IDEAS: "Innovation, Development, and Employment in the Agri-food Sector" is a project that capitalizes on the STRENGTHS of the Agriculture and Food sectors in the CBA, which not only traditionally has been one of its strengths, but moreover shows great dynamism today. Nevertheless, in both sides of the borders, the sector is characterized by a significant lack of available human capital with the capacity to follow and adapt to the challenges that the ever-changing natural and market environment poses.
At the same time young, highly qualified professionals lack the technical and financial support to make use of their competencies in the market. Therefore, the competitiveness of the sector is gradually losing edge and significant potential remains untapped. The project aspires to address these issues by promoting entrepreneurship for young highly educated professionals in order for them to create new sustainable agri-businesses. In particular, it aspires to work complementary to other policy tools, such as the Rural Development Programme of North Macedonia 2014-2020 and the Regional Operational Programme and RIS3 of Central Macedonia and address identified, but unmet needs. To this end, the project builds on the extensive experience of the partners in the agri-food sector and rural development.
The overall objective of the project is to identify, support and kick-start new business in the agri-food sector that have innovative potential and who can become multipliers of the advantages of the region. Based on the identified needs and priorities IDEAS will focus on Smart Agriculture in both countries and Food Health and Safety in North Macedonia. IDEAS will support highly educated entrepreneurs to acquire necessary skills and knowledge not only in agriculture, but also in Business, and provide for the most innovative and promising a grant.
The main outputs of the project will be the following:
(a) A Communication campaign to inform young qualified professionals for opportunities and career pathways in the agri-food sector that will lead to the recruitment of ideas for the next stages.
(b) Training in the two identified Agri-food fields and
(c) Training in a Business Tools workshop,
(d) Ten 10 grants that will support the most innovative and mature ideas that will be supported also through
(e) business mentoring to become 10 new robust businesses in the field, this ensuring the creation of new job positions.
The partners worked jointly to form a cohesive and comprehensive project. IDEAS brings together highly qualified young professionals and one of the most promising productive sectors in the CBA, building in identified strengths and addressing basic NEEDS such as "the decrease of unemployment", "restraining the demographic deficit" as well as Basic Priorities "Make use of labour force in small urban centres", "Take advantage of technology and innovation potentials" and "Link academic capabilities with local opportunities".
FOUNDATION FOR LOCAL AND IT DEVELOPMENT – GEVGELIJA
RURAL DEVELOPMENT NETWORK OF NORTH MACEDONIA
AMERICAN FARM SCHOOL
"ECHO - Engaging Citizens in land Science: the road to Healthier Soils" is a Research and Innovation Action funded by the European Union, within the Horizon Europe Program, subject HORIZON-MISS-2022-SOIL-01-09. The project started on June 1, 2023 and will last for 4 years.
The project is based on three key principles: citizen participation, empowering them with knowledge and an active role in data collection, and enabling them to participate in decision-making on land issues.
The ECHO consortium consists of 16 partners:
• 10 leading universities and research centers (Free University of Bolzano-Bozen, University of Hohenheim, FCIENCIAS.ID and University of Lisboa, University of Bologna, The James Hutton Institute, University of Eastern Finland, American Farm School, University Stefan Cel Mare Suceava , University of Extremadura),
• 4 SMEs (Solutopus, Plantpress, Quanta Labs, Ambienta),
• and 2 institutions (Ibercivis, Resoil).
Participants from small companies and institutions, as representatives of business and civil society, complement the ground and social science experts of the academic partners and are crucial to achieving the ambitious goals of the ECHO project. The ECHO project will produce new data on the health status of EU soils, complementing existing soil mapping and monitoring in EU Member States, including the EU Soil Observatory (EUSO). The project will develop and implement 28 tailored citizen science initiatives in EU Member States, taking into account different land uses, different soil types and biogeographic regions, as well as the needs of stakeholders.
"BBioNets - Creation and promotion of Forest and Agriculture Networks to boost Bio-Based Technologies adoption and Value Chain development" is an "Innovative governance, environmental observations and digital solutions to support the Green Deal" action funded by the European Union, in under the Horizon Europe Programme, subject HORIZON-CL6-2023-GOVERNANCE-01-18. The project will start at the end of 2023 and will last for 3 years.
In response to the growing need for grassroots initiatives and knowledge sharing to address grand challenges such as climate resilience and increased mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, while supporting a zero-waste and circular economy with biomass reuse, BBioNets will be a response to the growing need for grassroots initiatives and knowledge sharing to address grand challenges such as climate resilience and increased mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, while supporting zero waste and a circular economy with biomass reuse, BBioNets will be a thematic network based, will promote and further promote the work carried out by EIP AGRI Operational Groups (OGs) regarding the management and/or processing of agricultural and forest biomass with bio-based technologies (BBTs).
Applying the quintuple helix model and a multi-stakeholder approach both within the consortium itself and in field activities, BBioNets will create 6 regional Forestry and Agricultural Networks - FANs (IE, ES, IT, GR, PL, CZ) that they will ensure balance in the representation of all stakeholders. FANs will identify local needs and, through co-creation and joint actions, prioritize specific BBTs, benefit from and validate knowledge developed by the consortium based on previous results of OG and EU funded projects .They will help BBioNets to share BBTs practice-ready knowledge to farmers and foresters, enhancing the (re)definition of value chains, stimulating cross-fertilization across borders and bringing Europe to the forefront of agriculture, forestry and bioeconomy with economically viable and sustainable practices.
