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Interdisciplinary approach

The Internet of Food Things (IoFT) Network Plus brings together data and computer scientists, chemists, and economists to investigate how artificial intelligence, data analytics and emerging technologies can enhance the digitalisation of the UK food supply chain.

Industry 4.0

Food production is the largest sector within manufacturing, and also a prime candidate for innovation in the model of Industry 4.0. There are many overarching challenges which this innovation can help address such as reducing food waste, increasing nutritional value, increasing productivity, and reducing environmental impact across the supply chain.


The network, led by the University of Lincoln in partnership with the universities of Southampton, Exeter, University of East Anglia, and the Open University, is examining the application of the IoT in connected homes of the future – for example smart refrigerators which trigger a grocery order when food items run low, or cooking devices which could help us live healthier lives.


We are also examining the traceability of food, and how machine learning and artificial intelligence can be utilised to extract value from the vast amounts of data available across the whole food supply chain, improving efficiency and reducing food waste.

Academic leadership team:

  • Professor Simon Pearson, University of Lincoln (Principal Investigator)
  • Professor Jeremy Frey, University of Southampton
  • Professor Roger Maull, University of Exeter
  • Professor Gerard Parr, University of East Anglia
  • Professor Andrea Zisman, The Open University
  • Professor Luc Bidaut, University of Lincoln


We thank UKRI-EPSRC grant “The Internet of Food Things” (EP/R045127/1)

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