Innovation: Operational Scaled-up WaterBee Smart Irrigation System

Last update: 29.06.2013
Approved by
Coordinator
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Demo
Keywords: 
smart irrigation, water management, water conservation, wireless sensor networks, web sensor networks
The WaterBee Smart Irrigation Demonstration Action is the follow-on phase from the very successful FP7-SME-007-1 WaterBee Research for SMEs project (222440) that ended in September 2010, & very convincingly researched, developed & proved the concept of the WaterBee Prototype to provide an unique scientific soil-moisture model that automatically adapts to each installation & crop with a distributed Web-based Wireless Sensor Networked (WSN) Smart Irrigation system to optimise Water Use Efficiency (WUE) in irrigation. There is a pressing need & excellent commercial opportunity for such a system in Agriculture, which is the largest industry in the world & (according to the WWF), wastes 60% of the 2,500 trillion litres of water it uses each year - which is 70% of the world's accessible water a huge threat to the environment. A major culprit is inefficient water irrigation systems. In Europe irrigated agriculture is the biggest water consumer (over 60%) in the Mediterranean, where drought is an increasing problem. To bridge the gap from the very successful Research project, & enable its SMEs to be able to address this significant market opportunity, WaterBee will be scaled up to a full reliable operational field prototype service, that will be demonstrated & validated over a 15 month period with complete growing cycles of various crops in 6 contrasting sites across Europe, in Estonia, Italy, Malta, Sweden, Spain & UK, to quantify profitable operation of the WaterBee service for Growers, with water savings of 40% while enhancing crop quality in each site. The project will quantify the market & identify potential users of a commercial WaterBee Service. Based on these & ongoing feedback from the demonstration sites the project will disseminate the WaterBee service to potential customers & business partners through various media & 2 specific events, & develop/validate a Business Plan for the SMEs to commercially develop & exploit the service after this Demo Action ends.

PROJECT GOALS:

The aim of the project is to demonstrate a total irrigation management system which is intelligent, flexible, easy-to-use but accurate irrigation scheduling system at an affordable cost that takes advantage of recent technological advances in wireless networking, environmental sensors and improvements in crop modelling.
To provide WaterBee as a reliable full-service solution for Irrigation Management, that enables Farmers, Growers and Landscape Managers to gain greater control over their irrigation needs resulting in higher quality plants, greater yields and lower operating costs. In particular Waterbee enables Growers make better real-time crop irrigation decisions and realize more profit per hectare, through the efficient use of water and other farm inputs using reliable, real-time information on current field conditions, and software tools on easy-to-use Smartphone and Web Apps that support informed decision making.
Developed a robust and reliable operational WaterBee system from the proof of concept prototype developed in the previous WATER-BEE Research Project. This productising involved hardening all of the major component of the WaterBee system, including its architecture, database, server, communications gateway and Zigbee sensor nodes, management website, soil model software, sensors and system integration. While most of this work was technical in nature, it was mainly undertaken and driven by the partners who will be directly involved in the subsequent commercial development and exploitation of the WaterBee system and service.
Completed scale-up of the WaterBee system as a reliable, user friendly, cost effective system was required for the Demonstration trials to achieve successful evaluation and validation of the system. The operational support service and procedures that have been put in place for the Demonstration Pilots.
The scale-up and hardening of all major components of the WaterBee system, including its architecture, database, communications, sensor nodes, management website and soil-moisture model software is complete, and the operational WaterBee system is now running. The system was successfully installed and is operational in one of the demonstration sites to facilitate early field testing and evaluation prior to deployment across all 6 demonstration sites.
Further demonstration sites will be rolled out in Estonia, Italy, Malta, Spain, Sweden and the UK.
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Waterbee Crops
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This innovation is the result of the project

Title: WaterBee Smart Irrigation Systems Demonstration Action

Acronym: 
WATERBEE DA

Runtime: 
01.07.2011 to 30.06.2013

Status: 
completed project

Organisations and people involved in this eco-innovation.

Please click on an entry to view all contact details.

THE NATIONAL MICROELECTRONICS APPLICATIONS CENTRE LTD

(Ireland)

Role in project: Project Coordination

Contact person: Dr. O'FLAHERTY John

Website: http://www.mac.ie

Phone: +353-61 334699

Contact

CHADWICK MUSHROOM FARM LTD

(Malta)

Contact person: Mr. GAUCI Saviour

Phone: +356-21454254

Contact

CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY

(United Kingdom)

Role in project: Implementation

Contact person: ELLIS Martin

Website: http://www.cranfield.ac.uk

Phone: +44-1234758352

Contact

INNOVACIO I RECERCA INDUSTRIAL I SOSTENIBLE SL

(Spain)

Contact person: Mr. DIGBY Colm

Website: http://www.iris.cat

Phone: +34-935542511

Contact

INTERCROP IBERICA SL

(Spain)

Contact person: Mr. GOLNABI Jafar

Phone: +34-968165571

Contact

LAQUA TREATMENT AB

(Sweden)

Contact person: Mr. ROSENQUIST Dahn

Website: http://www.laqua.se

Phone: +46-44350803

Contact

MC BURNEY SCIENTIFIC LTD

(United Kingdom)

Contact person: Dr. MCBURNEY Terence

Phone: +44-1684585286

Contact

OSV SRL

(Italy)

Contact person: Dr. BOMBARDA Cristina

Phone: +39-0386566700

Contact

SEEDRI PUUKOOL OU

(Estonia)

Contact person: Ms. LAANSOO Grete

Website: http://www.seedripuukool.ee

Phone: +372-5143435

Contact

UNIVERSITY OF CYPRUS

(Cyprus)

Contact person: Dr. PANAYIOTOU Christos

Website: http://www.ucy.ac.cy

Phone: +357-22893450

Contact