Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Making interventions work on the farm : Unravelling the gap between technology-oriented potato interventions and livelihood building in Southern Ethiopia
Tadesse, Yenenesh - \ 2017
University. Promotor(en): Paul Struik, co-promotor(en): Conny Almekinders; Rogier Schulte. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463436847 - 120
potatoes - crop production - crop physiology - technology - intervention - livelihood strategies - livelihoods - ethiopia - east africa - aardappelen - gewasproductie - gewasfysiologie - technologie - interventie - strategieën voor levensonderhoud - middelen van bestaan - ethiopië - oost-afrika

Poor adoption of modern technologies in sub-Saharan Africa is one of the major factors that limit food production and thereby threaten food security of smallholder farmers. This is despite the potential and emerging success stories of new technologies in increasing productivity of smallholder agriculture. Explanations for low uptake of technologies are diverse. Some studies associated it with characteristics of the farmers and their farm; others attributed it to poor access to information about a particular technology, while some others recognize the importance of technology attributes. Farmers’ adoption decision is shaped socially and the farming practices are changing, not only because of the technical changes introduced, but also because of changes in social circumstances among smallholders. All these possible reasons did, however, miss largely important insights on how local complexities influence adoption. The research presented in this thesis analyses the social dynamics of technology-oriented interventions. More specifically, the study assessed the influence of technology introduction strategies, social networks and social differentiation on the adoption, dissemination and effects of potato technologies. As a case, it used interventions introducing improved potato technologies in Chencha, Southern Ethiopia. The field work combined individual and group in-depth interviews, household surveys and field observation for data collection.

Results show that the efforts to introduce technologies for improved potato production to progressive farmers with the assumption that farmers will eventually adopt, once they become familiar with the technology is a distant prospect. Some of the production practices - agronomic field and storage practices - failed to spread to poor farmers as expected, while the majority of agronomic practices fitted well with wealthy farmers. This resulted in diverse outcomes and strategies for livelihood improvement at household level. Access to the technologies and the necessary resources and diverse needs for technology were important factors in explaining variation in adoption and effects of technology across wealth categories. Tracing the seed diffusion through farmers’ networks showed that not all households had equal access to improved seed potatoes, mainly because of social barriers formed by differences in wealth, gender and religion, and because the type of personal relationship (relatives, neighbours, friends and acquaintance) between seed providers and seed recipients affected farmer to farmer seed sharing. In addition, the set-up of farmer-group based seed production demands resources and faces contextual challenges, which could be addressed through a long-term approach that engages continually in diagnosis and responding to the emerging social as well as material challenges. Development practitioners, however, took organizing group initiatives as a one-time process of design and start-up activity. Thus, clean seed potato production and dissemination through farmers’ organizations could not be sustainable. In conclusion, the present study has indicated that through providing special attention to the social dynamics researchers can arrive at better understanding of constraints affecting technology adoption. This implies effective interventions for a range of farm contexts involve not only finding technical solutions but also integrated understanding of farmers’ production conditions and existing social dynamics.

The utility of sensor technology to support reproductive management on dairy farms
Rutten, C.J. - \ 2017
University. Promotor(en): Henk Hogeveen; Michel Nielen, co-promotor(en): Wilma Steeneveld. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463431934 - 232
dairy cattle - dairy farms - sensors - reproduction - reproductive behaviour - animal health - calving - activity - management - dairy farming - technology - agricultural economics - melkvee - melkveebedrijven - voortplanting - voortplantingsgedrag - diergezondheid - kalven - activiteit - bedrijfsvoering - melkveehouderij - technologie - agrarische economie

Since the 1980s, efforts have been made to develop sensors that measure a parameter from an individual cow. The development started with individual cow recognition and was followed by sensors that measure the electrical conductivity of milk and pedometers that measure activity. Some sensors like activity meters, electrical conductivity, weight floors and somatic cell count sensors are commercially available. Adoption has in general been low and mainly driven by the AMS, with a clear exception for estrus detection. In practice, the economic benefits of using sensor systems has not been proven. So, to make sensors live up to their full potential there is a need for research to shift from technical development towards practical applications and integration with operational farm management. Estrus detection sensors can have a good detection performance and are currently applied by farmers in practice, therefore this thesis focusses on sensors that support reproductive management. The main objective of this thesis is to study the utility of sensor technology to support reproductive management on dairy farms. This main objective was split in five sub objectives that each study a part of the main objective and were discussed in the separate chapters of this thesis.

We demonstrated that utility of sensors for reproductive management can be found in economic benefits (estrus and calving detection), reduction of labor (calving and estrus detection) and more detailed management information (prognosis of insemination success). So, automated estrus detection aids reproductive management.

From this thesis the following conclusions can be drawn:

The developed theoretical framework describes four levels of sensor development, which should all be included in proper development of sensor systems. The literature review showed that no studies developed sensor systems with regard to management and decision support.

