APOLLO is an EU-funded innovation project developing market-ready agricultural advisory services based on free and open Earth Observation data.

THE APOLLO PROJECT

APOLLO aims to bring the benefits of precision agriculture to farmers through affordable information services, making extensive use of free and open Earth Observation data, such as those provided by the EU’s Copernicus programme. These services will help farmers to make better decisions by monitoring the growth and health of crops, providing advice on when to irrigate and till their fields and estimating the size of their harvest. Ultimately, these interventions should lead to less farm (or agricultural) inputs and higher yields – and therefore increased profitability and competitiveness.

APOLLO is a research and development project co-funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme, under a special class of activities known as Innovation Actions. Innovation Actions are designed to support the testing, piloting and marketing of new technologies, products and services, and are expected to result in a market-ready solution at the end of the project. Such projects are co-financed, with 70% of the costs borne by the European Union. The APOLLO project was funded under the 2015 call for proposals on “Bringing Earth Observation applications to the market” (EO-1-2015). The project has a total budget of 2,1 million Euros and will last for 34 months, from May 2016 to February 2019.

The APOLLO project brings together nine partners from five European countries (Greece, Spain, Austria, Belgium and Serbia), and combines expertise in agronomic modelling, agricultural services, soil science, remote sensing, Earth Observation and IT solutions/platform development. The consortium is proud to include two farmers’ associations – the Agricultural Cooperative of Pella in Greece, and the Association of Farmers of the Municipality of Ruma in Serbia, who will pilot and test early versions of the services. A third pilot will be carried out in Spain.


WORK BREAKDOWN

The APOLLO project is structured into seven complementary and inter-related work packages (WP).

WP1 Project Management

OBJECTIVES

The tasks and activities included within WP1 ensure the fulfilment of the project’s goals within the time and budget constraints. It addresses financial management, coordination within the project team and between the project consortium and external organisations, quality control of deliverable documents and the representation of the consortium with respect to the Research Executive Agency.

PARTNERS INVOLVED

Lead:

DRAXIS Logo

Contributors: 

Starlab Logo
TUW Logo
UBFCE Logo
Agricultural University Of Athens Logo
evenflow-blue
AgriSat logo
UPOR Logo
ACPELLA Logo
WP2 Users’ needs and specifications

OBJECTIVES

The aim of this work package is to identify, analyse and prioritise the needs of users in the three pilot countries with respect to agricultural services based on Earth Observation, to translate these requirements into technical specifications, and to define the use cases for the validation of the services.

As a key part of this work package, different approaches are followed to define user requirements. In particular, semi-structured questionnaires and focus group surveys are being conducted in the three pilot sites in order to identify them. Also, beta testing by the stakeholders will help on the platform’s co-creation process.

PARTNERS INVOLVED

Lead:

Agricultural University Of Athens Logo

Contributors: 

DRAXIS Logo
Starlab Logo
TUW Logo
UBFCE Logo
evenflow-blue
AgriSat logo
UPOR Logo
ACPELLA Logo
WP3 Earth Observation data products

OBJECTIVES

This work pacakage will use Earth Observation, meteorological, and auxiliary data to produce – in a highly automated way – a series of data products describing agricultural parameters such as soil moisture, temperature, precipitation, crop condition and biomass. The work package will ensure that these data are processed so that they are comparable in space and time. The data products will be validated in terms of data completeness, precision and accuracy with respect to the spatio-temporal target scale of the APOLLO service.

PARTNERS INVOLVED

Lead:

Agricultural University Of Athens Logo

Contributors:

DRAXIS Logo
Starlab Logo
TUW Logo
UBFCE Logo
evenflow-blue
AgriSat logo
UPOR Logo
ACPELLA Logo
WP4 Development of added value services

OBJECTIVES

In this work package, the set of services for small farmers and agronomists will be defined and developed. The services will make use of the data products developed in WP3, integrated into state-of-the-art agronomic models. Services will be developed at field and sub-field scale (site-specific) in order to allow the application of precision agriculture practices.

PARTNERS INVOLVED

Lead:

Agricultural University Of Athens Logo

Contributors: 

DRAXIS Logo
UBFCE Logo
AgriSat logo
UPOR Logo
ACPELLA Logo
WP5 Platform development and integration

OBJECTIVES

This work package will deliver the APOLLO platform: the underlying system which will orchestrate the service provision. The work package will set up the system architecture and integration framework for incorporating the data products and services developed in WPs 3 and 4. The platform will be tested, validated and adapted on the basis of the feedback received from the pilot activities. The end product will be web, mobile and/or tablet applications that will offer high quality, agricultural services to the end users.

PARTNERS INVOLVED

Lead:

DRAXIS Logo

Contributors: 

Starlab Logo
UBFCE Logo
Agricultural University Of Athens Logo
evenflow-blue
AgriSat logo
UPOR Logo
ACPELLA Logo
WP6  Pilot operation and evaluation

OBJECTIVES

This work package will enable the APOLLO services to be tested and evaluated in the context of three country pilots in Spain, Greece and Serbia. The feedback from the pilot studies will allow the services to be improved. Training will be provided for stakeholders where this is deemed necessary.

PARTNERS INVOLVED

Lead:

UBFCE Logo

Contributors: 

DRAXIS Logo
Starlab Logo
TUW Logo
Agricultural University Of Athens Logo
evenflow-blue
AgriSat logo
UPOR Logo
ACPELLA Logo
WP7 Exploitation and communication

OBJECTIVES

The aim of this activity is twofold: to understand the commercial environment and develop a solid exploitation strategy for the commercialisation of the services after the end of the project, and ultimately to foster a sustainable customer base by communicating the results and benefits of the project to relevant target audiences, and by raising awareness amongst other key stakeholders, academia and the general public. The WP7 team will identify and evaluate potential business models (pricing, financing, sales strategies), understand the requirements for operationalisation (new legal entity, agreements) and analyse issues associated with knowledge management and intellectual property.

