Urban Agriculture: the perfect crossroad between green and digital

SUAVE EuroCluster is a 30-months novel pioneering European project focused on boosting urban agriculture (UA) towards sustainable and resilient urban food systems.

The project is targeting European small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with the aim to support them in European and international development for the green and digital future of urban food supply.

Thanks to different actions SUAVE will benefit SMEs to reinforce their autonomy both at technological and industrial levels with different types of support services valued at 1,050 M EUR.

Coordinated by VEGEPOLYS VALLEY (France) and powered by five experienced agri-food and digital clusters from Spain (FEMAC), Hungary (INNOSKART), Poland (UNIMOS) and Lithuania (AgriFood Lithuania DIH), the project will support European companies and clusters in holistic development in the field of urban agriculture.

SUAVE has a multidisciplinary concept with a wide range of areas. It covers, among others, the development of urban green spaces, alternative models of producing and distributing food, new technologies applied to cities, environmental issues and urban planning, as well as social aspects towards integration, inclusion and community building. 

After the COVID-19 pandemic and the multiplication of visible impacts of climate change, agri-food sector is facing global challenges that require a large scope of innovations that could be summed-up in three statements

Produce more with less: More people to feed, higher quality expectations from consumers concerned by their health. Less use of natural resources (water, soil, energy), less negative impacts on the environment (reduce pesticide use, restore biodiversity) and also less traditional animal protein.

Greening and feeding the world: Towards providing a better environment and also responding to the urban population demand. Local and safe food via Short Food Supply Chains (SFSC). Zero waste.

Facing climate change: Industrial and economic activities need to adapt toward sustainable development, among others via recycling, upcycling and circularity

Urban Agriculture as the perfect crossroad between green and digital, is an opportunity to face all of these challenges. UA contributes to making cities more sustainable and favoring economic, ecological, social, educational, and health-related benefits. If European businesses, specifically the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) receive strong support and continuous guidance for the green and digital future of urban food supply in economic, social and environmental dimensions, they will be able to answer the global challenges for circular and sustainable production and climate-resilient urban agriculture.

Urban Agriculture covers diverse areas (from Urban Farming, Urban Gardening, Urban Horticulture to Urban Animal Husbandry, Urban Aquaculture and also Urban Beekeeping) that uses new and alternative technologies, like Industry 4.0 solutions: vertical and indoor farming systems, urban farms with soilless systems (hydroponics, aeroponics, and aquaponics), controlled environment agriculture (CEA), etc

Several different types of Urban Agriculture models exist in parallel, but the market is not structured enough yet and there is a lack of knowledge transfer to the actors, especially SMEs, which often do not sufficiently and efficiently identify and adopt new opportunities or practices offered by new technologies. SUAVE aims to support stakeholders from Urban Agriculture to innovate and develop new practices for urban food systems. 

SUAVE helps European AgriFood SMEs all along the value-chain with a number of actions to reinforce its autonomy both at technological & industrial levels by increasing the competences. The project beneficiaries earn advantages from different types of services and vouchers value of 1,050 M €:

  1. Network for resilience: Build network to improve their resilience and business models of SMEs;
  2. Innovation in processes and products: Innovate via vouchers to develop new solutions and practices for sustainable and resilient urban food systems;
  3. Adopt processes and technologies: Accelerate twin transition towards green and digital economy;
  4. Training: Increase competences by training for upskilling, networking and learning activities;
  5. Go International: Expand globally, access third markets and generate growth from international activities by participating in international missions to Canada, USA and Mexico.

Besides its direct support, SUAVE contributes to lever regional, national and European funding addressed to SMEs and aligned with EC policy on resilience, green, digital, and industrial priorities as well – particularly the Green Deal and the Farm to Fork programme.

The project represents a great opportunity to bring forward new key players with innovative solutions who will be able to share European know-how worldwide. SUAVE will also support clusters that act as facilitators of innovation ecosystems. Within SUAVE activities, project partners will improve management, coordination and collaboration to to better support SMEs from the European Union in global competition

Join the SUAVE community!

Follow the five SUAVE partners for networking activities and apply on SUAVE Open Calls innovation development / innovation adoption / internationalization support by SMEs, as well as training for upskilling!

DISCLAIMER:

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or EISMEA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.