It was possible to improve the prediction of the start of calving compared to a model that only uses the expected calving date. However, predicting the start of calving within an hour was not possible with a high sensitivity and specificity.

There was financial merit in the use of calving detection, because the sensor system enables more timely intervention by the farmer. The uncertainty about the positive effects was large, which caused a wide range in the simulated financial benefits.

Investment in a sensor for estrus detection was on average profitable with a return on investment of 11%. Profitability was influenced most by the heuristic culling rules and the expected increase of the estrus detection rate between detection by visual observation and the sensor.

Routinely collected farm data can be used to estimate a prognosis on insemination success and be used to determine whether an individual cow has a higher or lower than average likelihood of insemination success. Integration of this prognostic model with an estrus detection sensor has potential.

Currently farmers only adopt sensors for estrus detection or because they were standard with an AMS. A reason for this is that sensor systems do not produce clear information for farmers. Sensor technology should be focused on management support of applications. Labor benefits of sensors are important for adoption of sensors by farmers, farmers value flexibility, increased family time and less physical workload as benefits. However, economic evaluations of technical solutions are unable to quantify these benefits. Sensor research should consider the preference of farmers regarding labor. For the appraisal of sensor technology new methods to value labor benefits of sensor are needed. Furthermore, in sensor development societal acceptance should be an important consideration. Animal rights activists may frame the use of sensors as a form of industrialized farming. Only using technical arguments and considerations to explain the benefits of sensors will hamper the societal acceptance of modern dairy farming. Application of sensors on dairy farms should be communicated smartly to society in terms that relate the values of citizens.

Agricultural extension, technology adoption and household food security : evidence from DRC
Santos Rocha, Jozimo - \ 2017
University. Promotor(en): Erwin Bulte, co-promotor(en): Marrit van den Berg. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463434485 - 231
agricultural extension - technology - adoption - food security - households - development economics - agricultural production - knowledge transfer - congo democratic republic - landbouwvoorlichting - technologie - adoptie - voedselzekerheid - huishoudens - ontwikkelingseconomie - landbouwproductie - kennisoverdracht - democratische republiek kongo

In this thesis, I use experimental and quasi-experimental data from 25 villages and a total of 1,105 farmers from eastern DRC to investigate the relationship among agricultural training, the adoption of agricultural technologies, crop productivity, and household food insecurity and dietary diversity. I present evidence that contributes to narrow the gap in the literature on the role of input subsidies fostering small-scale farmers' uptake of productivity-enhancing technologies, how farmer field school and farmer-to-farmer trainings affect the adoption of agricultural technologies, how F2F training may reduce the costs of FFS implementation, how adoption materializes on yields of food crops, and how training through the adoption of improved agricultural technologies impacts household food insecurity and the diet diversification of target households.

As a complement to econometric evidence and in order to understand the main findings, I also discuss behavioral features and farmer driven initiatives which somehow condition these impacts. Throughout the four main chapters, I identify practical implications that are highly important for the design and implementation of new programs and policies aimed to address agricultural productivity issues and reduce household food insecurity. In Chapter 1 I develop a general introduction to the research which discusses the evolution of agricultural extension in the last few decades, and describe FFS and F2F training methodologies. Chapter 2 provides a detailed description of the project intervention, technologies promoted, research settings and the data collection process. In Chapter 3, I report the results of an experimental study that analyses the impact of one-shot input starter packs on the adoption of productivity-enhancing complementary practices, which have the potential to maximize the impact of starter pack inputs. Additionally, I assess the levels of persistence on farmers’ use of improved crop seeds which are included in the starter packs. Overall, I find no evidence of starter packs’ impact on small-scale farmers’ adoption of productivity-enhancing technologies. Similarly, the levels of persistence regarding the use of seeds following the delivery of starter packs were not significant. These results are consistent with studies that have found minimal or no persistence on the use of inputs following the provision of subsidies, including Duflo, Kremer et al. (2011). The limited impact that starter packs had on yields in the first year may logically explain that farmers refrained from using improved seeds subsequently because the inputs are not economically attractive.

Chapter 4 studies the effectiveness of knowledge transmission from farmers trained in FFS through farmer-to-farmer training (F2F), which could potentially result in lower extension costs and higher impacts. I find that FFS training has a higher impact than F2F training in the first period, but the magnitude of the treatment effect in the second period is not statistically different between the two training methods. I argue that the dissemination of technologies promoted in FFS groups can well be formalized through farmer-to-farmer deliberate training attached to the FFS approach. Given the low costs of F2F training compared to FFS, the introduction of F2F training may substantially alleviate a major constraint to the large-scale introduction of FFS as a training method, its high costs.

