International activities

European Strategic Cluster Partnership for Excellence (ESCP-4x)

Project SAFE SMART FOOD; grant agreement – 874389

The Safe Smart Food project’s kick off meeting in Austria to internationalise food related clusters in Europe

“Several European Clusters have gathered in Austria to present the Safe Smart Food project”

Austrian Food Cluster - Business Upper Austria organised the kick-off meeting of the new European Strategic Cluster Partnership for Excellence (ESCP-4x): Safe Smart Food. The meeting was held in Linz, Austria on March 2nd and 3rd.

The kick-off meeting started on the first day with the introduction of each partner who explained their activities, members, ongoing projects, initiatives and other links with Safe Smart Food project’s strategy.

During the meeting Laura SmithWood Cluster was presenting other cluster experiences such as Design Thinking for innovation in SMEs and Dorian WesselyCleantech Cluster was presenting bio-based solutions for wood, food, pharma and packaging industries.

On the second day, project work packages were discussed where partners were agreeing in more details on each responsibilities and outcomes on the delivery. It was agreed that: 

  • Steering Committee meetings will be organised some parts of the project deliverables as strategy.
  • Sector studies will be outsourced.
  • Within the project, the general skills together with specific skills will be used to elaborate the e-book where skills will be generated within 6 webinars.
  • 2 study visits will be organised where each partner will need to involve at least 4 clusters
  • A hackathon will be organised
  • An exchange programme will be organised, throughout the program sustainability
  • And communication and dissemination actions will be implemented.

The Safe Smart Food project

The Safe Smart Food project is composed by 5 clusters from 4 EU countries- Business Upper Austria from Austria, Smart Food Cluster from Lithuania, Food Products Quality Cluster from Latvia and Packaging Cluster and Food Service Cluster, both from Spain. These organizations have driven this project with the intention of promoting the internationalisation of the associated clusters and their member companies.

The aims of the project are to strengthen the collaboration between clusters and improve their management capacity to create the conditions of a favourable ecosystem in the agri-food sector to boost innovation, competitiveness and internationalisation of SMEs and to offer to the cluster’s SMEs an integrated program of services based on excellence.

This initiative provides for more than 50 exchanges between the different members of the European Clusters, which will improve the cluster tool individually and collectively. And it will offer a solution that guarantees healthy and quality food, with a package that takes care of the environmental impact it generates – eco-design – and optimizes resources, both at state and European level.

The needs of SMEs and the stakeholders involved will be analysed, as well as the final consumers, to offer services more aligned with the strategic trends of the sector, such as food security or lack of added value in the products in question. Subsequently, a 5-year strategy will be established to develop an implementation program of the improvements taken from the study, in line with the consortium’s strategy. The tools to reach it are: innovation, internationalisation, networking, sustainability and C2C conferences.

The total budget for the Safe Smart Food is 456,623 € with a contribution of 347,467 € by the European Union and 20 months to carry out the task.

More about the clusters involved:

Business Upper Austria main activities linked with the project’ strategy are: exchange of experience rounds, qualification seminars, trainings, funding consultancy where most of the funded projects are for packaging topics, support in internationalisation and fair tours, matchmaking and networking events.

Packaging Cluster has members from all the packaging value chain. Recently had the Gold Label audit, selected by the Catalan institution ACCIÓ. High level of participation in activities and projects from the cluster’ members. Sustainability and Shared Value working groups are target companies of the project. Annual reports analysing the sector, this year: Industry 4.0. Main activities linked with the project’s strategy are: strategic reflection events, technical and innovation seminars, inter-cluster workshops, internationalisation, training and spreading know-how, R+D+I projects.

Foodservice Cluster of Catalonia is a cluster organisation that is intended to promote and strengthen the competitiveness of the foodservice segment, initiatives aimed at driving the foodservice sector of Catalonia and stimulating and exploiting the synergies between the members of the value chain in order to drive the development of transforming projects. Projects and activities of great impact between cluster members with topics such as: user experience, km.0, digitalisation, food safety, eco/smart packaging, last mile.

Food Products Quality Cluster provides national food quality labels and improvement programmes for national food producers. Exportation is very important for the sector in the country. Members can offer green national products and flexible production to differentiate from big companies. Main activities linked with the project’s strategy are: R+D+I, internationalisation and collaborative projects.

Smart Food Cluster is a part of the European Cluster Alliance. Also, very focused on exportation due to the small size of the national market. Main activities linked with the project strategy are: business missions, B2B matchmakings, connection with packaging industry, digitalisation, new/smart products, internationalisation & growth.