The solid foundation and strength of BBioNets lies in:
The BBioNets consortium consists of 9 participants:
Digital Transformation and Green Transition of the Agri-Food Value Chain in Central and Northern Greece.
The #DigiAgriFood hub intends to support the digital and green transformation of Greece's agri-food sector, and is addressed to the primary sector, SMEs, clusters and other innovative partnerships as well as interested public bodies. To this end, the hub aims to provide packages of integrated digitization services that will be tailored to end-user requirements. Pre-investment testing, new skills and training, networking, consulting to find investment solutions and financing tools, knowledge transfer and technology will be part of the service packages, focusing on smart regional areas of expertise. Given the presence of technology, education and research provider partners in the collaboration, the #DigiAgriFood hub aspires to become a regional, national and international hub of reference for high-quality services to the agri-food sector. The #DigiAgriFood node has a geographical coverage - area of intervention in the Regions of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, Central Macedonia, Western Macedonia, Epirus and Thessaly. Additionally, the hub specializes in i) Artificial Intelligence Technologies, ii) Advanced Digital Skills, and iii) Digital Transformation and Interoperability. To achieve all of the above, the #DigiAgriFood hub will operate five "one-stop-shops" and ten "antennas/spots" which are designed to function as points of service, communication and interaction with the target groups.
The #DigiAgriFood node has been approved by the European Commission together with 135 other nodes, participates in the European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIHs) innovation network and is funded by the "Digital Europe 2021-2027" program.
The total budget of the project, implemented within the framework of the "Digital Europe 2021-2027" program, amounts to 4.2 million euros and the duration of its implementation is 3 years.
The members of the node are:
Website:Αρχική - DigiAgriFood
Organic-mineral fertilizers by using recovered sulphur & orange wastes as sustainable soil recovery from desertification
The Project with the contribution of the LIFE Programme of the European Union LIFE20 ENV/IT/000229, aims at recovering alkaline and infertile soils through the final development and fine-tuning for the market of a new organic-mineral fertilizer. This new organic-mineral fertilizer is produced with a patented technology using Sulphur fine-mixed with bentonite clay (to make it friable and easy to be absorbed by plants) and dried orange peels, locally sourced from polluting agricultural wastes, such as orange peels.
LIFE RecOrgFert PLUS contributes to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related not only to climate change and environment but also to poverty, inequality and quality of life ones, specifically:
The duration of the project is 3,5 years.
Funding: HORIZON 2020, European Union
Duration: May 2018-May 2022
TERMINET (nexT gEneRation sMart INterconnectEd ioT) aims at developing a novel and distributed AI solution by leveraging FL over massive numbers of IoT devices and huge amounts of data. The proposed solution will utilize the virtualization, Software Defined Networking (SDN), and network slicing concepts in order to optimize the training performance. The FL will operate autonomously and will scale according to the number and computational capabilities of the available MEC nodes.
In addition, TERMINET will feature an inter-domain learning platform, where inter-domain knowledge will be seamlessly exchanged. Blockchain and distributed ledger technologies will be exploited in order to embed trust among the MEC nodes as well as their data. In addition, lightweight encryption schemes will be utilized in order to ensure the security and privacy of the users. Finally, three use case scenarios across different domains (i.e., energy/manufacturing, health, agriculture) will be prepared in order to validate the performance of the TERMINET platform.
The project BalkanRoad, towards farms with zero carbon, waste, and water footprint, suggests a roadmap for sustainable management strategies for the Balkan agricultural sector.
Benaki Phytopathological Institute
Institute for Mediterranean Studies
American Farm School Post Secondary Educational adn Training Association
Open University of Cyprus
Association of Agri -Environmental Farmers, Bulgaria
Agricultural Univarsity of Tirana, Albania
Organic Producers Federation, F.Y.R.O.M.
Gap Analysis Survey
OpenEARTH Conference 2020
The project "European Nature System - ENS 2.0 is about the recognition of learning outcomes and qualifications in nature-based and rural tourism sector, in the framework of the European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET).
Duration: 3 years
This program aims, via the development of educational material and a series of trainings, to support new entrepreneurs towards the inception or the development of their activity in rural sector, in relation to agrotourism, apiculture and other areas of entreprenerial expression.
Perrotis College, Greece
High Agricultural and Forestry School, F.Y.R.O.M.
The CulT project aims to strengthen farmers’ capacity to cultivate Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, through a series of training sessions, events and the distribution of a practical guide for MAPs, a main deliverable of this project.
Becoming a “European Guardian of the Environment”. An Integrated Approach to Strategies for Prevention of Soil Pollution and Rehabilitation of Harmed Territories
A project to support local environmental strategies designed to manage and prevent environmental risks. This project places special emphasis on water and soil preservation.
Innovative entrepreneurial initiatives through transnational partnership; Bulgaria-Greece
The aim of this project is to implement practice–oriented training for entrepreneurs in the primary sector, while providing a platform for networking. The program also aims to develop a professional curriculum on entrepreneurship and to promote the exchange of ideas and know-how.
The project is designed to empower and mobilize local actors to enhance employability in the agrofood sector, via specific analyses of local needs, consultancy services and hands-on training for participants. The program also provides networking opportunities and informational events on career development and prospects.
For more information and to download the deliverables of the project, please visit the project's website http://www.asprota.gr/
The ACT program looks to increase competitiveness and cooperation in the field of agrotourism, especially via the professional development of entrepreneurs in the sector. Program participants received training in the skills required to start an agro-tourism enterprise, and were certified following successful completion of the program.