WATCHPLANT

Project name: Smart Biohybrid Phyto-Organisms for Environmental In Situ Monitoring
Project acronym: WATCHPLANT
Dates: 01.01.2021 - 31.12.2024
Total budget: 3,744,192.50 EUR
Funding: EC Horizon 2020, RIA
Grant Agreement Number: TBA
Website: n/a

 


Abstract

WatchPlant will develop a new biohybrid system technology, a wireless wearable self-powered sensor for in-situ monitoring
of urban environments. This system equips urban biological organisms -plants- with Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create a
smart sensor for measuring both, environmental parameters and the responding physiological state of plants, in a very early
stage by the use of a barely explored fluid, phloem sap, in combination with chemical, and physical sensors. It will be
integrated into complex network that allows performing distributed information processing, decision making, modeling and
data fitting, paving the way for the self-awareness or self-adaptation. Additionally, it will constitute a clean energy selfpowered
device due to the novel use of sap, not only for transforming plants into living sensors, but also for clean energy
generation.

A consortium of EU research, technology centers and ambitious high-tech SMEs will stretch and combine the limits of plant
physiology and bioelectronics with microtechnology, multiphysics modelling, sensor engineering, AI and environmental
modelling, to transform plant into living autonomous and self-powered sensors. The project has the ambition to solve how to
extract sufficient sap volume in a healthy plant, how to make long-lasting bioelectronics, and how create a smart selfpowered
wearable phytosensor in a single device. It also has the challenge of modelling urban environments using novel
combinations of exiting parameters and explores the future role of sap in this sense. Thus, it is a promising tool to carry out
weather/pollution/pandemics development forecasting systems up to social networks for proving an ecological/environmental
feedback to citizens. Thus it will be possible to perform specific actions and apply efficient use of resources and correct
policies, which can have a great impact not only in urban monitoring but a huge range of plant-related sectors such as agrofood industry or forestry.