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This publication was funded by the European Union’s COSME Programme.

The content of this publication represents the views of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility; it cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission and/or the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) or any other body of the European Union. The European Commission and the Agency do not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.

More information:

Contact details: Mònica Riera mriera@packagingcluster.com

Food Products Quality Cluster meets with Turkish representatives

On 29 January 2020, a meeting of LFFC Food Products Quality Cluster and the Turkish Chamber of Commerce and Industry took place in the Ministry of Agriculture building.

The Latvian food industry was presented to guests from all regions of Turkey, noting also the National Food Quality Scheme, with the Green and Red Spoon products exceeding the quality requirements of the European Union. Possible scenarios for promoting cooperation between producers in both countries were identified.

Food Product Quality Cluster chooses Latvia’s best young baker of 2019!

The contest among students of Latvian professional education institutions   Young baker 2019” (Jaunais Maiznieks 2019”) concluded on November 2019. Justīne Jumīte, a student of Jelgava Crafts Secondary School, was recognized its winner.

The contest was organized by the Food Product Quality Cluster and the Latvian Federation of Food Companies in cooperation with the Latvian Bakers’ Association and Riga Technical School of Tourism and Creative Industry. It was supported by AS “Rīgas Dzirnavnieks”, which provided raw materials, and co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Union.

The baking of the traditional Latvian rye bread is among the longest and most complicated bread making technologies worldwide and as a traditional national cultural value is included in the Latvian Culture Canon. The aim of the contest was to preserve and promote baker’s profession in order not to lose this important symbol of Latvian identity as well as to develop students’ professional skills and creative thinking towards innovations. The contestant had to bake a bread for a modern consumer using natural ingredients.

Such contests enable future bakers to show their creative approach, acquired skills and knowledge in practice, as well as to accumulate their experience and improve their qualification. To be a baker means not only to make bread, but also to preserve and maintain Latvian traditions of baking and to give a contribution to these traditions, thus promoting one of the world’s oldest crafts – that of baker .

12 Students of professional education institutions aged 17-23 participated in the contest. The future bakers represented Riga Technical School of Tourism and Creative Industry, Valmiera Technical College, as well as Jelgava Crafts Secondary School, Ogre Technical College and Kuldīga College of Technologies and Tourism.

DIGICLUSTERS management team meeting

In March 18th, 2019 the project partner representatives took part in the project management team meeting and study visit in Kaunas, Lithuania.

The purpose of the visit is to:

  1. Discuss basic aspects of project implementation
  2. Sign a partnership agreement;
  3. To discuss about the progress of implementation of the project activities
  4. To study from best practices of implementing local Hackathons

Intensive meetings with project partners, debates, discussions and group work will facilitate to share best practice and experiences on the implementation activities who will help to reach the final project goal.

During the visit, the representatives of the project partner institutions will have the opportunity to be a part of Baltic Cluster Forum 2019. According that BALTIC CLUSTER FORUM 2019 this year is officially included in EU Cluster Weeks initiative and will focus on one of the key factors to ensure growth and success in the future clusters: innovation. During the conference, variety of local and foreign experts will provide best practices to start, promote and sustain innovation process, reveal the significance of international and cross-sectoral partnerships in fuelling innovation engine. So the project partner representatives will have good opportunity to spread the information of our implementing project and its activities.

Taking part in the visit is a part of Latvian IT Cluster (LITC) administrated project “ESCP S3 for speeding up industrial modernization of Agrofood packaging sectors towards Industry 4.0 and digital transformation by Cluster-Facilitated X-Industry Hackathons —DIGICLUSTERS”.

This publication was produced with the financial support of the European Union.

The content of this publication represents the views of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility; it cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission and/or the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) or any other body of the European Union. The European Commission and the Agency do not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.

Project  ESCP S3 for speeding up industrial modernization of Agrofood packaging sectors towards Industry 4.0 and digital transformation by Cluster-Facilitated X-Industry Hackathons —DIGICLUSTERS

Project No. 822095

Project‘s Coodinator: Latvian IT Cluster (LITC)

Project‘s Beneficiaries: AgroBioCluster represented by Foundation UNIMOS (UNIMOS/ABC), Food Products Quality Cluster represented by Latvian Federation of Food Companies (LFFC/FPQC), OnGranada Tech City (ON GRANADA), SMART food cluster represented by Lithuanian Food exporters association (LITMEA/SFC), Association of Lithuanian Printing Industries (LISPA), Lithuanian Innovation Center (LIC).

