Purpose: Collaboration in the business development and leadership of an S3 platform with the goal to support innovative pilot projects by SMEs on their way to the global agri-food market.
The main purpose of the action is to cooperate with other regions to create a partnership for joint investment in the development of new products and services that will compete with global value chains.
In response to an open EU call for European regions to propose a thematic field for the establishment of a platform for agri-food and smart specialisation strategies (RIS3), the Region of Central Macedonia in cooperation with the Dutch Region of North Brabant have proposed the thematic field of ” =Diversification and Smart Agri-Food Destinations “.
The proposal of RoCM includes the creation of a European partnership following the recent EU policy recommendations on “Nutrition and Gastronomy as a component of regional innovation strategies”, where the importance of exploring specialised food sectors is recommended, since they are capable of producing new innovative products and services that could lead into the Global Value Chains.
These specialised products / services could be the interaction result of the traditional agri-food sector with the technology and science sectors such as food technology, IT etc.
The above platform will also represent a way to help local communities not only to create digital coordination and new links between all stakeholders, rural and urban areas, but also to help them cope with market challenges and improve their social, cultural and economic activities, overcoming structural and physical limits and providing opportunities for rural diversification.
Inter-European cooperation can contribute into:
a) Creating a portfolio of innovative pilot products at the top levels of technology readiness
b) The creation of a road map for the introduction of pilot products on the market in cooperation with small and medium-sized enterprises and sources of financing
c) Sharing information and familiarisation with policy-making processes and the transfer of know-how and good practices
d) Aligning political and joint actions and shaping strategic alliances to create a constant channel of joint actions.
In addition, within the framework of the Smart Specialisation Strategy, the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission has created a digital intelligence platform to exchange information, methodologies, consults and technical assistance to national and regional authorities for transnational cooperation and exchange of knowledge, related to the idea of smart specialization. Given that many regions in Europe share common priorities and objectives, it has been decided to create thematic sub-platforms of smart specialization with the aim of accelerating the process of developing joint investment through interregional cooperation.
Through the digital platforms, businesses can exchange information, search for collaborations, good practices, learn about new technologies, and also share their experiences.