“FOCUS” 4TH PM&SCM, 3RD FOCUS GROUP MEETING AND TRANSNATIONAL AGRI-FOOD MATCHMAKING FAIR
On May, 15th and 16th 2019, in Nicosia-Cyprus, the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce & Industry _CCCI, in the framework of FOCUS Balkan-Med project, organised with the collaboration of the project partners the fourth project & steering committee meeting, the third focus group meeting and the Transnational Agri-Food Matchmaking Fair.
On the 15th of May all the project partners, covering the Balkan-Mediterranean area, attended the 4th Project & Steering Committee meeting in order to discuss over the progress of the FOCUS project and its activities. The progress of the project was presented and discussed as well as the final transnational meeting/ final conference and milestones were decided upon the 4th SC meeting. Late afternoon, in the same day the 3rd Focus Group took place aiming to enhance the Agri-food innovation services mix offered within the project under the operation of the four Regional Agri-food Clusters that have been established in the 4 partners countries in Balkan med area: Cyprus, Greece, Bulgaria, Albania as well as exchange views and receive comments and suggestions from the experts. Experts from the Cyprus University of Technology, Professor Dimitris Tsaltas, and from the Federation of the Hellenic Food Industry, Dr Fotini Salta, briefly presented their organisations and best practices of innovation services in Agri-Food sector the case for Cyprus and Greece. A discussion was contacted in order to identify and capitalise specific actions and improvements in terms of the platform and the exploitation of the innovation services that the FOCUS project will provide thoroughly to its Clusters’ members. Exchange of views was elaborated in local and transnational level.
On the 16th of May the FOCUS Transnational Agri-Food Matchmaking Fair was organised with the participation of more than 45 stakeholders of the project who explored the growing challenges of the Agri-food mixed innovation services provided through project. The 22 transnational Regional SMEs coming from the Greece, Bulgaria, Albania, Cyprus of the consortium countries were also participated in the event and there are in parallel members of the 4 Regional Agri-Food Clusters. The representation from the academia, public sector and the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN Cyprus) had a significant contribution in the event, and more precisely during the presentations session and the working session of the business to business and networking. Welcoming remarks delivered by Mr Leonidas Paschalides, Deputy Secretary General, who emphasised the value of the project outcomes in Agri-Food industry in Cyprus and abroad. Demetris Tsaltas, Associate Professor in Agriculture Microbiology and Biotechnology in the Cyprus Technology University, elaborated in his keynote speech on efforts that was made the last years in the research and development of Agri-Food sector in Cyprus provided examples of best practices and innovation services in the specific sector. Other speakers included Ms Nadia Karra from KiNNO Consultants Ltd. external expert of the Region of Peloponnese for FOCUS project, Sofia Karma on behalf of the National Technical University of Athens, Stalo Demosthenous from the Enterprise Europe Network Cyprus and Constantinos Loizou from EMBIO Diagnostics Ltd.
There was an agreement on the need of innovation services which will be provided through the platform of the project. Overall the purpose of the event accomplished successfully by expanding their experiences on agri-food innovation, engaging more in the providing of the mixed innovation services, broadening their network and participating in business to business meetings to identify joint opportunities to expand in new markets abroad.