ITC_DIH

ITC - Innovation Technology Cluster Murska Sobota
ITC - Inovacijsko Tehnološki Grozd Murska Sobota / ITC

Slovenia: East Slovenia
Daniel Copot

Overview

Profile:
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About us

ITC’s vision is to become internationally recognised and leading Slovenian cluster in the areas of bio economy, smart agriculture, innovative food production and food distribution systems and similar smart specialization areas.

ITC acts as regional technology transfer intermediate, innovation center and business support cluster, with experts having strong international references, network of Institutions and extensive experience in conducting EU funded projects and other projects linked with rural development. Our membership consists of: Target groups (mainly SMEs, such as farmers, food processors, farmer associations, digital transformation solution providers) and Stakeholders, such as Research organizations, Regional public authorities and Sectoral agencies, Interest groups and NGO’s.

ITC cluster is a founder and main administration office of the European Digital Innovation Hub - DIH AGRIFOOD, bringing together Slovenian and European research and development expertise in the field of Agriculture Food production & processing and food supply. The goal of DIH AGRIFOOD is to represent a One-Stop-Shop, providing services to organizations through a Multi-Actor Approach (MAA) cooperation in order to provide safe, sustainable and quality food, while considering economic, environmental and social aspects and implications of food production and delivery. DIH AGRIFOOD membership includes more than 800 organizations (reaching to more than 6.000 European organizations), involving the eco-system of more than 25 projects, 2 Thematic Networks, 20 Living labs, 50 European DIHs and 80 Business Support Organizations. Altogether, the DIH AGRIFOOD is based on strong facilitation of 20 trained facilitators from 7 countries.

Formalised strategy
Strategy focus on internationalisation

Cluster composition

  • 65
    Cluster Members
  • 50
    SME's
  • 2
    Large Companies
  • 5
    Research Organisations, Universities, Technology Centers
  • 8
    Other Ecosystem Actors

Achievements

ITC Cluster has had a major role in developing short food supply chains in Slovenia and a promotor of local food supply for the public institutions (schools, kindergartens, ...). Almost a decade ago, founders of ITC cluster started developing the Short food supply chain called GREEN POINT, which acts as a living lab for most of the activities of the ITC cluster and its members.

GREEN POINT living lab acts in the area of Short Food Supply Chain (SFCS), based on fully deployed and functional SFSC called Green Point, located in Pomurje region (Slovenia). Our mission is to:

  1. empower cities and regions as agents of food system transformation by providing a demo-based environment for social change and
  2. provide end-to-end technological and collaborative environment where SFSC actors and solution providers (SMEs, startups) could meet and use the living lab for systemic innovation in the areas of food production & processing, distribution, marketing, access and food consumption.

GREEN POINT SFSC is including more than 70 local farmers and food producers, covering the process of production in greenhouse and open-air fields, with logistics from own distribution center and different means of sales such as public institutions (schools, ...), institutions from hospitality sector (Restaurants, ...), own retail store and online shop - GREEN POINT. The Green point SFSC is continuously implementing innovative business models and technologies while actively contributing to increase proportion of local and safe food through awareness raising campaigns. Moreover, the GREEN POINT (under the umbrella of ITC) is providing innovation infrastructure to test technologies and demonstrate new value chains developed within the food supply, with Multi-Actor based approach, involving: policy makers, local governance, academia, business actors, food actors, consumers / consumer organizations, civil society and NGOs.

Management team

Denis Topolnik
Cluster Manager
Daniel Copot
Project Manager

Sectorial and industrial focus

Sectoral Industries
Agriculture, forestry and fishing:A01 Crop and animal production, hunting and related service activities - Manufacturing:C10 Manufacture of food products - Professional, scientific and technical activities:M74 Other professional, scientific and technical activities
Technology fields
A\: Human necessities:Agriculture; forestry; animal husbandry; hunting; trapping; fishing - A\: Human necessities:Foods or foodstuffs; their treatment, not covered by other classes - G\: Physics:Information and communication technology [ICT] specially adapted for specific application fields - Y\: General tagging of new technological developments:Technologies or applications for mitigation or adaptation against climate change - Y\: General tagging of new technological developments:Y04 - Information or communication technologies having an impact on other technology areas
S3 EU priority areas
Digital transformation:Artificial intelligence, cognitive systems, augmented and virtual reality, visualisation, simulation, gamification & interaction technologies - Digital transformation:Digitising Industry (Industry 4.0, smart and additive manufacturing) - Digital transformation:e-Inclusion (e.g. e-Skills, e-Learning) - Digital transformation:Internet of Things (e.g. connected devices, sensors and actuators networks) - Public health & security:Food security & safety - Public health & security:Public health & well-being - Sustainable innovation:Climate change - Sustainable innovation:Sustainable agriculture - Sustainable innovation:Sustainable land & water use - Sustainable innovation:Sustainable production & consumption - Sustainable innovation:Waste management
Cross-sectoral industries
Digital Industries

Key members

Profile name Location
University Maribor

Services

Support services provided

Access to finance: Public funding
Facilitation of collaboration between members (within the cluster)
Facilitation of external collaboration (beyond cluster) such as matchmaking
Communication

Further information

1. Awareness creation

Awareness creation around digital technologies is highly important for the farmers in order to understand why and how should somebody implement new technologies. Highlighting the benefits, threats and challenges in of digital transformation is a key factor in farmer’s acceptance and activation.

2. Innovation scouting and Technology Transfer

Identification and mapping of solution providers on one hand and identification of needs and farmers/food producers on the other hand, is one of the most important services. There are all sorts of technologies already available to take and implement, however the challenge is how to effectively bring them closer to implementation by the target groups.

