Incorporate technological Modernisation and Innovation based on ICT in strategic and traditional sectors.
With economies heavily dependent on agriculture, forestry, and agri-food businesses, Spain’s Extremadura region, Portugal’s Centro and Alentejo regions were hit particularly hard by the economic crisis of 2008. In the years since, the regions have seen low levels of economic development and high levels of unemployment. To overcome these challenges, MITTIC took a long-term approach aimed at transforming these traditional economic sectors into larger, more competitive companies by investing in research, innovation, knowledge transfer and the use of ICT.
As a core focus of the project was to incorporate technological innovation into the regions’ traditional economic sectors, MITTIC developed and implemented a number of innovative proposals and tools.
For example, one solution involved the use of open source software applications based on QR code technology specifically designed for the fruit, cork and natural stone industries. By including a QR code on these products, users can gain valuable insight by tracing their products from origin to final purchase by a consumer.
To do this, technological research of businesses in this sector on both sides of the border has been carried out.. An electronic questionnaire tool and an information repository or document manager was introduced for processing the data of the analysed companies. Finally, an assessment of the situation has been carried out and a report was prepared with technological recommendations regarding ICT.
Total investment for the project: 1 609 581 EUR with the ERDF contributing 1 207 185 EUR through the “Spain – Portugal” Operational Programme for the 2007 – 2013 programming period.
Evidence of success
As a result, it successfully updated the regions’ traditional productive sectors by increasing ICT capabilities, applying new business models, improving knowledge management and optimising resources.
10 joint technological products,6 open source software ICT tools for traceability and forecasting and virtual training platforms were developed
The main challenge, is to have companies with the financial capacity to invest in innovative solutions and tools, as most companies do not have a digital business model/strategy and are not aware of the advantages and benefits they can gain.
Potential for learning or transfer
Due to economic crisis many regions are facing a strong economic recession and high unemployment rates, namely companies from the traditional economic sectors. So, to overcome these challenges, MITTIC developed and implemented a number of innovative proposals and tools, to make companies in these sectors more competitive and able to adapt to the challenges of the digital economy.
There are key factors to take into account for a transfer of this good practice:
Partnership - It is critical to to bring together a experienced group of partners with complementary skills in the fields of R&D&I, knowledge and technology transfer and open innovation.
Adequate human resources - Provide experts to support and training companies on transfer and implementation of new technological tools/solutions.
Technological resources - have available the necessary technological resources, and the necessary knowledge for their use.
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