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NEO at the 24th MARS Conference 2018

NEO participated in the annual MARS Conference organised by the Joint Research Centre (JRC), in collaboration with DG AGRI and the Croatian Paying Agency for Agriculture Fisheries and Rural Development (APPRRR) that took place in Dubrovnik, Croatia from November 21st to November 22nd – this year marked its twenty-fourth occurrence.
More than 300 national experts from DG AGRI EU and Paying Agencies, professionals and researchers from 30 countries including all EU member states, USA and Turkey gathered to discuss Member States’ experiences and general observations regarding the Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS), including developments in shared management. The conference focused on the 2018 developments in agricultural controls as well as the outlook for 2019 guidance and best practices. Further, the main concepts and components of the future ”monitoring approach” for substituting the current sample approach (On The Spot Checks) of aid applications was discussed. Also, the conference focused on the CAP2020+ (the new European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy) technology developments.
For the ninth year in a row, NEO had a strong event presence participating with a five-strong team of Consultants and Experts focusing on satellite earth observation for agribusiness. NEO hosted a booth exhibiting its innovative products and services. Many people had the chance to visit our both discussing the latest innovations in agricultural monitoring with our experts.
NEO took part in the event with three poster presentations winning the Best Poster Award of the conference. The title of the winning poster is “Boosting agricultural control using advanced Machine Learning: an example form the Nordics” co-authored with the Danish Agricultural Agency (Jakob Dragsbæk) and the Swedish Board of Agriculture (Viktoria Björnström). The poster can be displayed here: https://bit.ly/2RvLWxK. We are also proud to present our work with the Dutch and Danish paying agency exhibiting 2 more posters on the feature of interest (FOI) for agricultural monitoring and Machine Learning vs Deep Learning.
Moreover, our colleagues George Efstathiou and Wigger Tims gave two talks on the most recent advances in the CAP monitoring. More specifically, George made a presentation on “Going deeper: Classical Machine Learning vs. Deep Learning for crop classification”, focused on comparing two of the most powerful state-of-the-art classification algorithms, namely Random Forest (RF) (a classical machine learning algorithm) and Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) (a deep learning approach) (abstract link: https://bit.ly/2Piofai). Wigger gave a talk on “Impact analysis of the FOI for agricultural monitoring”, centring on assessing the impact of the feature of interest (FOI) for agricultural monitoring (abstract link: https://bit.ly/2DWEtE9). The presentations will soon be published on the conference website at https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/event/conference/24th-mars-conference.

On behalf of the entire team we would like to thank all the visitors to our booth at 24th MARS Conference 2018. We hope to see you all again next year in Prague!