Discover Smart Farming & Foodprocessing: robotization and automation in response to specific challenges of SME food companies and farms
Discover Smart Farming & Food Processing: robotization and automation in response to specific challenges of SME food businesses and farms
Flanders' FOOD, together with partners from Flanders and the Netherlands, is setting up farmers and SME food companies to work out robotization and automation solutions tailored to their needs. Project-based collaborations are set up with technology companies and financial and technological support is offered on top of that.
Thanks to the recently launched Interreg Vlaanderen-Nederland project Smart Farming & Food Processing, farmers and SME food companies have the opportunity to work together with technology companies as well as project partners (including Flanders' FOOD). This collaboration aims to develop challenging robotization and automation solutions for the participating companies..
'Smart Farming & Food Processing' arose from the observation that existing robotization and automation solutions remain underused today. Moreover, the project sees this technology as an "enabler" for new production methods that can accelerate the transition to a sustainable food system.
At the same time, many high-tech companies are active in the 'Flanders-Netherlands' border region. The necessary knowledge is therefore present here to work out innovative groundbreaking solutions for both agriculture and the food industry.
To meet these challenges, it is crucial to set up collaborations between issue holders and technology companies. This is what 'Smart Farming & Food Processing' is fully committed to.
But there is more: to maximize the chances of success, the project is providing customized guidance by making the 'field labs' of relevant project partners available to offer additional technical support.
Where are they now?
- In the past few months, the project undertook a first round of searches for agricultural and SME food companies with issues.
- In a second phase, soon to be launched, a selection of 'challenges' will be made among the issues submitted.
- Following this, links will be made with technology companies that will formulate proposals to concretely solve these 'challenges' with robotization and automation technology, and where possible, also start applying smart data usage.
- After this 'matching round', a selection of 7 to 9 collaborative projects will be made, where companies can concretely get started with financial support.
On top of that, each of these projects will receive additional technological guidance and experimental support from the project partners in order to maximize and accelerate the development process. Since there is also a great need for testing infrastructure when developing new techniques, the living labs and "field labs" of the knowledge institutions involved are made available. This makes the valorization of new technology more efficient and allows the elaborated solutions to go to the market faster and more extensively in the form of demonstrative and economically viable business cases.
Come to the launch events.
On October 5 and 9, two 'Smart Farming & Food Processing' kick-off events will be organized. These are aimed at issue holders as well as technology companies and others interested in the project theme. These events will introduce you to the first challenges, some of which will be presented by problem owners. Furthermore, you will learn all about the project approach.