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Digital Innovation Hubs boosting European Microelectronics Industry
Deadline: 15 Jun 2018   CALL EXPIRED

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1 Introduction

A large percentage of the European SMEs and mid-caps from all sectors have limited knowledge of what smart electronics and smart systems can do. The situation is aggravated by the fact that the “Advanced Micro-Electronics (AME) and Smart System Integration (SSI)” technologies are a large family of technologies with diverse potential per sector: Micro-Nano- Bio-Systems are significantly more valuable in the health domain than in the manufacturing domain while reversely, smart system integration and combined sensing may be more effective in the agriculture sector. They also lack easy access to diverse competencies, primarily technological and scientific, but also competencies regarding business development and market access. While these competencies often exist locally or abroad, they find it difficult and costly to search, find and connect with the relevant players and the resources/ competencies they possess. Even when digital innovation is undertaken, companies must face the valley of death to reach TRLs of 7 or higher. One reason for this is the inability to reach critical market mass. This challenge could be addressed by pursuing user-driven application development followed by targeting a sufficiently large group of customers, most likely located across national borders; however, this strategy requires a set of expertise not commonly available to SMEs.

Starting in FP7 and more broadly applied in Horizon 2020, the European Commission is supporting a group of initiatives supporting SMEs and mid-caps across the economy in digital value creation. The formula for success is the collaboration of industrial actors across the complete value chain in a large number of small experiments facilitated by Europe’s leading Competence Centres (CC). By going broad both in terms of applications and in terms of actors (e.g. SMEs and mid-caps both on provider and user side), this scheme is an important means for putting Europe’s industrial renaissance on a more solid foundation. The major initiatives are “ICT Innovation for Manufacturing SMEs” (I4MS), supporting largely process innovation, and “Smart Anything Everywhere” (SAE), supporting product and service innovation:

  • ICT Innovation for Manufacturing SMEs (I4MS) is addressing process innovation through digital technologies such as simulation, modelling and data-analytics; robotics; advanced lasers and smart sensors; cyber-physical systems and the Internet of Things (IoT). Currently 40 competence centres in 17 Member States, 150 experiments and 150 SMEs or mid-caps are participating in I4MS.

  • Smart Anything Everywhere (SAE) is supporting product and service innovation through digital technologies. Clustered in four projects with a total budget of 25M€, SAE aims to support at least 100 user-supplier experiments with 200 SMEs and mid-caps.

As shown in Figure 1, the primary target of SAE is to support the technology suppliers and the technology users crossing the “the chasm” (also known as “valley of death” for the SMEs) moving form innovators to early adopters and early majority. Thus on one hand to support the technology suppliers in sustainability and on the other to support users gaining a competitive advantage through early technology adoption. As a secondary target, SAE aim to stimulate the replication potential through the dissemination of best practices

 

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Figure 1: I4MS and SAE initiatives in the technology adoption lifecycle [1]

 

SAE actions aim at stimulating broad adoption of novel embedded, advanced microelectronics and smart integration systems technologies and their enablers in industrial and societal applications important for Europe. Experiments should bring together all actors of the value chain and experts necessary to equip new users with novel products or services. With special emphasis on SMEs, the focus of these experiments is on the adoption of emerging innovative technologies and processes, which are customised, integrated, tested and validated in the experiments before being able to compete on the market.

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Figure 2: SAE ecosystems [1]

 

As shown in Figure 2, the core of the SAE ecosystems clusters knowledge and access to specific technology and platforms which can be used in experiments. The experiments may be driven by 

a competence centre or several competence centres are networked together leading to a European network of competence centres

In more details, SAE aims at supporting SMEs and mid-caps (in the later, SMEs may also mean SMEs and mid-caps for simplicity) along three dimensions:

  • Provide access to competences that can help in assessing, planning and mastering the digital transformation.

  • Provide access to innovation networks of a broad spectrum of competences and best practice examples.

  • Provide financial support to SMEs on the demand and the supply side to master the digital transformation.

The underlying idea is to enable and to foster the collaboration of SMEs across their value chains via European competence centres / digital innovation hubs (e.g. top universities, application- oriented research organisations, platform providers) in predominantly cross-border experiments to create a win-win situation for all.

