Innovation Hubs

Innovation Hubs & linked Demo-Sites

 Greece “SWRI Pinios Hydrologic Observatory”

Hellenic Agricultural Organization-DEMETER is the Hellenic Agricultural Research, Training & Certification Organization, which is governed by its Management Board and supervised by the Ministry of Rural Development and Food. Pinios Hydrologic Observatory (PHO) covers an area of about 45 km2 and was established in the year 2015. It constitutes the result of cooperation and joined efforts of SWRI and Forschungszentrum Jülich. PHO is a platform for agro-hydrological research and improved farm management.

SWRI establishes the Greek operator of PHO and is well connected to regional and national stakeholders such as farmers associations, farmers cooperations, local/regional/national authorities related to water resources management and agricultural production, as well as irrigation organizations, universities, research departments and a number of SMEs related to its irrigation, water resources and soil monitoring/management and agro-hydrology. Some of the key Greek stakeholders in constant collaboration are:

  • More than 15 Local Land Reclamation Organizations across Greece, managing irrigation water distribution for several thousand hectares.
  • General Land Reclamation Organizations coordinating the operation of Local Land Reclamation Organizations.
  • The 2 Municipalities in the boundaries of which PHO is located, supporting all the activities taking place in PHO, namely Agia and Tempi.
  • Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
  • Democritus University of Thrace.
  • Technical University of Crete.
  • Water directorates of several districts around Greece, which are responsible for water resources management at regional level.
  • Secretariat General for Natural Environment and Water, which is responsible for strategic water resources management nationwide.

Furthermore, the Hellenic Agricultural Organization, as part of the Hellenic Ministry of Rural Development and Food is participating in a wide range of national fairs and exhibitions like AGROTICA, ZOOTECHNIA and Thessaloniki International Fair. Those events will constitute platforms for dissemination, feedback and input opportunities.  

Use cases & Testing

The Innovation Hub of Greece is focusing on irrigation and efficient water resources management. It is situated in the area of Pinios Hydrologic Observatory (PHO), which constitutes an open platform for agro-hydrological research established in 2015. It aims to provide services for the local and regional community and related authorities.

Three distinctive sets of services developed:

  1. Soil moisture analysis services (Lead Partner FZJ): This service provides soil moisture analysis based on different technologies of sensors such as Frequency Domain Reflectometry (FDR) sensors (SoilNets) and Cosmic Ray Neutron Probes.
  2. Satellite temperature analysis services (Leader Partner NOA): Satellite data is used in order to provide high resolution, spatially distributed air temperature data and derivative parameters such as growing degree days.
  3. Irrigation data analysis and water availability services (Leader Partner SWRI): Several services are developed aiming ultimately to produce irrigation scheduling with a wide range of methodologies depending on sensors’ and input data availability, while the previous services are also incorporated at inputs. Moreover, hydrological modeling combined to sensors’ data is used in order to provide groundwater availability always connected to irrigation water consumption.

The activity plan compiled in order to bring information along the use cases to the stakeholder is presented below

Activity Plan Innovation Hub Greece along the use cases

Pinios Hydrologic Observatory


Use Case Irrigation Management
Sensors & Machines used SoilNet, GRNS, Satellites, Pumps, Weather Stations
Indicators measured
Amount of water used for irrigation w.r.t. temperature / evaporation.


Ktima Gerovassiliou


Use Case Irrigation Management
Sensors & Machines used Soil moisture sensors, Pumps, Weather Stations & Forecasting
Indicators measured
Amount of water used for irrigation w.r.t. temperature / evaporation


Stakeholder Involvement

Stakeholders’ involvement is of utmost importance to the wide and efficient communication of the services to the end users. The national network is organised in targeted sectors as follows: (1) Academic and Research Community, (2) Agricultural Advisors, (3) Farmer’s Representative Bodies, (4) Media and Media Professionals, (5) Public authorities, (6) Peer Projects, (7) Wide public. In addition to the above, (8) Agriculture Related Industries, Commerce and Services are listed as targeted sectors. A brief list of the most important stakeholders per category follows.

