Project “Stadt-Land-Fluss”: Building and strengthening regional food systems through the use of artificial intelligence
News from June 29, 2021
The cooperative project “Stadt-Land-Fluss” (Data- and AI-supported development and strengthening of value chains in the area of regional food systems), SLF for short, is researching the strengthening of the regional food system through the development of digital data platforms for economic and nutritional data with artificial intelligence (AI) methods. The start of the consortium project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), was given on 1.6.2021.
Consumers want more regional products and more transparency in their purchases. Regional producers, in turn, need more information on the needs and purchasing behavior of their customers. The project aims to improve the supply of regional food and strengthen the regional economy, to create transparency along food value chains. This should lead to greater sustainability and efficiency in the long term. Consumers, suppliers and producers will be networked via a prototypical, digital, interoperable, transferable and scalable platform for nutrition data in the Berlin-Brandenburg region, thus matching supply and demand. The regional aspect is of particular concern to the project partners: The region, municipalities, and consumers will be involved.
The need and desire to make the current food system more sustainable with the help of digital innovation is the motivation behind the project. This transformation depends, among other things, on the availability of a robust database, which is currently lacking.
Project manager Silke Cuno from Fraunhofer FOKUS explains, “In the project Stadt-Land-Fluss, we will investigate how the use of information technology and selected artificial intelligence tools can fill the existing 'data gap' in the regional food system. This should strengthen the urban-rural relationship and contribute to transparency and transformation toward a sustainable food system in the long term.”
The key to managing regional food systems is the availability of high-quality spatial and temporal data collected at the local level. Key questions needed to facilitate this are: What are the relevant scenarios for establishing a regional food system? Where do societal actors get analysis results on the sustainability of value chains, regional production potential, and supply levels? Where can consumers purchase their products not only according to quantity, price and quality, but also according to sustainability criteria? How can companies, along regional value chains, serve the additional information requirements with little extra effort and generate added value from this? How can supply chains be optimized?
Twenty partners are working together in the “Stadt-Land-Fluss” project under the coordination of Fraunhofer FOKUS. The ten directly funded cooperation partners are the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), the Eberswalde University of Applied Sciences (HNEE), PIELERS GmbH, the Technical University of Berlin, GHS GRUBER & HUFNAGEL Softwareentwicklung GmbH, Digital Business Association Berlin - Brandenburg SIBB e.V., pro agro-association for promoting rural development in the Brandenburg-Berlin region e.V., Lienig Wildfruchtverarbeitung GmbH and Terra Naturkost Handels KG. Associated or subcontracted partners are the Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and the Bioeconomy e.V. (ATB) in Potsdam, Ernährungsrat Berlin e.V., grad9 Unternehmergesellschaft in Berlin, inter 3 Institut für Ressourcenmanagement in Berlin, Lobetaler Bio Molkerei in Biesenthal, Märkisches Landbrot GmbH in Berlin, Senatsverwaltung für Justiz, Verbraucherschutz und Antidiskriminierung Berlin, StoneOne AG in Berlin, Leibniz-Zentrum für Agrarlandschaftsforschung (ZALF) e.V. in Müncheberg and BELANU Beratung in Werdershausen.
Based on a resolution of the German Bundestag, the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) funds this project for three years with 3.8 million euros.