User driven innovation
Living Lab Agrifood Technology stimulates the development of innovative technological products to improve agrifood processes through close collaboration with various stakeholders.
Our approach is in line with the framework provided by the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL).
ENoLL defines a Living Lab as an organization that focuses on user driven innovation. This means that we anticipate the practical needs of end users of technology such as farmers, contractors and food processing companies. Their practical needs often act as a springboard for the technological innovation projects we develop in our Living Lab. However, we also recognize the value of the hands-on and often tacit knowledge that these end users possess. Therefore, we try to incorporate their perspective and knowledge into our new projects. During the development of these projects, we always try to co-create, meaning that we collaborate with different stakeholders from the sector as much as possible. We guarantee an open environment where collaboration and exchange of ideas is encouraged. We develop and test prototypes and evaluate their performance. If we encounter a problem, we try to gain an understanding of what went wrong by listening to the different voices and perspectives of our stakeholders. This multi-stakeholder approach allows us to tackle problems in a fast and efficient way.
Our co-creative approach has advantages for both end users and technology companies. Farmers and food companies have communicated their need for new technology that is more adapted to everyday practical use. Moreover, end users also admit that they are often hesitant to implement new technology into their work process. Especially, since they find that its added value is often unclear, which is why they hesitate to invest money, time and effort into implementing them. Furthermore, suppliers such as small-scale machine and technology companies usually have insufficient Research and Development resources to explore state-of-the-art ideas. These often require a multi-disciplinary approach. Co-creation offers a solution to these problems. It guarantees the suppliers that there is a market for their products, since these are adapted to end users’ needs thanks to their involvment in the development process. This also increases the implementation of sustainable practical solutions.
Precision technology put to the test
ILVO's extensive expertise and infrastructure enables the living lab to test new technology independently while taking all relevant perspectives into account (technical, economic, social and environmental). The experimental fields, stables and greenhouses, as well as the 40 accredited labs and the ILVO Food Pilot are used for practical tests. In addition, we also test products on farms and at food companies of our network. This allows us to develop and test precision technology in a realistic end user environment which ensures its applicability and efficiency. We use our hands-on experience with new technology to objectively advise end users in various ways.
Living Lab AgrIfood Technology is a contact point for all questions concerning agriculture and food processing technology. With our infrastructure, researchers with multidisciplinary expertise, an extensive network and hands-on experience with the latest precision technology, we have what it takes to offer nuanced advice on the implementation of precision technology in your stable, greenhouse, field or factory.
Please feel free to contact us.