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Regional Hub of East selects food, water and nutrients key value chain for their circular industry mission

Led by Impact Hub Istanbul, the SoTecIn Factory Regional Hub for the East (Turkey, including Armenia and Georgia) has selected the food, water and nutrients key value chain as the basis of future SoTecIn Factory circularity missions to enable it’s radical and systemic change through technological and social innovations.

Selecting the food value chain for the SoTecIn project is a great match while considering Impact Hub İstanbul’s sector expertise, network and Türkiye’s position and potential in the agri food sector. In addition to that, sustainable Food Systems is a key agenda item both in public policies and for international development finance institutions.

Since 2017, food systems and agrifood related entrepreneurship is the one of main focus areas of Impact Hub Istanbul, the coordinator of the Regional Hub of East. Impact Hub Istanbul specifically founded the Foodback platform which is a new-age agrifood innovation and entrepreneurship platform that supports agrifood innovations. Last five years, Impact Hub Istanbul has flourished a diverse and engaging community which consists of +100 actors such as corporations, governments, universities, NGO’s and entrepreneurs under Foodback platform.

What’s next?

As previously mentioned, SoTecIn Factory aims to support its community of diverse stakeholders from European industry, NGOs, academia and public sector in formulating at least 7 key value chain-based missions (at least one mission per each region and its selected value chain).

But what are these Missions exactly?

They are essentially broad but bounded aspirational objective(s) that capture the general circular challenge(s) in the domain of selected value chain(s), which the industry strives to solve with the use of social innovation-based tech solutions.

Once formulated, the missions will serve as the basis of the Open Call for Challenge Owners designed to help industry leaders in identifying and providing specific ,mission-based sustainability challenges relevant for their organisation which social entrepreneurs will strive to solve via two SoTecIn Factory Open Calls for social innovators in 2023 and 2024.

How can I join the action?

So, what could this mission be in the context of food, water and nutrients in the region of the East?

The agricultural sector of Türkiye is uncovering deep-rooted industry problems that have significant social, environmental and economic consequences requiring more circular and sustainable measures. Few of these problems are summarized in below:

Food Loss and Waste: The region may focus on the food loss and waste reduction by increasing traceability through digitalisation and logistics automation and blockchain technologies. Improved coordination of supply and demand processes would also lead to significant food waste decrease in the industry. To maximize the use of surplus food by-products there is a great business potential to establish interlinkages between food value chains and other sectors by encouraging underutilized routes: new food product development; food compound creation (biorefineries); animal feed production; composting; and bioenergy production.

Inefficient Conventional Farming: Smart farming is potentially another regional innovation area, since farmers need efficient forecasting and monitoring systems for the main elements such as water, soil and weather.

Water Scarcity: Türkiye is one of the most water rich countries of the Mediterranean, surrounded by seas. Yet, it is located in the semi arid area reaching high temperatures across the year. Unfortunately 94% of the cultivated area is still irrigated by conventional ways. This is coupled with growing energy demand due to developing industrial production, increased home usage due to population increase triggered by urbanisation, and cumulatively lead Türkiye to the risk of Water Crisis (According to WHO and TSKB, development bank, Türkiye is at the edge of becoming water poor by 2040.)

The final answer, however comes within the industry itself while SoTecIn Factory helps in bringing it to the surface by supporting its Community divided into 7 regional fractions (Regional Communities) , led by local Impact Hubs, in voicing circular needs and goals of its members per respective regional value chain.

To help you learn more about SoTecIn Factory, as well as on how to join the Regional Community of East, the Regional Hub will organise a workshop on 14 December 2022.

Reach out to Impact Hub Istanbul for workshop registration

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