Seeds for the future

Seeds for the future

Ten years ago, a friend gave me a bit of career advice: ‘If you want to decide about the next job, think of the one that will come after it’. Now, this seems not relevant for me, because I have been working at ZLTO since 1989, but it helped me to stay focused on the future.
In SmartAgriHubs, we focus on the future as well, the project is only halfway, and we think of its sustainability. First reflection: what should we sustain? It is not the project itself; a project has a start and an end, which is a good thing. Therefore, we agreed directly that we should only put effort into sustaining elements that are already successful during the project.

Identifying the SAH assets

We implemented the Use Case Approach with support for Innovation Experiments (IEs). This support was already present in the SmartAgriHubs’ predecessor: Internet of Food & Farm 2020. In that project, the direct interaction between Work Packages (WPs) management and Use Case leads proved to be a winning one.
For SmartAgriHubs however, the IEs rely on the Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) to support them and this relationship is the essence of the project. The WPs are in another role and practice real ecosystem management: the whole team should have the same focus. We are learning fast!

On the other hand, there are also the Open Calls where we have the opportunity to learn a lot: about the regulation, about getting a pool of evaluators, making contracts that comply with European regulations or presenting the project to get enough good proposals. It is clear that we are one of the first, but certainly not the last, to work with Open Calls: the project AgROBOfood already uses our experience.

The project AgROBOfood and the project DEMETER use the techniques behind the Portal: the general layout, the network map, and the activity overview. The layout is straightforward and attractive with pictures. The network map is a helpful tool to find out the big variety of things happening in all the European regions. The activity overview, on the main page of the portal, the calendar and the training overview are more complete than in any other project. It is worthwhile to advertise your ideas and achievements there! 

The impact of the users

If you collaborate in the Innovation Portal, if you challenge people to use or to get to know the Open Call, if you learn from results in the IEs and share your own results, and if you find out about the support that DIHs deliver; then you demonstrate us the value of our work, and you help us to focus on the elements in SmartAgriHubs that we should keep for a sustainable future.

Thanks for your current and future valuable input!


Peter Paree, Programme Leader Complex Project at ZLTO

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