This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No 613717

Juan José Alarcón
Scientific coordinator

Oussama Mounzer
Technical coordinator

Constantinos Kittas
Work package leader

Nikolaos Katsoula
Work package leader

Andreas Nikitas
Work package leader

Luis Miguel Peregrín
Work package leader


Dr. Juan José Alarcón is a Professor Research of CEBAS-CSIC Irrigation Department from 1996. Currently, he is director general of the CEBAS-CSIC since July 2012 and Scientific coordinator of OPIRIS. He is expert in “Plant physiology under water stress” and “Irrigation water management”. In the last years he has participated in 25 Research Project supported by EU, National Plans and Private Firms; he has published 80 articles in SCI Journals. He coordinated 2 previous EU projects (IRRIQUAL and SIRRIMED) and participated in 3 others (REDSIM, IRIS, EAU4FOOD).


Dr. Oussama Mounzer is an Irrigation Scientist of CEBAS-CSIC Irrigation Department and Technical Coordinator of OPIRIS. He has a wide experience in precision agriculture and irrigation scheduling at farm scale. In 2005, he got a PhD degree from the Polytechnic University of Cartagene-Spain. He published 18 articles in SCI journals and has participated in several international projects related to irrigation technology transfer funded by EU community (IRRIQUAL, SIRRIMED, REDSIM, IRIS & EAU4FOOD), Spanish Agency for International Cooperation (in Mediterranean countries) and International Atomic Energy Agency (in Ecuador).


Agricultural, Civil and Mechanical Engineer. Prof. Kittas is the Director of the Lab. of Agricultural Constructions & Environmental Control of the Univ. of Thessaly, former Director of Institute of Technology and Management of Centre of Research and Technology – Thessaly (merged now with CERTH) ,Associated Researcher of Centre for Research and Technology-Hellas (CERTH) and Associate member at . He has more than 30 years of teaching and extensive research involvement in the field of agricultural engineering, bioclimatology, environmental control, greenhouse technology, plant-soil-atmosphere relationships and renewable energy sources. He has significant experience in greenhouse design, equipment, microclimate and its control in agricultural buildings, on irrigation control of greenhouse crops and simulation and modelling of greenhouse microclimate and crop growth. He has more than 90 papers published in international peer review journals and over 200 papers in international and Greek conference proceedings while his published work has more than 1400 citations. He has extensive experience in research projects since so far he has coordinated and participated in more than 50 National (Greek) and European research projects.


Assistant Professor Nikolaos Katsoulas, (Agronomist-1997, Ph.D. Agricultural Constructions-2002 from University of Thessaly-Greece), is specialised in greenhouse environmental control. He is Associate Researcher of CERTH and is currently involved in research on greenhouse environmental control, crop transpiration and use of models for irrigation and fertigation management in greenhouse crops, greenhouse cover materials and greenhouse heating, ventilation, shading and cooling. He has 12 years’ experience in University and Technological Education. He has good experience in greenhouse design, equipment, microclimate and its control in greenhouses and on irrigation control of greenhouse crops. He has 30 papers published in international peer review journals and over 120 papers in international and Greek conference proceedings while his published work has more than 350 citations. He has good experience in research projects since so far he has participated in 30 National (Greek) and European research projects.


Mr. Andreas Nikitas is the project manager of “ARGOS electronics” enterprise. He has a wide experience in the industrial automation sector, as specialized technician in the “Hellenic Aerospace Industry” in Aircraft instruments, avionics, radars, ground to air missile systems and quality control for 14 years, and as R&D manager in the “GMP Industrial laundries” for 3 years. In the agricultural sector, among others, he has developed and implemented hydroponic, aeroponic and climate control systems for greenhouses, in PLC based philosophy with prototype software, for Research Institutes and Universities in Greece.


Luis Miguel Peregrín is the RITEC manager from he founded the company in 1994. He got an engineer degree from the Polytechnic University of Madrid-Spain and he is a professional with over 30 years of experience in fertirrigation and climate control. His company is specialized in turnkey-delivery projects for any crop and condition. His company, RITEC, has developed projects in more than 30 countries and it has participated in 2 EU projects (IRIS and CARBGROWTH) and several research national projects.