(1) Academic and Research Community: 3 major Universities of the country are utilized (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Democritus University of Thrace and Technical University of Crete), whilst an expansion list is already drawn to include scientific teams active in the field of irrigation.

(2) Agricultural Advisors: A dense network of regional level services occur across the country, acting amongst others, as advisors to farming issues (Agricultural Development Departments).

(3) Farmers’ Representative Bodies: Farmers’ bodies and associations have a crucial role in presenting, disseminating and accepting the service in the agricultural sector. SWRI’s lists in its existing network the very dynamic panhellenic association of new farmers, the influential panhellenic federation of employees in local irrigation organisations, several local irrigation organisations. Moreover major general irrigation organisations coordinating the operation of the local irrigation organisations are included. The most important are the Thessaloniki plain and the Pinios basin organisations. It also includes high potential farmers cooperatives/associations across the country, indicatively, the fruit cooperative of Kissavos, chestnut farmers association of Melivia, the vegetables association of Anatoli.

(4) Media and Media Professionals: The Hellenic Agricultural Organisation PR office along with its journalist (and her network) specialized in agricultural development affairs are included.

(5) Public authorities: Influential, regulatory, strategic planning, implementing bodies are included in this sector, which spans from local, to regional to national levels. It includes the Secretariat General of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the Secretariat General for Natural Environment and Water, Regional Water Directorates (including Thessaly, N. Aegean, Ionian islands, Peloponnese, Crete), Agricultural Economy and Hydroeconomy Directorates

(6) Peer Projects: SWRI’s network includes established liaison with already concluded, or still being implemented projects related to irrigation management in Greece. These include H2020, INTERREG and LIFE projects, in some of which members of SWRI’s scientific team have/are participating.

(7) Wide public: this builds progressively, focusing on the regional scales centered to the pilot fields establishment. It is developed on a twofold: (a) agriculture related society and (b) general public.

(8) Agriculture Related Industries Commerce and Services: A number of small industries manufacturing irrigation application and controlling equipment are operating in Greece. Moreover, advisory firms offer digital platforms of various levels of automation and programming efficiency in agricultural related operations, whilst scientific instruments’ and specialised equipment vendors are also active in the Hellenic market.

Communication and demonstration of the developed services is achieved employing a series of channels that penetrate synergistically and in parallel to reach the maximum potential penetration to the target groups.

Innovation Management

Managing communication, promotion, training, and overall penetration of developed irrigation related services aiming at their progressive establishment in the agricultural industry, is organised in the following structure:

  1. Prioritise target groups in specific categories/classes with responsive tailored approach methods
  2. Map potential groups in one of the identified categories
  3. Identify groups of communication tools to be used, itemising and adopting accordingly as per case, especially for key stakeholders
Audience category Classification Mapping Targeted approach/strategy
  • Associations/ cooperatives


  • Direct mail, live and telco info meetings, seminar sessions, demo visits, engage on communication
  • Associations/ cooperatives
  • Farmers


  • Direct mail, live and telco info meetings, seminar sessions, demo visits, engage on communication and adoption.
  • Live info meetings, feedback to adapt to needs, seminar sessions, training sessions, field demo, adopt practice-tech support.
  • Future farmers


  • Seminars, access to digital info material, (training sessions + field demo = optional)
  • Regional authorities
  • Related projects


  • Mailing list, keep updated, engage in support, info days, option for interview to adapt to needs/present approach
  • Exchange info, practices and approaches, target groups liaison.
  • Academia, central government,
  •  Wider public
  • Instruments, equipment vendors/manufacturers, service providers, advisors


  • Info days, seminars, meetings, ideas exchange and methods dissemination, services acknowledgement and adoption.
  • Inform, communicate assets and generic social benefits targeting acceptability and recognition.
  • Info days, field demo, optional meet live/remote, mailing list, promo/info material and newsletters.