3. Cooperation with other DIHs

Collaboration with other DIHs is a key for more efficient technology transfer. It is important to have an international overview when considering bringing technologies into Slovenian agriculture or promoting Slovenian solution providers at the European level.

4. Financing / Funding

Farmers, food producers and solution providers (predominantly Startups and SMEs) need financial support for digital transformation and developing innovative digital products and services. The key question is how could we motivate farmers to adopt new technologies at a faster pace, thus not losing the competitiveness if they fail to do so. Access to funding through European projects, cascade funding opportunities and other sources is an important part of service portfolio.

5. Develop strategies and business models

Farmers need to understand with technology to adopt and why. How to choose the right technology and what are the economic benefits for the farmer are key questions to answer. On the other hand, there are solutions providers (Startups and SMEs) that are on the other side of the coin, having a need to receive a business modelling and development support when placing their new product on the market.

6. Mentoring and training

Famers need new ways of mentoring and training about how technologies will change their life and work. In order to achieve that farmers and food producers understand the complex world of technologies and their benefits, we need to find new ways of providing mentoring and training, which is more and more focused on ‘’see and feel’’ type of training.

7. Living lab

Farmers believe only if they can see it and feel it. The living lab infrastructure approach brings together use cases from Slovenia and Europe, to showcase existing technologies implemented at real cases, so that other interested target groups can get all relevant information about and around those technologies.

Support programmes

EU Programmes

European Programmes
H2020 INTERREG Other

Name & description

Transnational programmes: HORIZON2020, INTERREG CENTRAL, INTERREG DANUBE, INTERREG ALPINE SPACE, INTERREG ADRIATIC IONIAN

Cross border programmes: SI/AUT, SI/HUN, SI/CRO, SI/IT

National programmes: Agricultural, technology transfer, ...

Project name

H2020 projects:

  • DEMETER - Building an Interoperable, Data-Driven, Innovative and Sustainable European Agri-Food Sector (H2020-DT-2018-2020) https://h2020-demeter.eu/
  • PLOUTOS – Data driven sustainable agri-food value chains (H2020-RUR-2018-2020)
  • CITIES2030 – Co-creating resIlient and susTalnable food systEms towardS FOOD2030 (H2020-FNR-2020)
  • ENVISION - Monitoring of Environmental Practices for Sustainable Agriculture Supported by Earth Observation (H2020-SC5-2019-2)
  • STARTUP3 - Supporting deep-tech based innovative market players to uptake opportunities, upgrade performance and upscale their business (H2020-ICT-2018-2020) https://startup3.eu/
  • FARM2FORK HACK - Hacking sustainable, safe and environmentally friendly food production and supply in SEE as a fight against pandemic scenarios (H2020-DT-RUR-12-2018 - SmartAgriHubs project)
  • H3O-SpotOn - Healthy Crop, Healthy Environment, Healthy Farmers’ Finances through Optimized SpotOn Spraying Robotics (H2020-DT-ICT-02-2018 – agROBOfood project)
  • CYSLOP - Cypriot and Slovenian IoT pilots for on-farm production practices and integration of Post-farm and consumer-oriented processes (H2020-IOT2016 - IOF2020 project) https://www.iof2020.eu/trials/vegetables/digital-ecosystem-utilisation

INTERREG projects:

  • DANUBE S3 CLUSTER - Transnational Cluster Cooperation active on Agri – food, based on Smart Specialization Approach in Danube region (DANUBE transnational programme 2014-2020)
  • INNO-WISEs - Technologies, Competences and Social Innovation for Work Integration Social Enterprises (Interreg Central Europe 2014-2020) https://www.interreg-central.eu/Content.Node/INNO-WISEs.html
  • SEE TV-WEB, Interreg South-East Europe; 2012-2014

ERASMUS+ projects:

  • SFIB - smart farming innovation brokers: fostering the digital innovation hubs approach to increase modern farming potential (Erasmus+ - KA202 - Strategic Partnerships for vocational education and training) https://www.smartfarming-project.eu/

INTERREG CROSS-BORDER PROJECTS:

  • SI-HU PRO - Strategic cooperation of institutions for the consistent use of project results in the Slovenian-Hungarian border region (Interreg V-A Slovenia-Hungary 2020-2022)  
  • ZELENO ŽELIMO – Connecting the green hinterland tourism offer with the registered natural and cultural heritage (Interreg V-A Slovenia-Croatia 2014-2020) https://kultnatura.eu/
  • PASSPORT TO EXPORT (Interreg V-A Slovenia-Austria 2014-2020) https://www.passporttoexport.com/
  • COOP4HEALTHCARE - Cross-sectoral Alliances for Smart Healthcare Solutions (Interreg V-A Slovenia-Austria 2014-2020) https://www.coop4healthcare-project.eu/sl/
  • 3MMURA-MEDIA-MINORITY, OP Slovenia-Croatia; 2014-2015
  • GREEN LANDSCAPE, OP Slovenia-Croatia; 2014-2015

Other programmes:

  • ICT INCUBATOR GRADISKA Central European Initiative KEP-Austria, 2014-2015

Cooperation activities

International cooperation

Targeted countries

Transnational cooperation

Targeted countries

Austria
Croatia
Hungary
Italy
Slovenia

Transnational support activites

Support to collaborative activities/etc.

International support activites

Support to collaborative activities/etc.

Upcoming events

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Latest news and documents

News Published: 14.09.2020
Farm2Fork Hackathon