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I-con Project Newsletter N°4, May 2018


I-con Project Newsletter N°4

Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE Programme supports regional cooperation among central European countries: Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia, as well as parts of Germany and Italy. The programme aims to make central European cities and regions better places to live and work by implementing smart solutions answering to regional challenges in the fields of innovation, lowcarbon economy, environment, culture and transport.

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Welcome back to our I-CON newsletter, a half-yearly updating about what’s going on at I-CON, upcoming events and activities.

What happened?

“I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand” (Confucius, 551 b.C – 479 b.C).
This quote, in its old essentiality, describes perfectly the “know how” that characterizes the SMEs that I-CON wants to support.
An artisan company that lives on traditions, generational handover and exchange of skills.
An artisan company that is more and more attentive to managerial, process and product innovation.
An artisan company that grows not only in technology, but above all in competences and culture, moving towards the Digitizing Industry (Industry 4.0) and in key enabling technologies, in terms of advanced manufacturing, additive manufacturing, augmented reality, simulation, horizontal/vertical integration, big data, cyber security, industrial internet. A digitalization encouraged by local policies, promoting the Smart Specialization of ecosystems and by an international cooperation among companies, intermediary support organizations and the research.

Being closely connected to this change of scenery and to mechatronics, design packaging, food safety, quality and labelling, the food sector represents one of the sectors able to stimulate employment recovery in the most traditional companies of the Central Europe Countries, in particular in Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary, increasing the potential value of innovation through sharing tools and competencies with partners from Italy, Austria and Germany.

This mutual influence in I-CON has enabled to create an international pool of experts and a transnational partners network helping local SMEs’ business models, finding solutions for a competitive advantage, for entering bigger market and getting favorable conditions for businesses to expand.
An interesting insight into the present challenges of the food industry and an overview of the exiting trends/solutions are being investigating by the partners in several public initiatives and workshop with SMEs, for building on I-CON a further Central European cooperation action.

is therefore not exclusively the promotional campaign launched by the Central Europe Programme, but above all the spirit of this partnership.

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Training Academy: 3 study days for the I-CON project

The I-CON project Training Academy dedicated to the food innovation sector, hosted by UNIS&F, took place in Treviso from 20th to 22nd March 2018, and focused on aspects related to mechatronics, food design, packaging and the hygiene and safety of food in the agri-food sector.

What happened during these three days? Thanks to small classes, working groups and in-depth workshops alternating between Palazzo Giacomelli, the headquarters of Unindustria Treviso and the classrooms of UNIS&F, a great opportunity to deepen and increase knowledge for all the participants involved in the initiative. Among the many topics, from the theme of food or beverage packaging has emerged that the perceptual aspects are decisive in the choice of purchase, because the buyers see, touch and smell the packaging first, then its contents. To make a successful product you must have clearly understood its characteristics from the drafting of the project brief, as demonstrated by the different companies that participated during the three days.

Figure 1: Training Academy participants

Figure 2: Food design packaging session

What happened in the Food safety, quality and labelling training session?

7 facilitators, 2 trainers 3 days and 15 hours food safety training.
7 dedicated Food safety facilitators attended the Food safety, quality and labelling training session led by Campden BRI Hungary in Treviso, Italy.
The 2 experienced trainers aimed to explain the attendees their tasks as I-CON facilitators and to train them on the effective use of the Food Safety Quality and Labelling Assessment tool-kit, enabling to identify gaps and needs in the operation of companies and able to offer solutions for the companies for these gaps and needs. During the 3 days of training the facilitators reviewed the inventory of good practices collected by the project partners.
But, as we know, ‘learning by doing’ is the best way to get familiar with a procedure or a method, so the facilitators got a chance to try out their new knowledge through real-life situation exercises and try to convince the trainers (playing the role of a members of the management) to implement certain solutions….

…And they did!

Figure 3: Food safety, quality and labelling training session

Mechatronics session of I-CON training academy in Treviso

In the project I-CON, the Mechatronics Cluster deals with all tasks, questions and requirements that affect the mechatronics topic in food production. In the 3-day workshop in Treviso, companies such as Klatt Fördertechnik, Daxner or Insort presented innovative mechatronic solutions for the food industry. Klatt Fördertechnik, based in Neumarkt am Wallersee, is a specialist in the individual planning and production of complete conveyor systems. Conveyors that come into contact with food must comply with hygiene regulations. In addition to special processing techniques, stainless steel has to be used. The family-owned company Daxner from Wels: Daxner deals with plant and process engineering solutions in connection with the transport and processing of powdery and granular products as well as liquids. As a best practice example, the company presented a flexible contamination-free handling of spices, as well as the handling of baking ingredients at Fischer Brot. The fruit juice production of a small Hungarian cooperative was partly automated with machines from the Upper Austrian machine builders Kreuzmayr and Voran. Quality control and detection of foreign bodies in food was once again the focus of the company Insort. Stefanie Rud, CEO of Ortner clean-rom technology reported on the extended product shelf life obtained by processing in germ-reduced environment, with an application example in a meat and sausage production site. The spectrum of Austrian know-how in food production was completed through the automation solutions from Spörk and SMC.

Figure 4: Mechatronics training session

Successful S3 Workshop on Smart Specialisation on the Application of ICT and Advanced Manufacturing Solutions in the Food Supply Chain in Budapest!
4-5 April 2018 Budapest, Hungary.

The main topics of the workshop were the digitalisation of the food supply chain by combining and exchanging data for creating value and improving the efficiency in use of resources, environmental friendliness and reducing waste and cost.
The I-CON project was represented by Pomurje Technology Park, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia - Chamber of Agricultural and Food Enterprise, Campden BRI Hungary, CNA Regional Association of Emilia Romagna, University of Hohenheim and Polish Chamber of Food Industry and Packaging.
Furthermore, it was a perfect opportunity to discuss the follow up of the I-CON project for the "modernization" of the food sector, and also to the potential links with the SKIN H2020 running project.
The event was organised by Campden BRI Hungary and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia - Chamber of Agricultural and Food Enterprises with the support of the European Commission Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO) and in cooperation with the National Research, Development and Innovation Office (Hungary).
Official website of the event.

Figure 5: Supporting S3

Who we are

Partners from seven central European countries join their forces to improve entrepreneurial competences and skills in remote areas through food innovation potentials, led by the Pomurje Technology Park (Slovenia).


Pomurje Technology Park

Chamber of Agricultural and food enterprises


Business Upper Austria


Campden BRI Hungrary Ltd

South Transdanubian Regional Innovation Agency


CNA National Confederation of Crafts and Small and Medium Sized businesses – Regional Association of Emilia Romagna

UNISEF - Industry Association Service & Training of Treviso and Pordenone


Hohenheim University


Polish Chamber of Food Industry and Packaging


Slovak Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Who funds us

Our project is funded by the Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE Programme, which encourages cooperation on shared challenges in Central Europe. With 246 million Euros of funding from the European Regional Development Fund, this programme supports institutions to work together beyond borders to improve cities and regions in Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.
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