DIVA Full Ecosystem 

Project DIVA aims to provide support to the emergence and development of new industrial digitech value chains with applications to the agro-food, forestry and environment sectors.

Specifically, the project will support innovative SMEs by:

  • Fostering new cross-sectoral and cross-border collaborations, set-up collaboration of stakeholders around joint business models
  • Introducing SME with potential customers
  • Having them participate in large scale demonstrators
  • Supporting them at building critical mass offers at the European scale to reinforce their position in the EU-wide market
  • Finding value-adding investors able to accelerate their growth

DIVA Work Packages

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.

At the heart of this WP is the action “Call for solutions”. The main goal is to collect and select innovative value chain proposals addressing the challenges identified in WP1 and listed in the inspiration framework. 2 calls for solutions will be organised at national and European scale in connection with the events of WP1. An Advisory Board (see below) will examine and select the most valuable value propositions based on the previously defined selection criteria. Experts from the clusters will also visit the best ranked companies to assess precisely the support they would need to go further with their proposed ideas. DIVA partners will also help such SME at identifying possible partners, at building consortium with the other contributors of the value chain they need to develop their new concept.

Selected projects will move on to the subsequent activity, which is a structured immersive acceleration programme offering teams mentorship and specialized consulting. A combination of direct and indirect support will be offered to the selected projects.

Specifically, 150 SMEs will be pre-selected and each of them will benefit from a due-diligence carried out by one of the DIVA’s partner. The objective is to set up a 360° vision of the needs of the SME to develop its solution. This will allow the partner and the SME to set up some performance indicators that will be followed all along the process.

These indicators will focus on technological and non-technological parameters. 100 SMEs among the 150 will go on in this process. They will have 9 months to conduct their project. Direct funding, Funding external experts/consulting, and/or advisory support from partners experts will be made available. All projects will be reviewed and appraised in WP4. The 50 other SMEs will be redirected to other support services to mature more their solution in a regional perspective.

Validation and large-scale demonstration of technologies and novel services in near to real conditions (to reach TRL 6-7 and even 8) meets an important expectation from SMEs. Demonstrators should be set-up either jointly with stakeholders solicited in WP1 (typically large end-users or farms), or in the framework of RTD centres (partners or associated organizations to the project).

The main scope of the large-scale demonstrators is to make available a set of platforms and tools that allow SMEs to test the functionalities of the technological solutions they have developed while validating the soundness of the business model they could propose to possible customers. What could be a demonstrator? For agriculture applications, the demonstrator should offer for instance a set of fields and cultivated lands available in real conditions for experiments associated with a working environment including various sensors (weather stations, soil moisture, satellite imagery…) and a mobile and real-time data processing and management cloud infrastructure.