Created in 2017, the Smart Sensors 4 Agri-food Partnership, also known as SS4AF has the objective to set-up a platform and supportive business ecosystem between agri-food clusters and clusters representing technology and/or digital solution providers, relevant RTOs and other stakeholders. It has also the objective to lower the barriers for agri-food companies to access and implement the newest smart sensor systems, make them acquainted with and train them in data management and mining, etc. and thus facilitate the Industry 4.0 transition of the agri-food industry.
A successful partnership
Leading by Flanders’ Food (BE), and co-leading by Wagralim (BE), the Partnership has a big success and becomes more and more well-known among the European actors. Nowadays, the Partnership is composed by 17 regular members across Europe, and new admissions are received frequently by partners.
The Partnership has successfully get granted from a COSME Programme, called ‘Connsensys’ and an INNOSUP Programme called ‘S3Food’.
The aim of the Connsensys project “connecting smart sensor systems for the food industry” is to create a European network of interconnected and open access living labs to facilitate the implementation of intelligent sensor systems in the agri-food industry. Shared support services and demo cases will be established for the occasion.
The S3FOOD project here below, is built on the learnings from Connsensys.
Nowadays, food processing companies need more innovative and customized digital solutions from technology developers and digital solution providers. The European food manufacturers ecosystem is composed largely by small and medium-sized enterprises with less resources, thus, an assistance on the implementation of digital technology would help them to meet growing market demands with improved quality control, efficiency and higher standards on food safety and traceability.
S3FOOD supports European SMEs in their digitalisation journey, both with the implementation of smart sensor systems and with turning the data into relevant information.
The project activities include:
· Study visits to technology centres
· Matchmaking sessions
Enfin, il comprend également un programme de financement pour soutenir des projets innovants et des études de faisabilité avec un chèque compris entre 15.000 et 60.000 € par entreprise éligible au sein d'un projet.
Under this scheme, Walloon companies have submitted 12 projects in which 3 of them have been financed. We believe these projects will have a significant impact on the SME performance.
The consortium is evaluating the current and next European calls to focus on cutting edge technologies that were, until few years ago, disruptive technologies, such as artificial intelligence or blockchain.
The Partnership is represented by Mr. Simon MAAS from DSP Valley (NL) as Chair in 2021.
The established office is represented by Ms. Veerle Rijkaert from Flanders’ Food.