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New Horizon Europe project: Hungry EcoCities


Hungry EcoCities puts forward a high-level alliance between science, technology, and the arts, to effectively explore how digital technologies & applications can lead in turn to reduced food waste, more sustainable value chains, eco-friendly attitudes, and a more ethical food consumption. Hungry EcoCities brings together some of the worlds most renowned art studios with leading AI and agricultural experts and a network of over 40 leading European agricultural companies to develop ways of creating a more healthy, sustainable, and affordable agri-food system for all.

Bringing together art, technology and science, Hungry EcoCities aims at one of the most pressing challenges of our times: a more healthy, sustainable, responsible and affordable agri-food system for all.

Agriculture has been a nursery for practical solutions to global challenges for a long time. EU agriculture is the only major system in the world that reduced greenhouse gas (CHC) emissions by 20% since 1990. Nonetheless, even though the EU’s transition to sustainable food systems has started in many areas, food systems remain one of the key drivers of climate change and environmental degradation and there is an urgent need to transition to sustainable food systems.

To realize this ambition, actors of the food chain must play their part in achieving sustainability within their food chains. To obtain a new quality of sustainable innovation and transform, we need another approach including a more diverse and multidisciplinary perspective, that enables barriers between science, technology, industry, and the arts to be removed, and enabling synergies along the value chain. Hungry EcoCities takes inspiration from the 2008 book by Carolyn Steel where a core question of civilization, social, phycological and sustainability impact is put forward: how do we feed a city? To answer this question in this project, growers, and agricultural specialists’ team up with artists, designers and creative thinkers to come up with new ideas for the future food system.

Hungry EcoCities will host 20 S+T+ARTS residencies. Considering the ambition of the project, need of communication and collaboration between a diverse set of experts, and challenges related to defining, designing, and developing AI enabled responsible, art-driven solutions for the end-users in the agri-food industries the project will run for 42 months.

Partners Hungry EcoCities

The Hungry Ecocities Consortium is led by Brno University of Technology (CZ) and In4Art (NL), and counts on the participation of KU Leuven (BE) , Carlo Ratti Associati (IT), Studio Other Spaces (GE), Mendel University (CZ), NethWork (NL) and  FundingBox (PL).

The consortium has been created to fully reflect the AI technology innovation value chain of the agri-food industries with Leuven.AI (KUL) and Brno University of Technology (BUOT). Consortium partner Mendel University builds the bridge between AI and the agri-food sectors. In order to provide the best possible residency infrastructure for the execution of the projects the consortium members include some of the world’s leading art studios with extensive experiences in working in art-industry projects within the agri-food value chain. Working together they will create a concrete foundation for creating a speculative framework and identifying the “contemporary urgencies”, and their studios offer the creative environment and art thinking methods for the experiments and prototypes. To ensure essential competence needed for the successful collaboration in experiments and implementation of Hungry EcoCities, network and mentor experts will ensure the fruitful collaboration between Artists, SMEs and Technology experts. The agri-food networks brought by NTWK represent large ecosystem of renowned private companies in horticulture and promotes a future of sustainable, healthy and affordable food. Their platform “Eatthis” provides successful use-cases on the collaboration between agri-food companies and artists. Funding Box will ensure a transparent selection process and dissemination and exploitation of the results through well‐established communication channels and connect many audiences across Europe.

Credit

This HungryEcoCities project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement 101069990. It is part of the S+T+ARTS programme.

Keywords

agriculture, food, AI, digital arts, creative coding, sustainability, responsible innovation, ethics, green, care, health, systems design, experimentation, prototyping, usability, use-scenarios.