Farming), data analytics using AI, and IoT.

Read more further down

Illustration: Per Frankelius, Linköping University


Low rate of innovation

In line with the overall high levels of digital proficiency in the population, many Swedish farmers are early adopters in automation and monitoring systems to offset high input and labour costs. Despite this rapid transformation among farmers the rate of innovation is estimated to be lower in agriculture and food processing than elsewhere in the Swedish economy with research not being well connected with the needs of the agriculture and food sector (OECD Food and Agricultural Reviews: Innovation, Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability in Sweden, 2018).


Network for stakeholders

Smart Agtech Sweden EDIH will bring together cutting-edge digital technologies with agricultural equipment manufacturers, food producers and advisory organisations to enable the further addition of value-added services to the agricultural sector in Sweden and support further innovation. It is a powerful initiative with the ambition of transforming the Swedish agri-food system into state-of-the-art in terms of sustainability and competitiveness through smart digital technology. The strategy is to disseminate and develop digital technology in agriculture and related ecosystems, focusing on SMEs and the public sector.


Several strong players

Smart Agtech Sweden is an initiative linking Sweden’s leading regional agtech digital innovation nodes and is coordinated by RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden) in collaboration with strong agtech players: Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and regional platforms in Eastern Central Sweden, Western Sweden and Southern Sweden, namely Agtech 2030 (c/o Linköping University), SmartAgri (c/o Agroväst), Region South (c/o Krinova) and Test bed for digitalized agriculture (c/o RISE). In addition, Visual Sweden (c/o Linköping University) and allied partners are included. Local SMEs will benefit from the hub’s partnership and be offered qualified support for e.g. testing and development of new products and processes.


Anna Rydberg:
Kristina Anderback:

New course focusing on the role of testbeds in a digital bioeconomy

Later this year, the new course Digitalisation and the bioeconomy starts – welcoming PhD students with an interest in the interplay between digitalisation, innovation and the bioeconomy. The course explores the interface between digitalisation and the bioeconomy with a particular focus on their development in testbeds and subsequent adoption to help achieve more sustainable bioeconomies.

The course is offered by the research school Social Science Perspectives on Sustainable Development, an umbrella organisation between the Department of Economics and the Department of Urban and Rural Development at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

Please spread the word to people in your network that could be interested! More information about the course can be found here.