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

Led by Impact Hub Bucharest, the SoTecIn Factory Regional Hub for the South-East (Romania, including Greece, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Serbia, Ukraine) 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.

The selection was done through consultations with 33 regional stakeholders ranging from government, university or RTD, NGOs and institutes to SMEs and large companies.The consultations consisted in evaluating the value chains from lowest to highest potential through Circular Economy approaches, namely: Electronics & ICT, Batteries and Vehicles, Packaging, Plastics, Textiles, Constructions & Buildings, Food, Water & Nutrients.

The final decision landed on food, water & nutrients as the value chain being the most relevant for the South-East of Europe given that it scored the highest score for impact based on the criteria such as stakeholder experience and market knowledge, technological impact and Governmental focus on the topic.

Another important criterion was the knowledge, experience and existing ecosystem from Impact Hub Bucharest as the coordinator of the Regional Hub of Centre-South. In both recent past and near future, Impact Hub Bucharest has had an active role in both innovation ecosystem as a connector and facilitator, but also in the food system as an events and acceleration programs organizer. Their previous interventions in the food sector include organization of pre-acceleration programs (Hubcelerator Food and Food & Agri Tech Challenge), as well as conferences (Food Talks and Food & Agri Tech Conference). On top of previous participants and applicants to their agri-food programs, IH Bucharest is currently working with Activize.Tech on a report mapping the agritech & foodtech startups, including their focus areas and stage of development.

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 the mission be in the context of  food, water & nutrients value chain of the European Region of Centre – South?

In Romania, as one of the representatives of the region, there are unresolved challenges in its’ agricultural sector which could be resolved via digital transformation enabled by data and connectivity, namely:

  1. Forestry, as well as the wood, and the paper and pulp industries, together with the food processing, can potentially make large quantities available of residues and other unused or underutilized material to feed a national bio-based industry (e.g., biomass as feedstock).
  2. Another challenge would be enabling access to clean, reliable energy which could enable farmers and agribusinesses to increase food production and engage in value-added processing. It also allows farmers living in off-grid areas to replace expensive diesel generators with new and cleaner technologies, such as solar food dryers and solar water irrigation.

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 South-East, the Regional Hub will organize a workshop on the 16th of
December.

For workshop registration you can send email to Dorin Calin (dorin.calin@Impacthub.ro)

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