In Chapter 5, I study the impact of farmer’s participation in FFS and F2F training on small-scale agricultural productivity. A multi-crop yield-index and the yields of cassava were used as impact indicators. The results indicate that both FFS and F2F trainings contribute to a significant increase in farmers’ yields, especially in the second period when the magnitude of the effect substantially increased. We also learned that the effect size does not differ between the two training approaches in neither period, suggesting that F2F communications are a suitable alternative or complement to FFS training. While the chapter was unable to confirm if training materializes in higher yields through technology adoption, I argue that in the context of the sample the adoption of productivity-enhancing practices and inputs are likely the most important impact mechanism.

I also study the relationship between agricultural training, the adoption of improved technologies and household food insecurity. I find that farmers’ participation in agricultural trainings has a positive effect, through the adoption of improved technologies, on improvements in household dietary diversity (HDDS). Nonetheless, the impact on household access to food (HFIAS) is less evident. These results suggest that FFS/F2F training can well reduce household food insecurity, which is mostly achieved through the adoption of improved agricultural technologies. Yet, there are farm and household specific factors which constrain how training impacts technology adoption and how adoption affect household food insecurity and diet diversification. In Chapter 7, I synthesize the results of the four main chapters and articulate the sequence of results from training to adoption to productivity to food security.

Philosophical explorations on energy transition
Geerts, Robert-Jan - \ 2017
University. Promotor(en): Bart Gremmen; Guido Ruivenkamp, co-promotor(en): Josette Jacobs. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463430487 - 172
philosophy - technology - sustainable energy - renewable energy - social change - energy consumption - quality - society - energy - filosofie - technologie - duurzame energie - hernieuwbare energie - sociale verandering - energiegebruik - kwaliteit - samenleving - energie

This dissertation explores energy transition from a philosophical perspective. It puts forward the thesis that energy production and consumption are so intimately intertwined with society that the transition towards a sustainable alternative will involve more than simply implementing novel technologies. Fossil energy sources and a growth-based economy have resulted in very specific energy practices, which will change in the future. Broader reflection is needed to understand how and in which direction such change is acceptable and desirable.

This reflection is initiated by articulating two pertinent problems with current energy practices that have thus far failed to receive appropriate attention in debates on energy transition: 1) the difficulty of dealing with intermittent sources in relation to the idea of cumulative accounting of energy consumption, and 2) the mismatch between expectations of ethical consumer behaviour in energy systems that discourage engagement.

To move forward, instead of assuming that all consumption is equivalent and that more is better, we must develop a better informed and more nuanced idea of 'good' energy practices that actually contribute to our quality of life. One often overlooked aspect of this may be 'embodied engagement', which would suggest that automation of tasks through energy-consuming technologies may be convenient, but also tends to lead to a loss of appreciation for both the task and its result. Some things, like creating a cozy environment around a fireplace, or climbing a mountain, are better partly because they take effort. In such cases, the 'efficiency' of the technology (e.g. the heat-pump, or the automobile) is besides the point - the question is whether it gives us anything of value at all.

Mild disintegration of green microalgae and macroalgae
Postma, Richard - \ 2016
University. Promotor(en): Michel Eppink; Rene Wijffels, co-promotor(en): Giuseppe Olivieri. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462579477 - 181
algae - chlorella vulgaris - bioprocess engineering - biorefinery - proteins - milling - carbohydrates - biobased economy - disintegrators - technology - extraction - algen - bioproceskunde - bioraffinage - eiwitten - maling - koolhydraten - desintegrators - technologie - extractie

An increased worldwide protein demand for food and feed and the necessity to release the water soluble proteins in the first stage of the cascade biorefinery require the development of mild protein extraction technologies. Cell disintegration is the first hurdle and is considered as one of the most energy consuming steps. Therefore, this thesis focused on the development of a mild, scalable and energy efficient disintegration technology for green microalgae and macroalgae (seaweed) aimed on extraction of water soluble components (like proteins and carbohydrates).

For microalgae disintegration, two main technologies were investigated. First of all the conventional technology bead milling and second a novel approach using Pulsed Electric Field (PEF). In Chapter 2 a benchmark was set by means of bead milling for the release of water soluble protein from the green microalgae Chlorella vulgaris. Overall, protein yields between 32 and 42% were achieved, while the energy consumption was reduced with 85% by selective protein extraction to values as low as 0.81 kWh kgDW-1. Remarkably, the benchmark was much better than expected.

In Chapter 3 the bead mill was further optimized by decreasing the applied bead size, furthermore the applicability of bead milling on two additional microalgae species (Neochloris oleoabundans, Tetraselmis suecica) was shown. In addition, to be able to better understand the disintegration mechanism, the so-called stress model was applied. This model describes the comminution process in a bead mill as function of the amount of bead contacts and the force of each impact. The release kinetics could be improved and thereby the specific energy consumption could be reduced to 0.45‒0.47 kWh kgDW-1 by using 0.3 mm beads for all algae.

Chapter 4 describes a screening on the applicability of PEF, over a broad range of operating conditions, for the extraction of water soluble proteins from the microalgae C. vulgaris and N. oleoabundans. No substantial protein yields were observed under the investigated conditions. This led to the conclusion that PEF is not suitable to release water soluble proteins, not even at specific energy consumptions much higher than those for the benchmark, bead milling.