Project duration: The duration of the action will be 18 months as of 01/10/2018

The project is co-funded by the European Union’s COSME Programme.

Food Products Quality Cluster is a co-founder of Latvian Clusters Network

1st July, 2019 was important day for Sector Clusters of Latvia. Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Clusters Cooperation in Latvia. Memorandum was signed by 13 leading Latvian Sector Clusters: Food Product Quality Cluster, Latvian Health Tourism Cluster, CleanTech Latvia, Latvian IT Cluster, Latvian Export Cluster, Green-tech Latvia, Enter Gauja, Latvian electronics and electrical engineering cluster, Latvian Life Sciences Development Cluster, Latvian Security and Defence Cluster, Metalworking cluster, Print and media technology cluster, Latvian wood construction cluster.

Main objective is to strengthen Sector Clusters in Latvia.

Common activities:

  • Development of Latvian Clusters Network
  • Representation Latvian Clusters at international level
  • Join to European Alliance of National Cluster Associations
  • Cooperation between Sector Clusters in Latvia
  • Develop common initiatives, projects and events at Latvian and International level
  • Strengthen cooperation and coordinated actions for Cluster development in Latvia

Representative of the Latvian Clusters Network – Armands Lejas-Krumins (armands.lejas-krumins@lpuf.lv )

Latvian Food B2B Matchmaking Event

On 12-13th of March Food Products Quality Cluster in cooperation with Gateway&Partners organize Latvian Food B2B Matchmaking Event where Latvian food manufacturers welcomed European food importers.

The event gathered 9 European importers that came to Latvia to individually meet 10 Latvian producers of fish, meat, bakery and snack products. The event was opened with a seminar which gave an inside look to foreign participants into food industry in Latvia and manufacturing environment in the Baltic countries.

During the B2B matchmaking event a total of 48 meetings took place where the producers introduced the buyers to their product range, capabilities, core strengths and advantages. The program was followed by visits of buyers to producers who opened their factory premises to introduce their production environment.

The invited participants had an opportunity to find fresh ideas, get to know perspective and growing businesses, and establish new contacts for future cooperation with Latvian producers.


PROJECT

ESCP S3 for speeding up industrial modernization of Agrofood packaging sectors towards Industry 4.0 and digital transformation by Cluster-Facilitated X-Industry Hackathons —DIGICLUSTERS

PROJECT No. 822095

Digitalisation is at the base of growth – new digitalisation workshops are launched, specifically designed for the food industry

New digitalisation workshops for the food industry, also titled X-industry hackathon, have been launched on March 19th, taking place till April 16th. Alongside the traditional series of events, a mini X-industry hackathon is presented where IT professionals join the industry SMEs to help them evaluate their current business processes and how the existing digital solutions can help them improve their results.

The X-industry hackathon for the food industry lets the food companies share their business challenges and invites the IT companies to look for the digital solutions. In 5 workshops from March 19th to April 16th they join forces to step out of the box, understand how industries work and put their knowledge together to build new solutions and grow their business. This time, among the participants are Cannelle Bakery, SFT Seafood, Milzu!, Food Union, Baltic Ovo, as well as Taste Caps, Fermentum, Latvijas ķiploks and Oscar’s Fish who participate in the very first mini X-industry hackathon, created to help the companies define and analyse their business processes, and draft potential scenarios how existing digital solutions can improve their results. The IT expertise is represented by Datakom, Burti, Gstream, AndIT Solutions, Lux Technology, Dots., MBIT and Positive Company.

Bruno Ansons, the board member at Cannelle Bakery, explains: ‘This X-industry hackathon, targeted at food industry, was like a catalyst for our company to accentuate a challenge which we had but was not addressed yet – the complicated administration of production documentation. We expect that the event will help us find a solution that is of good quality, easy to use and beneficial, a solution we can effectively implement in our business.’

Over the course of 4 weeks the hosts Latvian IT Cluster, working with different industry professionals, will also offer valuable keynotes in the topics, such as business and product development, user experience, pitching and innovation implementation for the teams to achieve the results faster and gain knowledge that can boost their business development.

X-industry hackathon is organised in a close collaboration with the Food Products Quality Cluster. As its CEO Armands Lejas-Krumins points out: ‘The outcome of the food industry digitalisation project mostly depends on the skill how two industries – the relatively conservative food industry and the digitally advanced IT industry – will be able to communicate ‘without translators’. The opening event gave a hope that the interaction would be successful resulting in new cross-industry collaboration proposals at the Latvian Food Competence Centre.’

