SmartAgriHubs is coming to its end (31st October), for that it was time to communicate results and lessons learnt, time to see and show what the project has actually achieved.
This final event took place in Lisbon from 26 to 28 September 2022. More than 300 people from Europe and beyond joined these three days plenty of workshops, more than 40, indeed. Also, more than 20 different projects related to digitalisation in the agrifood sector and Digital Innovation Hubs, such as HIBA, DEMETER, ATLAS, DESIRA, etc., were presenting their works, thus creating possibilities for potential synergies. Some of them, together with the SmartAgriHubs Flagship Innovation Experiments (28) and some of the Innovation Experiments funded by the project had presence in the Marketplace, an exhibition area to get to know in-depth their works and results.
As for the SmartAgriHubs results, 393 Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) and 260 Competence Centres (Ccs) are registered on the Innovation Portal. Concerning DIHs, the project can be proud to say that somehow achieved the objective proposed at its beginning, which was 400. This was a very big challenge for the project that counted only with 140 when it started.
Also to be proud of is the number of projects, or the so-called Innovation Experiments, that SmartAgriHubs has granted through the open calls, which reaches 106. The objective was to mobilise a huge amount of funds coming from different sources that could complement or co-fund such Innovation Experiments, as the funding rate for the open call was just 20%. It seemed a very complex process and so it was at the beginning but as the project was running and the different open calls were continuously explained, the number of proposals submitted started to increase and also the number of granted Innovation Experiments. A total of around 14,5 M€ coming from other funding sources different from SmartAgriHubs were mobilised.
A huge work has been done within SmartAgriHubs and many Digital Innovation Hubs could benefit of it. Not only of the open calls but of the Agricultural Technology Navigator or the Learning platform and peer-to-peer meetings, and, for sure, the possibility to network with so many other Digital Innovation Hubs across Europe and beyond. The latter, thanks to the innovation portal of the project, which has reached more than 3,500 users. Though the project is coming to an end, there is a whole team working on its legacy and sustainability. Hopefully, news will come soon on this.
by George Beers, coordinator of the project
by Margaux Plurien, communication team