Latest SCI publications
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2018-10-01 - 2022-11-30
The role of digitalization in everyday life is getting more and more important – a development that can also be observed in agriculture. For people working in this sector, digitalization offers many ways to get things done more easily, such as documentation for legislative purposes or societal demands. Agricultural production is supposed to getting more efficient using digitalization technologies which not only antagonizes the increase of cost pressure on agricultural production, but can also help to tackle problems such as climate change. Sensor technology, robotics, automation and artificial intelligence play an important role in this trend (BMEL, 2017). The project "DiLaAg - Digitalization-and Innovation Laboratory in Agricultural Sciences" based in Tulln pursues the main goal of establishing a scientific nucleus dealing with this topic via a cooperation between the Forum Morgen Privatstiftung and the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna and its consortium partners Vienna University of Technology and Vienna University of Veterinary Medicine. Dealing with digitization in the context of agriculture and science includes both, the training of young scientists through a doctorate college and creating a platform for research, development, training and consulting (Innovation Platform "Digital Agriculture Lab"), which is also open to the interested public and is intended to be a meeting place for social discourse on the subject.
Inclusion of disabled people (with rehabilitative social needs) in the working process of horticultural farms
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2017-09-01 - 2020-03-31
Social sustainable integration of disabled people (with rehabilitative social needs) in the working process of horticultural farms The objectives of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as well as of the Austrian Action Plan 2012 (for implementation of an inclusive society) are the full and effective participation of disabled people in society. This project will provide scientific evidence, which will contribute to the integration of disabled people in the working society. The overall goal of the project is to provide all necessary information for a successful cooperation between day-care centers for disabled persons and private horticultural farms. The creation of such possibilities for a collaboration will offer disabled people a participation in general working life. The identification of suitable working processes and tasks requires the compilation of culture related activity and ability profiles for working processes or tasks. In order to be able to find out which crops require what kind of working skills, the tasks and sub-tasks referring to the crops cultivated by up to 6 representative Austrian horticultural farms must be identified. The method used is the classification of REFA time studies. In order to determine the skills and needs of disabled people in day-care centers, it is necessary to capture their abilities, by creating ability profiles for up to 50 persons. Based on these ability profiles, it is possible to allocate and categorize the necessary tasks. The ability profiles will be created mainly by means of the well-proven “IMBA method” (Integration of persons with disabilities in a working environment). In order to set up a fruitful collaboration, horticultural farms and day-care centers will be interviewed about their interests, needs and expectations. On the basis of this information, it will be possible to give recommendations for a sustainable collaboration. Based on the surveyed results and identified requirements, a training concept for nursing staff, company managers and trainers will be developed and optimized in order to guarantee a high degree of working quality and job satisfaction for both parties in the project (social sustainability, which offers socially produced products). The efficient knowledge transfer of scientific results will be ensured by the production of blended learning material, a recommendation booklet and guidance of the implementation carried out in pilot companies.
Environmentally efficient adaptation of grassland harvest chains and optimized alternative fuel production (biogas) in alpine regions
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2017-04-01 - 2018-03-31
Agriculture has the responsibility to produce food, feed, fuels, and fibre in a sustainable way. In recent decades the conditions for agricultural production have changed in many ways; e.g. the increasing societal interest in the production of renewable energy and the improved understanding of the effects of climate change have highlighted the need to adapt agricultural practices to changing circumstances. Adaptation varies in nature; this project aims at optimizing agricultural production with a focus on technical and managerial aspects. The project’s first main objective seeks to increase energy efficiency in agriculture. In the first step, a comprehensive environmental evaluation of current crop management systems for grain production will be conducted at two selected sites in Austria. In the second step, we will modify the studied system to include the effects of technological climate change adaptation options that can reasonably be expected to increase the resilience and sustainability of the selected crop management systems. The third step will be to identify additional technology options for climate change adaptation and to conduct a screening evaluation of their effects on fossil fuel consumption and other environmental impacts. This step will encompass not only grain production but also grassland agriculture. The second main objective is to optimize the production of alternative fuel (biogas) for agricultural machines. Both agricultural residues and industrial organic wastes will be studied as inputs. The biodegradability of these organic materials will be increased through pre-treatment with the steam explosion technology. A key topic will be the investigation of integrating glycerol, oil, and fat. The biodegradability of the pre-treated organic materials will be analyzed and optimized in the laboratory. The final step of the second objective will be an analysis of different biogas utilization concepts, such as the liquefaction of biogas and peak-load power production in cluster biogas plants.