DATAlife: digitising the environment

#21, March 2022

Lucía Gómez Fernández

Communications of DATAlife

Faced with the need to digitise the environment, the DATAlife Digital Innovation Hub (DIH) was born to integrate new technologies in the primary sector (agro-sea food), the forestry sector, the health sector, and the biotechnological. Its main purpose is to make people understand the importance of digitisation in work processes; digitisation ranges from reducing the use of paper to collect information to implementing disruptive technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data or the creation of data spaces. In addition to providing great value to Galician SMEs, these changes would increase their competitiveness in terms of digitisation. The Hub carries out various actions to make Galicia a reference bioregion in Europe for these reasons.

To achieve the purpose, DATAlife counts among its partners, including four sectoral clusters, five independent technological centres, four leading companies, two international prestige universities, and a liaison organisation that plays a crucial role in promoting communication between university research and companies.

DATAlife, through its partners, represents more than 3,350 companies in the entire Galician productive fabric with a turnover of €19,546.207 million and 20% of total employment in Galicia, encompassing the essential value chains for the Hub.

From the Hub, we have taken significant steps in digitising work processes in the primary sector. To achieve this, we have held various events to publicise our role and promote new technologies to streamline work within the value chains of the sectors with which we work. A clear example of this was the dialogue spaces held throughout December 21and, through which various representatives of the value chain of the dairy, meat, fishing and forestry sectors met. With this, the aim was to extract a diagnosis of the level of digitisation and bring together companies to carry out joint and innovative work to start building the path that leads to a much more digitised future.

Continuing with the projects we have in progress, we want to highlight that, for DATAlife, data is at the centre of all production processes. For this reason, from DIH, we are currently immersed in the GAIA-X initiative promoted by the Spanish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation and focus on digitisation through the data economy. Within this context, interoperable and federated data spaces are being developed in different sectors such as primary, health and climate change, where the Hub strategy is crucial.

On the other hand, the MILKCHAIN project can be highlighted as a more specific project whose main objective is to create a traceability system in the food industry linked to the Leche Río value chain. From this, they considered that the project fits perfectly with the challenges offered by DATAlife.

MILKCHAIN seeks to develop traceability tools that include all the links in the value chain of the dairy industry, which facilitates the identification of origin and denomination and the early discovery of anomalies. This will be done thanks to Artificial Intelligence, Computer Vision and Data Analytics. This will improve consumer knowledge, offering systems that help decision-making develop a more efficient, balanced production chain oriented to the market’s current needs. Therefore, the primary purpose is to digitise one of the main areas, such as product traceability, within the challenges of the Galician dairy sector.