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Halfway through!

Time can go fast. TRACK is now halfway. That means that next year (hopefully the first phase of) our joint project will come to an end.

The coming year is therefore all about harvesting. For example, we have selected startups and pilots that will receive training and mentoring in the coming year. And we will start with webinars for the exchange of knowledge. 

In this newsletter you can read what the TRACK partners have been focusing on more recently.

First meeting with the advisory group

On Tuesday September the 10th 2019 TRACK consortium members, had an online meeting with the members of the TRACK Advisory Group. 

The TRACK project is almost halfway its time. A good moment to have a discussion with external experts on the work done, the outcomes and the activities to come.Participants of the meeting were:

Name Organization Project
Marga Vintges Greenport West-Holland TRACK
Nicolas Fégeant Vegepolys Valley TRACK
Emeline Defossez Vegepolys Valley TRACK
Nicolas Nguyen The Agri Sud-Ouest Innovation DIVA Coordinator
Gus Verhaeghe Flanders Food Connensys Coordinator
Caroline van der Werdt TNO Smart AgriHubs Representative
Canjels Annemiek Region Limburg Regions4Food representative
Judit Anda Region Andalucia S3P Traceability & Big Data Coordinator

The discussion with the Advisory Group was very fruitful. The Survey done by Regions4Food, within other regions, had some same results, which is a sort of validation.  The virtual community could be combined with the virtual community of other projects and platforms. Especially the mindmap with all the best practices is interesting for a large community.

Next steps for Advisory group will be: 
- Malaga, S3P Technical meeting in December 3-4 where some of the members will be
- Thematic Missions or PIC Meeting where some of the members can meet
- Advisory group meeting (first quarter of 2020, and September 2020) 

Pilot projects selected for Technology Readiness Levels

A central, strategic phase of TRACK has just kicked-off with the selection of 7 bankable pilot projects which will now receive support to be accelerated to the next Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) through trans-cluster collaboration and specialist support. 

The matching of selected projects’ needs (technical, commercial, legal and intellectual property based for example) with skills and competences of other clusters’ members and external specialists will be provided by the participating TRACK clusters, in collaboration with the Enterprise Europe Network members of these areas, their innovation centres and the supporting organizations. 

The projects are led by seven SMEs, as follows:
•       SITIA (FR)
•       NATURCODE.EU (SP)
•       Applied Drone Innovations B.V. (NL)
•       Sis.Ter SRL (IT)
•       Zuffellato Technologies S.R.L. (IT)
•       CentricIT (R)
•       Weenat (FR)

All SME's propose Technologies 4.0 solutions that have reached a TRL of 6 minimum (technology demonstrated in relevant environment) and which need further support to be brought to users, generally agrifood SMEs. We will share more news about each project in the coming weeks and will regularly report on the progress of their support programme. Watch this space!

SME Training programme

9 ICT SMEs were selected for the TRACK training programme, these are: Sinapssia, Sis-ter, Zuffellato, Centric IT, Landfiles, Agrithermic, Nutrasing, Sixphere and Symbia Solutions. The 10 ICT SMEs selected will receive support from the TRACK Consortium experts regarding their commercial and technology strategy to approach their business models to the agrifood market.

The training programme will be implemented through next steps:
• A specific first webinar with the main actions that ICT SMEs should do to get closer to the agrifood sector. It will be broadcasted at the end of October and the final date will be posted shortly in the TRACK website.
• Individual planned sessions (from 1 to 3) with each ICT SMEs after the webinar. The main of the meetings will consist in detecting the gaps between the ICT SMEs capacities and their commercial objective for agrifood sector. Continuous counselling will be offered from October 2019 to March 2020.

On the other hand, all the ICT SMEs selected that are interesting in internationalizing their business models will also receive an internationalization mentoring from March 2020 to September 2020.

In pararell, the TRACk consortium will be broadcasting webinar sessions throughout the project life. These are public and can also be accessed by the ICT SMEs selected for the training programme.

