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 jose boaventura

José Boaventura Cunha

Projects  Partner and Institution:

José Boaventura Cunha: INESC TEC;
Susana Carvalho: FCUP;
Jos Balendonck: WUR;
Aslihan Kerç: SUEN;
Suna Timur: EGE University;
Emine Guler: EGE Life Sciences;
Francisco Millán: RITEC;
Klara Löfkvist: RISE

Key words
Fertigation Control, Irrigation Water Quality, Pesticides Biosensor, Nutrient Optical Sensor.

Sustainability and competitiveness of European agriculture are intrinsically related to the efficient use of water, fertilisers and Plant Protection Products (PPP), for optimizing plants needs while minimizing the environmental impacts. The joint effort of minimizing wastewater, and optimizing use of nitrogen-and phosphorus-based fertilizers and PPPs is aligned to the so-called Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) in the context of the circular economy, where issues such as efficiency and resilience of water use are mandatory. Based upon the premise the more you know the better you can manage, reliable decision-making systems and fertigation and water quality feedback controllers demand cost-effective, robust, low-maintenance and accurate sensor data. It is very important to evaluate the suitability of the circulating water in closed or semi-closed soilless systems and of the irrigation and drainage water in soilgrown cultivation, mainly in terms of macronutrient concentrations (NPK), salinity and contamination by PPP. So far, the available sensors technology does not meet these challenges for on-site monitoring. Therefore, AGRISENSUS will focus on the research and development of an effective integrated and sustainable monitoring and control system with innovative ion selective sensors for nutrients and bio-based sensing of PPP for optimal water and nutrient supply and reuse, minimizing the effects on the environment. In order to validate the developed technologies and demonstrate their applicability, four case studies (demonstrations) convering several types of crop production systems from greenhouses to open-field agriculture in various climatic regions will be addressed. The appropriate handling of these data as inputs in an easy-to-use decision support system fosters the design of an improved fertigation Model Predictive Controller (MPC), which incorporates robustness and fault-tolerant features, as it can meet both the crop needs and the grower yield/costs expectations. The new sensors will lead to worldwide new markets for European water technology sector, thus strengthening the competitiveness and growth of SMEs and related companies. Achieving the implementation of this project requires a trans-disciplinary team and involvement of multi-actors. This proposal builds on the extensive experience, competence and early work conducted on optical fiber-based sensors, biosensors, water policy models, plant nutrition, smart irrigation scheduling and robust control. With the sensors, the growers will have information about the input and output water quality, and can evidence-based decide on how and when to irrigate and fertigate, and on whether the costly task of cleaning is advisable before disposal. As a result, significant increase of water and fertilizer use efficiency is obtained (expected < 50%), longer and economic reuse cycle for the drainage water is achieved, and pollution of surface and ground waters by fertilizers and PPP is prevented or significantly reduced.

Project structure
 WPs 3


The Work Package (WP) description takes into account the partners expertise and knowledge to select leaders for a specific WP and tasks therein. The overall project is splitted in seven WP, where each case study defines a different WP, since separate and focused attention is needed. The project will be coordinated (WP1) by INESC TEC-PT responsible for financial and administrative management, with a strict follow-up to monitor the involvement of stakeholders and task accomplishments. EGE University-TR will lead WP2 on sensor research and development and will take the role as task leader for the biosensor. INESC TEC-PT will lead the task on fiber optics based NPK sensor. Both sensors will be tested and validated under controlled and defined laboratory conditions (Task RISE-SE) as well as at semi-practical scale conditions, where also demonstration of both sensors for Northern European high-tech greenhouse production will take place (Task WUR-NL), under the lead of RISE-SE (WP3). Both sensors will also be demonstrated in the 3 case studies at practical scale in Southern Europe. In all tests and demos, SMEs, end-users and water boards will be involved. Besides, dissemination and communication activities towards local stakeholders will be undertaken. The SME RITEC-ES will lead the demo (WP4) in Spain with focus on the use of the NPK sensor for the new robust optimal fertigation controller to be developed by INESC TEC-PT (task leader) in soilless grown crops in greenhouses by using recycling techniques. The FCUP-PT will conduct a demo in Portugal using a cascade system in which free drained irrigation water from a greenhouse is being reused for an outdoor crop (WP5). SUEN-TR, together with the EGE-Spin-off (EGE-LS-TR) will conduct a demo in Turkey for outdoor crops (WP6). WUR-NL will coordinate all demonstration and communication activities undertaken in all case areas, including the exchange of experiences of good practices among partners and stakeholders (WP7). SUEN-TR will perform herein the task of linking dissemination to the national and European policy aspects.

