LIFE project FSA Hydrostick
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FSA and customisable IoT for agriculture

Climate, Natural Resources and Environment

LIFE project FSA Hydrostick – led by Fernando Sarria Agrotechnologies (FSA) and co-financed through the LIFE 2021 programme with some 955,000 euros  – demonstrates and validates a novel soil and crop monitoring solution for agriculture capable of measuring water content, water availability, temperature, salts, and pH, among other parameters, at different depths.

Together with the cereal Spanish cooperative AN and the Instituto de Agrobiotecnología del Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (IDAB-CSIC), FSA is seeking to demonstrate the advantages of using its completely innovative sensor system, particularly in terms of the measurements it can take.

By being connected, the sensors also form a single manageable and autonomous device, unlike existing solutions, which are more cumbersome. Through this customisable IoT system, the user will be able to know more precisely the dynamics of nutrients in the soil depending on soil depths, and their effects on irrigation and fertigation needs. In addition, he will be able to measure the number of resources that, by penetrating beyond the root of the crop, end up being wasted.



This results in a 30% decrease in water consumption compared to the solutions currently used, and a reduction in costs of the same magnitude. This solution also reduces fertiliser consumption by 25% on average, which will also contribute to dropping nitrogen greenhouse gas emissions, such as N2O; carbon equivalent emissions due to irrigation and fertilisation by 25%; and the time required for the installation, operation and maintenance of crop sensing and monitoring tools by 70%.

What it does increase, however, is crop productivity compared to current sensing and irrigation management tools by at least 25%. After demonstrating this solution on a real scale in four pilot crops located in Navarra and Extremadura (Spain), and before the end of the project, i.e. 31 July 2025, it is expected that its results will have been replicated and transferred to more than 1,080 ha, which represents 1% of the irrigated areas of the first region.

Zabala Innovation has accompanied FSA since the elaboration of the proposal. During this first phase, the consultancy firm helped to convert the project idea into a proposal eligible for the LIFE programme. “The alliance with Zabala Innovation has been one of the keys to the success of the LIFE Hydrostick project,” says Fernando Sarría, FSA’s CEO. “The work of the consultancy firm is fundamental. The complexity and sophistication of the support requires experts to control time and scope, and to lead the project to success. Their action is aligned with the development of the project,” he adds.

Following the positive evaluation by the European Commission, Zabala Innovation has offered its support during the process of drawing up and signing the grant agreement with this institution, and the consortium agreement with FSA and the rest of the project partners.

During the project management phase, the consultancy firm has also provided FSA with methodologies and tools to conduct the project successfully. In addition, it has collaborated with FSA to gather and prepare the technical and economic information from the partners for the project reports and has advised FSA in the communications with Brussels and the reporting of deliverables and milestones of the project. Zabala Innovation has also accompanied FSA during the visit of the LIFE monitoring team to its facilities and in the preparation of the information required by the LIFE programme.

“Good communication between the company and the consultancy has an impact on financing and the identification of KPIs and is the formula for achieving solvent progress and meeting the milestones,” explains Sarría. “LIFE is not an easy funding to obtain or to execute and, however, with a good guide like Zabala Innovation, it becomes a support to advance towards the final result and achieve the objective, to make the project a reality and take it to the market,” he concludes.

Fernando Sarria Pueyo

“With a good guide like Zabala Innovation, LIFE becomes a support to advance towards the final result and achieve the objective”

Fernando Sarría


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