ART-ER, in the framework of the Regions 4Food project, selected 3 good practices on digitization of the agrifood sector in Emilia-Romagna, and decided to share them with the other project partners during the meeting that was held last May 27, 28 and 29 in Nantes.

Good practices selected

  • S3 FORUM : a policy tool fostering new solutions for agrifood sector
  • RGD 774/2015 : Joint large scale R&D strategic projects-relevance for the digitization in agrifood
  • IRRINET : a decision support system for irrigation


S3 Forum are the instruments foreseen by the Emilia-Romagna S3 governance to evaluate the strategy impact and to provide reccommendations for S3 review.

They are promoted by the Emilia- Romagna regional Government, with support from in-house organisations, and in agreement with trade unions and other social and entrepreneurial institutions.

Each forum has a thematic focus on a specific specialisation area or innovation driver connected to the S3 priorities.

It is a public event open to the participation of all stakeholders of the regional innovation ecosystem and it is built upon the role that has been assigned to the Emilia-Romagna Clust-ERs. Their role is to maximise the opportunities for participating in European programmes and international research and innovation networks.

Go to the Good practice

RGD 774/2015: Joint large scale R&D strategic projects - relevance for the digitization in agrifood

The Emilia-Romagna Smart Specialization Strategy includes a Strategic Objective focused on ‘Strengthening of regional and national innovative system’ and a Specific action ERDF-ROP 1.2.2, concerning “Support to the realization of complex R&D projects on relevant priority topics and the application of technological solutions necessary to accomplish the S3 strategy”.

In this framework, the first call for proposal was launched in 2015, the second one in 2018; it was expected to stimulate collaboration and to build stronger links between research laboratories and regional companies to promote R&TI and to increase the competitiveness of the regional productive system.

The results of the two calls in the Agrifood area:

Programming Period 2014-2017 (1st call, 2015)

  • 16 innovation projects funded
  • 2 main projects relevant for digitisation
  • 14 Million Euro of financial contribution
  • 63 companies involved
  • 63 industrial research laboratories involved
  • 240 new jobs created

Programming period 2018-2020 (2nd call, 2018)

  • 7 innovation projects funded
  • 4 projects relevant for digitisation

 Go to the Good practice


Irrinet is a Decision Support System (DSS) for irrigation management freely available on the Internet which provides a real-time irrigation scheduling, day-by-day information on how much and when to irrigate the farm crops.

DSS takes into account both :

  • environmental data (soil, crop, climate)
  • economic aspects (water costs, energy for pumping, man work)

The main scopes are: Water & Energy saving, crop quality and yield maximization, climate change mitigation. Several actors will be involved : National water management bodies, CER Emilia Romagna Canal, The Emilia Romagna Region, The University of Bologna and to finish the Ministry of agriculture. Also, Irrinet requires very low management costs which are supported by the local Water Board and the service is provided for free to the final users.

Go to the Good Practice