RUC-APS visits the KOM lab in Darmstadt

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Alejandro Fernández presentation at KOM

During his secondment to IBSPAN (Poland), and as part of the dissemination activities of the RUC-APS project, Dr. Alejandro Fernández (from UNLP) travelled to Darmstadt, Germany. He visited the University of Darmstadt, and spent a few days of meetings and enriching discussion at KOM (the Multimedia Communications Lab).

On Thursday April 26 2018, Alejandro gave a formal presentation about the project to members of the KOM research lab. The director of KOM, Dr. Ralf Steinmetz, and the director of the research area for “Educational Media and Applications”, Dr. Christoph Rensing, attended the presentation, as well as various Ph.D students and researchers.

During the presentation, Alejandro provided an overview of the project (goals, consortium, and activities) and more details of the work-package 10, lead by UNLP. He specially asked the audience to provide feedback regarding their experience in innovation for domains such as agriculture, and product design. This resulted in a series of very interesting talks and meeting for the next day.

To conclude the presentation, Alejandro suggested attendees to consider Risk and Uncertainty in Agriculture as a potential domain for their innovations. We hope that future projects can count with the contribution of KOM.

RUC-APS thanks TUD, and KOM for their hospitality and insightful feedback during Alejandro’s visit.

Mathematical Models in Agri-food Supply Chains

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In April 10,11 and 20th 2018 Associate Prof. Mareva Alemany Díaz, from Centro de Investigación en Gestión e Ingeniería de Producción (CIGIP) of Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) conducted several teaching sessions about “Mathematical Models in Agri-food Supply Chains” as a part of her secondment at ALSIA (Italy).

The objective of these teaching sessions was to present mathematical models as powerful tools to be used by farmers during their decision-making process at different decisional levels. These decision levels include the strategic level (facility location, network design, technology selection), tactical level (crop selection, harvest planning, labor planing) and operational level (storage, distribution, order management). First, the general structure of mathematical models was described and then, three applications of Mathematical Models to agricultural supply chains were presented to: 1) define the schedule of the grape harvest operations, 2) promise customer order proposals in a fruit supply chain and 3) forecast demand or prices by a software tool based on mathematical models. As a conclusion it can be stated that mathematical models can be applied to wide range of problems in the sector. This is supported by the fact that during last years it is observed an increasing development of mathematical models in agrifood supply chains with special emphasis put on the uncertainty modelling.

The presentation used during the teaching sessions is available for download here

PRODUCTION PLANNING & CONTROL JOURNAL SPECIAL ISSUE “Operations management and collaboration in Agri-Food Supply Chains”

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Deadline: 1 November 2018

Production Planning & Control

Agri-Food supply chains can be seen as a complex network of large, medium and small producers (who grow and trade food commodities), processors (who process, manufacture and market primary and value added products), distributors (such as wholesalers and retailers that market and sell the food), consumers (who shop, purchase and consume food) and government/non-government organisations (who establish regulations that control the  agri-food supply chain).

However, growing world population, dynamic market demands, high product variety, low understanding of regulations across countries as well as the need for maintaining high standards in food growing and production are sources of uncertainty which imply a management challenge for reducing cost and waste as well as for balancing food supply and demand. Thus, collaboration among stakeholders along the agri-food supply chain is more important than ever, and the right application of operations management concepts will help to oversee the key information flows across the entire agri-food supply chain, which will guarantee an efficient decision-making process for food growing and production with a view to meeting end-customers’ specifications and satisfaction.

From this, development and re-design of agri-food supply chains will emerge, by linking relevant inputs, outputs and processes to key agri-food supply chain aspects such as continuous improvement, cost reduction and minimized imbalance between supply and demand. This will lead to the creation of a more productive and sustainable agri-food supply chain system, able to mitigate risks and uncertainties. Therefore, the study and contribution on operations management and collaboration in Agri-Food Supply Chain Systems is presented as a multi-disciplinary theme of contemporary interest and useful for both the industry as well as the academic research area, with applications in several sectors, such as: agronomy, food manufacturing, transport and logistics, strategic planning, health, legislation, marketing, economy, supply chain management, knowledge management, risk and uncertainty, innovation and ICT-based decision support systems.

