The agricultural business environment and the farmer's job description will change rapidly in the coming years due to advancing digitalisation. The aim of the Agro-Nordwest experimental field is to improve agricultural practice in the field of crop production in order to overcome technical, ecological, social and economic challenges. Through the practical use of new technologies for process automation and optimisation, the potential of digitalisation for agriculture is to be tested and evaluated. The project focuses on the farmer and his realistic operating environment and develops demand-oriented solutions. To this end, use cases are being worked on in different focus areas.

IZT is responsible for user integration and innovation research within the project. The early involvement of users is a success factor for the use of digitisation opportunities in agriculture and a prerequisite for better tapping potentials as well as being able to assess risks of unintended side effects more precisely through testing in realistic pilot applications. To this end, IZT conducts interviews and focus groups with users in order to obtain in-depth information on user attitudes, experiences, needs and barriers in this early innovation phase and to ensure a needs-oriented development of the applications.

Furthermore, the IZT is conducting a series of workshops with scientists, farmers, association representatives, agricultural technology manufacturers and start-ups. The aim is to address the potential benefits (for farms, but also for the natural environment), the expected changes (in the agricultural sector and its associated economic sectors) and how barriers to innovation can be cultivated.

In the second project phase (2022 to 2024), the IZT is developing a transformation roadmap in a joint process with stakeholders from science and practice. The transformation roadmap is intended to support stakeholders in the Agro-Northwest experimental area in identifying and assessing new strategically important research topics, innovations and future markets. The focus is to be on the early identification, analysis and assessment of challenges for the digitalised future of agriculture and agricultural technology that will arise from the transformation of the agricultural economy in the coming decades.

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