INNO-4-AGRIFOOD is an EU-funded project set on unlocking the innovation potential of the European agri & food ecosystem by fostering and facilitating online collaboration. The project aims at enhancing the service portfolio and skills of innovation intermediaries and SME support networks across Europe by providing them with a blend of demand-driven services and tools. In this context, the INNO-4-AGRIFOOD consortium has started testing the first version of its web and mobile applications (or Smart Tools as we dub them) which aim to facilitate the efficient delivery of the novel innovation support services developed by the project and which can be freely used by both innovation consultants as well as agri & food SMEs.
The Smart Tools of INNO-4-AGRIFOOD have been co-designed along with several agri & food stakeholders, with the aim to offer meaningful and easy to use functionalities; not overlapping but complementary to the tools already at the disposal of agri & food innovation consultants. Based on the stakeholders’ valuable feedback, the project consortium opted to offer simple and meaningful tools that will be highly usable and time efficient, requiring elementary ICT skills and adding no complexity or superfluous workload to the users.
With that in mind, part of the tools is a specialized, platform independent search engine, that aims to assist agri & food innovation consultants and SMEs in finding targeted information concerning the agri & food ecosystem. The search engine probes simultaneously multiple targeted sources of information available on the web, excluding the information noise observed when using the common search engines. Data and information concerning the broad agri & food industry are widely scattered on the internet, which makes it difficult for innovation consultants to keep track of all the new knowledge that becomes available day by day. Moreover, there is no such thing as a single point of entry to online information for the agri-food industry.
The development of the INNO-4-AGRIFOOD Smart Tools will be realized in three iterations, each one including design, development, testing and validation stages that will further enhance the tools’ features and functionalities. These three iterations will run in parallel with the development and piloting of the INNO-4-AGRIFOOD innovation support services, to ensure that both project offers remain aligned and oriented towards the project’s objectives, meeting the needs and expectation of agri & food SMEs andconsultants.