Topic selection

The objective of this special issue is to identify the operations management situations where decisions are made difficult by uncertainty in the agri-food domain, within the study and implementation of Operations Management based approaches in agri-food supply chains. Contributions to this special issue are expected to provide answers to managerial research questions such as (but not limited to):

  • How are the variety of stakeholders in the agri-food supply chain affected by regulations, prices, business management and food-safety related issues?
  • How can growers and producers collaborate to reduce costs and prices in the agri-food supply chain, whilst providing safe, nutritious, accessible and affordable food to consumers?
  • In conditions of information uncertainty, how do management decisions affect food quality and waste?  How can information systems mitigate the problem?
  • How can operations management contribute to customer satisfaction in agri-food supply chains?
  • What benefits can agri-food operations management deliver for sustainable food transport and logistic whilst reducing food waste?

Contributions are expected on research that stems from an industrial need and can guide the activities of managers and future researchers. Theoretical contributions without management implications, will normally not be considered.

Submission instructions

This is an open call for full papers. High-quality papers from EURO2018 and PRO-VE 2018 will be selected by the Scientific Committee to be extended and submitted to this call, for review.

All contributions will be subjected to a single-blind review process.  Manuscripts must be sent electronically to the guest editors and should be prepared according to the Production Planning & Control guidelines that can be found at http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/journal.asp?issn=0953-7287&linktype=44

Important Dates

  • Manuscript submission deadline, 1st November 2018
  • The estimated publication, Autumn 2019

Editorial information

  • Guest Editor: Jorge E Hernandez, Senior Lecturer in Operations & Supply Chain Management, Management School, The University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom.(J.E.Hernandez@liverpool.ac.uk)
  • Guest Editor: Herve Panetto, Professor of Enterprise Information Systems, Research Centre for Automatic Control, University of Lorraine, CNRS, France (Herve.Panetto@univ-lorraine.fr)
  • Guest Editor: Martin Mortimer, Professor of Agricultura Ecology, Integrative Biology Institute, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK, martmort@liverpool.ac.uk
  • Guest Editor: Nicola Calabrese, Food Production Innovation, CNR – Institute of Sciences of Food Production; Bari, Italy (nicola.calabrese@ispa.cnr.it)
  • Guest Editor: David Martinez, ICT Manager, Food safety systems and Value chain integration, AINIA Technological Centre, Valencia, Spain (dmsimarro@ainia.es)

Premio Regionale Olivarium (Olivarium Regional Prize)

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Today, April 24th 2018, a very interesting congress on olive oil from Basilicata organized by ALSIA. Best oils will get a prize. Very interesting the relation between consumption of extra vergin olive oil and health.

57 olive oils from the Bassilicata region participate in this event. They will compete for the prize of “best single-variety”, “best in biological production”, “best label”, “best among large producers”, and best among “emerging oils”.

UoP and UNLP visiting Serviverde , in La Plata (AR)

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On 19 March 2018, the RUC-APS team from University of Plymouth (Carmen Lopez, Guoqing Zhao & Huilan Chen) and from National University of La Plata (Susana Gamboa & Mariana del Pino) visited Serviverde, in La Plata, Argentina. Serviverde is a large producer of vegetables in the area of La Plata. The staff of Serviverde showed us a number of tomato, eggplant and broccoli greenhouses, and then the water system they used. After that, UoP team shared their experience based on their secondments in different countries: A detailed explanation of how to build relationships with agricultural research institutions and how to establish cooperative relationships with different farmers in some European countries. The CEO of Serviverde, Damián Simonetti, also shared their experience on how they exchange knowledge with different farmers and how they build collaborative relationships in the area of La Plata. Furthermore, a number of risks and uncertainties in the agricultural sector were also discussed during the meeting.

Members of University of Plymouth, National University of La Plata and Serviverde

Special Track at Interacción 2018

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Palma, September 12-14, 2018

RUC-APS organizes a special track on “Advances and Challenges in HCI in Agriculture” at Interacción 2018, in Palma, Spain.

The goal of this special session is to attract representatives of industry and academia that can provide insight into the challenges and advances of effectively bringing ICT to agriculture, from the perspective of HCI. The session is organized by members of the H2020 RUC-APS project (www.ruc-aps.eu), whose goal is to enhance and implement knowledge based ICT solutions within high risk and uncertain conditions for agriculture production systems.

Paper submission is now open (till April 15th) .
Download de CFP or Visit the web Site

Special Session at PRO-VE’18

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Cardiff, UK, 17-19 September 2018.

RUC-APS organizes a special session on “Cognitive Systems in Food and Agribusiness Value Chains” at PRO-VE’18.

This session is focused on papers addressing research and applications in the food value chain and in agribusiness. The objective is to present interesting research and practical developments to address the challenges in the sector and to present innovative approaches and new business models for the new scenarios on the coming years.