Within the focused experiments of short duration, brokerage and transfer of technology know- how are provided by the Digital innovation Hubs (DIH) to the SMEs. SAE not only resolves the competence gap of SMEs, but also provides them with the financial means to adopt leading edge digital technology. In this way, the SMEs are capable to bring innovative and highly competitive new products and services to the market.

Innovative platform providers profit from SAE as the experiments enable them to mature their existing technologies. The experiments also broaden the field of application and ultimately open them new markets and services.

Last but not least, the competence centres benefit from the initiative, as they extend their largely research oriented activities with industrial projects thereby gaining a new sustainable business model.

To allow for a lean and efficient support to the end user SMEs, the administrative procedures to benefit from EU funding have been simplified further using the flexible and dynamic "Financial Support to Third Parties" scheme of H2020 ("cascade funding"). Rather than entering into a direct contractual agreement with the European Commission, companies sign a light contract with one of the projects' beneficiaries.

1.1 DIATOMIC - project overview

DIATOMIC is an EU H2020 funded project, which aims to establish a sustainable ecosystem, which will facilitate Advanced micro-electronics components and Smart System Integration (AME/SSI) based innovation in the health, agrifood and manufacturing sectors, all of which are under-digitized and of prime importance for the European society and the economy. Ultimate goal of DIATOMIC is to support the take-up of electronic components, sensors, smart objects and systems by providing the means to gain access (i) for SMEs, academia and research institutes to advanced design and manufacturing facilities and (ii) for SMEs to rapid prototyping capabilities.

DIATOMIC consortium is a fusion between: technological research centres (IPA, IPN and BIOS), CCs (INTRA, LIB and SYN), innovation consulting (INO), SMEs community (F6S) and investors (FASTT). DIATOMIC ecosystem draws from the advanced technological excellence of the DIATOMIC consortium to execute three sector-specific cross-border Application Experiments (as best practices) to help technology adopters, end-users and smart solution developers realise tangible benefits of digitization. In-house excellence in dissemination is leveraged to ignite further ideation of digital products, processes and business models from non-tech SMEs and midcaps; thus promoting interest in experimentation with AME and SSI.

 

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Figure 3: DIATOMIC digital ecosystem

Two open calls are organised to attract and select the best of the best consortia, consisting of tech adopters, tech providers and Competence Centres (CC). Application Experiments will be funded to generate AME/SSI-based products, processes and business models with strong market potential.

1.2 The rationale for selecting DIATOMIC domains

While DIATOMIC is apt for all sectors of the EU economy, we have selected three domains on the basis of: (currently low) digitization level of enterprises, (high) market size and potential and (high) societal importance. Their potential to act as flagships for industry digitization based on AME and SSI was also considered.

• Thehealthdomain:SmartSystems,withtheirin-builtadaptivecapabilitiesandgreatpotential for portability brought about by miniaturization, can bring benefits across the entire spectrum of healthcare and wellbeing. Applications include personal diagnosis, monitoring and fitness, treatment and implants and ultimately, enhanced levels of telemedicine across the community. The health and personal wellbeing sector worldwide is immense in value: in 2011, $309bn for the worldwide medical device sector, including $90bn for medical electronics1. Currently Smart Systems account for ~10 to 12% of this, but could rise to ~40% of the $130bn of medical electronics market (€50bn) by 2020. According to surveys2, Smart Systems providers in the health sector rated “increased functionality” as the most important driver to compel the use of new devices or techniques compared to, in descending order, reduced cost, increased reliability, new markets, global competitiveness, simplicity in use, and legislative drives; the most obstructive difficulty reported was “untried techniques”.

