ISQ launches the first Digital Hub for Agriculture in Portugal and will be called Hub4Agri. The official presentation of Hub4Agri will take place on October 15, at the head of Confagri – National Confederation of Agricultural Cooperatives of Portugal, in Lisbon, and will be attended by the Secretary of State for Industry, Ana Lehmann. According to Pedro Matias, President of ISQ, "Hub4Agri is an initiative aligned with national and European strategies for the digitization of industry. It involves more than 15 entities covering the entire agri-food value chain, aims to create an ecosystem with innovative solutions for the development of the competitiveness of the agricultural, agri-food, forestry, animal production and rural development sectors, capable of giving a transversal response to the great challenges that currently arise". Hub4Agri's network is coordinated by ISQ and involves entities such as Confagri, Credit Agrícola de Portugal, University of Évora, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, IPS – Polytechnic Institute and Santarém, IPVC – Viana do Castelo Polytechnic Institute, IPB – Bragança Polytechnic Institute, COTR – Operational and Irrigation Technology Center, CVRA – Alentejo Regional Wine Commission, TICE.PT – Information, Communication and Electronics Technologies Pole, AIFF – Association for the Competitiveness of Forest Industry, Inova +, Labiagro – Chemical and Microbiological Laboratory, Agritaurus – Agricultural Society and StartUP Portugal. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the global world population is growing exponentially, leading to a growing demand for agricultural crops, agricultural products and processed foods. "Agriculture and the world food system are challenged to feed an estimated global population of almost 10 billion people by 2050, with the decrease in land and water resources. World food production will need to double by 2050 in order to be able to respond to this population growth, with demands for more products from consumers and increasingly healthy products, so the challenge is huge," adds Pedro Matias. Several authors state that in the future it will simply not be possible to face these challenges with current production techniques. At the same time, these sectors will have to deal with climate change, minimise environmental impacts, increase resource efficiency, and also meet the challenges of digital transformation brought by the 4th industrial revolution. In this framework there is only one way, says the President of ISQ "is the adoption of technology, the digitization of processes and new digital business models, based on new information and communication technologies as a solution of greater relevance to meet these great challenges". In this context, the creation of cooperation networks and infrastructure, capable of accelerating the digital transformation of the agricultural sector, is a necessary measure to support improving the competitiveness of the sector by increasing productivity and increasing environmental performance. These cooperation networks should act as ecosystems of innovation, where joint and coordinated action will be more efficient than the isolated action of each party, amplifying results and accelerating digital transformation. In this context of major challenges for the agricultural sector, Hub4Agri aims to connect the demand and needs of agricultural producers with technological solutions and responses to the digitisation of agriculture. With diverse and multidisciplinary areas of action, the HUB will also be itself also a creator / supplier of solutions. "The main objective is to build and maintain an ecosystem of innovation supported in a multi-sectoral cooperation network and to work closely with regional and national authorities to promote the digital transformation of the agricultural sector," concludes Pedro Matias. THE HUB will put at the reach of all companies, large or small, wherever they are located, the services needed to increase the productivity and sustainability of the sector, through the improvement of processes and the adaptation of the production models supported in technology and digital tools. See hub4agri
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