Key Enabling Technologies: Cooperation between the photonics and the agriculture machinery cluster

The project initiated in 2013 was structured in three stages, following the methodology developed by Secpho ( The Spanish photonic Cluster ) . During the first stage the objective was to develop a preliminary analysis of potential synergies, needs and capabilities of the members of both clusters. For that purpose, cluster managers and project managers met several times. Also, member companies were asked about their interest to cooperate on innovation projects. The results were matched to propose interesting projects for everybody. Once all the information had been gathered, a first workshop was held, with 19 participants organized in small groups of companies and centers that shared specific areas of interest.

Some specific topics were proposed as areas of discussion:

  1. Photonic technologies for machinery used in soil preparation and sowing. Systems could be developed to measure depth and obstacles (stones).
  2. Photonic technologies to protect crops for machinery used on herbicide application. The new technology would allow a more precise and selective application of the herbicides.
  3. Photonic technologies for machinery used in fertilization. A device could be developed to provide data on the soil and determine the exact need of manure, thus saving money and reducing environmental contamination.
  4. Photonic technologies for machinery used in harvesting. The objective was to provide information about the fruit (diameter, sugar, maturity ), to optimize selection and harvest.