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  1. AgrofoodClusters & Regional Development

  2. The Greek Agrofood industry A vital economical sector for Greek • Greek industry is one of the composed of 23 sectors and the most important of them is the food and drink sector • The largest manufacturing sector in Greece, representing about 21% of Greek manufacturing industry • includes more than 1,300 enterprises an creates 70,000 jobs. • The agro-food industry is thus central to the wider, economic development of Europe as it develops over the next decades

  3. Agriculture in the Greece Contribution of food industry and food sectors to total Greek Economy

  4. Agriculture in the Greece Imports of Greek Agriculture Industry Exports of Greek Agriculture Industry

  5. Sustainable agriculture is a productive, competitive and efficient way to produce safe agricultural products, while at the same time protecting and improving the natural environment and social/economic conditions of local communities

  6. Challenges for Sustainable agriculture Challenges for sustainable agriculture • Abundant food insecurity (FAO, 2006) • Demand for food will increase (Evans, 2009, and others) • Unsustainable use of natural production factors such as soil, biological diversity and water(Pimentel et al., 1995; FAO, 2003) • 60 % of ecosystem services are degraded (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005) • Intensive agriculture is depends on high energy but could be energy self-reliant and could mitigate GHG emission considerably (Smith et al., 2007) • Agriculture is insufficiently prepared to cope with unpredictability and adaptation to climate change (Lobell et al., 2008)

  7. Depletion of resources Cropland area Water • ~70% of the Earth’s surface is water • ~3% of the Earth’s water is fresh water • ~70% of fresh water consumption is for agriculture • By 2025, half the population may face water shortages… Energy The era of ‘easy’ (and cheap) energy is over… Instead, we now live in the era of Extreme Energy

  8. Projected impacts from climate change in different EU regions

  9. The way forward: ”increased productivity of agri- culture in a sustainable manner” From focus on increased productivity alone To holistic integration of Natural Ressource Management with food and nutritional security

  10. Smart Agriculture Production

  11. Regional Innovation Agro-Food clusters What is a cluster: a cluster includes firms and other knowledge-producing agents in a geographically concentrated area with inter-linkages among them. An Agro-Food cluster: A group of farms and/or allied food and agricultural enterprises, individuals, organizations, and agencies who work together on shared interests and toward a common goal. Organizations Consumers Retailers Farmers Producers Input Manufacturers Distributors Input Suppliers

  12. Agriculture in the Region of Lower Saxony Agro-Food Cluster as Regional Economic Dynamic • Agro Food Cluster embeds: • Resources • Capabilities • Competencies

  13. The Competitiveness of industry depends on innovation and knowledge transfer What the end users want INNOVATION What is possible with technology What is viable in the marketplace

  14. A case study: Innovation Regional Agro-Food Cluster in Thessaly for Growth and Rural Development - Agro4Growth • The Agro4Growth project aims to develop a regional innovation agro food cluster in the Region of Thessaly, Greece • The cluster will focus on the Food & Beverage sector, one of the most dynamic and rapid growing sectors in Thessaly manufacturing • The Agro4Growthparticipants will join their forces and utilise clustering and networking principles for the development and marketing of Thessaly Innovative and Functional Foods with a particular emphasis on Olive oil, Vegetables, Dairy Products & Wines. • The cluster will be developed around cross-cutting enabling technologies (e.g. ICTs, biotechnology, robotics) and emerging industries in the agro food sector and it will be mainly based in a practice-based innovation model

  15. Contact us: Centre for Research and Technology– Hellas (CERTH) Institute for Research and Technology-Thessaly (IRETETH) Web site:, E-mail address: