Approximately €500,000 has been approved to boost the agro-food sector through the Food + i Cluster agreement

LOGROÑO, 22 (Europe Press)

Today the Board of Directors approved a budget line of 480.000 euros that will be used to sign the agreement between the Government of La Rioja and the innovative business group of the food industry of the Ebro Valley “Asociación Cluster Food + i”, to strengthen competitiveness and innovation in the agri-food value chain, as well as the internationalization of the agri-food sector in La Rioja.

An investment that increases to 480 thousand euros for the period 2023-2025, which means an increase in the amount compared to 420 thousand euros for the period 2020-2022 and an increase of more than 70 percent compared to what was signed in the 2017-2019 stage by an amount of 275,000 euros.

This agreement indicates some lines of action aimed at promoting the development of this strategic sector of La Rioja through a commitment to innovation to mark its differentiation in the market and to position the regional agro-food sector as a national and international benchmark. Specifically, through the Government of La Rioja, it aims to promote competitiveness and innovation in the value chain of the agro-food sector in La Rioja, in favor of the digital and sustainable development and transformation of its companies, to achieve an industry with better reaction capabilities. Greater creative intensity and new business prospects to compete in an increasingly complex global environment.

For this purpose, an annual budget of 160.000 euros was estimated to implement the proposed lines of action and achieve the objectives set in the agreement, which in turn incorporated new criteria to promote the most competitive projects that will also allow for long-term planning.The duration because it is multi-year.

For the Government of La Rioja, the support and promotion of Research, Development and Innovation (R+D+i) of the Rioja Innovation System, through the renewal of agreements with clusters, is a central axis to meet the challenge of modernizing a production model for the region.

A key point to transform La Rioja and achieve growth comparable to that found in the most dynamic regions of Spain. According to the Regional Smart Specialization Strategy (RIS3) 2021-2027 created by the Government of La Rioja, one of the great strengths of La Rioja is the diversified business fabric specialized in industry and specifically in the agro-food sector, which accounts for 35.7% of total industrial added value and 30.8% of Employed.

In addition, they highlight the sustainable competitive advantages in the value chain of the agro-food industry as the main regional productive sector; From production to processing, packaging, distribution and marketing, as well as auxiliary economic activities that support the chain (auxiliary industry, technology and research centres, services related to quality and food safety certification, genetics, development of new functional foods, agritourism, gastronomy, etc.).

For this reason, with this consolidation of the agreement between the Government of La Rioja and the FOOD + i Cluster Association, the entity undertakes to develop actions aimed at strengthening and improving the innovative capacity of companies; that contribute to the modernization of the sector by improving its approach to the market, integrating technology, digitization and sustainable management of its companies; Promote the development of channels and products with high added value; Improve the projection and perception of innovation as a key lever for improving competition.

In addition to increasing commercial investment in innovative activities and projects. promoting collaborative spaces that accelerate open innovation and collaborative innovation; advances in identifying and interconnecting with the food technology ecosystem; Support the creation and articulation of business synergies within and between groups; Define strategies and business models that drive differentiation through innovation; Improve managerial capacity, attract talent to manage change, and increase the international exposure of La Rioja and its companies. FOOD + I FOOD CLUSTER

The Association of Innovative Businesses for the Food Industry of the Ebro Valley, which operates under the name of the Food + i Group, is a private non-profit association created in 2009 and based in Calahorra that brings together the main dealers in the region, as well as leading partner companies in its class from Navarre and the region Basque Country, Aragon and Catalonia. A total of 114 entities, companies and centers of research and management, 71 of which are from La Rioja (68%), whose common objective is to increase the competitiveness of the food business sector through open innovation and collaboration.

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