LIDO – Establishment of a digital open-air lab for apple growing and viticulture

Funded by:

European fund for regional development (EFRD 2014–2020)


Official website:

Project aim:

In spatial cultures such as apples and grapevines, major innovations are emerging in digitization, robotics, automation and artificial intelligence which will support more sustainable production, more careful use of resources and adaptation to climate change. With the establishment of a digital open-air lab for apple growing and viticulture at the Laimburg location, we will create the prerequisites for testing and demonstrating future-oriented technologies developed by (South Tyrolean) research institutions and companies in real outdoor conditions. The field laboratory closes international gaps, as new methods and technologies such as sensors, models, data transmission, control in combination, as a system of systems, are being researched. Using a multi-actor approach with interactions amongst researchers, consultants, companies and farmers together with the connection to the NOI Techpark make LIDO a nucleus for shared innovation and technology transfer. The apple orchard is newly planted with a 2D cultivation system, while the vineyard is located on a hillside, where new technologies such as stationary application have the greatest potential for innovation. The infrastructure created guarantees direct access to electricity and broadband data transmission. All data enter a cloud-based data management system that regulates their availability and is linked to supercomputing resources. A data management concept integrates the field laboratory with advanced modelling methods and artificial intelligence.


Expected results:

Expected results: At the end of the project, South Tyrolean research institutions and companies will be able to make use of a unique open-air lab for apple growing and viticulture that meets all the requirements to research, develop, validate and/or demonstrate existing and new technologies in digitalisation, robotics, automation and artificial intelligence. These include automated and customised irrigation, fertigation, crop protection and crop management measures, which are integrated with existing and new sensor technologies, advanced predictive models and decision-making systems. The stationary crop protection system reduces drift and, in combination with advanced modelling, reduces the use of crop protection products as well as the necessary passes (keyword soil compaction). It improves occupational safety with regard to the use of machinery, user protection when applying crop protection products, and increases time efficiency and effectiveness in crop protection through targeted application (optimal timing). The central and easily accessible location of the open-air lab allows these innovations to be brought closer to interested farmers, stakeholders, consultants and training institutions through walk-throughs and events. All generated data enter a central cloud-based management system. A data management concept includes these into existing and planned data systems and supercomputing resources at Eurac and UniBZ, and regulates their availability for research institutions, companies and the public. In the future, we expect to see numerous research and innovation projects that will use the same infrastructure and develop it further, thus leading to an integrated system of systems.


Project duration:

01.10.2020 – 30.11.2022

Projektteam des Versuchszentrums Laimburg: