After a fruitful kick-off meeting in April 2020, our consortium met again looking back at the first semester of the project. Due to the unprecedented situation we have found ourselves, our 2nd consortium meeting had to take place once more in a less exciting place, our own. Nonetheless, this did not break our spirit! Everyone was happy to catch-up and plan the next steps for MED Food TTHubs in our virtual meeting on the 22nd and 23rd of October.
During the last 6 months, we have been thoroughly analysing the current state of agro-food supply-chains thus, setting the premises for the development of a web-based platform to support food traceability.
In this two-days meeting, we were happy to talk about the progress made and the main insights emerged, yielding useful conclusions for our next steps. More specifically, in the first day, ESIM (Higher School of Engineers of Medjez El Bab) walked us through the key findings on the traceability and authenticity processes that are currently followed in the seven Mediterranean countries. Then, our colleagues from CERTH (Institute for Bio-Economy and Agri-Technology) and ENG (Engineering Ingegneria Informatica S.p.A.) took the floor and talked about the online survey that are going to take place, analysis of users requirements as well as the Focus Groups formulated in each participating country and their running activities. Our consortium discussed alternative tools and methodologies to be used in these activities in light of the current situation with the pandemic. Next, UPM (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid), CERTH (Institute of Applied Biosciences), and GP (Green Project SA) presented the PDO/PGI products selected for our pilot activities and the architecture and functionalities of the e-platform.
In our second day, the focus was on the engagement of key stakeholders, on the formulation of appropriate business models, on communication activities and next steps. TCA (TECNOALIMENTI S.C.p.A.) took the lead and talked us through the initial plans to engage a pool of stakeholders and end-users that can support our pilot activities. Then, JUST (Jordan University of Science & Technology) has talked about the methodologies on PPP business models. In turn, AASTMT (Arab Academy for Science & Technology & Maritime Transport) presented the dissemination performance of the project. Finally, the floor was given once more to CERTH to discuss a concrete action plan for the next semester ensuring the best way forward.
Overall, reflecting on the progress made in the first months of the project it is clear that we have a long way to go before our pilot cases and our e-platform are all set. But, seeds have been planned despite the challenges due to the global pandemic. The work is now well and truly on track, with first positive results becoming visible during the next months. We left the meeting with the feeling that sound foundations have been laid and we are now ready to effectively engage in the exciting work approaching during the second project’s semester.
Needless to say… keep coming back to the website to follow the developments!
Things are getting exciting!!!