Charting Digital and Data Routes for European Livestock Tracking

Digi4Live is a new Horizon Europe-funded project, that helps the European livestock sector to leverage digital technologies and data, showcasing how improved standardization and communication can benefit farmers and food and technology businesses, and smoothen public administration. Digi4Live will provide evidence of how digital tools can enhance animal welfare, environmental practices, breeding, traceability, and cost-effective compliance monitoring. Additionally, it will explore the potential of using data sources and technologies to assess sustainability in the livestock sector. The project is running from January 2024 to June 2028, with 16 partners from 9 countries.

Dr. Jarkko Niemi, the project’s coordinator and Research Professor at the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), outlined that Digi4Live aspires to make a substantial impact by providing advanced digital data tools for more than 1000 farmers across Europe.

„The project addresses challenges in the European livestock sector by leveraging digital technologies to improve traceability and sustainability. Digi4Live aims to overcome technical barriers such as data use costs, poor standardization and lack of data exchange, by supporting the creation of standards and harmonised regulations and showcasing the impacts of data-driven and digital solutions in the livestock sector. Additionally, the project will demonstrate the benefits of digital technologies for public administration, policy monitoring, businesses, and consumers through thematic case study hubs developed in collaboration with stakeholders.“

As part of its mission, Digi4Live will develop concepts and solutions together with livestock sector stakeholders in the realm of data harmonization, standardization, artificial intelligence, and sustainable livestock production.

The fundamental principles of Digi4Live revolve around enhancing technical, knowledge, and economic capabilities for leveraging livestock data and digital technologies in diverse scenarios. The six case studies will showcase novel ways to gather animal health and welfare data, bolstering resilience and transparency in data creation and documentation, implementing robust AI techniques for sensor-based animal tracking, integrating a spectrum of data technologies to boost animal breeding, digitizing data for environmental impact assessments through a life cycle approach (LCA), policy monitoring, assessing policy impact, and facilitating administration.

Digi4Live adopts a collaborative approach that unites a diverse range of stakeholders across the entire agricultural value chain. This includes farmers, processors, on-field livestock practitioners, data and digital technology providers, research institutions and experts, policy makers, public bodies, advisors, standardization bodies, Agri-food digital innovation hubs (DIHs), AKIS (Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems) actors, and the general public. Together, they will actively contribute to the project’s mission.

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