The pilot is located in Greece, in the Region of Central Macedonia, in an area where arable crops cultivation and cow ‐ sheep farming are the main activities. The pilot‐scale is covered by the KEFALAS GP farm that includes 80 ha of arable crops for livestock feed and a modern dairy cow farm where about 300 dairy cows are reared. The pilot will tackle the general lack of the circular economy model and environmental awareness in mixed farm systems (i.e., feed production and animal farming). The pilot will implement effective animal waste management to succeed in the nutrient recirculation and protection of soil fertility.
G K KEFALAS GEORGIKI G.P. was established in 2003 and is a modern dairy farm SME company. The company has modern cow housing systems that are placed in Kolchiko prefecture Thessaloniki and there are reared about 300 dairy cows. The company is additionally cultivating about 80 ha with cereals, corn and sunflower that are used as feedstock. G K KEFALAS GEORGIKI G.P. is one of the innovating farm companies in the field of controlled insemination of cows and there is a cooperation with the French Holstein Cooperative. Furthermore, the company is applying modern cultivation techniques for feedstock production that includes biological cultivation and reuse of cow manure.
The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki is the largest university in Greece with 86,000 undergraduate and 9,000 postgraduate students. Participating labs are AUTH-AEL (Agricultural Engineering Lab), is active in field robotics, RFID and zigbee for robot localization and food traceability applications, robot task and motion planning, intelligent tracking and coordination for robotic systems. Other areas of research include intelligent control, intelligent techniques development (machine learning, neural networks, and self-organizing systems), data fusion and intelligent sensors. AUTH-ASE (The Laboratory of Agricultural Structures & Equipment) conducts basic and applied research in the fields of energy systems and technology in agricultural structures, manure management, methane and bio hydrogen production from different feedstock with a long record of research activities, both at national and international level. Research work on methane and biohydrogen production focuses on process monitoring and optimization as well as on control and design of anaerobic reactors.