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Smart Sensor System for Food Safety, Quality Control and Resource Efficiency in the Food Processing Industry (S3Food)

The food industry is taking its first steps towards Industry 4.0. Some larger enterprises are up-to-date and aware of the most recent technological developments. However, all over Europe, the food processing industry is typically a small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) driven sector and for this type of companies the creation of an IoT environment and introducing big data management is a huge challenge. Lack of knowledge and awareness, absence of specific staff, the common limited available resources and funding, the misalignment of the current commercial IT systems with the specific needs of Food SMEs or the absence of open access demonstration sites reproducing a context similar to the industrial one (Living Lab) are some of the main barriers face currently by Food SMEs in their digital transformation process.

S3Food initiative comes to support Food SMEs, as well as Tech providers, on their digital roadmap, with a much emphasis on the implementation of novel and relatively mature technologies (TRL > 5) as well as make companies aware and provide access to a complimentary network of Living Labs Food 4.0. In this line, a central support measure will be the distribution of a cascade funding of ca. 3M (voucheur scheme) for the promotion of validation and demonstration activities in the frame of Food 4.0 paradigm, as well as at a minor extent feasibility studies and different consulting services (IPR, internationalization, ...). But, S3Food covers much more support tools! So, S3Food will organize matchmaking events with the aim of looking for the right partners and raise new project ideas, study visits to Living Labs as well as Food companies with a relevant digitalization level, training sessions about different Industry 4.0 topics (set up your digitalization strategy, Data Analytics, ..), will provide access to a wide range of experts to get advice for facing your current challenges and problems, will make available online tools for favouring the interaction between Food and Tech actors, and a good set of dissemination and awareness events about the core topic Food 4.0 will be also organized.

As main results, S3Food aims to reach more than 2000 SMEs, involve more than 200 SME in matchmaking events as well as provide directly financial support to 60 European SMEs for the development of around 40 impactful and innovative solutions. The S3Food consortium is formed by 13 clusters coming from the Food and Technology fields covering 13 EU regions. Its origin is the EU specialization platform “Smart Sensors 4 Agrifood” that aims to foster interregional projects and investments in the Food 4.0 area.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 824769