This session also addresses several aspects covered by H2020 RUC-APS project (www.ruc-aps.eu) a H2020 Rise project devoted to “Enhancing and implementing Knowledge based ICT solutions within high Risk and Uncertain Conditions for Agriculture Production Systems”.

Abstract submission is now open (till March 11th) .
Download the CFP.

Operational Research Advances in Agribusiness

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Valencia, July 8-11, 2018

RUC-APS organizes a special stream on “Operational Research Advances in Agribusines” at this year’s Euro 2018 .

This special stream will have the objective of exploring and gathering the state-of-the-art on conceptual and applied interoperable solutions to support Agriculture decision-making once facing uncertainty and risk. This will include the use of OR with application to ICT, simulations, data analysis, precision farming and innovation approaches in agriculture that will help agriculture stakeholders improving their performance and supporting multidisciplinary and collaborative solutions in Agriculture production systems consider the current socio-economic trends and challenges in Agriculture.

Abstract submissions is now open (till March 5th).
Download de CFP

RUC-APS in the January issue of AlSIA’s Agrifoglio

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Agrifolgio is the monthly newsletter of ALSIA (Lucan Agency of Innovation and Development in Agriculture). Each month, Agriflogio publishes a new issue covering regional news regarding sustainable agriculture. We are proud to announce that the January 2018 issue of Agrifoglio includes an article featuring RUC-APS. We encourage you to read the  complete issue (in Italian) from the newsletter’s home page .


Mathematical Programming basics

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In January 29th, 2018 Associate Prof. David Perez, from Centro de Investigación en Gestión e Ingeniería de Producción (CIGIP) from Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) conducted one teaching session as part of his teaching agenda in the secondment that took place in Bretagne Développement Innovation (BDI).

This session was specially aimed at staff from BDI. The topic was “Introduction to Mathematical Programming”. It was shown the advantages of using some of the technics of Operations Research, an more particularly, Mathematical Programming, in Suppy Chain Management. Then one basic example was approached. The final goal was to get started in the field of Mathematical programming and get new insights to cope with the specific characteristics of agri-food Supply Chains and how decisions are taken.
Regarding SCM, two basic types of decisions were pointed out:

  1. SC Design: They are related to long Term Decisions (strategical), for example the location and sizing of the different nodes, connection possibilities among the nodes and sizing of them…
  2. SC Operations Planning; They are related to Medium/Short Term Decisions (tactical and operational), for example the planning of physical activities (Production, Storage and Transport) and non-physical activities (Purchase and Sales), distinguishing between those taken tactically and thefore capacity-based decisions and those taken operationally, more focused on their execution.

Centralized and Decentralized-based decisions among the different partners of a SC as well as different degrees collaboration schemes were also briefly approached.

Regarding, Operations Research tools, some of them were identified such as: inventory management theory, graphs theory, simulation, and finally mathematical programming. This latest one was chosen as the most appropiate one to cope with SC decision-making and to characterize the different decisions along Agrifood SC: planting, harvesting, processing, distributing…

The presentation used during the teaching sessions is available for download here

RUC-APS Special Sessions at PRO-VE 2017

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The PRO-VE conference took place from September 10th to 20th, in Vicenza, Italy. This edition of PRO-VE (the 18th) was dedicated to the topic of “collaboration in a data-rich world”. In that context, RUC-APS hosted two special sessions.

Special Session: “Risk and Uncertainty in Agriculture” organized by Jorge Hernandez (United Kingdom), Janusz Kacprzyk (Poland), Hervé Panetto (France), Alejandro Fernandez (Argentina), Marco De Angelis (United Kingdom)

The goal of this special session was to explore and gather the state-of-the-art on conceptual and applied interoperable solutions to support Agriculture decision-making once facing uncertainty and risk.

Three articles were presented:

Special Session: “Collaboration in Food and Agribusiness”, organized by Mareva Alemany (Spain), Angel Ortiz (Spain)

This special session addressed research and applications in the food value chain and in agribusiness. The objective was to present interesting research and practical developments to address the challenges in the sector and also to present innovative approaches and new business models for the new scenarios on the coming years.

Three articles were presented:

During and after the sessions, members of the RUC-APS team had the chance to exchange knowledge with attendees, disseminating the activities of the project and learning from related research.

