FORKITS - Food expertise and know-how exchange on technology transfer between Italy and Serbia

this project was co-financed by the Central European Initiative (CEI)

The project FORKITS arises from the need to implement the guidelines defined within the local and European Strategies and initiatives related to agri-food sector. The project scope is to foster collaboration among the local ecosystem of Veneto Region and Serbia. The Serbian community is the fifth migrant community in Veneto with around 14.000 people.

In February 2020, the President of Veneto and the Prime Minister of Serbia signed an agreement for the economic, social, cultural development to strengthen the relations between the territories.

FORKITS will involve UniSMART– the Foundation of the University of Padova located in Padua and the Institute of Food Technology of Novi Sad located in Vojvodina Serbian Region.

The project is in harmony with one of the priorities enlightened in the Smart Specialization Strategy of Veneto that focuses on providing healthy and safe food (agri-food) products. Scope of the priority is minimizing environmental impacts and  enhancing ecosystem services, while reducing waste and ensuring adequate societal value.

In the Region are also present some institutional networks, the RIR- Regional Innovation Network, based on the areas of priority of the S3. RIR are thematic public-private network that cooperates in projects and initiatives for the local economy dedicated to the Agrifood sector. In particular, the University of Padova is a leading partner in RibesNest, the innovative network for the health ecosystem and smart nutrition.

Serbia has an important agricultural vocation: the agri-food economy is well developed, in particular in the Vojdivonia Region in which industrial sectors related to the processing of agricultural products are indicated as strategic local assets.

FORKITS project will foresee the exchange of know-how both to tackle sectoral challenges as to develop capacity building skills.

Agri-food challenges

  • Promote circular bio-based economy approaches
  • Conserving biodiversity
  • Promotion of Climate Neutral perspectives
  • Upcycling of agriculture/food waste to reduce the food loss and waste, while producing high quality food
  • Ensuring food safety
  • Support organic farming and organic aquaculture
  • Reduce the dependency on pesticides and antimicrobials and the excess of fertilization
  • digitalization of agrifood sector through IoT applications
  • Environmental control of stocked grains

Capacity building challenges to develop an innovative local ecosystem

  • Create synergies between academic and industrial world
  • Reduce the gap between educational programs and industrial needs
  • Stimulate generation of innovation
  • Implementation of new design thinking methodologies
  • Enhance skills related to the technology transfer
  • Valorize Intellectual Property
  • Engage young talents and researchers
  • study innovative business model
  • boost internationalization