In Chapter 5 it was attempted to improve the performance of PEF by investigating the synergistic effect with the processing temperature. The PEF experiments were performed using a pilot scale continuous flow electroporation unit in which the processing temperature was controlled between 25 – 65 °C. The results showed that under the tested conditions, the combined PEF-Temperature treatment did not cause substantial disintegration of the algal cells to effectively release water soluble proteins.

In addition to the microalgae, macroalgae were subject of investigation in the search for new protein sources in Chapter 6. Four batch technologies were used to disintegrate the green macroalgae Ulva lactuca, being; osmotic shock, enzyme incubation, PEF and High Shear Homogenization (HSH). In descending order the highest protein yields per treatment; HSH (~40%) > enzyme degradation (~25%) > osmotic shock (~20%) > PEF (~15%).

In the final chapter the main results and remaining bottlenecks are discussed and a future outlook on microalgae disintegration is presented. To date, bead milling is the only technology able to disintegrate fresh microalgae at specific energy consumptions below 10% of the total energy available from the algae and release substantial amounts of water soluble protein. The future outlook was based on a techno-economic evaluation, which showed that the cultivation costs are limiting the economic feasibility of microalgae biorefinery. Future focus should be on the cultivation.

Een verkenning naar toepassing van drones in landbouw en natuur : drijfveren, kansen en consequenties
Wal, Tamme van der; Meijer, Marcel ; Rip, Frans I. - \ 2016
Wageningen : Wageningen Environmental Research (Wageningen Environmental Research rapport 2742) - 49
drones - landbouw - natuur - innovaties - technologie - wetgeving - agriculture - nature - innovations - technology - legislation
Dit rapport is een nadere uitwerking van het rapport van WODC (Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek- en Documentatie Centrum van het ministerie van Veiligheid en Justitie) uit begin 2015 naar het gebruik van drones. Deze uitwerking, gemaakt in opdracht van het ministerie van Economische Zaken, is gericht op de domeinen landbouw en natuur. Het rapport begint met een overzicht van de diverse aanduidingen voor drones. Daarnaast wordt de VITAAL-typologie voor drones gepresenteerd. Deze fungeert als raamwerk voor de beschouwing van zes in dit rapport onderscheiden aspecten van drones: Vlucht, Inzetbaarheid, Toepassing, Aansturing, Apparaat en Lading. In het tweede hoofdstuk zijn de VITAAL-aspecten in verband gebracht met al bestaande en mogelijke toekomstige inzet van civiele drones in landbouw en natuur. De maatschappelijke vraagstukken die drijfveren (kunnen) zijn voor de inzet van drones komen aan de orde in het derde hoofdstuk, waarbij ook de innovatieopgaven worden besproken die zijn afgeleid uit de maatschappelijke opgaven op het gebied van landbouw en natuur. Het rapport sluit af met de discussie, gevolgd door conclusies en aanbevelingen voor beleid en nader onderzoek. Deze liggen op het vlak van regeldruk, vergroeningsmaatregelen en verkenning van gevolgen van de inzet van drones in een Living Lab.
The metis of responsible innovation : helping society to get better at the conversation between today and tomorrow
Macnaghten, Philip - \ 2016
Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462573758 - 16 p.
technology - innovations - innovation adoption - future - technologie - innovaties - innovatie adoptie - toekomst
Fruit 4.0: de vruchten van meer technologie : technologie-roadmap
Ossevoort, R.S. ; Verdouw, C.N. ; Jong, P.F. de; Hennen, W.H.G.J. ; Robbemond, R.M. - \ 2016
Den Haag : LEI Wageningen UR (LEI report 2016-004) - ISBN 9789462578456 - 63 p.
horticulture - fruits - innovations - technology - internet - tuinbouw - vruchten - innovaties - technologie
Modern fruit production is not possible without reliable and up-to-date information. In addition, developments of technologies in the field of the internet, sensors, drones and robotics are gaining momentum. Consequently, production is changing radically towards flexible, autonomous and demand-driven business processes, which integrate smoothly in the supply chain. We also refer to this transition as the fourth industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0. This report introduces a roadmap for automation and digitalisation in the fruit industry, which will allow this sector to profit from its own Fruit 4.0.
Nieuwe ionenwisselaar verwijdert 98% van nitraat uit spuiwater : door terugwinnen stikstof voldoen aan lozingsnormen
Ruijven, Jim van - \ 2016
horticulture - greenhouse horticulture - water management - drainage water - ion exchange - ion exchange treatment - technology - agricultural research - nitrogen - sodium - minerals - ion exchange resins - standards - eu regulations

Door nitraat te verwijderen uit spuiwater, kun je voldoen aan de lozingsregels voor 2027. Die zijn immers geënt op stikstofnormen. De teler zou echter nog meer hebben aan verwijdering van natrium, omdat hij dan langer kan recirculeren. Een nieuwe techniek, afkomstig uit Zuid-Afrika, biedt op beide vlakken veel perspectieven.