PRO-VE special Sessions
Session attendes, organizers, and RUC-APS members

UoP and UNLP visiting Langage Farm

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On 26 September 2017, the RUC-APS team from University of Plymouth (Shaofeng Liu, Lynne Butel, Huilan Chen & Guoqing Zhao) and from National University of La Plata (Susana Gamboa) visited Langage Farm. The Director of the Langage Farm, Paul Winterton, met with RUC-APS team and gave the visitors a wonderful tour around the Farm and its Anaerobic Digestery (AD) facility generating electricity from food waste which supplies the Farm and Dairy with its energy needs. The RUC-APS team are delighted by the Langage Farm’s sustainable, closed-loop agricultural production system (the eco-system includes dairy farm, dairy products manufacturing and AD system). For more details about the eco-system, please visit Langage Farm’s website.

Shaofeng Liu, Paul Winterton, Susana Gamboa, Lynne Butel, Huilan Chen

The use of glossaries in early phases of software development

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September 13th, 2018

As part of his secondment to University of Toulouse, professor Leandro Antonelli from the National University of La Plata, offered a teaching session on the use of glossaries in early phases of software development.

Requirements engineering is a critical stage in software development. It is one of the first stages, and its main product, the definition of the requirements, it is used to plan the software project. Thus, any mistake in requirements has a negative impact on time, cost, and client satisfaction. Therefore, it is necessary to produce a specification as complete and correct as possible, to reduce further consequences. The talk presents scenarios and a structured glossary to write it (Language Extended Lexicon).

Researcher from the National University of La Plata (Argentina) visits LEAF

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As part of his RUC-APS research stay at the University of Liverpool, Alejandro Fernández (researcher from the Faculty of Informatics at the National University of La Plata) visited LEAF. The maim goal of the visit was to learn about LEAF’s approach towards sustainable farming. Meeting topics included LEAF’s IMF wheel (Integrated Farm Management method), and the role if information technologies in informed, participative decision making. The visit was also key to plan follow-up activities by both organisations. Such activities will take place during a visit that LEAF members will conduct in La Plata, in November this year.

Alejandro Fernandez (UNLP, Argentina) visits LEAF (UK)

RUC-APS at the Buenos Aires CONCYT

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CONCYT is the International Scientific and Technologic Congress of the Buenos Aires Province (Argentina). It is organised by the Scientific Research Commission (CIC) of the Buenos Aires province. Researchers, entrepreneurs, government representatives, and the general public attend CONCYT every year to learn about the advances produced by the many research centres that constitute the CIC. This year, the National University of Quilmes hosts the fourth edition of CONCYT.

The CIC associated research centre LIFIA of the University of La Plata (UNLP), participated in CONCYT. RUC-APS was one of the central projects presented by LIFIA. Being the Buenos Aires province one of the principal locations for Argentinean agriculture, this congress represented an important opportunity for RUC-APS to raise awareness about its proposals to deal with Risk and Uncertainty in Agriculture.

RUC-APS at the CONCYT congress

The banner (pdf) is available for download from the following link:


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27th June 2017



AVN_6220 copia(2)
Carlos Blanco (INIA-CHILE), Raquel Almarcha (AINIA-SPAIN), Mareva Alemany (UPV-SPAIN), Ana Esteso (UPV-SPAIN), Cecile Sauvage (FEDACOVA-SPAIN), Jorge Hernandez (ULIV-UK), Sebastian Elgueta (INIA-CHILE), Emanuele Scalcione (ALSIA-ITALY), Juan Pablo Manzur (INIA-CHILE), Carmelo Menone (ALSIA-ITALY)


What happens when agricultural production is greater or less than expected or when the quality of the product is manifestly deficient?. These are some of the questions that were intended to be covered in this multidisciplinary RUC-APS project H2020 that seeks to innovate in the generation of solutions to the problems arising from the uncertainty in the value chain of the International agriculture. The meeting was held at the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) on June 27th, 2017.


Dr. Jorge Hernandez, RUC-APS project coordinator from the University of Liverpool says:…

….”The concept of Agri-food value chain is certainly not new, but the uncertainties linked to this environment, such as climate, economy, technology, make it difficult to manage. Therefore, there is still a great challenge on how a validated international framework can be conceived, but also how to make it understandable and usable for every Agri-Food stakeholders, especially by farmers, who are the main drivers nowadays of the food we consume and who are facing the most o the uncertainties”…


Dra. Maria del Mar Eva Alemany, UPV Institutional lider, and WP8 lider says:…

….”Many times the obtained harvested crops are not what they were planned, neither in terms of quantity nor in quality, and while the market demand continues requesting a high variety of products, the key issue still remains on how linking both supply and demand so that waste and cost can be minimised as much as possible“….

