The SmartAgriHubs Open Call for proposals has as a key objective to expand the existing SmartAgriHubs community network with additional stakeholders and promoting the realisation of new innovation experiments. The collaboration with new and existing Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) and Competence Centres (CCs) shall result in a joint effort of an active community that creates knowledge and practical experience that will facilitate and disseminate digital innovation in the agri-food domain.

SmartAgriHubs supports this with its available team, knowledge and tools:;

  • The existing DIH network in SmartAgriHubs offers collaboration with additional and new Digital Innovation Hubs to facilitate experience exchange 
  • The network of Competence Centres is helping to identify the most appropriate technology related expertise required for a successful realisation of an innovation experiment
  • Community of SMEs, startups and scaleups, helping to find promising tech suppliers, partners as well as reference end-users
  • Flagship Innovation Experiments from SmartAgriHubs and use cases from IoF2020 serving as show cases for digitisation and innovation in the agri-food domains and
  • Excellent, well-equipped support team present in most European regions, familiar with local and sector specific challenges. 

Facilitated by an Open Call, SmartAgriHubs will complement and connect existing and upcoming programmes that are supporting innovation and funding stakeholders (i.e. from both public and private sources) in the agri-food community.

Subsequently, these activities shall generate a critical mass of digital innovation experiments, where stakeholders share experiences gained and build an international community of regional hubs (DIHs) and knowledge transfer centres (CCs) that will result in a sustainable European network also helping to close the gap between research, innovation and business development.

The current COVID-19 crisis and its impact on the agri-food economy has pushed the SmartAgriHubs team to redesign the Open Call approach to give response to the needs of the sector in these critical times. In accordance to the current COVID-19 related situation and the importance of the food system’s resilience, it is foreseen to use a maximum of 900,000€ funding for two individual open calls as an immediate RESPOND to the crisis. This shall be followed later by the RESTART and EXPAND open calls that will address the agri-food economy on the medium term.. SmartAgriHubs will assign up to 5,000,000€ funding to the RESTART and EXPAND open calls, addressing Digital Innovation Hubs that are supporting diverse stakeholders in the agri-food economy and specifically SMEs as drivers for digital innovation.

Figure 1: Overall timing of the planned open calls by SmartAgriHubs.


Can digital innovation help mitigate the consequences of COVID-19? SmartAgriHubs RESPOND open call focuses on the organisation and realisation of hackathon type of activities and the proposal of immediate technological solutions that will RESPOND to the effects of the COVID-19 crisis, and use potential opportunities to fight against the pandemic. 

Figure 2: Timing for the RESPOND Open Call.

The RESPOND Open Call is open between the 12th of May and 3rd of June 2020. If you want to participate in this open call, there are two possibilities, either for DIHs or SMEs:

  • For Digital Innovation Hubs – RESPOND to COVID-19 Open Call
    Proposals must include at least one DIH, realising hackathon type of activities. SmartAgriHubs considers that proposals requesting a contribution from 10,000 to 30,000 Euro would allow to support the realisation of activities appropriately.
  • For Small and Medium Enterprises, including Startups – RESPOND2: SAH2SME Open Call 
    Proposals are submitted by SMEs/Startups aiming at direct realisation of digital innovations mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the agri-food sector. SmartAgriHubs considers that proposals requesting a contribution from 30,000 to 50,000 Euro would allow to support the realisation of activities appropriately.

RESTART the Economy around Food Systems

SmartAgriHubs will realise a focused open call for hackathon type of activities that will RESTART the economy around the agri-food related sectors and affected food systems. 

The funding conditions to RESTART the Economy around Food Systems will be published in due time, as this open call is planned to be launched by July 2020.

EXPAND the Network

The major amount of funding will be assigned to the implementation of programmes by DIHs to support the realisation of Innovation Experiments. This shall specifically contribute to the expansion of the network of DIHs and CCs as well as making available new knowledge and results from digital innovation activities.

The funding conditions to EXPAND the Network will be published in due time, as this open call is planned to be launched by July 2020.

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