Wageningen Research (WR) is a collection of specialized agricultural focused research institutes in the Netherlands. It collaborates with Wageningen University under the umbrella of Wageningen University and Research (WUR). By integrating knowledge on agricultural production systems, crop protection, crop ecology, genetics and reproduction, WUR serves the entire agro-production chain with scientific products and system concepts. WUR is worldwide a main source of articles in leading scientific journals. WUR Greenhouse Horticulture is a division of Wageningen Research and active partner in PLANtAR. It performs strategic and applied research for the horticultural industry and has over 70 dedicated researchers, 5 labs and 70 greenhouse compartments for experiments located in Wageningen and Bleiswijk (NL).


Contribution to PLANtAR

Wageningen Research will support the development of sensors and will contribute to set up of the end-user specifications for the sensors based on relevant experience. It will perform the testing, validation and demonstration of sensor prototypes under controlled, semi-practical as well as practical conditions in open field as well as in greenhouses. For this it will make use of two large-scale test facilities the “Netherlands Plant Ecophenotyping Centre” at Wageningen (NPEC, www.npec.nl), and the “Innovation and Demonstration Centre for Water” at Bleiswijk (IDC-Water). The test-facilities are equipped with monitoring systems that can be used as reference for the sensors under test and have also data logging facilities. WR will also use its large growers and equipment supplier network (linked to the two test-facilities) to disseminate and demonstrate the project results, f.i. during open days at Wageningen and Bleiswijk.

  • Miniaturized monitoring sensor systems for plants and agriculture

    Miniaturized monitoring sensor systems for plants and agriculture

  • Affordable, highly integrated, biodegradable solutions

    The PLANtAR project focuses on the development of affordable, highly integrated, miniaturized sensors and tightly meshed sensor networks (including nano-sensors and paper-based microfluidic devices), and applied intelligence in three areas: precision agriculture (field/urban) , Greenhouse/indoor breeding and farm monitoring. In addition, it aims to reduce the environmental impact and decrease cost of these technologies by ensuring that the sensors are biodegradable and can be ploughed into the soil after their use.
  • Expertise across the value chain

    The PLANtAR consortium brings together partners from across the entire value chain. These include highly experienced technology and component providers as well as leading suppliers in agricultural applications and infrastructure with direct contact with end-users. The extensive mix of industrial partners features a high number of small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups with know-how in sensors and other relevant technologies. Several research institutes with expertise and excellent market access are also involved. With this breadth of knowledge and resources in agriculture and semiconductor and sensor technologies, the consortium will strengthen knowledge transfer and cut development time and costs leading to a faster time-to-market.
  • Growing market opportunities

    By minimizing risks and speeding development of new sensor technologies and communication networks, PLANtAR’s collaborative approach will deliver competitive offerings to the environmental sensor market – at both component and solution level. It will allow European companies to maintain or achieve market leadership positions and enable end-users to install low-cost sensor networks or expand existing ones.

Project Vision

PLANtAR aims to develop cost-efficient, miniaturized, networked and partly biodegradable monitoring electronics to help tackle one of the world’s biggest challenges: producing enough food over 9 billion people while also protecting the environment. In order to solve the dilemma between high-yield intensive agriculture and environmental protection, cross-sector approaches are required, with digitization playing a key role.

Project Goals

New kinds of electronic sensors, actuators, networks and other digital technologies can increase efficiency and improve environmental sustainability in many agricultural applications. Whether in fields, in greenhouses or in the new domains of indoor and urban farming (which now accounts for 20% of global food production), digital technologies have the potential to enable holistic monitoring of production and growing conditions. Sensors can provide timely warnings of plant stress and / or diseases. By measuring factors such as soil moisture, EC and content of nitrogen, ammonia, surface temperature, solar radiation, CO2 and detecting pests and plant pathogens, digital technologies can help significantly increase yields per cultivated area. And at the same time, they can assist in reducing water, energy, fertilizer and pesticide use.

Project Outcome




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