“Water application efficiency would save 15 to 60 % of water use”

In countries with scarce water resources where irrigation of farmland accounts for more than 70% of water use, the competition for this resource is intensifying  and will continue so as long as the demand for water increases and its quality decreases. In 2012, the EU-report on identifying water saving potentials in the EU countries mentioned that improving water application efficiency would save 15 to 60 % of water use (BIO Intelligent Service, 2012). Water conservation potential accrue from not irrigating non-cropped areas, matching irrigation schedules (doses and frequency) to the real crop water requirements and fully optimizing the economic value of water applied through irrigation (Sadler et al., 2005). This potential could be targeted through precision irrigation defined as any system that can determine the timing, magnitude and spatial pattern of applications for the next irrigation to give the best chance of meeting the seasonal objective (Smith et al., 2010). Recent advances in precision irrigation have substantially improved present knowledge about the tolerance of crops to water deficit and about the ability of soils to supply water, which have led to the application of regulated deficit irrigation, highlighting therefore potential water savings between 15 and 30% (Ruiz-Sanchez et al., 2010).




The overall objective is to build a knowledge-based system for online precise irrigation scheduling (OpIRIS) using advanced results from previous FP projects on water and fertilizers productivity in fruit trees orchards and hydroponic productions in greenhouses.




WP 1

WP 2

WP 3

Validation of results from previous FP projects

Development of the OpIRIS methodology and Algorithm

OpIRIS system testing on fruit tree exploitations

WP1 aims to validate, on a real scale, results obtained from previous FP7 projects. Compilation of information for creating a database that provides irrigation decision-makers at farm level with practical information on water and fertilizers productivities as affected by irrigation-related technologies and scheduling methods.

This work package aims at linking mathematical algorithms to data records, continuously downloaded from the user’s sensors through the cloud into the OpIRIS server for automatic processing, analysis and interpretation to help precisely scheduling irrigation according to the actual water status in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum.

This work package aims at testing OpIRIS (sensors, data transfer, analysis and interpretation) in field conditions for fruit trees production to evaluate its performance and versatility for different agricultural conditions.

WP 4

WP 5

WP 6

OpIRIS system testing on hydroponic exploitations

Results and OpIRIS system dissemination and exploitation


This work package aims at testing the OpIRIS (sensors, data transfer, analysis and interpretation) in field conditions for hydroponic exploitations to evaluate its performance and versatility for different agricultural conditions.

The OpIRIS consortium aims at widely disseminating the project methodologies, results and outcomes towards a broad audience at local, regional and European scales. The Consortium will allocate significant efforts and resources to communication and dissemination activities to promote the circulation of new knowledge, information sharing and feedback collection in the domains of precision irrigation practices, water saving and irrigation water productivity.

Coordinate the project activities and ensure their appropriate execution through timely monitoring and supervision. Establish regular communication channels, coordination meetings and conflict resolution mechanisms.




“We will have the possibility”

OpIRIS is an online professional irrigation scheduling system formulated to progressively guide its visitors and sway them toward adopting water conservation practices and technologies following a win-win approach. Future users of OpIRIS will have the possibility to access one or all of the following 4 complementary services


Any navigator on the web can register online for free and visualize graphics created from OpIRIS database.


Further to OpIRIS-Visitor, farmers can upload their exploitations’ attributes (soil, crops, sectors, etc…) + geographic coordinates (altitude + latitude) and ask OpIRIS operators for some case-specific recommendations.


This product is addressed to OpIRIS clients willing to experience the implementation and benefits of precise irrigation scheduling based on continuous records of water status indicator in the soil, the plant, the atmosphere or different combinations of these elements.


This product is similar to OpIRIS-Scheduler but it is addressed to advanced OpIRIS clients with enough experience and confidence in OpIRIS automatic controls.






RITEC is a company created in 1994, committed to the application of technological innovation in agriculture. The company is located in the town of Águilas (Murcia), with own facilities where manufacturing process is being held. At present 40% of incomes are produced in the export market, mainly in Mexico and Africa.
It works with private research institutes as well as the Polytechnic University of Cartagena, for developing new products and improving existing technology at international level.
Ritec has focused its activity on the manufacture and installation of automated control of fertigation and implementation of integrated “turnkey” projects for irrigation and climate control.
Technology fertigation equipment consists of water dispensing equipment and fertilizers, which are controlled by sophisticated electronic systems by means of panels which store a software and hardware that allow to automatically distributing water and the phyto-product over time and intensity predetermined by the user, depending on the needs of the crop.
Ritec has developed its own technology in this type of equipment, with their product called “NUTRITEC.” As a major innovation, incorporating external sensors that enable the system to analyze and interpret the state of the plant, providing the ability to automatically adjust the parameters set initially, according to the needs of the moment.
On the other hand , the company plans to expand through diversification of products. Currently other products range are:
– “Clinvertec”: a system designed for greenhouses, to automate environmental control elements such as heating, ventilation, equipment shrouds and humidity, the optimum conditions suit set for each type of crop.
– “Hufitec” is the latest product developed by Ritec. It is a disease prevention system designed for use in greenhouses. This equipment sprayed finely gases in the atmosphere of the mixture of water and preventive plant protection products, i.e. weaker than those dedicated to the eradication of pests and therefore less harmful to plants and workers.


