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Connecting smart sensor systems for the food industry (Connsensys)

Food industry, as any other industrial sector, is initiating the process for the digitalization of their processes, value chain relationships, products and organizations. As any other structural and strategic change this process will take time and external support is needed. The pan European smart specialization platform S3P “Smart sensors 4 Agrifood” (http://s3platform.jrc.ec.europa.eu/smart-electronic-systems), the origin of this new project, identified and prioritized in its initial scoping note (inputs from 12 EU regions) the main obstacles to be overcome for the wide deployment of digital systems in the Food processing industry. So, industrial lack of awareness and knowledge of the relevant smart electronic technologies they could introduce and derived benefits, and the absence of alignment between current ICT tools and the specific needs and requirements of the agri-food companies were ranked at the top. The unavailability of open access pilot facilities where the new technologies can be demonstrated or the lack of organized interaction between the relevant cluster organizations were also highlighted in this study. Connsensys emerges to provide answers to these current challenges.

The overall objective of Connsensys is to set up a platform between food- and electronic/ICT organizations, as well as relevant research and technology organizations, to lower the barriers for food companies to access the newest smart sensor systems. In this line several specific objectives have been set: (i) a joint cluster partnership strategy; (ii) implementation roadmap; and (iii) interregional investment projects. A key element of Connsensys approach is the establishment of an EU-wide network of complementary living labs for the digitalization of Food industry, where multiple training, testing, dissemination and awareness activities could be carried out. Moreover, DEMO activities will be a priority for showing in a practical way the advantages and benefits that could bring the deployment of IT systems. Finally, in all these activities the transnational character will be searched and emphasized.

To achieve these challenges a 5-step methodology will be followed:

  1. Creating awareness
  2. Building the trust zone
  3. Evaluation and validation
  4. Implementation
  5. Leverage



 Co-funded by the COSME program of the European Union (ref. 822098)