TRACK team at the International Clusters Conference

The TRACK team visited the the International Clusters Conference (TCIC2019) in Cluj-Napoca. We were present at the agriculture 4.0 session for discussion and information. [See the pictures of our visit in the online photo album]

3- 4 December: Smart Specialisation Platform Agrifood meeting on Digitalisation and New Technologies in Agri-food

On 3 and 4 December in Malaga Spain technical meetings of the Thematic Platforms, will be held. The program consists of presentations, especially from Digital Innovation Hubs, and  a brookerage event with the main topics: 
- Automation and robotics 
- Artificial Intelligence and predictive systems in agrifood 
- Autonomous vehicles 
- Big data 
- Food safety 
- Agrifood blockchain 
- Logistic chain 
- Cybersecurity in the agrifood chain 
- Open data 
- Sensorization 
- Food traceability 

Participation in the brokerage event is free of charge. More information:
Cristina Cabeza Ferna ndez 
Agencia Andaluza del Conocimiento (AAC) 
Tel. +34 -955 045 811 
cristina.cabeza@juntadeandalucia.es

Nathalie Chavrier on agrifood sector digitalisation

The Spanish magazine “Agenda de la Empresa” interviewed Nathalie Chavrier, Agri-food Technical Officer at CTA (Technological Corporation of Andalusia) on the digitalisation of the agri-food sector and the opportunities provided by TRACK project for European SMEs. CTA participates in the European TRACK project, funded by COSME Programme. TRACK project aims to create an interregional ecosystem to stimulate new innovative solutions fitting specific requirements of agri-food chain, and joint investments towards an advanced agri-food industry 4.0.

What are the challenges of the agri-food sector to make progress in digital transformation?

"The digitalisation of the agri-food sector is contributing to the evolution of productive models slowly. Currently, there are few farms in Spain that have integral technological solutions implemented. The reasons for this slowness are the strong atomisation of the agri-food sector and, consequently, the diversity of companies. 

In this context, the development of tailor-made solutions is necessary. However, the investment capacity of SMEs, which constitute the 95% of the Andalusian agri-food sector, is reduced. 

In addition, not only the demand of the agri-food sector is fragmented, the technological supply as well. The placing on the market of integral solutions, covering all facets of the productive processes of an agricultural holding, requires collaboration between developers and technology suppliers. 

It is also necessary a technification of professionals in the agri-food sector to assume the adoption of new technologies."

What are the main innovation trends in Agriculture 4.0?

"IoT, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence for decision-making assistance systems, Blockchain, remote sensing systems, geo-positioning and image processing are some of the areas in which research and innovations are currently being developed. It is expected that these innovations will be implemented in the medium term." [Click here to read the full interview (in Spanish)]

Webinar on October 31st: “ICT for agrifood - an ecosystem of technologies"

We are glad to invite you to the second episode of our webinar series “TRACK; Growing data: 4.0 Technologies for Agribusiness” to be held on 31 October 2019 from 9 to 11 am CET (Brussels time). The webinar will be delivered by Massimo Carnevali, of the Emilia-Romagna Agrifood and Service Innovation clusters, also vice-president of the Engineering School of the University of Bologna, Italy. 

“ICT for agrifood - an ecosystem of technologies"

ICT for agrifood is an ecosystem composed of different technologies. From the field to decision-making it is a complex journey that one can take using a wide array of ICT technologies including IOT, BIG Data, AI/ML etc. 

Big data is one of the key elements of this journey, but its effects are amplified only if it is integrated within its surrounding universe of ICT solutions; for instance, blockchain is important but it is only one of the elements in traceability projects. 

In this webinar we will try to analyse all the challenges of this revolution and we will extract some suggestions coming from live industry experience. We will also reserve some time for questions and answers.

How to sign up?

To participate in the webinar you must register. You can sign up until October 29:
• Go to www.trackgrowingdata.eu/
• Click on the button to register
• Fill in the form

All participants receive the link to the GoTo meeting no later than 30 October.