Mireille van Hilten

Wageningen Economic Research

Over the past 4 years, IoF2020 use cases have developed various IoT solutions for smart farming. The WP4 team has supported the use cases with the aim to assess market readiness, define business models and prepare market entry. Important activities to reach these goals are to validate user acceptance of the smart farming solutions and to identify acceptance criteria by end users to adjust the product or service while it is being developed. In line with the IoF2020 multi-actor approach, user acceptance testing is meant to serve the development of the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) as a validation tool. It is crucial to collect feedback, values, preferences and needs of end users to be able to consider these factors during MVP development cycles to help overcome barriers to acceptance of IoT technologies in European agriculture.

To inform stakeholders about the overall user acceptance, this online magazine presents user testing highlights and shows how IoF2020 solutions are perceived by the end users. Research results were gathered from surveys and in-depth user acceptance feedback has been obtained during 9 online interviews. The IoF2020 use cases represent different agricultural sectors in several European countries and the characteristics of the use cases therefore vary considerably. During the project, all use cases were enabled to address improvement feedback received from user acceptance testing, and further develop the IoT solutions. Use cases conducted the user acceptance testing themselves mainly using the tools provided by the WP4 support team.

The knowledge gathered during this entire process has an impact on society

Farmers and other end users, for example working in processing companies, need to tend to farm activities or daily business operations. Although it can be a challenge to keep these end users involved, I encourage smart farming projects to keep engaging end users whenever possible, to contribute to the usefulness and ease of use of smart farming solutions.

Smart farming projects that are currently operational at a medium or larger scale, supported by Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs), could benefit from the activities performed by the WP4 team over the last 4 years. So to support business development for smart farming projects, we also include our most valuable tips & tricks. On behalf of the WP4 team, I wish you the best of luck in the development of user-centred smart farming solutions!

- Mireille van Hilten Wageningen Economic Research

User acceptance in agrifood