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Smarterra – Building Tomorrow’s Mediterranean AgriFood Ecosystems

Mar 15, 2024 5:17:14 PM

RootCamp goes Italy! We are part of the Smarterra project, an EU-funded initiative aimed at fostering a resilient innovation ecosystem in Southern Italy focused on food and agriculture. This project specifically addresses the challenges faced by the AgriFood sector in the region, with a focus on enhancing Southern Italy's AgriFood industry. Covering 344,000 agricultural companies and 34,000 agri-food businesses, the project plays a crucial role in supporting the development and competitiveness of the regional economy. Despite its economic significance, the AgriFood sector in Southern Italy encounters growth challenges, particularly related to limited funding sources, impacting local startups and scale-ups, especially those led by women. Smarterra seeks to bridge this funding gap by attracting foreign investors and informing European capital providers about the promising opportunities within Southern Italy's AgriFood sector. 

Collaborators from across Europe

In the period of two years, we will implement a testbed involving a wide participation of national and international actors as incubators, accelerators, corporate entities, innovation agencies, business clubs and networks, public and private VCs and their networks, SMEs as well as national and regional authorities

Led by a consortium comprising six European partners, the Smarterra project boasts Italian, German, Swedish, and Danish representation. Italy is represented by the Municipality of Matera, via the Cte Matera, and EY. Germany contributes RootCamp, an innovation hub for AgriFood technology startups, and DEEP Ecosystems, an organization dedicated to building and empowering startup ecosystems. Sweden FoodTech, a leading force in the Nordic food technology market, includes Sweden, while Denmark includes Tech BBQ, a community that supports the development of startups and scale-ups beyond their early stages. The six partners bring to the table their unique expertise: EY and DEEP Ecosystems as innovation intermediaries, Tech BBQ as event and ecosystem partners, RootCamp and Sweden FoodTech as innovation stakeholders, and the Cte Matera as a local actor facilitating technological transfer from startups and universities to corporates and citizens.

Within the Smarterra project, our activities will focus on knowledge-sharing, ecosystem support, and capacity-building initiatives. These efforts aim to foster collaboration, innovation, and growth within Southern Italy's AgriFood sector, paving the way for sustainable development and economic advancement.

Smarterra(1)Philipp from the RootCamp team participated in the kick-off meeting for the Smarterra project held in Matera.

Matera, one of the oldest cities in the world, was named European Capital of Culture in 2019, here in February 2024, the Smarterra project was officially launched with a kick-off meeting where all six European partners gathered to initiate collaborative efforts.  Follow the Smarterra LinkedIn channel to not miss any updates!


The Smarterra activities are funded under the project SMart Agriculture & Food INnovation Ecosystem (SMAFINE) funded by the European Union’s HORIZON EUROPE research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101114215. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the authors only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

Linh Pham

Written by Linh Pham

Linh holds a master's degree in media and communications. In the past years, she has worked as an employee and freelancer in different editorial offices. Since 2020 she is part of the SpinLab team and is now responsible for public relations.

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