The inaugural Open Call for the SPADE EU Project has begun. From 9 February to 10 April 2024, at a 17:00 CET, you can take part in SPADE’s first Open Call. All applications must be connected to the fields of forestry, livestock, and agriculture. There will be 6 funded projects related to the use case studies and additional overarching challenges that apply universally across all of SPADE’s pilot initiatives.

The total budget is 360,000 euros, and each winning project could win 60K. There will be two funded projects, all related to the SPADE case studies:

The field of drone technology for agriculture can be shaped by these broad initiatives. An opportunity for the future of drone technology!


SPADE’s drone testing at SDU in Odense, Denmark

While 2023 might be wrapping up that does not mean that activities within SPADE are closed for the year!

Our partners at SDU (University of South Denmark) are continuing their activities and have utilized a compact drone to conduct a maiden indoor test within their facilities, focusing on the SPADE swarm use case. This drone includes a NVIDIA Nano board which acts as an onboard computer for AI applications.

This initial trial mainly focused on validating the drone’s reliability and an approximate estimation of its flight time, accounting for the board and battery installed.

This landmark is very important as SPADE continues to bring forward innovative solutions to the forefront as 2024 approaches!


Consortium Meeting in Bratislava, Slovakia

Bratislava was the home to SPADE’s latest consortium meeting, from November 2nd to November 3rd. BAVENIR, as one of the project partners, hosted this meeting.

During the first day, proceedings initially focused on presentations of the status of each Work Package and then attention shifted to the discussion groups on the afternoon. Multiple topics were discussed such as SPADE architecture, platform and digital twins.

The second and last day focused on the soon-to-be-launched SPADE open calls, reviewing topics with an aim to provide a final decision for their introduction. In the afternoon, open source was discussed, as well as the upcoming approaches for communication and dissemination of the project.

We would like to thank all the partners that made the trip to Slovakia and were connected online. This meeting was vital towards the future of SPADE’s success. A final thank you is also in order to BAVENIR and the 5 Stars Offices’ teams for the logistical preparation.


BCO Network sessions: an opportunity for knowledge exchange

The European BCO Network is an EU funded project that connects national and regional public authorities responsible for broadband deployment across EU Member States. This initiative organizes regular closed online knowledge exchange and capacity-building sessions that delve into a variety of connectivity-related topics.

In the last session, on October 17th 2023, the BCO Network featured two presentations on Horizon-funded pilot projects focusing on smart farming. SPADE, on behalf of Aristotelis C. Tagarakis, showcased its versatile physical-cyber agri-forest drone ecosystem designed for governance and environmental observation. On the other hand, our sister project, Chameleon, presented its holistic approach to sustainable, digital EU agriculture, forestry, livestock, and rural development, utilizing reconfigurable aerial enablers and on-demand edge artificial intelligence systems. Together with the project presenters, the potential of 5G technology to further enhance these two groundbreaking projects was explored.


SPADE, CHAMELEON and ICAERUS at MDPI’s “Drones for Rural Development” Webinar

The deployment of drones has undergone a substantial surge, encompassing a diverse spectrum of functions, ranging from surveillance employing camera technology to the efficient transport of goods to remote locations. While many of these applications find direct alignment with primary sector activities such as agriculture and livestock management, the versatility of these technologies extends to encompass various domains and rural contexts.

On October 9th 2023, Aristotelis C. Tagarakis presented SPADE main goals and activities at a webinar that was conducted as part of MDPI’s “EO&GEO Series: Drones for Rural Development” along with its sister projects ICAERUS and CHAMELEON.

Watch the full recording of the session below and find more information about MDPI upcoming webinars here.


SPADE at Synergy Days Event in Thessaloniki

Synergy Days (, aims to be the most important conference connecting the digital innovators of the European agri-food sector. This year’s edition (4th and 5th October 2023 and with 300 participants) took place in Thessaloniki, Greece and brought forward not only workshops organised by the several EU projects but also in-depth technical sessions, networking opportunities and interactive panels.

