The European TRACK project has been completed after involving nearly 400 European SMEs to promote the digitisation of the agri-food sector. This project aimed to promote the application of big data and improve the traceability of agri-food sector, especially in the production field.
TRACK was a collaboration between Vegepolys Valley (France, coordinator), Greenport West-Holland (The Netherlands), Technological Corporation of Andalusia – CTA (Spain), AgroTransilvania Cluster (Romania) and Emilia-Romagna Regional Agrifood Clust-ER (Italy).
Funded by the European Union’s COSME programme, TRACK focused on supporting ICT providers to improve their approaches and offer to agri–food sector. SMEs received counseling, there were publicly accessible webinars about digitization on a regular basis (still available on trackgrowingdata.eu) and individual meetings. TRACK also gave SMEs the chance to pitch at the trade fair SIVAL and remotely at Fruit Attraction LiveConnect.
How can European policy further support the agri-food digitisation?
TRACK project has organized three online events that took place on September 24th, October 8th and October 26th. The events were organized with two other European projects: Connsensys (about living labs in the food industry) and Digiclusters (cluster collaboration in industrial modernization of agri-food packaging). The final event had 72 attendees from all over Europe.
The focus during the closing events was on the next question: How can European policy further support the agri–food digitisation? An important conclusion in this respect was the need for customisation and tailor-made activities. The agricultural sector is difficult to compare with other sectors. For example, it works with a fresh product and food safety is a priority. If the European Union wants to help agricultural entrepreneurs with digitisation, policy will therefore have to be geared to the specific circumstances in this sector.
The TRACK consortium will prepare in November a document with recommended policies and lessons learned from project experiences to stimulate innovation aimed at improving the efficiency and traceability of the plant food chain.
TRACK interclustering project members will stay connected and stay tuned with the field, via https://www.traceabilityandbigdata.eu/projects/trackgrowingdata
TRACK Coaching programme
The European TRACK project carried out the Coaching Programme, led by CTA. This programme supported 9 European ICT SMEs that were selected in an open call.
These SMEs were Sinapssia (Spain), Sis-ter (Italy), Zuffellato (Italy), Centric IT (Romania), Landfiles (France), Agrithermic (France), Nutrasing (Spain), Sixphere (Spain) and Symbia Solutions (Spain). The 9 companies received support from the TRACK Consortium experts regarding their commercial and technology strategy to the agri-food market.
The TRACK experts held individual meetings with each SME in order to detect the gaps between the companies’ capacities and their commercial purpose in the agri-food sector.
In parallel, CTA organised the first project webinar with recommendations and actions that the SMEs should do to aproach the agri-food sector.
Finally, the TRACK International Mentoring programme, led by AgroTransilvania Cluster and supervised by CTA supported the 9 SMEs to internationalise their agri-food business plans. According with the maturity the business plan and the specific needs of each SMEs, the Consortium mentors supported for:
- Identification of networks portfolio.
- International markets prospective.
- Preparation of investors round.
- Preparation of B2B agenda with potential clients.
- Preparation of application for transnational RDTI call for projects.