Information science increasingly critical part of Wageningen investigation and instruction

Autonomous greenhouses, virtual farms and electronic tomatoes: Wageningen College & Research has invested greatly in Digital Twins in new many years. In addition, themes these as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Info Science have turn into a frequent portion of Wageningen instruction and analysis. On December 13 and 14, there will be plenty of attention to the world of info science through the Electronic Twins @WUR convention.

Due to the fact 2019, WUR has been investing closely in data science. In 2020, three further professors, 6 section-time authorities and a analysis coordinator were being hired for info science and AI exploration. Furthermore, data science and AI are now an integral element of Wageningen education. College students from numerous packages can consider far more than 20 programs on device finding out, huge knowledge and programming, among the other topics. These subjects are in substantial desire amid pupils.

All varieties of purposes of info science can assistance make a lot more economical, wholesome and sustainable choices. ‘AI types can use knowledge to understand how crops develop. With that, we can lower nitrogen use in agriculture,’ illustrates Ioannis Athanasiadis, one of the new details science professors. WUR also uses artificial intelligence in animal husbandry to check animal welfare, and in foodstuff chains to cut down meals squander. “WUR performs an vital function in these regions mainly because we have both the AI and domain know-how,” Athanasiadis reported.

Digital Twins

WUR has also made great strides in the discipline of Electronic Twins. Digital twins are virtual variations of organisms this kind of as cells, plants and people, and of objects this kind of as meals chains. They can be utilised to assess actuality, but also to predict the potential of the objects in query. In January 2020, WUR released a few flagship initiatives that produced digital twins of a tomato expanding in a greenhouse, the nitrogen flows on a farm and of consumers’ rate of metabolism based mostly on their food plan.

Researchers at WUR have introduced tasks to start out creating Electronic Twins in other fields. The seed has been planted

Dick de Ridder

Professor of bioinformatics Dick de Ridder clarifies why digital cows and tomatoes could be so useful: ‘Digital Twins have been initially created in the engineering sciences, as digital copies of aircraft and buildings, for instance. These involve designs that are run dwell by details and hence go a ton additional than generic versions. Electronic Twins of residing techniques have barely been developed so much. In WUR’s research fields, these can be incredibly vital, due to the fact they aid us make superior predictions.’ So we are likely to hear a ton about this in the in close proximity to long term, claims De Ridder: ‘The concept is using off both nationally and internationally.’

At WUR, Electronic Twins, and info science in a broader sense, have meanwhile turn into commonplace. Wageningen researchers have figured out significantly from establishing the three flagship tasks, like about combining designs and their socioeconomic features. De Ridder: ‘There are presently options for comply with-up assignments, and scientists from WUR have begun projects to develop Electronic Twins in other fields. The seed has been planted.

Electronic Twins @WUR

On December 13 and 14, 2022, WUR is hosting the meeting “Digital Twins @WUR: Bringing Digital Twins to Lifestyle. All through this celebration, we will glimpse again at new insights and breakthroughs, and take a appear at the upcoming of Electronic Twins in the existence sciences.

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