• The agrifood domain: Production and processing of food is one of the basic pillars of the EU economy. At the same time, “the sector of the economy with the lowest IT intensity is farming, where IT accounts for just 1% of all capital spending”3. The sector has a turnover of €1 trillion and is the leading employer in the EU (16% of total)4. The EU has the largest share of the global food and drinks market, but its share has dropped from 20% in 2001 to 16% in 20125. As noted by the EC, slow growth in labor productivity and added-value have decreased the competitiveness of EU`s food producers6. R&D and innovation in the industry is ranked as below average7. Thus, investments in digital innovation have large inherent potential: production is a complex “input-output problem”8 and supply chains, manufacturing/distribution a logistics problem; Smart Systems can radically increase data collection and processing enabling new efficiencies. In addition, consumer driven trends are changing the sector: interest in the link between food and health has changed mainstream consumption patterns by valorizing quality aspects related to good health. ICTs have the potential to enforce current strengths of the EU agrifood sector on the global market, and generate new products, processes and business models that better deliver value in line with arising consumer trends.

• The manufacturing domain: Manufacturing is among the most impervious to digital change with just 12% of high digital innovation index9. Smart Systems promise to carry out local optimization underpinned by local knowledge bases, ranging from the examination of raw materials and parts, predicting subsequent machine settings to compensate for variation, all the way through to optimizing manufacturing parameters. Smart Systems could compensate from measurements on-line, at end-of-line or from live data collected in the field as the product is used. The manufacturing equipment sector in EU27+EFTA is estimated at €57bn. Currently, Smart Systems account for ~10% of this, in machine automation, but could rise to ~20% by 2020 (€12bn). Front-running technologies are Microsensors & Microactuators, MEMS, MOEMS and Microfluidics, Design & Simulation, and Semiconductors & More-than-Moore technologies. Smart Systems providers to the Manufacturing automation sector rated “increased functionality” as the most important driver compared to, in descending order, reduced cost, increased reliability, global competitiveness, new markets, simplicity in use, and legislative drives to compel the use of new devices or techniques; the most obstructive difficulty reported was “fragmented supply chain”.

 

2 Call for Proposals

DIATOMIC ecosystem invites small consortia to design, develop, experiment and market innovative, smart SAE applications, which will facilitate Advanced micro-electronics components and Smart System Integration (AME/SSI) based innovation in the health, agrifood and manufacturing sectors. The consortia should consist of 2 to 3 partners consisting of:

• AME/SSI Technology providers: Technology SMEs, Competence Centres, Research Centres and academia

• Technology adopters/users: SMEs/mid-caps active in any of the three targeted sectors Applicants shall consider the following general criteria when applying for the DIATOMIC project:

  • AME and SSI technologies: The consortium must propose the development of novel products/ processes along with relevant experiments making use of AME and SSI technologies and starting from a TRL of 3. This must aim towards the digitization of products and/or processes.

  • Business mindset: In addition to presenting the technological concept, applicants are requested to provide initial exploitation plans and business scenarios for their experiments.

The goal is for them to propose the development of novel products/processes along with relevant experiments making use of AME and SSI technologies, quantifying the benefits of digitization to further stimulate digital thinking.

The innovation, inspiration and productivity of tech adopter/user will be used as an evaluation criterion to ensure bottom-up application design. Proposals with cross-border aspects or bringing private funding to reduce the DIATOMIC funding rate will be favoured.

Example experiments are provided in Section 6.

Once funded, third parties are provided with business support and one-on-one coaching to support business development during all stages of the application experiment. In addition to presenting the technological concept, applicants are requested to provide initial exploitation plans and business scenarios for their experiments, as these are important elements of the DIATOMIC evaluation criteria. As the business plan of the technology adopter strongly depends on the technological development speed and cost, tech adopter SME/mid-caps are urged to collaborate with the most competent and efficient technology provider.

2.1 Basic Eligibility Rules

DIATOMIC will issue two open calls to maximise the quality and availability of the technical and business support services/resources and to gradually improve its offerings, integrating lessons learned during the first call.

A consortium is considered eligible if it complies will all the following rules:

  • All consortium members are legal entities established and based in one of the EU Member

    States or an H2020 Associated country as defined in H2020 rules for participation10:

  • All consortia members are SMEs (or midcaps) or research/non-industrial entities (i.e. research centres, universities, Competence Centres), either AME/SSI T echnology providers or technology adopters/users in the AME/SSI sector or provide innovation in the health, agrifood and manufacturing sectors.

  • Consortia can only be led by industrial partners (SMEs and midcaps),
  • The total funding of the non-industry and/or non-profit partners (if any) cannot exceed the

    40% of the entire experiment budget,

  • Each partner can receive funding in the range of €20.000-€100.000 (in case all partners being funded at 100%).