Farmers’ Logics in Engaging With Projects Promoting Drip Irrigation Kits in Burkina Faso
Wanvoeke, Jonas ; Venot, Jean Philippe ; Zwarteveen, Margreet ; Fraiture, Charlotte de - \ 2016
Society & Natural Resources 29 (2016)9. - ISSN 0894-1920 - p. 1095 - 1109.
Development - drip irrigation - innovation - Sub-Saharan Africa - technology

Development agencies enthusiastically promote micro-drip irrigation as an affordable water and labor-saving device, yet most farmers stop using it as soon as development projects end. This article analyzes why farmers engage in projects promoting drip irrigation kits, even though they appear not to be interested in their water and labor-saving attributes. We combine practice-based theories of innovation with insights from the anthropology of development to explain that in development project arenas, micro-drip kits have different meanings for farmers than for the actors promoting the technology. Accepting the technology is just one element of more encompassing strategic efforts by farmers to obtain benefits from development projects. Hence, in the arena of the development project and for farmers, micro-drip kits are defined by the side benefits that accompany their introduction, such as motorized pumps, free inputs, the promise of credit, or the prospect of acquiring social prestige and forging new alliances.

The technologist and the optimist make a good team: Company extracts pectin from coffee pulp
Belalcazar Otalora, Andres - \ 2015
technology - biomass - biorefinery - biobased economy
Composting trial with BioFoam® products in a full scale commercial composting facility : final report, April 2015
Zee, M. van der - \ 2015
Wageningen : Wageningen UR - Food & Biobased Research (Wageningen UR Food & Biobased Research report 1561) - ISBN 9789462575141 - 31
biobased economy - biobased materials - biomass - organic wastes - degradation - composts - composting - biotechnology - technology - plastic foam - materialen uit biologische grondstoffen - biomassa - organisch afval - degradatie - compost - compostering - biotechnologie - technologie - schuimplastic
The main objective of the trial was to be able to judge whether BioFoam® material degrades at sufficient rate to be composted together with regular source separated municipal solid biowaste in a full scale industrial composting facility.
Heldere herleidbaarheid in de visketen
Asselt, E.D. van; Roest, J.G. van der; Staats, M. ; Kok, E.J. ; Cuijpers, H.J.J. ; Ruth, S.M. van - \ 2015
RIKILT Wageningen UR (RIKILT-rapport 2015.013) - 39 p.
technologie - visproducten - analytische methoden - naspeurbaarheid - vis - visverwerking - diepvriesvis - schaaldieren - garnalen - kabeljauw - verse producten - technology - fish products - analytical methods - traceability - fish - fish processing - frozen fish - shellfish - shrimps - cod - fresh products
Heldere herleidbaarheid betekent dat kenmerken die bij verkoop worden toegekend aan visproducten terug te herleiden zijn in de keten. Het gaat daarbij om aspecten als de vissoort, maar ook de geografische oorsprong en de processing van de vis. Om de consument volledig inzicht te bieden in productinformatie is de etiketteringswetgeving ((EU) 1169/2011) recent aangescherpt en dienen dergelijke aspecten op het etiket vermeld te worden. In dit project is onderzocht welke administratieve en analytische methoden gebruikt kunnen worden om de voorgeschiedenis van visproducten aan te tonen. Er is gewerkt aan vier deelprojecten die door de projectpartners als prioriteit werden aangemerkt: administratieve traceerbaarheid in de kabeljauwketen, aantonen van watergehaltes in garnalen, vaststellen van geografische oorsprong van witpootgarnalen en onderscheid tussen verse en ontdooide vis. De resultaten van deze vier onderzoeken zijn in dit rapport beschreven.
Getting partnerships to work : a technography of the selection, making and distribution of improved planting material in the Kenyan Central Highlands
Ndubi, J.M. - \ 2015
University. Promotor(en): Paul Richards, co-promotor(en): Sietze Vellema. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462571150 - 153
plantenveredeling - voedselzekerheid - bananen - aardappelen - technologie - innovaties - landbouwontwikkeling - vennootschappen - samenwerking - kenya - oost-afrika - afrika - plant breeding - food security - bananas - potatoes - technology - innovations - agricultural development - partnerships - cooperation - east africa - africa

In Kenya, bananas and Irish potatoes are important staple crops. In the early 1990s, the crops were devastated by plant diseases resulting in immensely declined productivity and vulnerability of smallholder farmers. To address this problem, disease resistant varieties and tissue culture technology were introduced through partnerships. This thesis examines the working of these partnerships in the process of selecting, multiplying and disseminating improved planting materials under changeable and sometimes unanticipated social and material conditions, and whether this enabled technical change. The study describes how partnerships shape and manage technical change and how distributed task groups coordinate their actions. Partnerships organise and set in motion an evolving chain of sequential socio-technical practices, which incrementally generate technical change. Hence, partnerships are more than just an organisational tool for resource augmentation. Making partnerships work requires constant handling of the politics of selection procedures, the unanticipated consequences of material and technical problems, and the governance and control dimensions of team and group work. The study highlights the often hidden processes coordinating distributed skills and competences and the micro-politics of selection and performance as core elements for making partnerships work. The technographic approach made this visible in the performance of research teams, laboratories and collectively managed nurseries of multiplication sites. The study concludes that partnerships, as an organisational fix, are not a panacea for complicated problems, and a more thorough debate about the conditions under which partnerships may work – and for whom – is needed.

