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Finishing phase

TRACK is coming in its finishing phase. It is time for our SM’s to profit from the work we have done, or will do in the last half year. The selected SME’s and projects will be upgraded to a higher level. Important are the decisions in the next month about how to sustain the results of the TRACK project. More about this in the upcoming newsletters.  

Stream webinar ‘ICT For Agrifood – Will robots replace humans in the Greenhouse?’

TRACK recently (January 30) organized the webinar "ICT For Agrifood - Will robots replace humans in the Greenhouse?".

[View this webinar online]

TRACK participates in RoboCrops 

TRACK will participate in RoboCrops, a Thematic Mission event that seeks to accelerate the development of robotics in greenhouse horticulture with hackathons, presentations and matchmaking. The global leaders in the field of robotics in this sector will be gathering in the Netherlands on 23 and 24 April for the first edition. 

The annual event brings high-tech companies and universities together with growers and investors in the Westland and Delft. Professionals and students will be challenged to the limit in the extensive programme packed with hackathons, informative workshops for growers and matchmaking which are taking place simultaneously at World Horti Center Naaldwijk and RoboHouse/TU Delft.

Accelerating robotics

The aim of RoboCrops is to speed up the development of robotics in greenhouse horticulture. RoboCrops therefore focuses on both the hardware – sensors, robot arms, grippers, autonomous vehicles – and the decision-supporting software required to control the 
robots.



Robots or robot components can be classified into three areas during RoboCrops. These are “Sense” (sensors with which the robot observes the environment), “Think” (processing the data from sensors, often using Artificial Intelligence/Augmented Reality) and “Act” (performing an action, such as cutting leaves or picking vegetables or cut flowers).



Growers, tech companies and students
Growers can attend a programme at World Horti Center on 23 April which will provide them with an extensive and in-depth presentation of the latest developments in robotics for greenhouse horticulture. Tech companies and universities will be able to demonstrate what the technical possibilities and challenges are on 24 April.

On both days students will be working in RoboHouse in Delft during a major hackathon organised by TU Delft and WUR.
During that hackathon they will apply their expertise to various challenges, and thereby help accelerate developments in the field of robotics. On 24 April they will be pitching their hacks to a professional jury at World Horti Center. The programme also provides opportunities for matchmaking between various parties.



Initiative
RoboCrops is an initiative by InnovationQuarter, Province of Zuid-Holland, World Horti Center, TU Delft, Greenport West-Holland and RoboHouse Delft.

TRACK in synergies with 2 others COSME.ESCP.S3 for the Final Project Meeting

After 24 months, the 5 partners of TRACK will meet in Brussels to present the results and prepare the future. Two other agri-food projects will also take part, a good opportunity to enhance exchanges.

On 24/25th of September, the 3 consortia will be gathered for 1 day of work. From production, food processing and packaging, the 3 projects cover a large range of value chains in Agri-food. It was relevant to join our efforts for this last event. All partnerships supported SMEs toward innovations and internationalization. Now, it’s time to show the main results and disseminate to the European Commission or Smart Specialization Strategies partnerships the outcomes. Big-data and sensors are already everywhere and aim to improve the quality and security for the consumer. The SMEs supported are good evidence of it. This experience of COSME project is valuable and deserve to be discussed with all the stakeholders (clusters, regions, Institutions). The final program will be available on our website soon.

Workshop on Digital Security in horticulture

On Thursday 12 March, a Workshop (as part of the TechTalks) on Digital Security in (greenhouse) horticulture was organized in the World Horti Center, Naaldwijk, Netherlands. Various growers, students and greenhouse horticultural suppliers were present and discussed the prevention of data leaks and digital dangers. 

The digital security working group, consisting of Hoogendoorn, Lentiz, InnovationQuarter and Beekenkamp, ​​indicated that it is very important to keep IT and OT within companies separate. The importance of using a password manager, Bitlocker and multi-factor authentication also became painfully clear. Visitors indicated that they were being pressured on the facts and are working on digital security. Various working sessions on the theme will be organized as a follow up of this workshop.

AGRARIA 2020 postponed due the Covid-19

The 26th edition of Agraria 2020 - which would take place from 2-5 april 2020, is to be rescheduled for a future date. The Romanian Government prohibits public events with more than 1,000 participants. Free acces ticket received by visitors that registered online remain valid for the future date of the event.