  • The budget per experiment may vary from €70.000 to €200.000.

  • Experiments must have a clear European dimension, facilitate AME/SSI based innovation and contribute towards European Union digitization, with a clear economic and societal importance.

  • Non-industry partners should be members of the DIATOMIC DIH i.e. register at least ten days before the open call deadline through DIATOMIC DIH portal.

  • There are very strict limitations in the number of submitted proposal per organization, which may result in excluding a proposal from the evaluation process (please check Annex 2 “Open call guidelines for applicants” section 3.3)

2.2 Funding Scheme

DIATOMIC ecosystem targets the health, agrifood and manufacturing sectors. The budget breakdown per target sector that will be addressed, as well as the budget distribution among the calls and among the sectors, are shown in the Table 1. Based on the above rules, the minimum and maximum numbers of experiments per call are planned as following:

 

DIATOMIC funding for call 1:

≤ 1.500.000€

 

Total funding for DIATOMIC Open Calls:

3.000.000€

 

Funding per sector:

Health: 30% Agrifood: 30% Manufacturing: 30% Others: 10%

 

Number of application experiments funded:

15 – 42

 

Number of entities supported:

30 – 140

 

With respect to the addressed sectors, DIATOMIC will focus on application experiments in the three sectors initially allocating 30% to each one, while a low percentage of the budget (10%) may be kept for “other” or mixture of sectors. It is planned that funding not allocated to a sector within each call, will be moved to the rest of the categories so that at least 90% of the funding will be allocated to DIATOMIC selected sectors. This is not a binding condition, and DIATOMIC consortium keeps the right to modify the final distribution, so that priority will be given to the best proposals in the areas of advanced micro-electronics and smart system integration in the three targeted sectors.

Any funding leftover from the first call will be allocated in the second call (the first call funding will be equal or lower to 1.500.000€). In case there is a leftover after the second call and the remaining funding is at least 50% of the requested funding from the proposal that is at the funding borderline to get funding, a negotiation may take place with the borderline consortium.

In case some funding remains after the end of the second call negotiations or if it is not sufficiently distributed (e.g. in case a sub-contract is not sufficiently executed, and it is terminated), a hackathon/ competition will be organised to attract the interest of entrepreneurs/ innovators in the experimentation with AME and SSI technologies.

Each sub-project (selected via the open calls) will receive the funding on a lump sum scheme and according to the terms of the contract signed between DIATOMIC consortium (represented by the Project Coordinator and the Budget Holder) and the selected project representative. In more details, each sub-project deliverable will be associated with a specific cost.

2.3 Financial Audits

The EC may, at any time during the implementation of the DIATOMIC project and up to five years after the end of the sub-project, arrange for financial audits to be carried out, by external auditors, or by the EC services themselves including the European Anti-Fraud office (OLAF) or on-the-spot checks and inspections in accordance with Council Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96 of 11 November 1996. Such audits and checks may cover financial, systemic and other aspects (such as accounting and management principles) relating to the proper execution of the grant agreement. Each member of the sub-project consortium shall make available directly to the EC all detailed information and data that may be requested by the EC or any representative authorized by it.

2.4 Private Funding

DIATOMIC strongly supports private contribution to the experiments and additional points will be given to proposals that bring private fund into the total experiment budget, reducing the funding rate of DIATOMIC. In case of complementary private funding, the proposers are obliged to provide sufficient evidence at the proposal evaluation time, the sub-project negotiation time and during the sub-project execution. Additionally, requesting for payment documents that are signed by sub- projects, will refer the associated funding rate.

The DIATOMIC consortium reserves the right during the negotiation or project execution time to request sufficient evidence of the existence of the private organization that co-funds the sub- project, the authorized representation and the ability of the private organization to realize the complementary contract funding. Moreover, DIATOMIC may request support at any time from the EC services including the European Anti-Fraud office (OLAF) to the organization providing the private funding, including on-the-spot checks and inspections in accordance with Council Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96 of 11 November 1996.