Interactive community-based tropical forest monitoring using emerging technologies
Pratihast, A.K. - \ 2015
University. Promotor(en): Martin Herold, co-promotor(en): L. Ribbe; Sytze de Bruin; Valerio Avitabile. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462574786 - 164
tropische bossen - bosmonitoring - remote sensing - satellietbeelden - monitoring - technologie - sociale netwerken - geografische informatiesystemen - participatie - tropical forests - forest monitoring - satellite imagery - technology - social networks - geographical information systems - participation

Forests cover approximately 30% of the Earth’s land surface and have played an indispensable role in the human development and preserving natural resources. At the moment, more than 300 million people are directly dependent on these forests and their resources. Forests also provide habitats for a wide variety of species and offer several ecological necessities to natural and anthropological systems. In spite of this importance, unprecedented destruction of tropical forest cover has been witnessed over the past four decades. Annually, approximately 2.1x105 hectares of forests are lost, with serious negative consequences on the regulation of the world’s climate cycle, biodiversity and other environmental variables. To mitigate these consequences, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has requested the developing countries to adapt new policy in reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+). Under this policy, countries have been mandated to engage local communities and indigenous groups as critical stakeholders in the design and implementation of a national forest monitoring system (NFMS) that supports measuring, reporting and verification (MRV) of actions and achievements of REDD+ activities.

Current schemes for tropical monitoring are based on remote sensing and field measurements which typically originate from national forest inventories. Remotely sensed imagery has been considered as the principal data source used to calculate forest area change across large areas, assess rates of deforestation and establish baselines for national forest area change databases. Advancements in medium and high resolution satellites, open data policies, time-series analysis methods and big data processing environments are considered valuable for deforestation monitoring at local to global scales. However, cloud cover, seasonality and the restricted spatial and temporal resolution of remote sensing observations limits their applicability in the tropics. Enhancing the interpretation of remote sensing analysis require substantial ground verification and validation. Accomplishing these tasks through national forest inventory data is expensive, time-consuming and difficult to implement across large spatial scales.

Next to remote sensing, community-based monitoring (CBM) has also demonstrated potential in the collection and interpretation of forest monitoring data. However effective implementation of community-based forest monitoring systems is currently lacking due to two reasons: 1) the role of communities in NFMS is unclear and 2) tools that can support local communities to explore opportunities and facilitate forest monitoring are still scarce. This thesis addresses these two issues by proposing technical solutions (computer and geo-information science) and assessing the capacities and needs of communities in developing countries with a REDD+ implementation and forest monitoring context.

The main goal of this thesis, therefore, is to develop an approach that combines emerging technologies and community-based observations for tropical forest monitoring. To accomplish the main goal, four specific research questions were formulated: 1) What are the potentials to link community-based efforts to national forest monitoring systems? 2) How can information and communication technologies (ICTs) support the automation of community data collection process for monitoring forest carbon stocks and change activities using modern handheld devices? 3) What is the accuracy and compatibility of community collected data compared to other data (e.g., optical remote sensing and expert field measurements) for quantifying forest carbon stocks and changes? and 4) What is a suitable design for an interactive remote sensing and community-based near real-time forest change monitoring system and how can such system be operationalized?

In Chapter 2, scientific literature and 28 readiness preparation proposals from the World Bank Forest Carbon Partnership Facility are reviewed to better define the role and technical conditions for CBM. Based on this review, a conceptual framework was developed under which CBM can contribute as a dedicated and independent stream of measuring and monitoring data to national level forest monitoring efforts. The following chapters are built upon this framework.

Chapter 3 describes a process of designing and implementing an integrated data collection system based on mobile devices that streamlines the community-based forest monitoring data collection, transmission and visualization process. The usability of the system is evaluated in the Tra Bui commune, Quang Nam province, Central Vietnam, where forest carbon and change activities were measured by different means such as local, regional and national experts and high resolution satellite imagery. The results indicate that the local communities were able to provide forest carbon measurements with accuracy comparable to that of expert measurements at lower costs. Furthermore, the results show that communities are more effective in detecting small scale forest degradation caused by subsistence fuelwood collection and selective logging than image analysis using SPOT imagery.

