The core activity of this WP will be a “Call for challenges”, to be run in a multi-stage manner. Participants will have the opportunity to elaborate further on challenges affecting their businesses (but with sectorial resonance or expression). This will be achieved through direct participation in an online platform and off line events. This will allow them to learn and enhance their understanding of requirements and trends of the agrifood sector. And this may impact upon their businesses and may claim for digital-based approaches. They could also connect with other relevant players in the value chain. The WP1 will lead to a “Digitech value chain inspiration framework”24 which will then feed WP2. This inspiration framework consists in a structured and visionary database that is available to solution providers.
Online and off line events will include cross-sectoral meetings, matchmaking and brokering events with seminars and B2B meetings in dedicated open-spaces. Creative thinking methodologies will be intensively used in all events under this WP. The goal is to offer a collaborative environment to stakeholders and SMEs for them to work together in the development of solutions meeting the market and users’ needs, on one hand, and fully exploiting European companies’ know-how and competencies in KETs, in particular in Digital Technologies, on the other hand. Two levels of cross-fertilisation activities are proposed in DIVA:
a) The regional / national level enables stakeholders to take into account the different national contexts and regional backgrounds. At least 2 events/country/year in dedicated open-spaces during the project will be organised.
b) The organisation of 2 European level events will help capitalize on the business networks of the respective partners. Thematic areas of the seminars will be specifically focusing on new value chains resulting from the national events mentioned in point (a). The objective is to scale-up the best practices identified to a European level but also to create opportunities for SMEs to meet each-other, reflect on possible collaborations and envision to build new value chains together. These events will prepare the open Call for Solutions of WP 2 with the purpose to support the best initiatives.
A “Call for experts” will also be implemented to select third parties that will be solicited by the SMEs or/and by the partners to bring specific expertise (technical and non-technical). This will favour the identification of experts sorted by field of expertise, and also ensure the quality of the work they will deliver to SMEs.