In case no sufficient documentation is provided on the private funding, the DIATOMIC consortium reserves the right to exclude the applicant and pick up the next one in the reserve list. Moreover, DIATOMIC keeps the right to suspend or stop at any time a sub- project that is not able to prove that the above conditions are in place.

A detailed description of the funding scheme, timing and detailed rules are provided in Annex 2 “Open call guidelines for applicants”.

 

3 Programme activities

DIATOMIC will finance experiments carried out by the most talented actors exploiting advanced micro-electronics and smart system integration in the three targeted sectors. Along the experiments, DIATOMIC partners/ network will provide strong (i) technological support covering wide palette of technologies and (ii) business development coaching.

DIATOMIC experiments will be divided in 3 phases, which characterize the phase of development of the experiment and also defines the payment to respective consortium leaders:

• Phase 1 - Design (1-2 months):

o Within this stage experiments are to be planned and detailed, jointly - experiment consortium leader and Digital Innovation Hub representative - design a work plan of the different activities and resources to be executed along the experiment duration. This information will be included in a project deliverable.

o Positive assessment of this phase deliverable/deliverables may release a payment of up to 40% of the total sub-project funding (with a total value ceiling of €30.000,00).

• Phase 2 - Develop (6-9 months):

o Within this stage, the sub-projects perform their technical developments and realises the work plan. At least one deliverable will be prepared by the experiment, which will be the demonstration of the experiment development results.

o Positive assessment of this phase deliverable/deliverables may release an additional payment, so that the total funding of Phase 1 and Phase 2 will be up to 70% of the total sub-project funding.

• Phase 3 - Market (2-3 months):

o Within this stage experiments focus on exploitation of the results/ achievements (preparation and performance of demonstrations; contacts with potential partners, investors, customers; be present at conferences/ events to promote and sell experiment achievements/ results). At least one deliverable will report on market associated activities (even the ones performed along the experiment development).

o Positive assessment of this phase deliverable/deliverables will make the remaining payment of the DIATOMIC fund eligible. However, due to 15% project funds retained by EC, the total funding to be released after Phase 3 will be up to 85%, while the final 15% of the sub-project funding will be released from DIATOMIC to the sub-projects only after the EC transfers the final funding to the DIATOMIC consortium.

The maximum sub-project duration will be 15 months and should finish at least 2 months before the end of DIATOMIC project. As such reviews are scheduled to meet this requirement. Yet sub-projects with shorter duration may have development and market review together at end of month 10.

 

 

4 Open Call submission and selection process

The first Open Call will be opened on the 15th of March 2018 and will close on the 15th of June 2018, lasting in total three and a half months. After the closing of the call the Evaluation, the Selection and the Contracting phases will be sequentially realised. The selected consortia will enter the DIATOMIC Design-Develop-Market programme with the following indicative timeline.

 

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Figure 4: DIATOMIC Open Call 1 timeline

 

The second Open Call will be opened on the 1st of November 2018 and will end on the 31st of January 2019. Below are presented the current tentative dates for the different phases. These can be subject to change in case of any modifications in the project’s schedule.

 

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Figure 5: DIATOMIC Open Call 2 timeline

 

 

5 Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

The following Intellectual property Rights conditions should be followed:

  1. The proposals submitted should be solely based on original works by the applicants and their foreseen developments are free from third party rights, or they are clearly stated.

  2. All IPR created by the applicants via the DIATOMIC funding will remain to the applicants, who will be the unique owners of the technologies created within the framework of their sub-granted projects.

  3. Any communication or publication by the funded applicants shall clearly indicate that the project has received funding from the European Union, the SAE and DIATOMIC project displaying the EU logo and H2020 logo on all printed and digital material, including websites and press releases.

  4. Parts of the projects selected for funding (including the publishable summary of page A-2 of the proposal) will be used for DIATOMIC dissemination purposes.

  5. The sub-project consortium shall, throughout the duration of the Project, take appropriate measures to engage with the public and the media about the project and to highlight the financial support of the EC. Moreover, all measurements of the sub-project experiments should be published as open data (unless an exception it is fully justified), respecting DIATOMIC Data Management Plan and any Ethical issues defined by the European Commission and National Regulations. Any publicity made by the sub-project consortium in respect of the sub-project, in whatever form and on or by whatever medium, must specify a) that it is funded by the European Commission via the DIATOMIC project and b) that it reflects only the author’s views and that the EC and DIATOMIC is not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained therein. Moreover, the EC and the DIATOMIC consortium shall be authorized to publish, in whatever form and on or by whatever medium, information related to the sub-project.

