AGreenSmart 2022, back to some normality

A success under the sun of Helsinki

The shadow of the 2021 version of AGreenSmart was still in the thoughts of the whole consortium at the beginning of 2022, where activities were fully done online including the intensive program (IP).

This year, all partners made great effort starting with the second transnational meeting (TM) that was done at Perrotis College campus (Thessaloniki, Greece) from March 01st to March 04th 2022. This time was the occasion for all AGreenSmart teachers to meet physically for the first time since the beginning of the project (in September 2020).

During that meeting, besides discussion and team work about the pedagogical content to start to work with the final outcome of the project, the goal was simple: to set up the 2022 students activities as normal as possible, in particular the second IP that was planned to be done at University of Helsinki (Helsinki, Finland).

This first physical meeting generated a certain enthusiasm to all teachers, including parts that were obliged to stay online due to the health situation at this moment. And it was decided that the second IP will be done from June 06th to June 17th 2022 within the Viikki campus of the University of Helsinki.

AgreenSmart Event last June in Helsinki

A summary video of the AGREENSMART event that took place in Helsinki in June 2022.

As expected, 34 students from the seven universities started the two first activities including a group work treating the current situation of use of technologies and practices to face climate change or to reach sustainability (the preparatory project) and a 40-h online courses introducing the five course topics of AGreenSmart, plus a chapter dedicated to the software that will be used during the IP (the e-learning refresher). Then, due to some specific and personal issues, 28 students finally participated to the second IP at Helsinki.

This IP started with the oral presentations of the preparatory projects done by each group of students. It was the occasion for each group, so for each country, to introduce the group members and to introduce the two weeks with the current agricultural situation of each involved country.

Then, the five different topics of the project (precision agriculture, animal husbandry, robotics, big data and artificial intelligence, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, and sustainable agriculture and agroecology) had time slots of one and a half days each for the students. In addition to the lectures, group works, debate and guided works, a visit of the Viikki experimental farm was done to illustrate the technologies used in agriculture through different research projects at the University of Helsinki. And during the second week, all students participated to the “Maataloustieteen Päivät 2022” (Agriculture science days 2022) by presenting the preparatory projects’ posters. It was a good networking opportunity for them.

Finally, as the participation to AGreenSmart was not only dedicated to pedagogical activities, social and cultural events were also planned aiming at improving exchanges between students from different universities and countries. An ice-breaking event was done at the beginning of the IP at the Viikki experimental farm barn (photo xx) letting students and teachers discussing and introducing themselves. Then, during the week-end, a trip at a famous Finnish place, the “Suomenlinna”, was done on Saturday to discover a very nice inheritance and part of Finnish history, before a group dinner with all participants.

In brief, this second year of AGreenSmart was a success, taking advantage of a semblance of normalcy letting all participants to travel again, and to improve knowledge regarding the different challenges facing agriculture, mainly to adapt to climate change and to reach sustainability, through the use of technologies. The next stops for AGreenSmart will be at NMBU (Ȧs, Norway), on February 2023, for teachers transnational meeting and at JUNIA (Lille, France), on June 2023, for the third IP.

Rendez-vous à Lille en 2023 !