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Advancing the Future of Soil Analysis through Innovation and Collaboration: S4 and PHENET

A transformative story is unfolding as S4 Mobile Laboratories, under the leadership of Chief Technology Officer David Perry, joins forces with BOKU, the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, Austria. This strategic partnership marks a significant milestone in the science of soil analysis, driving a global effort towards advancements in agricultural technology with the PHENET project at its center.


The PHENET project, a consortium supported by the European Union Horizon Program, is not only an academic collaboration but a forward-thinking initiative that unites 25 academic institutions across the European Union and six small companies. The project's primary objective is to identify optimal combinations of plants, their varieties, and cultivation practices to effectively address anticipated changes in climate across Europe.

This collaborative venture aims to enhance existing research by providing increased access to information about plant growth and environmental influences. The teams are actively working on creating advanced devices infused with artificial intelligence, seamlessly connecting ground-based data with high-quality satellite images. In addition, PHENET is committed to supporting fair data practices, ensuring transparency and ethical use of information. Beyond improving research methodologies, PHENET aims to stimulate fresh ideas in farming and contribute to the development of crops and practices resilient to changes in climate, ultimately revolutionizing the way we grow food.


Among these companies, S4 Mobile Laboratories takes center stage, contributing its cutting-edge instrument, the Subterra Green, to the armory of tools aimed at advancing soil analysis. Offering precise measurement and analysis of soil organic carbon, our innovative instrument empowers farmers, scientists, and environmentalists to discern subtle changes resulting from modified agricultural practices over one or two years. Its scalability and cost efficiency make it a versatile solution accessible to a diverse range of users, fostering a more sustainable and productive agricultural landscape.


Additionally, S4 Mobile Laboratories is actively involved in the development of an advanced probe designed for in situ imaging of soil and roots underground. This trailblazing technology promises to unearth the mysteries beneath the surface, providing crucial data and insights into root structures, nutrient distribution, and overall soil health—essential elements for optimizing crop yields and promoting sustainable farming practices.


David Perry, Chief Technology Officer at S4, reflects on the project, stating, "This collaboration exemplifies the power of bringing together diverse expertise to address the challenges facing agriculture today. The Subterra Green and the in situ imaging probe represent just the beginning of what is possible when visionaries unite for a common goal."


As the PHENET project expands, the impact of these collaborative efforts extends beyond individual fields. S4 Mobile Laboratories, spearheading innovation within the consortium, is playing a pivotal role in shaping a future where sustainable farming practices are not just an aspiration but a tangible reality.


The future of soil analysis lies in collaboration and innovation. Embracing cutting-edge technologies like in situ soil spectroscopy, the industry can continue to advance the measurement of soil properties. Subterra Green stands as a testament to the power of collaboration, paving the way for a greener, more sustainable future in agriculture and environmental science.


To learn more about S4’s Subterra Green solution, or to schedule time to speak with our leadership team, contact us now.



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