 

6 Success Stories & Model Experiments

Success Stories in the area of SAE are available at the following web site:

https://smartanythingeverywhere.eu/success-stories/

Additionally, DIATOMIC provides three experiments implemented by the DIATOMIC CCs in the areas of Smart Agrifood, Smart Health and Smart Manufacturing. More information on these experiments are available at: https://diatomic.eu/index.php/push-experiments/

The Health and Agrifood experiments focus on the development and implementation of communications between different platforms and IoT devices belonging to Health and Agriculture world. All these integrations end up into solutions where sensors collect data from different applications and all the information is stored on clouds to be available for end users or applications.

The Manufacturing experiment is focused on Industrial Automation and 3D printing activities, forming a cyber-physical production system (CPPS), a mechanism controlled and monitorized by computer-based algorithms, and tightly integrated with the Internet and its users. All the devices will be controlled without the need of a PLC and will adapt to the user's order and optimize production according to their characteristics.

With these three experiments the group aims to show and demonstrate DIATOMIC technology and its modularity: all the hardware and platforms can be used independently, combined or even replaced by different ones.

6.1 Description of Agro Application Experiments

The objective of the Agro Application Experiments in DIATOMIC is to create a fully functional service that offers the opportunity to farmers/agronomists/farm logistics managers to access all important parameters to accomplish efficient and self-sustainable agricultural production and offer innovative and specialized services in the agricultural domain. The service is created by integration of Synelixis SynField solution/platform (http://www.synelixis.com/products/prod- synfield/) and BioSense Plant-O-Meter systems to offer unprecedented flexibility to prospective developers and an enhanced experience to technology adopters and users.

 

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Figure 6: Agro Application Experiment

 

 

6.1.1 The SynField Monitoring System

SynField is Synelixis’ flexible, vendor independent solution for smart agriculture applications. It comes to fill the gap of remote monitoring of the environmental conditions (i.e. air temperature, wind level and volume, rainfall level, soil and air humidity, leaf wetness) and rule based/remote control of the irrigation system, which is also expandable to other relay-controlled systems, based not only on time-parameters but also on sensed values.

SynField offers solutions that help farmers control their farming procedures remotely, with high accuracy and at low cost to meet the needs, not only of large, but also, of small and medium sized farms. The sensed data are delivered to the SynCloud Cloud platform where commands for actuations are decided. The system (currently TRL-9) also alerts the farmer under specific user- defined conditions so that they may take appropriate action.

6.1.1.1 Applications

SynField system is an advanced control and monitoring platform for small-medium sized farms that performs the following two main functions:

✓ Monitoring of soil, atmospheric and plant conditions, in order to predict for crop diseases probability

✓ Automatic irrigation and fertilization control, based on calendar, crop growth or environmental conditions (i.e. soil-moisture levels and low-temperatures/ice prevention)

✓ Alerts/notification initiation through email/SMS when certain conditions/rules are met 6.1.1.2 Reference Deployment

The SynField ecosystem comprises of SynField nodes, which are sensor-logging and actuation systems installed in the field. They periodically or on demand collect values from various analogue and/or digital sensors and log them to the SynField Cloud Server via a cellular (GPRS/Edge) or WiFi connection. Moreover, they act as actuators to enable remotely controlled smart irrigation by handling solenoid valves, pumps start/stop or relay-switches. Thanks to its state-of the art and expandable design, SynField nodes can be interconnected in the field by means of a multi-hop mesh network (at the sub-GHz ISM band, 868/915MHz) supporting Line-of-Sight (LoS) distances of at least 1km .

 

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Figure 7: SynField ecosystem

The SynField Cloud Server portal enables the user to remotely monitor various environmental and soil parameters in his/her field and provides the means to define sophisticated rules that can trigger alarms (i.e. SMS/email messages) or remote control actuators (i.e. solenoid valves, relay- switches).

