Saturday, February 4, 2017

Discussing smart farming in Greece in the KATANA Roadshow Athens

OpenCircle, an equity crowdfunding platform developed by Parnasse S.A. – and a consortium member of the KATANA Horizon 2020 project, organized on February 2nd 2017 a meeting (KATANA Roadshow Athens) at the premises of Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) in Athens, Greece. The event aimed at informing Greek potential stakeholders about the possibilities of applying innovative ideas and the funding opportunities offered by the project.

NEUROPUBLIC was invited by the organizers of the event to talk about the status of Smart Farming in Greece, and present its smart farming project which is currently taking places in various locations all over Greece, in collaboration with GAIA EPICHEIREIN. I had the opportunity to represent NEUROPUBLIC in the event so I compiled a set of slides (reusing existing material and adding my own touch in order to make the slides appealing to the specific audience) that tried to cover as many aspects as possible in the time allocated for this presentation.

Our contribution aimed at highlighting the specificities of the Greek agricultural sector that prevent typical smart farming approaches from being successfully applied in Greece as well as at encouraging participants to participate with related innovative ideas in the open call of the KATANA project.

What I found challenging was to collect sufficient information on the status of smart farming in Greece; despite the fact that there are numerous Greek SMEs providing the necessary hardware and services (though not as a package as NEUROPUBLIC does) and also numerous EU-funded projects that focused on applying smart farming approaches in various Greek cases of crops and locations, only scarce information was available. I found a couple of presentations, descriptions of a couple of related projects (but not their outcomes) and one really useful (and recent) report on precision agriculture in Greece (which provided useful information for some of the slides) co-authored by Prof. Fountas from the Agricultural University of Athens. I know that the Smart AKIS H2020 project will work on a marketplace for smart farming so I hope that all related information will be more easily discoverable and retrievable in the near future. :-)

The event was well organized (big thanks to the organizers - Parnasse S.A.), engaged a diverse audience (including academia, entrepreneurs, students etc.) and my presentation raised some interest among the participants, which was expressed in a high number of questions afterwards as well as after the end of the event. I also had the opportunity to make some really interesting connections meeting people working on smart farming from different perspectives.

ΚΑΤΑΝΑ is a project funded through the Horizon 2020 programme and aims to promote innovative and smart business ideas in the agrifood sector. Through a well-defined process which includes innovative tools such as peer to peer evaluation and Reward Crowd Funding, at the final step 10 innovative consortia will be selected and receive €100.000 each, in order to proceed with the implementation of their ideas.