ETH Zurich at Olma 2021

ETH Zurich will be at Olma in St. Gallen from 7 to 17 October 2021. In the exhibition entitled “Where the Future Begins – Research for Sustainable Agriculture”, the university will provide a playful insight into modern agricultural sciences.

Hexacopter hovering over a research field
A hexacopter takes thermal and colour images of wheat plots in a research field. (Image: © ETH Zurich / Norbert Kirchgessner, Helge Aasen and Achim Walter)

Where the Future Begins – Research for Sustainable

With a selection of exciting games, the exhibition will enable visitors to experience how ETH research in agricultural sciences is helping to secure an environmentally friendly, resource-conserving and socially acceptable food system.

Your visit at a glance

Olma takes place from 7 to 17 October 2021 in St. Gallen: external pageOpening hours, directions and overview

The ETH booth will be part of the special exhibition external pageErlebnis Nahrung Hall 6, Booth 6.0.09

Admission to the special exhibition is free. A Covid certificate is required for admission to Olma. You can find all the important external pageinformation about your visit here

Exhibition highlights

The family-friendly ETH booth will offer a range of interactive games to introduce you to the central research questions in the areas of crop plants, animal nutrition and agricultural policy. The games are accompanied by fascinating exhibits that illustrate the potential of AI and robotics in modern agricultural sciences.

The student project SmartBreed from the ETH Student Project House will present its fully automated insect breeding box for sustainable poultry feeding. And in the children’s corner, the youngest can colour in a worm in an apple and present their work in a three-dimensional form.

Visualization of the ETH stand at Olma. (Image: ETH Zurich/Aroma)
Visualization of the ETH stand at Olma. (Image: ETH Zurich/Aroma)

How can we breed climate-tolerant and disease-resistant crop varieties?

Drones, sensors and cameras accurately document aspects the development of different crop varieties in the field, enabling new varieties to be bred more quickly.

The challenge: will you manage to accurately steer the drone over the test field?

The Crop Science group

external pageVideo Portrait

Rowesys (Bild: Immanuel Denker)

How can the field be protected from pests without harming the environment?

When smart helpers cooperate, they can help to drastically reduce the use of pesticides and fertilisers. Drones can be used to detect disease or nutrient deficiencies in the field. Ground robots inspect the site, weed mechanically and apply additives where necessary.

We present the smart farming trio of weeding robot, hexacopter and flying drone.

external pageVideo IAS ETH Smart Farming

Rowesys – an ETH Zurich Focus Project


What should our cows eat if we want to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions?

Cows are ruminants and produce enormous amounts of greenhouse gases.

The challenge: visitors try to find out which feeds are the best way to reduce methane emissions from cows.

The Animal Nutrition group

external pageVideo Portrait

Jenga der Agrarpolitik

How can we produce as much sustainable food as possible on as little land as possible?

Agricultural policy is about balancing the food system in such a way that it provides us with affordable and healthy food, enables farmers to make a living and maintains resources for the long term.

The challenge: try your hand at the tricky Jenga of agricultural policy. But beware – it’s a very special kind of balancing act.

The Agricultural Economics and Policy Group

external pageVideo Portrait


Morph Tales

How can digital technology and artificial intelligence (AI) help to make Swiss agriculture more diverse and resource-efficient?

ETH is researching how AI systems can be used to teach machines where nutrients are needed and where to fight weeds or disease.

The challenge: join forces with Morph to protect a field from weeds – and learn through play what AI can do.

external pageThe Innofarm Project


Soy as animal feed is a major cause of rainforest clearance.

Insects bred using agricultural by-products are a high-quality and sustainable soy substitute for poultry. When fed live, insects increase animal welfare in the barn and improve the quality of the eggs.

SmartBreed from the ETH Student Project House demonstrates with its fully automated breeding boxes how insects can be bred directly on the farm.

ETH Student Project House

external pageSmartBreed

Augmented Creativity

Augmented reality can enhances creativity.

Children can colour in the characters in the book and bring them to three-dimensional life with the help of a tablet and the Augmented Creativity app: an animated avatar of the colouring book character appears on the screen.

Further information: ETH News

150 Years Agricultural Sciences  

Copyright: ETH-Bibliothek Zürich, Bildarchiv / Fotograf: Bächtold, Max / Ans_00925 / CC BY-SA 4.0

ETH Zurich’s Division of Agriculture was founded in 1871. The Institute of Agricultural Sciences celebrates the anniversary with various events throughout the jubilee year, one of which is its presence at the Olma.

On the anniversary website you can further find a timeline with historical facts and selected stories from the past 150 years.

Programme and Attendances

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150 Years of Agricultural Sciences Anniversary Film (in german)

About Olma

Olma is Switzerland’s largest trade fair for agriculture and food. It attracts more than 350,000 visitors and is held annually in autumn for eleven days at the Olma exhibition centre in St. Gallen. This year's event takes place from 7 to 17 October 2021.

external pageEverything you need to know about your visit

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