The European Safe Smart Food project ends, after more than 2 years of collaboration between clusters and their SMEs

Submitted by Serena Rebollo… on 31 October 2022

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  • Business Upper Austria (Austria), Food Products Quality Cluster (Latvia), Smart Food Cluster (Lithuania), Foodservice Cluster (Spain) and Packaging Cluster (Spain) held the final event of the  project in Barcelona, 21-23 September.
  • An initiative that was born with the  aim of promoting the internationalisation of clusters and their SMEs, improving their management capacity as well as the agrifood ecosystem, concludes.
  • Safe Smart Food has led to the creation of a training ebook, the organisation of a hackathon and various cooperation activities, the coordination of more than 7 exchanges and the transfer of knowledge between the entire project universe.

 

In September, the COSME "Safe Smart Food" project came to an end with a final event that took place in Barcelona, from 21 to 23. The members of the European consortium and all the stakeholders who participated in the project enjoyed three days of activities such as a visit to the Juvé & Camps winery, an innovation workshop with Alfons Cornellà and the preparation of new eco-recipes with the chef Mireia Anglada.

Visit to Juvé & Camps vineyards, on 21st of September 

On the first day of the reunion, the results of the project were presented to the members who have been part of the adventure.

Emma  Vendrell, Head of International Projects of ACCIÓ, reviewed the different ways of accessing European projects for internationalisation, and highlighted the role of the clusters, which in Catalonia: “there is 25 clusters with more than 2.300 members, 69.000 million  € of global turnover and promote 150 cooperative projects".

This was followed by a guided tour of the Juvé & Camps vineyards in Sant Sadurní d'Anoia, with a final tasting of cavas and a networking lunch.

Open innovation workshop with Alfons Cornellà,  22 September

The second day was devoted to the exchange of good practices between Catalan and European clusters. The session started with Cluster Talks focused on innovative initiatives carried out by different entities and continued with an innovation dynamic led by the expert Alfons Cornellà. 

During the Cluster Talks, Eloi Montcada, Cluster Manager of the Catalan Wine Cluster INNOVI, explained how to make winning project reports. Joaquim  Solana, CEO of CENFIM, Furniture Cluster, shared how they generate added value services for their members. Eudald Casas, Cluster Manager of the Catalan Cluster of meat and alternative protein INNOVACC, showed how they face challenges and new ideas for the development of collaborative innovation projects. Pau Fernández, Head of Communication of the Clúster de l'Energia Eficient de Catalunya, told those present the techniques they use to have a media impact and good sponsorship. Elisabeth Torralba, Customer Success at secpho, presented an interesting project called Konstel, a metaverse created exclusively by the cluster, which will hold 14 virtual events in 2022. Finally, Adrià Martínez, Strategic Project Manager of the Beauty Cluster, gave advice to the other clusters on how to organise big events successfully.

Gastronomic workshop in Terra Veritas, with  Mireia Anglada, on 23rd of September

On the third and final day, we learned from the Ecochef Mireia Anglada how to create a more sustainable, ecological and nutritionally coherent cuisine with organic products. In the Terra Veritas space, we were able to hold a practical workshop with a final tasting buffet, in which recipes based on sustainability, health and ecology were prepared, thus responding to market and consumer trends.

Find  out more about the final event: https://youtu.be/CIXdfxIbRDQ 

Safe Smart Food, the project

The European Project was born in 2019, thanks to funding from the COSME programme of the European Union, in order to gather the regions of Austria, Latvia, Lithuania and Spain in one direction: to promote the internationalisation of the associated clusters and their companies, as well as to strengthen their management capacities and improve the environment of the agrifood sector.

Business Upper Austria, Food Products Quality Cluster, Smart Food Cluster, Foodservice Cluster and Packaging Cluster have been working since then considering 7 key work streams, which are the main challenges the sector is facing:

  • Sustainability
    • Efficiency in energy and water management
    • Towards 0 plastic
    • Biodegradables
  • Food Safety
    • Packaging materials
    • Manufacturing (GMPs)
    • Regulations
  • Smart Food
    • Plant-based products
    • 3D products
    • Functional Food
  • Food Tech
    • Digitalization
    • New processing technologies
    • Product Innovation
  • Last Mile
    • E-groceries
    • Cold chain innovations
    • Reduce carbon print
  • Smart Packaging
    • Sensors and blockchain
    • Active packaging
    • Nanotechnology
  • End User
    • New Business models
    • Personalization
    • Smart labels

The consortium, through the promotion of collaboration and innovation, has achieved two major accomplishments: 1) that the consortium members improve their Cluster Management Excellence Label, according to the different levels; 2) and create individual and partnership strategies, where it has been possible to make a map and analysis of the Food and Packaging sectors, create a Partners' Cluster SWOT Analysis and online questionnaire, and define a common and individual strategies (5 years).

Another output of the collaborative work has been the creation of a Training e-book, in which the main conclusions of the webinars have been compiled: Cluster Excellence & Labelling System, The  promotion of entrepreneurship in the cluster ecosystem, How to make your company more profitable with digitalization through clusters, The main trends  and challenges in the food sector, Shared Value through clusters, and Health  and nutrition as the cornerstone of the food sector.

Joint activities to strengthen cluster cooperation (knowledge and expertise sharing plus good practices) and online hackathon have also been carried out to respond the needs of SMEs and the stakeholders  involved in the framework of Safe Smart Food. 

To conclude, 7 group exchanges have been coordinated the different host countries,  as well as at trade fairs or sectoral events (2 online and 5 offline) and individual personalised exchanges have also been organized offline, in November  2021 and February 2022. In total, around 50 representatives from the  agri-food and packaging sectors met to share best practices and learn about the  trends that are shaping the global agri-food and packaging markets.   

Cluster organisation
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