A May 2015 workshop of the Italian National Research Council’s Foresight Project proposed that “Smartgrids for Food Systems” could be developed to improve food system efficiency.  Existing and emerging technologies could be systematically applied in a smartgrid approach to match capacity and need.

smartgrid food systemsThe core concepts are that on-demand data for nutrition need, production capacity, and supply chain limitations can be used to match need to supply. Furthermore, a variety of technologies can be applied to effectively reduce the resource needs (time, energy, cost) from source to consumer so that a grid can work to deliver time sensitive nutrition in fresh foods.  

Depending on local and regional infrastructure and needs, the technologies to augment existing food systems to “smartgrid” systems could include precision agriculture, hydro/aero/aquaponics, nanotextured surfaces for aseptic food processing, improved food packaging for longer shelf life, sensors in food packaging for spoilage, sensors in mobile devices for nutrition monitoring, supply chain tracing to assure safety in local markets, and data management. 

Smartgrids for food systems levels

The “smart grid” concept is now (Sept 2016) being explored through initiation of an international, multi-stakeholder consortium of experts, a brainstorming session at the Italian Embassy in November, and a case-study evaluation workshop in early 2017. We are looking for technologies and partners in the effort. 

Please contact Richard Canady rcanady@neutralscience.org or

Cecilia Bartolucci cecilia.bartolucci@cnr.it for further information, and see www.foodintelligentgrids.org