More information available at:

Europa Press (agencia de noticias): http://www.europapress.es/comunidad-valenciana/innova-00214/noticia-proyecto-internacional-elabora-herramientas-simulacion-ayudar-tomar-decisiones-agricultura-20170630170540.html

El Periodic: http://www.elperiodic.com/valencia/noticias/513775_elabora-herramientas-simulaci%C3%B3n-para-ayudar-toma-decisiones-cadena-valor-agr%C3%ADcola.html

La Vanguardia: http://www.lavanguardia.com/local/valencia/20170630/423786127152/un-proyecto-internacional-elabora-herramientas-de-simulacion-para-ayudar-a-tomar-decisiones-sobre-agricultura.html

20 minutos: http://www.20minutos.es/noticia/3079734/0/proyecto-internacional-elabora-herramientas-simulacion-para-ayudar-tomar-decisiones-sobre-agricultura/

La información: http://fotos.lainformacion.com/educacion/universidad/internacional-herramientas-simulacion-decisiones-agricultura_1_1040307313.html

Gente digital: http://www.gentedigital.es/valencia/noticia/2182214/un-proyecto-internacional-elabora-herramientas-de-simulacion-para-ayudar-a-tomar-decisiones-sobre-agricultura/

El economista: http://ecodiario.eleconomista.es/espana/noticias/8468394/06/17/Un-proyecto-internacional-elabora-herramientas-de-simulacion-para-ayudar-a-tomar-decisiones-sobre-agricultura.html

RUC-APS Consortium thanks the UPV News Team for this note: Ángela Argilés Herrero and Ma Luisa Herrero Lara

Researchers UPV visit BDI

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Llanos Cuenca and Andres Boza from UPV visit BDI
Llanos Cuenca and Andres Boza from UPV visit BDI (Photo taken at Terre d’Essais)

As part of the Rucaps European program based on the exchange of expertise, Bretagne Développement Innovation welcomed two Spanish researchers. Llanos Cuenca and Andres Boza are both specialized in mathematical modelisation. After being welcomed by Guillaume Rostoll (CEO of Terre d’Essais), they visited the organic vegetable experimental station of Pleumeur-Gautier on June 15th. The aim of the visit was to analyze the vegetable value chain and propose modelisation tools to limit farmers’ risk-taking. A new European project could come up from this initial contact.

Researchers from UoP, FEDACOVA, AINIA, and BDI visit AVA-ASAJA

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On May 4th, 2017, researchers from the University of Plymouth, FEDACOVA, AINIA, and Bretagne Development Innovation visited the offices of VA-ASAJA (Asociación Valenciana de Agricultores) to learn about its key rol defending the interests of valencian farmers at the local, national and European level. Read more here (in Spanish).

Researchers from UoP, FEDACOVA, AINIA, and BDI visit AVA-ASAJA

ULMS welcomes BDI

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Emilie Faucheux and Sébastien Châble from Bretagne Développement Innovation (BDI), have been at the University of Liverpool Management School on a secondment, participating in the multidisciplinary H2020 project RUC-APS lead by Dr Jorge Hernandez.

Read more…


RUC-APS at the Silicon Valley Forum

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On April 6th 2017, María Teresa Pino from INIA (Chile) was invited as a panelist at the Silicon Valley Forum 2017 by the Office of Outreach and Partnerships (ORP) of the Interamerican Deployment bank IDB USA.

The panel was part of the AgTech conference: “The Seeds of Our Future: AgTech and the Connected World”. Panelists and speakers discussed the changes, challenges, and opportunities taking place in the global AgTech community, and examined innovations in agriculture from all over the world. See more at: http://siliconvalleyforum.com/event/29268277205#sthash.hFoujMEc.dpuf

The presentation can be downloaded from the Communication Material section of this web-site.

Maria Teresa Pino at the Silicon Valley Forum 2017

University of Valencia visits LEAF

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Representatives from the University of Valencia recently visited LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) in the UK, as part of the RUC-APS project. More information…

RUC-APS starts

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October the 2rd, 2016, marks the official start of RUC-APS. From now on, you will find regular updates on these pages, as well as content produced by the project.

Visit the project’s facts sheet to get an overview. Visit the consortium page to learn who we are, or the objectives page to know what we aim at.

Follow us on Twitter (@RUC_APS) and join our LinkedIn group

Stay tuned!

RUC-APS presented at ICDSST-2016 in Plymouth

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ICDSST is the International Conference on Decision Support Systems Technologies. The 2016 edition of the conference took place at the  University of Plymouth, UK, during the period of 23-25 May 2016.

During the “EU Funding Panel”, Prof. Shaofeng Liu (Plymouth-UK), Prof. Pascale Zarate (UT1-FR), Dr. Jorge Hernandez (ULMS-UK), presented RUC_APS.