Agroktima Kalliatzi is an agricultural company of high-technology which produces branded agricultural products of high additive value.
The company runs high-tech glass greenhouse where vegetable products are grown following the hydroponic technology and the ICM principles.
One of the major resources required to grow agricultural products is water.
Although hydropony decreases water demands per > 50% compared to outdoor field growing the volumes required remains high.
A solution for partial decrease of water demands is to apply the closed hydroponic system decreasing which is further decreasing water demands per 20-30% compared to open hydroponic system
As far water resources are gradually decreasing in Southern Europe, any further saving of water request will be well accepted.
Our company, equipped with an open hydroponic system consumes daily 1-10 lit of water per m2 of greenhouse in order to properly irrigate the crop. Variation is due to radiation levels (influencing water demand) and crop stage. We intent to gradually move to a close hydroponic system for saving both water and nutrients.
Measurement of the exact demands of the plants linked with the appropriate irrigation (volume, interval etc) is estimated to decrease water consumption as being focused on the actual demands without developing water stress.
Besides the environmental input of the proposal, it is worth to account the cost savings (water cost, energy cost etc) influencing the product’s cost, especially in crops growing in water poor areas


Flights Orchard Farm has been growing organic vegetables for 18 years. It comprises of 30 acres of beautiful red Herefordshire soil. The largest farm enterprise by far is organic field vegetable production. The philosophy of our farm is to grow organic produce in as environmentally friendly way as possible without chemical input and sell it as locally as possible. The crops grown are wide ranging and include potatoes, carrots, cauliflowers, courgettes, beetroot, squashes, strawberries and many more.


PROGEAGRO is an agricultural company established since 2004 to offer consultancy services for feasibility studies, implementation, management and supervisions of periodic maintenance of different agricultural activities and infrastructures. It develops client-tailored farming projects looking for establishing new competitive plantations in terms of quantity, quality and marketing values. It helps optimizing available economic and natural resources (energy, land and water). It promotes adopting advanced agricultural practices and technologies to cope with environment standards that help establishing sustainable production systems in the region. It elaborates agronomic performance evaluations and auditing tasks.
Nowadays, PROGEAGRO has an expert team composed of the following 7 professionals:
– Agricultural engineer
– Agricultural technician
– Project designer
– Expert in environmental sciences
– Industrial engineer
– Business manager
– Responsible of quality and environment

Further to consultancy services, PROGEAGRO has its own agricultural exploitations of pome fruits, stone fruits and wine production.


Seedri Puukool is located in Estonia and is a fruit tree orchard specialising in a variety of vegetables and fruit trees. They also grow berry trees. The orchard is pioneer in implementing improved water management systems.


The main activity of D. Strogilis & SIA OE SME is the production and marketing of cut rose flowers. The production is done in different types of greenhouses of total covered area of 2 hectares. The total annual production is about 2 000 000 cut roses, primarily traded in the market of Thessaloniki in North Greece. D. Strogilis & SIA OE was founded in 1989 and originated from “Agrotechniki Ltd” whose members A. Strogilis (Mechanical Engineer), K Argiris (Chemical Engineer) and G Siantos (Civil Engineer TE) combined with D. Strongilis (Economist) and founded D. Strogilis & SIA OE. The company started in 1989 with plastic greenhouses total area of 0.6 hectares on private land of about 30 hectares. In 1992 the greenhouses were expanded with the construction of another 0.4 hectares of plastic greenhouses while in 1993 the company built 1 hectare. The greenhouses are equipped with heating, ventilation and cooling systems. Hydroponic production started from 1995 and continues up to date.


Antonio García Vargas is an autonomous expert who grows and commercialises standard and organic fruit, with a wide range of products. As a fruit grower, he works often with CEBAS-CSIC for the improvement of agronomical related issues, including optimisation of irrigation.


