Objective: PigSys  has adopted a multidisciplinary, system level approach to pig production systems with the purpose of generating a deeper understanding of the interactions between the animals, technology and environmental conditions in pig rearing. A model of mass and energy flows and Decision Support system, sensor networks, soft sensors (sensor data fusion) as well as novel building climate control systems, have been developed to underpin sustainable improvement in system performance and increase animal welfare. Furthermore, in depth data analysis of the impact of environmental conditions on animal welfare and performance was conducted and a Life Cycle Analysis conducted.

Current EU pig production has suboptimal resource utilization, resulting in unnecessarily high emissions and wastes. This has much to do with outdated building standards, control systems and barn management approaches. At the same time animal welfare is of increasing concern, farmers are struggling to maintain economic competitiveness and the public image of the sector is poor. Whilst there are many approaches for the improvement of individual aspects of the system, none provide effective whole system consideration.

PigSys will address these issues by the adoption of a multi-disciplinary, system level approach to pig production systems. A system model of mass and energy flows and Decision Support System, as well as novel building climate control systems, will be developed to underpin a sustainable improvement in system performance. By taking a cross-scale, multi-disciplinary approach, the project will ensure that all aspects relevant for the development of sustainable, socially acceptable and economically viable pig production systems are adequately addressed. The geographical and climatic balance, with partners from different European regions, and including France, Germany and Denmark as three of the five biggest European pig producers, will ensure the relevance of the project across the EU and beyond.

PigSys will provide the sector with (a) a whole system model of energy and mass flows and decision support system (DSS); (b) measurement and control devices for improved barn climate control and animal welfare; (c) ‘big data’ to support barn and control system design; (d) sound LCA and LCCA; (e) increased animal welfare and performance; (f) increased sustainability of production through increased resource efficiency; (g) reduced emissions, waste and carbon footprint; (h) improved public perception of the sector and decreased product prices; (i) increased competitiveness of the sector.


More information about this project can be found on the project website (http://pigsys.eu/, https://era-susan.eu/content/pigsys-improving-pig-system-performance-through-whole-system-approach).

Grant No. 696231

Source of funding: ERA-NET Cofund SusAn through a virtual common pot model including EU Top-Up funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (https://era-susan.eu/content/pigsys-improving-pig-system-performance-through-whole-system-approach)

Project period: 01.09.2017 – 31.08.2020

Total budget: 198 000.00 EUR

Project coordinator: Scientific Director, Chair of the Board, Prof. Dr. agr. habil. Barbara Sturm, director@atb-potsdam.de

Project coordinator from Latvia: Department of Computer Systems – Associate Professor; leading researcher, Dr. sc. ing. Aleksejs Zacepins, 0313065@llu.lv

Project partners:

  • University of Kassel,
  • SEGES,
  • INRAE,
  • IFIP-Institut du Porc,
  • Thuringian State Institute for Agriculture (TLL),
  • Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU),
  • Newcastle University (UNEW).