31st International Horticultural Congress in Angers, France

From August 14 to August 18, 2022  the 31st edition of the International Horticultural Congress - IHC2022 - will take place in Angers, France. During one week, participants will discover and interact in plenary sessions, Symposia, networking exhibition, user-friendly social program and technical tours. 

The International Horticultural Congress (IHC) is a scientific event organised every four years since 1959 in the fields related to Horticulture under the auspices of ISHS (International Society for Horticultural Science), a global network with over 7,000 members. IHC2022 will gather around 3,000 participants, ISHS’members and non-members from all over the world.
IHC2022 will take place under auspices of VEGEPOLYS VALLEY INTERNATIONAL, ISHS and Angers. More info in the [IHC2020 leaflet] and the [ICH2020 Presentation]

TRACK SMEs highlighted during SIVAL 2020 and VIBE

Each year the SIVAL receives 26 000 visitors in the Exhibit centre of Angers (France). All solutions providers for horticulture are present, from the seeds to fertilizers, lights, technologies and machinery. 

VIBE (VEGEPOLYS VALLEY INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS EVENT), this matchmaking event gathered 140 participants from 24 countries, very fruitful for the digital solution to find their partners. This year, TRACK had specific activities including SMEs identified through the project: 9 SMEs participated (4 French, 1 Dutch, 3 Spanish, 1 Italian) in three main activities. A specific pitch session for TRACK SMEs has been done in the Forum of the SIVAL, it was a very good opportunity to share with the visitors their services and products to digitalize the agri-food value chain. Finally, they were invited at a side-event, an AGTECH conference, another good opportunity to network with the Agtech ecosystem. It was a success considering that collaborations started there and some SMEs want to come back next year.

Funding for Innovation? Entrepreneurial Discovery Workshop

The North-West Regional Development Agency in Romania organized on Tuesday, March 3, 2020, at USAMV Cluj-Napoca, the Institute of Advanced Horticultural Research of Transylvania, the workshop on entrepreneurial discovery in the field of agri-food and health. The event was held to support the smart specialization and consolidation initiatives needed to ensure success in the 2021-2027 programming period, be it major regional innovative projects or innovative private projects. 

AgroTransilvania Cluster, during the participation to the event “Funding for Innovation? Entrepreneurial Discovery Workshop”, identified the need of smart technology integration from the agri-food companies in the region, mainly the ones acting in agriculture. The participants in the meeting were representatives of companies, universities, start-ups, local public authorities, innovators and researchers. It was identified the difficulty of connecting companies from ITC with the ones from agri-food sector, because of numerous and diverse reasons. AgroTransilvania Cluster proposed, as solution to eliminate this gap, to be created and financially supported, a structure of complementary experts and specialists able to collect understand and filter the needs, expectation, products and solution from all interested stakeholders. In such a way, it could be identified needs of agrifood producers, it could be introduced those needs to ICT industry and, finally, it could be facilitated the knowledge and technology transfer from ICT to agri-food sector.

Innovation Camp 2020

Innovation Camp 2020 was organized by Transilvania IT Association in partnership with Cluj-Napoca City Hall.  The European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, was also present. On the occasion of the festive opening of the event, on March 5, the European Commission also launched this year's competition on the European Capital of Innovation. The event will also mark the conclusion of the pilot project of strategic collaboration between Cluj and Varna within the Startup Cities Initiative.

The purpose of this event was to bring together actors from the local innovation ecosystem (key Q-helix experts), experts from the European Union active in the ecosystems of national and international startups, as well as local, national and international partners. AgroTransilvania Cluster was involved into the challenge you will be part of during this edition is Building and Boosting the Ecosystem for Start-ups at the Local Level as DIH. 

Due to the experience of the local ecosystem developing with the help of clusters involvement in each industry, we consider that the next level of this cross-sectoral collaboration between the clusters and other local stakeholder is to build a strong Digital Innovation Hub which will coordinate local initiatives and connect them to European level.

Therefore, the main objectives of this challenge were to outline an ecosystem for start-ups, under the umbrella of Transylvania, Digital Innovation Hub; to outline the characteristics of a Digital Innovation Hub in order to support: start-ups and innovation; to define the strategic objectives of a DIH which will support the regional; development through innovation and start-ups; and to define the programs through which DIH will operate its strategy related to start-ups and innovation.

On this occasion, Smart Transylvania was created by 6 clusters (AgroTransilvania Cluster, Transilvania IT Cluster, Transylvanian Furniture Cluster, Creative Industries Cluster, Transylvania Energy Cluster and Romanian New Materials Cluster), aiming to be act as a Digital Innovation Hub.