Typically, a SynField installation (see Figure 8) consists of:

 

  • A SynField Head Node (SynField-HN), which is connected to the cloud utilizing cellular or WiFi interface.
  • Optionally, several (up to 20) SynField Peripheral Nodes (SynField-PN), interconnected to the SynField-HN device by means of a mesh multi-hop RF network.

  • Environmental/soil sensors and actuators (i.e. solenoid valves and relay-switches) attached to the SynField-HN and the SynField-PN devices.

    The SynField web app communicates directly with a SynField-HN. All SynField-PN are associated with a SynField-HN, which is used as communication gateway/relay. When the distance between the SynField-HN and a SynField-PN is more than the above distance or in case of obstacles that reduce the communication distance multi-hop communications are utilized.

Wind Direction & Speed

Leaf Wetness

Rain Volume

Air Temperature & Humidity

SynField HN

SynField Cloud Platform

3G/GPRS or WiFi

SynField PN

Remote Irrigation Control

10 cm 10 cm Irrigation Control 20cm 20cm

10 cm 20cm

40cm

Combined Sensors

Soil Temperature Soil Moisture

40cm

 

 

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Figure 8: Typical SynField installation

In the case of multi-hop communications, SynField-PNs that are located between the associated SynField-HN and the communicating SynField-PN operate as communication relays. However, synchronization and message forwarding/relaying between the SynField-HN and the SynField- PNs is transparent to the cloud server, which considers that communicates each time with one SynField Device, either HN or PN.

6.1.1.3 SynField Main Features

  • ✓  Support a wide range of analogue and digital sensors (Vendor independent): weather, environment, crop, soil, irrigation, hydrometer. Any combination of up to 5 analog sensors or 5 pulse counters may be directly connected. Moreover, via an I2C bus may interface up 16 digital sensors. SDI-12 interface is also offered for specific sensors.

  • ✓  Automatic/manual remote control of up to 4 actuators (several types of solenoid valves, pumps start/stop or relay-switches are supported)

  • ✓  Internet connectivity through Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n) or GPRS/EDGE networks.

  • ✓  Internodes multi-hop RF connectivity. Up to 20 Peripheral nodes may be attached to a SynField Head node, utilizing sub-GHz ISM RF channels. The standard Line of Site (LoS) with embedded antenna is up to 1Km. By utilizing external antennas the LoS distance may be extended up to 2Km, while long RF solutions of more than 4Km are also available on demand.

  • ✓  Cloud based data acquisition, processing & rule based engine provision

  • ✓ Energy autonomous nodes (based on solar panel & rechargeable battery).

  • ✓ Easy on-site setup/control via a mobile application and Bluetooth 2.1 interface

  • ✓ User friendly access via web/mobile applications and personalized interface.
  • ✓ Extension memory card support and offline operation mode
  • ✓ User defined Alarms & Notifications

  • ✓ Configurable data acquisition/logging frequency

  • ✓ Outdoor/weatherproof devices (IP65)

  • ✓ ESD/lightning protection

6.1.1.4 Supported Sensors/Actuators (vendor independent)

A list of currently supported is depicted in the following figure. Other sensors (e.g. atmospheric pressure, trunk/stem/fruit Diameter etc.) are available on request.

 

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Figure 9: Supported sensors & actuators

6.1.1.5 SynField Platform High Level Description

SynField platform offers a modular approach as shown in Error! Reference source not found.. At the lower level there is an adaptation & communication Layer, which communicates with the SynField devices (directly with the SynField-HN and indirectly with the SynField-PN). This layer is responsible for all messages exchanges and conversions/adaptation. In order to maximize flexibility and support sensors and actuators from many vendors, network and devices/nodes configuration is stored in a relational data base at the structure data layer. In this layer, use profiles, sensing data and (irrigation) rules are stored. Moreover, via a Restful API all sensed and monitored data can be exposed to 3rd party applications.

At the application Layer, SynField offers a User Management and Network Configuration application, along with a Precision Agriculture Smart Irrigation Application. Finally, a native Android application is provided for in-field configuration of the devices utilizing a Bluetooth 2.1 interface,

 

(TRUNCATED -- please visit the public link for the full proposal )



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