Digital technologies and sustainable agriculture: Meeting practitioners’ and societal needs


Brunori Gianluca Brunori

Gianluca Brunori

University of Pisa, Italy

Bacco Manlio Bacco

Manlio Bacco

European Commission - JRC

Ferrari Alessio Ferrari

Alessio Ferrari

Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)

Groen Eduard C. Groen

Eduard C. Groen

Fraunhofer IESE

Dörr Jörg Dörr

Jörg Dörr

Fraunhofer IESE and RPTU Kaiserslautern

Chessa Stefano Chessa

Stefano Chessa

University of Pisa, Italy


Digital technologies play an increasingly important role in agrifood systems. Their potential to disrupt systems and drive innovative developments can turn technology into a game changer. However, disruption brings not only upsides but also downsides. Some actors will benefit from the disruption (winners), while it is detrimental to others (losers). Moreover, the degree of adoption in applied contexts is heavily influenced by policy, social, economic, and environmental-related drivers and barriers that must be considered. Improving the capacity to analyse the practitioners’ needs and anticipate the impact of a technology, once adopted in specific contexts, is key to improving performance, market success, and impact on society. This session focuses on how to embody a Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) approach into technology design, the system requirements definition, and innovation policies. The basic assumption is that the participation of a wide range of stakeholders (e.g., in the form of Living Labs) in the design, development, and use of digital technologies in agricultural settings will increase their acceptance and adoption, and will therefore boost the 'twin transition' (ecological and digital). As a result, this session provides a forum for discussions on disrupting agricultural technologies, their applications, and their impact across contexts.


Contributions are expected to deal with, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Co-creation and co-design of digital systems for agriculture tailored to the context;
  • Requirements engineering and digital design techniques tailored to agrifood systems;
  • Developments to improve social, economic, and environmental impacts of agriculture through digital technologies;
  • Data, platforms, and tools for sustainable agriculture for farmers, advisors, and other stakeholders;
  • Technological pathways for the agroecological transition.


Gianluca Brunori, is Full Professor at the University of Pisa, where he teaches Food Policy and Bioeconomy. As a researcher, he has accumulated 30 years of experience in the fields of Agricultural Economics, Rural Sociology and Food Policy, participating to several European Projects, in three of them (TRUC,
GLAMUR, and DESIRA) as scientific coordinator. The research group he leads and leads - Pisa Agricultural Economics (PAGE) - works on small farmers’
individual and collective strategies, on the socio-economic impact of food supply chains, on the link between collective initiatives and rural development, on support policies for small farming and rural development at local and regional level, on urban-rural relationships. He has been President of the Research Committee “Sociology of Agriculture and Food” (RC-40) of the International Sociology Association, and vice-president of the European Society of Rural Sociology.
He has been Chief Editor of the journal “Rivista di Economia Agraria” and is editor in chief of the journal Agriculture and Food Economics. He has served as a member – and in two years as a chair - of the expert panel of EU SCAR (Standing Committee for Agricultural Research) 2nd, 3 rd , 4th and 5 th foresight exercise. He is also chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Joint Programming Initiative “Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change” (FACCE).

Manlio Bacco, was awarded a PhD in Information Engineering and Science from the University of Siena, Italy, in 2016. He works as a Scientific Project Officer at the Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Ispra, Italy, since October 2023. He has been associated with the Institute of Science and Information Technologies (ISTI), National Research Council (CNR), Pisa, Italy, since 2012. His research interests include data spaces, digital twins, and the development of methodologies and technologies for using digital technologies in agriculture, forestry, and rural areas.

Alessio Ferrari, is a research scientist at CNR-ISTI (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche - Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologia dell'Informazione "A. Faedo", Pisa, Italy - http://www.isti.cnr.it). His primary research interests are: applications of natural language processing (NLP) techniques to requirements engineering (RE); user and customer interviews in RE; RE education and training; empirical formal methods and empirical software engineering. He is part of the EU DESIRA and CODECS projects on sustainability in agriculture. He is the author of over 100 papers in conferences and journals, including ICSE, IEEE RE, IEEE TSE, and REJ. He regularly serves in the PC of ICSE, IEEE RE, REFSQ, AIRE, is one of the founders of the NLP4RE workshop series, has been the Local Organiser of REFSQ 2020, Program Chair of REFSQ 2023 and will be Program Chair of IEEE RE 2025.

Eduard C. (Eddy) Groen, is a Senior Requirements Engineer and Project Manager at Fraunhofer IESE in Kaiserslautern (Germany). He leads the development of Crowd-based Requirements Engineering since a decade, and researches Digital Sustainability. As a cross-domain Digital Designer, he consults industry and public offices regarding complex systems. In over 25 peer-reviewed publications, he covered topics including quality requirements, user feedback classification, Digital Ecosystems, Internet of Things, and usable security & privacy. Among others, he is on the program committees for RE and REFSQ.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jörg Dörr, holds the chair of "Digital Farming" at RPTU in Kaiserslautern. Furthermore, he has been a member of the extended institute management of Fraunhofer IESE in Kaiserslautern since 2020. In this position, he is responsible for the research programs of the institute and has been leading the Smart Farming program at the institute since 2020. His work at the RPTU as well as at Fraunhofer IESE focuses on software and systems engineering, especially for applications in digital farming. Jörg Dörr has extensive knowledge in the areas of software and systems engineering, requirements engineering, and data usage control. He is active in diverse industries, with a focus on smart farming. He is the author of more than 150 academic and industry-related publications. Since 2006, he has been active as a lecturer on topics including requirements engineering and agile methods, and since 2021 also on digital farming at universities. Jörg Dörr is active in the GI (Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V.), was spokesman of the requirements engineering group for several years, and is a founding member of the GI Kaiserslautern regional group. Furthermore, he is a member of the BMEL's Competence Network Digitalization in Agriculture, a member of the Start-up Expert Advisory Board of the Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank, scientific spokesperson of the Competence Network Digital Agriculture Bavaria, technical leader of the Requirements Engineering Community Days of the Softwareforen, and active in various national and international program committees.

Stefano Chessa, is Full Professor at the Department of Computer Science of the University of Pisa. He received his PhD degree in Computer Science from the University of Pisa, Italy in 1999. He is currently member of the Council of the Doctorate in Computer Science (since October 2013), chair of the Spin-off committee, and chair of the MSc curricula in Cybersecurity (since November 2020). He has worked several EU projects, and he has been the scientific leader (for the University of Pisa) of the EU FP7 projects RUBICON and DOREMI. At local level he has been the scientific leader (for the University of Pisa) of the regional project High-Tech Green-House. Currently he is the principal investigator of the PRIN National Project ACCESS and workpackage leader of the National PNRR project AGRITECH.
He is co-author of around 200 publications appearing on international, peer-reviewed journals, conferences and books chapters. His research interests are in the fields of Internet of Things, wireless sensor networks, pervasive computing and in their applications to digital agriculture, ambient assisted living and e-health, crowdsensing and participatory sensing.