University of Thessaly (UTH)

UTH (University of Thessaly), represented in ECONUTRI by Professor Nikolaos Katsoulas, participates in the project with the Laboratory of Agricultural Constructions and Environmental Control (LACEC). LACEC-UTH is responsible for the Pilot Greenhouse Park of UTH.

UTH participates in WP1, WP3, WP5, WP6 and WP7.

  • WP1: Communication, dissemination, and exploitation activities,
  • WP3: Innovative cropping technologies reducing nutrient pollution in soil and water by optimizing fertilizer use,
  • WP5: Environmental impacts, life cycle analysis & socioeconomic aspects,
  • WP6: Data management and system-level analysis and
  • WP7: Project Management and Coordination in which AUA is the leader.

The work of UTH in the above WPs of ECONUTRI project is to maximize recycling of the fertigation effluents in closed soilless cropping systems by means of reusing the effluents in a sequence of cascade crops. The concept of UTH in the project is to reuse the drainage solution from a (primary/donor) crop in a secondary (receiver) and then a tertiary crop, following a flow sequence from the most to the least sensitive crops to salinity. Building upon the positive results of a pilot project (CasH), UTH will optimise a cascade hydroponic system by the integration of novel sensors and models for optimal management of the cascading nutrient solution according to crop development stage and requirements. This approach of smart nutrient management will combine information on nutrient concentrations and absorption rates, monitored using new generation sensors and models.

UTH will demonstrate the cascade system in the Pilot Greenhouse Park facilities of UTH in Velestino, near Volos, in Greece. Workshops for stakeholders and local sector and public Open Days will be organised during the experimental/demonstration period activities.

Protocols and standards for sustainable cascade hydroponics farming will be developed and presented.

UTH will be also involved to the environmental and socioeconomic impact assessment studies contribution with data from the cascade system. Finally, UTH has minor contribution to ECONUTRI data and project management.