- The Safe Smart Food consortium aims to provide new and better services to members of the five clusters
In recent months, the Safe Smart Food team has been working on the analysis of the value chains of food and packaging and their ecosystems in all the countries involved (Austria, Latvia, Lithuania and Spain) and finding challenges and opportunities to draw up a common strategy for the year with the main aim of developing common and complementary activities at European level by exploiting common synergies and resources.
In a first stage, the clusters defined their own key success factors (KSF) that would guide the cluster strategy and its action plan in the coming years. With these KSFs in mind, the consortium found common areas to build mutually interesting initiatives and organize a workshop with all project participants to validate the proposed lines of collaboration and define common activities for each of them. As a result, five areas of collaboration were identified:
1. Strengthen the governance, reputation and attractiveness of the Cluster brand and support members in their core business activities
Some of the main success factors presented by the clusters and grouped under this goal include, for example: increasing the impact of the cluster and its export development by improving its current “core business” activity, to focus on what is important for members and the offer supports them or becomes strong actors in providing, for example, incubation space, dissemination of best practices, innovation…, among others.
2. Promote sustainability throughout the value chain
Promoting and supporting sustainability throughout the food value chain is of high relevance in the food and packaging industry and will have a positive impact on cluster members, as the EU has defined it as a key strategic goal and a relevant part of NGEU. the basics will be laid out in this topic.
3. Foster the competitiveness of members through innovation
Innovation is very relevant in this project because it allows technology to be strengthened along the entire value chain, helps the sector maintain its attractiveness and relevance in the economy, and provides training and development in innovation for business strategies. collaboration and exchange of knowledge between organizations.
4. Strengthen international collaboration and the exchange of information
International collaboration is at the heart of the SSF program and its part of cluster services. International support for cluster members is also one of the most valued services. Strengthening the exchange and collaboration of information is an essential pillar of this strategy.
5. Lead larger and bolder projects, including those in the EU, with a greater impact on industry
Clusters, as sectoral institutions, must aspire to lead larger and bolder projects with a greater impact on the industry that will allow them to lead activities of strategic change and a high international reputation through the strong Food Cluster brand as opportunity for international projects.
Within each of these areas of collaboration, new activities and services were defined and will be published soon, but here are some in advance: an innovation agenda with knowledge exchange trips, who is who is in the ecosystem of innovation and collaboration with start-ups; international market intelligence reports; international trade missions; and a sustainability summit, among others.
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The Safe Smart Food project consists of 5 clusters from 4 EU countries, Smart Food Cluster, Business Upper Austria, Packaging Cluster, Foodservice Cluster and Food Products Quality Cluster, which have joined forces to promote the internationalization of associated clusters and its member companies.
The objectives of the project are to strengthen collaboration between clusters and improve their management capacity to create the conditions for a favorable ecosystem in the agri-food sector to drive innovation, competitiveness and internationalization of SMEs and offer SMEs the cluster an integrated service program based on excellence.