• Ana Rita Silva

SFT-EDIH digital innovation hub approved

Smart Sustainable Farms Foods and Trade European Digital Innovation Hub (SFT- EDIH) has been recognised as a national Digital Innovation Hub (DIH). The SFT-EDIH is one of the 6 Digital Innovation Hubs approved by Order No. 11092-B/2021, published in the Diário da República on 11 November 2021, which recognises additional Digital Innovation Hubs for integration into the National Network and for designation for access to the European Network, adding to the 11 previously approved.



The Food4Sustainability CoLAB (F4S) is one of the 6 entities that belong to the executive board of the consortium composed of a total of 28 members, to which add 11 partners of the 3 original applications submitted, led by F4S, SmartFarm CoLAB and CAP.

This digital innovation hub led by these 3 entities is distinguished by its comprehensiveness in the digitalisation of the entire complex and long agri-food value chain, thus being extremely aligned with the European challenges and objectives, from farm to fork. It includes 3 collaborative laboratories (CoLAB), 2 national competence centres, 1 competitiveness cluster, 4 technology interface centres, 3 associations, 2 confederations, 5 higher education institutions, 3 public research institutions, 2 certification bodies, 1 innovation ecosystem entity and 2 technology-based entrepreneurship and acceleration entities.

The mission of the Smart Sustainable Farms Foods and Trade - European Digital Innovation Hub (SFT- EDIH) is to be a one-stop shop to serve the agri-food sector in the transition towards sustainable farming systems supported by digitisation of farmers, industrialists and retailers, which will enable traceability and quality of the value chain from meadow to plate. Moreover, it will promote a clear expansion and improvement of the digital transition of the agri-food sector in an integrated manner.

Together, the national DIHs provide all the necessary skills and networks to be part of the European Network of "European Digital Innovation Hubs" (EDIH). The EDIHs will act as one-stop-shops whose mission will be to directly support European SMEs to meet the challenges of digitisation in order to become more competitive, efficient and resilient. By providing access to expertise and experimentation among other services at "pre-market" prices. The EDIHs will provide critical skills to SMEs in order to improve their business/production processes, products, or services using digital tools. The DIHs and EDIHs will provide innovation services, such as i) access to finance, ii) training and skills development, iii) participation in innovation and entrepreneurship networks, and iv) test before investing, which are necessary for a successful digital transformation. Environmental issues are also taken into account, in particular with regard to energy consumption and low carbon emissions.

This call has so far recognised 17 Digital Innovation Hubs from different sectors for integration into the National Network. Of these, 16 will now be able to access the European call, launched under the Digital Europe Programme, to generate greater added value in this region through the constitution of a balanced and fully capable European network to provide its contribution to the digital transition of SMEs and Public Administration.

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