The European Space Agency (ESA) has selected a blockchain-based project by EZ Lab for sustainable agriculture.
In fact, EZ Lab was the only Italian company to be awarded the ESA’s Aspire call for proposals.
It was founded in 2014 in the university incubator Galileo Visionary District in Padova, Italy, and today it also has two offices abroad, in California and France.
Thanks to a co-funding mechanism called “Aspire with ESA”, the European Space Agency puts resources into projects that use technological innovations to produce positive social and economic impacts.
SmartAgrisat, EZ Lab’s blockchain project for ESA
The selected project is called SmartAgrisat, and will use ultra-high-resolution photographs provided by satellites to automatically analyze multispectral images of agricultural plots and produce detailed maps of the vegetative state of plants, their physiological needs, soil moisture and areas subject to water stress.
The maps will be used to draw up plans indicating the variable doses of fertilizers, plant protection products and water to be applied according to the area to be treated. This data will be sent to individual farmers through fast and secure connections (including 5G), guaranteed by blockchain technology, integrated within the platform.
This data, in turn, will be compatible with the on-board computers of semiautomated tractors, and with automated irrigation systems capable of varying the volume of distribution and the amount of product dispensed in the field.
ESA Business Development project manager Gonzalo Martin De Mercado said:
“We are thrilled to be able to support EZ Lab in its ambitious goal to become a European leader in innovation and sustainability. In this project, we recognized the ability to pursue the goals of the 2030 Agenda, which underpin the requirements of our call. The use of blockchain technology applied to agricultural crops can produce beneficial effects in line with the Sustainable Development Goals: in particular in the field of sustainable food production, preservation of the planet’s water resources, and reduction in the use of chemicals.”
The CEO and founder of EZ Lab, Massimo Morbiato, commented saying:
“It is a great honour for us to have been chosen by ESA among the four approved and funded projects, the only one in Italy among 80 from all over Europe. With this project, thanks to our expertise in blockchain and the experience gained by our partner Archetipo in remote sensing, we intend to enter the Space Technology sector, a rapidly growing market. Automating the decision-making processes of farmers will help to improve the quality of their products and reduce the use of pesticides and water wastage, – adds Morbiato – By combining blockchain, precision farming and space technologies, we are contributing to the United Nations’ sustainable development goals”.