Data-driven fermentation management, egg processing with enhanced data integration and a smart system for real-time monitoring of evaporation in wine aging – these are just some of the examples of the new 14 projects involving 28 SMEs that receive funding from the pan European project S3FOOD for digital Industry 4.0 transition.
This month, the second S3FOOD voucher call selected 14 innovative SME-driven projects all across Europe. These projects will receive funding to develop and adopt innovative digital solutions to the challenges food processing companies face to modernize and improve food production.
The 14 projects will receive different types of vouchers that amount to close to €1.3 million (US$1.5 million). The types of vouchers vary depending on the development stage of the project. The earliest stage projects receive up to €15,000 (US$18,000), while the larger-scale collaboration projects can receive up to €180,000 (US$216,000).
“The idea with S3FOOD is to establish an innovation-friendly, cross-border and cross-sectoral ecosystem to help SMEs start their Industry 4.0 transition. Companies that still rely on a few in-house specialists to register and interpret processing data are at risk of losing important knowledge and expertise,” explains Veerle De Graef, innovation manager, Flanders’ FOOD – coordinator of the S3FOOD project.
“Using, for instance, smart sensors, they can secure it all in automated systems and bring sustainable benefits to their business, improve efficiency and quality of the production methods.”
Besides the funding, being a part of S3FOOD also grants the 14 projects access to industry experts, knowledge sharing and a solid network of like-minded SMEs.
A revolution on the horizon
With the fourth industrial revolution – the digital revolution – in progress, many larger companies have already responded by automating and digitalizing their process. This includes benefiting from the related data generation, which opens the door to identify processing issues quicker and gives opportunities for continuous improvement.
S3FOOD targets the many SMEs in the agri-food industry in Europe that have still not found the partners and funds to start the same journey toward digitalization.
The S3FOOD has already supported 44 projects with 51 unique SMEs across Europe and now adds 14 new projects to the portfolio.
“While we are still in the middle of the S3FOOD project, we can already begin to see the results of the first projects that received the funding vouchers. It’s fascinating to see how SMEs can truly benefit from the latest technology, and we are happy to be able to welcome another 14 projects to S3FOOD and the future of food production,” De Graef concludes.
Edited by Gaynor Selby
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