24 September 2020

Nineteen EU ambassadors visiting Östergötland not only saw the world première of a sowing machine, developed in a collaborative project within Agtech 2030, they also heard Per Frankelius describe his vision of how smart technical solutions will contribute to a greener Europe.

Carl Fredrik Graf, governor of Östergötland
County Governor Carl Fredrik Graf had invited the 19 EU ambassadors to Visualization Center C and to Vreta Kluster. Fotograf Åke Karlsson
The programme in Östergötland, hosted by County Governor Carl Fredrik Graf and the German ambassador to Sweden Anna Prinz, focussed on the EU’s Green Deal and what the Östergötland region can offer for freedom from fossil fuels and a circular economy. Agriculture in both Sweden and throughout Europe is facing huge challenges, and this had stimulated intense interest in the Vinnväxt initiative Agtech 2030 when it was presented at Vreta Kluster. The investment is being coordinated by the Linköping University and its objective is to use digitalisation, sensors and artificial intelligence to give Sweden a leading position within agriculture.

A smart sowing machine

Per Frankelius talks about sustainable agriculturePer Frankelius Photo credit Fotograf Åke KarlssonTo the tones of Beethoven’s Fifth (the “Fate” symphony), a completely new sowing machine was presented, developed in a collaboration that included Saab Ventures, the Rural Economy and Agricultural Societies, and Linköping University, under the auspices of Agtech 2030. The machine makes it possible for the farmer to sow crops precisely, without getting out of the tractor. Controls inside the tractor allow the distance between seeds and rows to be regulated with high precision, depending on the crop to be sown and the Magnus Landberg with Flexrow a new machine for sustainable farmingMagnus Landberg demonstrating the new Flexrow sowing machine. Photo credit Fotograf Åke Karlssonproperties of the soil.

“We have developed the sowing machine, which is based on simple hydraulic components, at the Division of Fluid and Mechatronic Systems, FLUMES”, says Magnus Landberg, who divides his time between Saab and an industry-based doctoral student position at LiU.

Per Frankelius, process manager for Agtech 2030 and docent in business administration at LiU, took the opportunity to argue that the division into organic and conventional agriculture should be dropped.


“This classification belongs to another age: today we must instead talk about agriculture with bioprecision. This means that we combine the best methods from both conventional and organic agriculture with new technology that contributes to increased food production, increased biological diversity, and increased carbon sequestration”, said Per Frankelius, who EU ambassadors thank with a round of applauseThe EU ambassadors applaud Frankelius’ presentation. Photo credit Fotograf Åke Karlssonreceived warm applause at the end of his presentation.

Visualization Center C

Earlier in the day, the ambassadors had visited Visualization Center C in Norrköping for a programme that included a talk about industrial symbiosis from LiU professor Mats Eklund, professor of environmental technology and management; and a demonstration of the dome, guided by Professor Anders Ynnerman.


Tractor with seed drill.

New technology to secure future harvests

Wars, natural disasters and climate change bring huge challenges for the agriculture industry, which must at the same time provide food for a growing population. Future high-technology solutions  can increase food production in a sustainable manner.

Karola Reuterström (Stora Lövhulta gård), Per Frankelius (Linköpings universitet) and Mattias Larsson (Abbotnäs säteri).

Climate-smart farming robot solves problems

An invention by researcher Per Frankelius and farmers in the region of Sörmland could be an important step in the electrification of agriculture. It also solves other problems such as hard-packed soil, emissions and poorer harvests.

Uno Wennergren in front of a stable and a pile of fertiliser.

Sustainable agriculture to reduce hunger and eutrophication

From farm to fork and back again – that’s how nutrients should travel in a cycle. Professor Uno Wennergren carries out research into how we can use fertiliser better in order to prevent both hunger and problems with eutrophication.

Latest news from LiU

Sheet of glass with droplet.

Next-generation sustainable electronics are doped with air

Researchers at LiU have developed a new method where organic semiconductors can become more conductive with the help of air as a dopant. The study is a significant step towards future sustainable organic semiconductors.

physicians in a clinica setting.

Healthcare interpreters important for heart attack aftercare

After a heart attack, foreign-born people are less likely to attend a relapse-preventing Heart School than native-born patients. But with access to a professional interpreter, participation increases, according to a new study.

Battery om fingertip.

Eco-friendly and affordable battery for low-income countries

A battery made from zinc and lignin that can be used over 8000 times. This has been developed by researchers at LiU with a vision to provide a cheap and sustainable battery solution for countries where access to electricity is limited.