D1.1. Project common procedures and quality plan (R, M3, INESC TEC, PP)
D1.2. Management tools, templates and updated risk contingency plans (R, M3, INESC TEC, PP)
D1.3. Project annual report - year 1 (R, M12, INESC TEC, PP) D2.1. Specification and design of NPK optical sensor system (R, M12, INESC TEC, PP)
D2.2. Operational performance of NPK sensors (lab calibration) (R, M12, INESC TEC, PP)
D2.3. Operational performance of NPK sensors prototype (field operation) (R, M18, INESC TEC, PP)
D2.4. Development of prototypes of sensory device (P, M18, EGE, PP)
D2.5. Working performance investigations of designed biosensors at laboratory scale by using commercially obtained standard solutions. (R, M15-M18, EGE, PP)
D2.6. Applicability testing and evaluation of biosensors via research field (D, M15-M18, EGE, PU) D3.1. Report on sensor requirements (R, M12, WUR, PU)
D3.2. Report on test set-up layout (2 sensors, 2 set-ups) (R, M12, RISE, PP)
D3.2. Test report for laboratory experiments (R. M36, RISE, PU)
D3.3. Evaluation Report for semi-practical scale (R, M36, WUR, PU)
D3.4. Report on Best Management Practices (R, M36, WUR, PU)
D4.1. Control software for fertigation (P, M24, INESCTEC, PP)
D4.2. Prototype of nutrition unit (first version) (P, M12, RITEC, PP)
D4.3. Prototype of nutrition unit (second version) (P, M18, RITEC, PP)
D4.4. Integration module with nutrition unit, according to new sensors specifications for on detection of ion selected fertilizers (P, M18, RITEC, PP).
D5.1. Report on general characterization of the ‘CRUs’ (R, M3, FCUP, PU)
D5.2. Report on suitability and impacts of ‘CRUs’ on irrigation water, soil and plant level (R, M24, FCUP, PU)
D5.3. Report on the performance of both sensors in a ‘CRUs’ and guidelines for BMP (R, M36, FCUP, PU)
D6.1. Report on the analysis of the field study area characteristics (R, M12, SUEN, PP)
D6.2. EU legislation SWOT analysis report (R, M24, SUEN, PU)
D6.3. Policy guideline report for the utilization of AGRISENSUS (R, M36, SUEN, PU)
D6.4. Report on Konya Basin field application results (R, M36, EGE, PP)
D7.1. Demonstration Report, containing collected minutes of UNG Meetings and Demonstration reports, and all dissemination activities (R, M12, M24, M36, WUR, PU).
D7.2. Dissemination Report containing 2 Factsheets including BMP on the nutrient and PPP-sensors and its application and magazine articles (all partners) (R, M12, M24, M36, WUR, PU)
D7.3. Two Scientific papers (O, M36, EGE, INESC TEC, PU)

References coordinator and  leaders of  each WP:
WP1 (INESCTEC): José Boaventura Cunha
WP2 (EGE): Suna Timur
WP3 (RISE): Klara Löfkvist
WP4 (RITEC): Francisco Millán
WP5 (FCUP): Susana Carvalho
WP6 (SUEN): Aslihan Kerc
WP7 (WUR): Jos Balendonck

Contact Point for  Communication/Dissemination activities:
José Boaventura-Cunha (;
Jos Balendonck (;
Aslihan Kerç (

Contact Point for Open Data/Open Access activities:
Filipe Santos (

Results of the project: Data and resources

Picture of the research team:
ines tec

(photo: by Tatiana Pinho)

1 Due to legal reasons, the project’ original acronym was replaced by AGRINuPeS with the agreement of the CSC, the WaterWorks2015 Coordinator and the EC.

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published on 2017/03/21 10:00:00 GMT+1 last modified 2019-07-31T12:56:35+01:00