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Increasing energy performance by transfer innovation to the agro-food SMEs of the Mediterranean areas (SINERGIA)

Over the recent years it has become clear that an essential requisite for future growth & competitiveness in the European agro-food industry (in which SMEs represent 99% of the sector, with consequent high strategy fragmentation) are not only the investments in global network of commodities & distribution channels but also to extend the paradigm of sustainability in the food processing from the big Corporations to the SMEs. This aspect is particularly important in the energy sector: agro-food industries are among the major consumers of energy to transform, warm and cool food & it always consumes energy to store the final products. So, there is a strong demand for innovation & for practical solutions to green the supply chain but also to circulate influential technical information about E-efficiency, E-reliability and technologies costs. On the other hand, SMEs are often reluctant to change production behaviours due to limited financing, information on the most fitting technologies or gap in knowing benefits without affecting the quality of the final products. This is a crucial aspect characterizing the Mediterranean SMEs: their know-how is usually based on a specific product and they typically consider any change in the production phase as a loss of -typical characterization-�, which is a market brand already assimilated by target consumers. Upon these premises, the main objective of SINERGIA is to promote the technology transfer to the SME's in the agro-food industry in order to: 1) identify innovative processes to address energy efficiency patterns in the productive chain 2) guarantee a wide replication of the technological solutions for energy saving & CO2 reduction undertaken by the different agro-food divisions & productive clusters in the involved MED regions and 3) strengthen the competitiveness of the agro-food industry in the Euro-Mediterranean and global markets, lining up the overall economic strategy of the Mediterranean agro-food sector with the sustainable use of the resources addressed by Europe's Growth Strategy to 2020. After filtered out the results of the major projects in the sector (PACMAn, AGRO-ENVIRONMED, SMENET, TECHFOOD, TRUEFOOD) on the energy aspects, SINERGIA maps the market barriers in 7 MED involved regions (compared to the endogenous RES territorial potential) and delivers (following a screening on 70 SMEs) 1 DSS for the simulations of major energy efficiency scenarios and Life Cycle Cost Analysis (enabling enterprises to reach higher energy performance standards by taking wisest investment choices). Technology transfer is pipelined through the empowerment of local help-desks for eco-innovation, capacity buildings and communication involving also the public authorities, while 1 protocol to regionalize the market strategy of the overall agro-food sector identifies nature & priority of R&D in RES also according to the ETP Food for Life & resource management objectives under EU2020 Strategy. Achievements: The most innovative aspects of SINERGIA is the method applied to make SMEs closer to the knowledge poles in the field of energy. This method is based on the proactive approach applied to agro-food SMEs to stimulate investments to green the supply chain, closely linked to the development of friendly-user instruments to increase the SMEs awareness over the best tailored actions to introduce energy efficiency processes. After an initial framework analysis on the barriers to innovation and the screening of the best technologies, the energy assessments with 50 pilot enterprises in 7 Mediterranean regions and concerning 4 sectors (diary, bakery, wine, olive) help shaping an Energy efficiency simulator: this is a web self-energy diagnosis tool that support the enterprises to pre-evaluate the economic & energy convenience to E-investments. This will be available through the homepage, by clicking on My energy efficiency simulator. A powerful dissemination campaign in the concerned pilot regions could multiply the number of agrofood SMEs using this tool. But thats not enough to generate a sounding impact! So, we stimulate new research-to-market regional business models, with the purpose of creating funding lines for the SMEs that want moving from the energy diagnosis scenarios to concrete investments. In the meantime, our Mediterranean Alliance for the energy efficiency in the agrofood sector seeds new investments & R&D projects, to make technologies closer than ever to the enterprises! Find more:

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  • 76.3%   1 578 530,00
  • 2007 - 2013 Programme MED
  • Project on KEEP Platform
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