SPADE was represented during both days of this dynamic event! As part of the first day, Telmo Fernandes from SPI had the opportunity of conducting a short pitch on how the project aims to develop new technologies to promote sustainable digital services. There was also an opportunity for the project’s open calls to be presented by Maria Elena Martinez Hernandez from Sploro, as part of a panel on “Funding opportunities for agrifood innovation: Cascade funding calls”.

During the second and last day of the event, the project coordinator Aristotelis Tagarakis represented SPADE on the workshop titled “A Synergy for Unlocking the Power of Drones for Sustainable Agriculture, Enviromental Monitoring and Governance”, along with the sister projects ICAEURUS and CHAMELEON.

We would like to thank everyone who came to visit us at our booth and who took the time to learn more about SPADE.


Successful launch of SPADE’s first drone flights

After a development period, SPADE’s inaugural drone flight was carried out with success. This important occasion for SPADE took place in the Balearic Islands and was made possible by the great work of partners such as Any Solution, Cooperativa Agrícola de Sóller and Mallorcan New Potatoes.

These drones will be used to map and monitor crops, supporting farmers and agriculture cooperatives in the early detection of plagues and diseases and in a better and sustainable management of their exploitations.

This specific flight mostly focused on making sure the involved parties become familiarized with the drones, their remote controls and interfaces. Outside of ensuring the drone works correctly, the main purpose of this activity was to observe how phantom 4 (mainspectral) works and if all automatically generated pictures (RGB, NDVI, GNDVI, LCI, NDRE and OSAVI formats) are displayed correctly.

This flight marks a key step in SPADE’s ambitious journey, paving the way for additional discoveries and a deeper understanding of fostering, cropping and livestock farming.


SPADE was presented at the Digitalisation Day and Matchmaking event

On June 14th 2023 the headquarters of the Agri-food Cooperatives of the Balearic Islands hosted a Digitalisation Day and Matchmaking Event that enabled the presentation of SPADE to a multitude of stakeholders of the agrifood sector.

It was a very interesting event organized within the frame of Horizon 2020 project PLOUTOS and the main goal was to share some examples of digitalization applications within the agriculture sector. This meeting facilitated individuals to engage with company representatives, inquire about their specific digital requirements and find suitable matches to fulfill those needs.

Marga Morey Cortès from Agricultural Cooperative of Sóller and Pierrick Le Guillou from Anysolution, successfully introduced SPADE, discussing the potential uses of drones for pest prevention and detection.


SPADE was introduced by ECLIPSE at ICT4S 2023

From June 5th until June 10th, 2023, the University of Rennes became the host of the annual International Conference on Information and Communication Technology for Sustainability (ICT4S2023). SPADE, represented by the ECLIPSE foundation, introduced the pilot projects using drones to improve sustainability in agriculture and forestry. The participants ranged from government and industry representatives to policymakers and students, who showed a strong interest in the pilot initiatives that employ drones to enhance sustainability in agriculture and forestry

The positive feedback received from various stakeholders on SPADE encourages us on our approach and demonstrates that innovative solutions such as those on our project can play a role in fostering a greener and more sustainable future, particularly through the implementation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) technologies applied to environmental purposes.


SPADE meets ICAEURUS in Mallorca

Under the framework of Horizon 2020 project, PLOTUS, SPADE had the opportunity to perform a cooperation meeting with ICAEURUS, a sister project of SPADE, during their visit to Any Solution facilities and Agricultural Cooperative of Sóller. The meeting took place last 19th May, in Mallorca, Spain.

The main topic behind this visit was the growing digitalization of the Agri-food sector and many relevant stakeholders were present at this event to disclose their knowledge, such as Maria Parets from Agricultural Cooperative of Sóller, Dolores Ordonez and Pierrick Le Guillou from AnySolution and Katerina Kasimati from ICAREUS. During this visit, SPADE had the privilege of introducing the project and its goals. A particular standout was the exploration of use cases related to crop monitoring and crop spraying specifically tailored for terraced crops, allowing to share insights, and assessing the progress made in both Horizon Europe projects. It was truly a remarkable opportunity to exchange perspectives and foster collaboration.

We would like to thank Agriculture Cooperative of Sóller for hosting this meeting.