In the meantime, Aiga Irmeja, the Executive Director at Latvian IT Cluster, outlines the decision of hosting a parallel mini X-industry hackathon: ‘Preparing for the event and talking to companies in the food industry, we concluded that many of them found it difficult to navigate themselves in the existing pool of the IT solutions and detect the best one for their needs. Thus, this has become one of the focal challenges in this intake – to help these companies create a quality road map for digitalising business processes in a way it can afterwards let them grow more rapidly. This is why we have introduced the mini X-industry hackathon.’

X-industry hackathon is organised under project DIGICLUSTERS that was funded by the European Union’s COSME Programme. DIGICLUSTERS is a novel European Strategic Cluster Partnership for smart specialization investments and industrial modernisation of agrofood & packaging sectors towards Industry 4.0 and digital transformation through pioneer concept of Cluster-Facilitated X-Industry Hackathons. More information about project here.

 

The content of this publication represents the views of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility; it cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission and/or the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) or any other body of the European Union. The European Commission and the Agency do not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.

 

Project  ESCP S3 for speeding up industrial modernization of Agrofood packaging sectors towards Industry 4.0 and digital transformation by Cluster-Facilitated X-Industry Hackathons —DIGICLUSTERS

Project No. 822095

Project‘s Coodinator: Latvian IT Cluster (LITC)

Project‘s Beneficiaries: AgroBioCluster represented by Foundation UNIMOS (UNIMOS/ABC), Food Products Quality Cluster represented by Latvian Federation of Food Companies (LFFC/FPQC), OnGranada Tech City (ON GRANADA), SMART food cluster represented by Lithuanian Food exporters association (LITMEA/SFC), Association of Lithuanian Printing Industries (LISPA), Lithuanian Innovation Center (LIC).

Project duration: The duration of the action will be 18 months as of 01/10/2018

The project is co-funded by the European Union’s COSME Programme


Food Products Quality Cluster is implementing COSME Go International Project DIGICLUSTERS

PROJECT

ESCP S3 for speeding up industrial modernization of Agrofood packaging sectors towards Industry 4.0 and digital transformation by Cluster-Facilitated X-Industry Hackathons —DIGICLUSTERS

PROJECT No. 822095

 

The Grand Agreement was signed on 01/10/2018 by Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) under the powers delegated by the European Commission and LATVIAN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES CLUSTER (LITC), and the following other beneficiaries: FUNDACJA UNIMOS (UNIMOS/ABC), LATVIJAS PARTIKAS UZNEMUMU FEDERACIJA (LFFC/FPQC), ASOCIACION CLUSTER GRANADA PLAZA TECNOLOGICA Y BIOTECNOLOGICA (ON GRANADA), LIETUVOS MAISTO EKSPORTUOTOJU ASOCIACIJA (LITMEA) (LITMEA/SFC), LIETUVOS SPAUSTUVININKU ASOCIACIJA (LISPA), VIESOJI ISTAIGA LIETUVOS INOVACIJU CENTRAS (LIC). The grant is awarded for the action entitled ‘ESCP S3 for speeding up industrial modernization of agrofood packaging sectors towards Industry 4.0 and digital transformation by Cluster-Facilitated X-Industry Hackathons — DIGICLUSTERS’.

The main objectives of the DIGICLUSTERs project are:

  • To support setting-up the European Strategic Cluster Partnership for smart specialization investments (ESCP-S3)
  • To foster the collaboration between enterprises, especially SMEs and their interactions with technology centers within the cluster and across regional and sectoral silos towards generating joint actions and investment projects in common smart specialisation priority areas linked to industrial modernisation and to help improving their business environment
  • To speed up industrial modernization by bringing together clusters, regional authorities and technology centers and facilitate the generation of a pipeline of joint collaboration and innovation projects  
  • To implement joint activities with a view to mobilise interregional collaboration and investments of industry actors, notably SMEs, and provide related business, technology and growth support services
  • To strengthen and facilitate linkages between clusters, technology centers and regional authorities in order to link specialized ecosystem and create favorable environment for innovations to accelerate industrial modernization
  • To entrepreneurially discover new and strategic forms of interregional cooperation between and B2B with European partners to help SMEs incorporate new technologies and digital innovations and trigger collaboration aimed at joint investments
  • To improve the visibility of the consortium, its partners and affiliates at European level, building and shaping positive image of involved clusters, SMEs, technology centers and regional governments

 

Project duration: The duration of the action will be 18 months as of 01/10/2018

The project is co-funded by the COSME programme of the European Union