EIC is an association which members are an Umbrella of Irrigators Communities and Water Users Association along the Mediterranean. At present, organizations from Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, France, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Germany and Spain are members of EIC. The objectives could be summarized in:
– To represent the members before International Organizations and Associations related to agriculture, water and irrigation.
– To represent the members and the European irrigation at the European Union and its Institutions facilitating the participation of the users in water policies of the European Union.
– To analyse and study the application and possible impacts of the EU Water Framework Directive on European and Mediterranean irrigation.
– To study the relations between agriculture and the environment favoring its coexistence and promoting the diffusion, knowledge and application of the Code of Good Agricultural Practices and all the measures facilitating the sustainability of irrigation and the environmental training of farmers and irrigators from a sustainable development approach.
– To assess the benefits and the positive externalities of irrigation for the environment (oxygen production, population settlement, land organization, soil erosion protection, etc.), and for the society at large (jobs, induced economy, etc).
– To exchange technologies and methods that allow to improve and to solve problems related to the conservation of soil, territory and natural resources, and to the modernization and maintenance of irrigation infrastructures and the hydraulic management of irrigation.
– To exchange experiences with users` institutions and associations of other countries.


UT SEMIDE is an initiative of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. UT SEMIDE provides a strategic tool for exchanging information and knowledge in the water sector between and within the 43 Euro Mediterranean countries of the Union for the Mediterranean. The information is made available by “a National Focal Point” (NFP) in each country and by a central “Technical Unit”, operational since November 1999. Today 22 National Focal Points (NFPs) have been nominated by the national water authorities of their country. UT SEMIDE Steering Committee is composed of the water directors from 13 countries. Dissemination of information and results on research activities is among its priorities, together with training, data management, documentation and institutional management. UT SEMIDE works closely with the European Commission and the European Environment Agency in particular for information and data management. It is also a supporting organisation for the secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean.


The Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) is the largest public multidisciplinary research organisation in Spain. It has a staff of more than 10000 employees, among these 3202 scientists and about 3802 pre and postdoctoral researchers. The CSIC has been the 5th organisation in Europe in project execution and funding in 6th Framework Programme. Centro de Edafología y Biología Aplicada del Segura (CEBAS-CSIC, Murcia) is involved in OpIRIS. Irrigation Department of CEBAS-CSIC carry out scientific research and develop technology directed at improving agricultural development within a sustainable use of natural resources for more than 22 years.


The Institute of Research and Technology – Thessaly of the Center of Research and Technology – Thessaly is a legal, non-profit entity organized under the auspices of the General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT), of the Greek Ministry of Development. It is a new (established in January 2006) but fast growing research organisation with highly qualified and motivated scientists supported by modern infrastructure. The Institute represents a team of about 150 scientists and engineers and half of them have a noteworthy experience in the area of ICT and agriculture. The Institute main mission is to conduct basic, applied, and technological research that leads to new products and services with industrial, economic and social impact in the fields of: Mechatronics, Biomedicine, Agriculture and Human Rehabilitation. The Agrotechnology Department addresses research issues related to integrated and organic production of agricultural products, water and land resources, information and computer technologies in agriculture, agricultural constructions and buildings (greenhouses), safety management and certification, biomass and biofuel production, and food safety. The Institute has well established and has state of the art facilities, including the experimental farm of the University of Thessaly for field experiment.


Argos Electronics “Aliki Nikolaou-Nikita” enterprise, was established in 1999 in Athens-GREECE. ARGOS produces custom-made control and monitoring systems, focused on climate control and hydroponic heads for greenhouses, all in PLC based philosophy with a user friendly graphic environment.
To achieve this, ARGOS has cooperation with Greek Universities and Technological Institutes. To develop and produce its products, knowing in depth the automation needs of greenhouses, is cooperating with a number of companies, such as electrical board manufactures, sheet metal factories and electronic components/sensors suppliers.
Its electronic power consoles have passed the EMC tests EN61326 and have CE approval. Among others, Argos customers include: Hellenic Air Force, Agricultural University of Athens, Technological Educational Institute of Epirus, Benaki psychopathological Institute, GMP International Trade Power – textile.
Having become involved in the development of greenhouse automation for Universities and Research institutes, we have accumulated experience and “know how”, and are capable of moving forward with larger-scale developments.


Dona Horta is a private Portuguese sme.
Their main activity is to produce and distribute ecological vegetable, herbs and fruits from their own, and from other farmers crop fields.
Dona Horta brings closer consumers and farmers due to their special distribution services of adapted fruit baskets to direct consumers. This sme also drains its products through a wholesale market where supply grocery stores, restaurants and commercial warehouses.
They have created the concept of “Cabazes D.Horta” that aims to sell fresh fruits and vegetables for the urban families each week in specific places, giving to the consumer’s ideas of how cook the products and store them.
They use not only their own products but also farmers local products from the places where they deliver de veg boxes, helping local economy. So, they have created a kind of cooperation network between Portuguese farmers, in that regional area, that enhance the sustainable growth of the sector.
All products are national and seasonal and they are trying to certificate their production as a sustainable one.


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