The European project TRACK has been completed with three online events. The aim of this collaboration between five cluster organizations was to promote the application of big data and improve the traceability of agri-food, especially in production field. TRACK was a collaboration between Vegepolys Valley (France, coordinator), Greenport West-Holland (The Netherlands), Technological Corporation of Andalusia (Spain), AgroTransilvania Cluster (Romania) and Emilia-Romagna Regional Agrifood Clust-ER (Italy). In two years, TRACK has reached almost 400 European SMEs in digitizing their business processes.
TRACK (funded by the European Union’s COSME program; 2018/2020) focused on supporting ICT providers to improve their approaches and offer to agrifood sector. Almost 400 companies were reached in total; some of them received direct support. For example, SMEs received counseling, there were publicly accessible webinars about digitization on a regular basis (the webinars are still available at www.trackgrowingdata.eu) and TRACK organized 1 on 1 meetings. TRACK also gave SMEs the chance to pitch at the trade fair SIVAL and remotely at Fruit Attraction LiveConnect.
The TRACK closing conference could not take place physically due to the corona outbreak. That’s why three online events took place on September 24, October 8 and October 26. The events were organized with two other European projects: Connsensys (about living labs in the food industry) and Digiclusters (cluster collaboration in industrial modernization of agro-food packaging ). The final event, October 26, had 72 participants from all over Europe.
The focus during the closing events was on the next steps: how can European policy further support the European agrifood sector? An important conclusion in this respect was the need for customization and tailor-made activities. The agricultural sector is difficult to compare with other sectors. For example, we work with a fresh product and food safety is an important theme. If the European Union wants to help agricultural entrepreneurs with digitization, policy will therefore have to be geared to the specific circumstances in this sector. In November a Policy Brief will be prepared. Besides, detailed recommendations learned from TRACK experiences will be disseminated. The TRACK interclustering project memberswill stay connected and stay tuned with the field, via https://www.traceabilityandbigdata.eu/projects/trackgrowingdata.