PARTNERS INVOLVED

Lead: 

evenflow-blue

Contributors: 

DRAXIS Logo
Starlab Logo
TUW Logo
UBFCE Logo
Agricultural University Of Athens Logo
AgriSat logo
UPOR Logo
ACPELLA Logo

TIMELINE

The main milestones of the APOLLO project are presented on the timeline below.

 


Results

The published, public deliverables of the APOLLO project are provided below. The table will be updated as more deliverables become available.

D1.2 Report on Advisory Board meetings

This deliverable document will be uploaded here upon submission.

1.3 2nd Report on Advisory Board meetings

This deliverable document will be uploaded here upon submission.

1.4 3rd Report on Advisory Board meetings

This deliverable document will be uploaded here upon submission.

1.5 4th Report on Advisory Board meetings

This deliverable document will be uploaded here upon submission.

D1.6 1st Data Management Plan
1.7 2nd Data Management Plan

This deliverable document will be uploaded here upon submission.

1.8 3rd Data Management Plan

This deliverable document will be uploaded here upon submission.

D2.1 Report on user requirements
D2.3 Report on co-creation of services

This deliverable document will be uploaded here upon submission.

D3.6 Validation report

This deliverable document will be uploaded here upon submission.

D5.2 1st version of integrated and tested APOLLO platform

This deliverable document will be uploaded here upon submission.

D5.3 Final version of integrated and tested APOLLO platform

This deliverable document will be uploaded here upon submission.

D6.1 Pilot plan and evaluation methodology

This deliverable document will be uploaded here upon submission.

D6.2 APOLLO Training Material

This deliverable document will be uploaded here upon submission.

D6.3 Pilot data validation report

This deliverable document will be uploaded here upon submission.

D6.4 1st Intermediate Evaluation Report

This deliverable document will be uploaded here upon submission.

D6.5 2nd Intermediate Evaluation Report

This deliverable document will be uploaded here upon submission.

 

D6.6 Validation report

This deliverable document will be uploaded here upon submission.

D7.1 1st Dissemination, communication and marketing plan
D7.3 Report on market analysis and competitive landscape

This deliverable document will be uploaded here upon submission.

D7.4 Dissemination pack

This deliverable document will be uploaded here upon submission.

D7.5 Report on dissemination activities

This deliverable document will be uploaded here upon submission.


TEAM

The APOLLO project brings together nine partners from five European countries (Greece, Spain, Austria, Belgium and Serbia), and combines expertise in agronomy, agricultural services, soil science, remote sensing and Earth Observation.

APOLLO Consortium group photo at Kick-Off Meeting (not all participants present)
APOLLO Consortium group photo at Kick-Off Meeting (not all participants present)

The consortium is proud to include two farmers’ associations – the Agricultural Cooperative of Pella in Greece, and the Association of Farmers of the Municipality of Ruma in Serbia, who will pilot and test early versions of the services. A third pilot will be carried out in Spain.

DRAXIS Logo
Starlab Logo
TUW Logo
UBFCE Logo
Agricultural University Of Athens Logo
evenflow-blue
AgriSat logo
UPOR Logo
ACPELLA Logo

 

Discover the APOLLO consortium.


Advisory Board

The Advisory Board of APOLLO provides high-level steering of the project’s progress. The members of the Advisory Board are shown below.

Ms. Paula Antunes

Paula Antunes is Full Professor at the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa. She teaches Environmental Management, Corporate Environmental Management, Ecological Economics and Sustainability Science both in MSc and PhD programs. She currently is the Director of CENSE – Center for Environmental and Sustainability Research, classified as Excellent in the scope of the Programa de Financiamento Plurianual de Unidades de I&D of the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT-MCTES). She has a background in environmental engineering and considerable experience in developing interdisciplinary research and coordinating multidisciplinary research teams in the interface between natural and social sciences. Her research interests are oriented around ecological economics with an emphasis in sustainability assessment, system dynamics modelling, environmental management and methods and tools for stakeholder engagement in environmental planning and decision support. She has coordinated and participated in several research projects, financed by the European Commission and the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology. She has also participated in numerous studies both for public and private organizations, dealing with environmental assessment, support to the development and implementation of environmental policies, sustainability monitoring and benchmarking. She has authored and co-authored a significant number of publications in peer-reviewed journals and books and she has taken part in several national and international expert panels. She is Associate Editor of Ecological Economics and has been Vice-President of the European Society for Ecological Economics (ESEE) between 2006-2009 and has served in the board of the International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE) (2002-2004). She was a member of the Portuguese Council for Sustainable Development between 2009-2011 and is a member of  the Scientific Council for Natural Resources and the Environment of the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology.

Mr. Claus Aage Grøn Sørensen

claus

Claus Grøn Sørensen is a Senior Scientist/Head of Research Unit in the Operations Management division of the Department of Engineering, Aarhus University, Denmark. He holds a PhD in Production and Operations Management. He has over 25 years of experience in production and operations management, decision analysis, information modelling, system analysis, and simulation and modelling of technology application in agriculture. His research topics include resource analyses and optimisations, whole farm analyses and optimisations, the feasibility of introducing robotic systems in agriculture, development of management information systems and smart applications (e.g. FP7, FutureFarm, AgriFood2). He has participated (as project coordinator, WP leader, and partner coordinator) in multiple international projects. He is the author of more than 350 articles in peer reviewed journals and conference proceedings. He is currently the President (and Danish representative) of the Executive Council of the European Society of Agricultural Engineers (EugAgEng) and Honorary Chair for the International Commission of Agricultural Engineering’s (CIGR) Section V on System Management.



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