The Digital Innovation Hub for the Galician Agrifood Sector seeks to stimulate economic activity and highly skilled jobs in rural areas

Gradiant’s Executive Director, Luis Pérez-Freire, and University of Santiago de Compostela’s vicerrector, Javier Bueno, and the Regional Minister for Rural Affairs, Ms. Ángeles Vázquez, presented the initiative at the USC’s Campus Terra facilities.

The Digital Innovation Hub for the Galician Agrifood Sector is an initiative pushed by USC’s Campus Terra and the Galician Researh and Development Center in Advanced Telecommunications (Gradiant). This initiative seeks to become an instrumental tool to boost Galicia’s bioeconomy activity as well as its rural economy by stimulating rural-based businesses and highly skilled jobs. Galicia is becoming a dynamic region in terms of efforts devoted to digital innovation in the primary sector, and the newly born will contribute further to this trend.

University of Santiago de Compostela’s vicerrector, Javier Bueno, Gradiant’s Executive Director, Luis Pérez-Freire, and the Regional Minister for Rural Affairs, Ms. Ángeles Vázquez, highlighted the impact that the new Digital Innovation Hub will have on Galicia’s agrifood sector, improving its sustainability of through the intelligent use of ICT, as well as on Galicia’s ICT sector as supplier of such technological solutions to the agrifood sector.

As additional goals, the Hub will stimulate the take-up of digital innovation in the agrifood sector by gathering a critical mass of stakeholders, by acting as bridge between the demand and supply, as well as offering a common ground for joint innovation efforts and projects.

The Digital Innovation Hub for the Galician Agrifood Sector, as highlighted by USC and Gradiant, can become a strategic partner for the public administration in the implementation of the regional smart specialization strategy (RIS3) as well as in shaping innovation-related support measures for the agrifood sector. The Hub will contribute to the articulation of a solid regional ICT-agrifood value chain, and to position Galicia as a pioneering region in terms of ICT adoption across the rural economy. In this sense, the Hub proposes itself as an open initiative that welcomes the active participation from stakeholders from all sectors.

The Hub was presented on Thursday 6 October in a public event that gathered over 80 participants representing all sectors, from producers and cooperatives, private companies, knowledge centers and public administration. Two representatives from the European Commission took part of the event, Ms. Katerina Ciampi and Ms. Ana Cuadrado Galván, who presented the existing smart specialization thematic platforms for the agrifood sector as well as the Commission’s vision regarding the development of smart farming in Europe. A representative from the Galician Technology Modernization Agency presented their programmes supporting the digitization of the primary sector. Finally, three Galician agrifood cooperatives presented their hands-on experience during recent years in the take-up of innovative digital technologies in wine production (cooperative Martín Códax), dairy production (cooperative Feiraco-CLUN) and machinery management (cooperative Os Irmandiños-CLUN).