To support the findings of chapter 3, the data acquisition form (mostly activity data related to forest change) for mobile device was further improved in chapter 4. The system was tested by thirty local experts in the UNESCO Kafa Biosphere Reserve, Ethiopia. High resolution satellite imagery and professional measurements were combined to assess the accuracy and complementary use of local datasets in terms of spatial, temporal and thematic accuracy. Results indicate that the local communities were capable of describing processes of change associated with deforestation, forest degradation and reforestation, in terms of their spatial location, extent, timing and causes within ten administrative units. Furthermore, the results demonstrate that communities offer complementary information to remotely sensed data, particularly to signal forest degradation and mapping deforestation over small areas. Based on this complementarity, a framework is proposed for integrating local expert monitoring data with satellite-based monitoring data into a NFMS in support of REDD+ MRV and near real-time forest change monitoring.

Having identified the framework for integrated monitoring systems in chapter 4, chapter 5 describes an interactive web-based forest monitoring system using four levels of geographic information services: 1) the acquisition of continuous data streams from satellite and community-based monitoring using mobile devices, 2) near real-time forest disturbance detection based on satellite time-series, 3) presentation of forest disturbance data through a web-based application and social media and 4) interaction of the satellite-based disturbance alerts with the end-user communities to enhance the collection of ground data. The system was developed using open source technologies and has been implemented together with local experts in UNESCO Kafa Biosphere Reserve, Ethiopia. The results show that the system was able to provide easy access to information on forest change and considerably improve the collection and storage of ground observation by local experts. Social media lead to higher levels of user interaction and noticeably improved communication among stakeholders. Finally, an evaluation of the system confirmed its usability in Ethiopia.

Chapter 6 presents the final conclusions and provides recommendations for further research. The overall conclusion is that the emerging technologies, such as smartphones, Web-GIS and social media, incorporated with user friendly interface improve the interactive participation of local communities in forest monitoring and decrease errors in data collection. The results show that CBM can provide data on forest carbon stocks, forest area changes as well as data that help to understand local drivers of emissions. The thesis also shows, in theory and in practice, how local data can be used to link with medium and high resolution remote sensing satellite images for an operational near real-time forest monitoring system at a local scale. The methods presented in this thesis are applicable to a broader geographic scope. Hence, this thesis emphasizes that policies and incentives should be implemented to empower communities and to create institutional frameworks for community-based forest monitoring in the tropics.

