Transnational Meeting at NMBU, Ås, Norway

From December 2-5, 2019, the third transnational meeting of the Erasmus+ KA2 Smart Farming program took place at NMBU, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, in Ås, Norway.

Thirteen professors and staff coming from the 7 partners of the program were reunited in Norway to discuss this year’s program, from the e-learning refresher to the next intensive program. The work included updating each other on the job shadowing projects of students who participated in the previous year’s intensive course, finalizing content for the Master level open online course–to be delivered to the public on Autumn 2020–and discussing the plan for the final intensive week, taking place in Belgium this coming spring.

This transnational meeting was in preparation of the third and final year of the program, which will officially began in mid-January, once participating students from each partner institution have been chosen. These students will work throughout the year to earn 9 ECTS as part of the intensive course on Smart Farming.

Firstly, students will access the Master level open online course through an e-learning platform hosted by Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (Vila Real, Portugal). This refresher course will teach students about basics of crop physiology and soil science, precision agriculture in general, geomatics, sensors technology, data analysis, automation and robotics, ensuring that all participating students have sufficient background in the topics covered during the intensive week.

Secondly, students participating in a group preparatory project, giving them the chance to gather information about the status of the use of technology in agriculture in their home country.

Some feedback from Year 2

This transnational meeting was also an opportunity to discuss the results of Year 2’s intensive program, in which 43 students participated. The overall satisfaction with the program was high, as the average score given by students was 4.05 of a possible 5 points.

It was a great experience for me, as it gave me the opportunity to discover a lot of things about the agriculture development in European countries.

The project partners will take students’ comments into consideration while planning the final intensive program, taking place in June 2020.

The Final Intensive Program

The final intensive program will take place from June 15-26, 2020 at Gembloux Agro BioTech (a faculty of the University of Liège, located in Gembloux, Belgium. As with the other year’s intensive programs, students will have about seventy (70) hours of intensive courses, visits and seminars on subjects in Smart Farming: sensors, data analysis, geographical information systems, automation and robotics. Compared to the intensive courses in Skara (SLU, Sweden) in year 1 and in Thessaloniki (Perrotis College, Greece), this program will offer students the opportunity discover another type of agriculture and other technologies used in Smart Farming. At the end of the intensive week, students will have to perform two (2) more activities: one transnational project–with groups composed of a mix of students coming from the different partner institutions–and a job shadowing to discover smart farming within companies working in this domain.

See you in Gembloux!