A generic microfluidic biosensor of G protein-coupled receptor activation - impedance measurements of reversible morphological changes of reverse transfected HEK293 cells on microelectrodes
Srivastava, S.K. ; Ramaneti, R. ; Roelse, M. ; Duy Tong, H. ; Vrouwe, E.X. ; Brinkman, A.G.M. ; Smet, L.C.P.M. de; Rijn, C.J.M. van; Jongsma, M.A. - \ 2015
RSC Advances : An international journal to further the chemical sciences 5 (2015). - ISSN 2046-2069 - p. 52563 - 52570.
drug discovery - assays - technology - mechanism - responses - targets - design
Impedance spectroscopy of cell lines on interdigitated electrodes (IDEs) is an established method of monitoring receptor-specific cell shape changes in response to certain analytes. Normally, assays are done in multiwells making it a bulky, static and single use procedure. Here, we present a biosensor allowing sequential application of biological test samples with an automated microfluidic system. It is capable of monitoring relative changes in impedance using castellated IDEs of 250–500 mm diameter, covered with stable or reverse transfected HEK293 cells. Reversible activation of the Neurokinin 1 (NK1) receptor in stable cell lines was observed in response to a series of 5 minute exposures from 1 pM–10 nM of the specific ligand Substance P (SP) using impedance measurements at 10 mV and 15 kHz. An optimal flow speed of 10 ml min 1 was chosen for the 10 ml flow cell. The EC50 of 10 pM was about 10 times lower than the EC50 based on measuring changes in the calcium ion concentration. The method was also shown to work with reverse transfected cells. Plasmid DNA encoding the NK1 gene was spotted onto the electrodes and pre-incubated with a transfection agent. The overlaid HEK293 cells were subsequently transfected by the underlying DNA. After challenge with SP, the cells induced an activation response similar to the stable cell line. The microfluidic micro-electrode reverse transfection system opens up possibilities to perform parallel measurements on IDE arrays with distinct receptors per IDE in a single flow channel .
Biomimicry. De natuur als inspiratiebron voor innovaties
Segeren, A. ; Vogelzang, T.A. - \ 2015
Den Haag : LEI Wageningen UR (LEI publicatie 14-129) - 35
innovaties - systeeminnovatie - duurzame ontwikkeling - aanpassing van de productie - ontwerp - biologie - technologie - bedrijven - biomimicry - innovations - system innovation - sustainable development - adjustment of production - design - biology - technology - businesses
LEI Wageningen UR heeft van het ministerie van Economische Zaken de opdracht gekregen om onderzoek te doen naar de stand van zaken en de mogelijkheden voor de verdere toepassing van biomimicry in Nederland. Deze brochure biedt een analyse van drie actuele praktijkvoorbeelden, inzicht in de impact op economie en duurzaamheid en een vertaling hiervan naar indicatoren. Daarnaast geeft het LEI perspectieven voor de toekomst, waarbij vooral is gekeken naar de rol van wetenschap, onderwijs en beleid.
Deriving animal behaviour from high-frequency GPS: tracking cows in open and forested habitat
Weerd, N. de; Langevelde, F. van; Oeveren, H. van; Nolet, B.A. ; Kölzsch, A. ; Prins, H.H.T. ; Boer, W.F. de - \ 2015
PLoS One 10 (2015)6. - ISSN 1932-6203 - 17 p.
collar performance - large herbivores - telemetry data - movement - cattle - ecology - states - technology - selection - position
The increasing spatiotemporal accuracy of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) tracking systems opens the possibility to infer animal behaviour from tracking data.We studied the relationship between high-frequency GNSS data and behaviour, aimed at developing an easily interpretable classification method to infer behaviour from location data. Behavioural observations were carried out during tracking of cows (Bos Taurus) fitted with high-frequency GPS (Global Positioning System) receivers. Data were obtained in an open field and forested area, and movement metrics were calculated for 1 min, 12 s and 2 s intervals. We observed four behaviour types (Foraging, Lying, Standing and Walking). We subsequently used Classification and Regression Trees to classify the simultaneously obtained GPS data as these behaviour types, based on distances and turning angles between fixes. GPS data with a 1 min interval from the open field was classified correctly for more than 70% of the samples. Data from the 12 s and 2 s interval could not be classified successfully, emphasizing that the interval should be long enough for the behaviour to be defined by its characteristic movement metrics. Data obtained in the forested area were classified with a lower accuracy (57%) than the data from the open field, due to a larger positional error of GPS locations and differences in behavioural performance influenced by the habitat type. This demonstrates the importance of understanding the relationship between behaviour and movement metrics, derived from GNSS fixes at different frequencies and in different habitats, in order to successfully infer behaviour. When spatially accurate location data can be obtained, behaviour can be inferred from high-frequency GNSS fixes by calculating simple movement metrics and using easily interpretable decision trees. This allows for the combined study of animal behaviour and habitat use based on location data, and might make it possible to detect deviations in behaviour at the individual level.
Flexible design in water and wastewater engineering - Definitions literature and decision guide
Spiller, M. ; Vreeburg, J.H.G. ; Leusbrock, I. ; Zeeman, G. - \ 2015
Journal of Environmental Management 149 (2015). - ISSN 0301-4797 - p. 271 - 281.
real-time control - product modularization - system-design - management - technology - flexibility - framework - reuse - infrastructure - sustainability
Urban water and wastewater systems face uncertain developments including technological progress, climate change and urban development. To ensure the sustainability of these systems under dynamic conditions it has been proposed that technologies and infrastructure should be flexible, adaptive and robust. However, in literature it is often unclear what these technologies and infrastructure are. Furthermore, the terms flexible, adaptive and robust are often used interchangeably, despite important differences. In this paper we will i) define the terminology, ii) provide an overview of the status of flexible infrastructure design alternatives for water and wastewater networks and treatment, and iii) develop guidelines for the selection of flexible design alternatives. Results indicate that, with the exception of Net Present Valuation methods, there is little research available on the design and evaluation of technologies that can enable flexibility. Flexible design alternatives reviewed include robust design, phased design, modular design, modular/component platform design and design for remanufacturing. As developments in the water sector are driven by slow variables (climate change, urban development), rather than market forces, it is suggested that phased design or component platform designs are suitable for responding to change, while robust design is an option when operations face highly dynamic variability.
Affect and cognition in attitude formation towards familiar and unfamiliar attitude objects: the case of nanotechnology
Giesen, R.I. van - \ 2015
University. Promotor(en): Hans van Trijp, co-promotor(en): Arnout Fischer. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462573390 - 187
nanotechnologie - houding van consumenten - attitudes - besluitvorming - technologie - voedseltechnologie - kennisniveau - kenvermogen - nanotechnology - consumer attitudes - decision making - technology - food technology - knowledge level - cognition
Together, the chapters in this thesis show that although the default is to rely on affect, in attitude formation toward unfamiliar attitude objects, people are able to draw on cognitive inferences provided that there are enough cues available (e.g. product context, high Need for Cognition, or being more often exposed). In addition, whether people rely on affect or cognition depends on which process is the easiest. The attitude component which is decisive in the attitude formation process requires the least elaborate process. This thesis contributes to a better process understanding as both affective-cognitive and deliberative-intuitive dimensions were simultaneously studied. Finally, it is concluded that attitudes toward unfamiliar attitude objects, in this case nanotechnology applications, are still subject to change. This has implications for communication about new technologies, as it is important to address both affective and cognitive aspects.
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