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KATANA - Emerging industries as key enablers for the adoption of advanced technologies in the agrifood sector

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - KATANA (KATANA - Emerging industries as key enablers for the adoption of advanced technologies in the agrifood sector)

Reporting period: 2017-10-01 to 2018-12-31

KATANA supported European SMEs and start-ups along the agrifood value chain to access knowledge, technology, capital and markets in order to respond to the global competitive environment in the agri-food sector. The project provided this access by using the multiplier potential of cross-border/cross-sectoral collaboration, and a systemic approach entailing (i) an innovative selection and funding scheme based on peer to peer evaluation and crowdfunding; (ii) a holistic portfolio of support services and (iii) three large scale demonstrators capitalizing upon emerging industries (eco-industries, mobile services and personalized health).

In brief: Throughout the project lifetime, KATANA combined direct financial support with tailor made business support services and the necessary technological infrastructure in order to support the fast and market-based development of highly innovative products and services.

During KATANA, the project consortium launched two Open Calls focusing on the identification of the most promising entrepreneurs in agrifood and tech industries. Upon their selection in April 2017, 100 KATANA 1st stage beneficiaries were provided a sound training portfolio, travel grants worth 2k EUR, and three Large Scale Demonstrator platforms. By September 2017, a total of 54 cross-border and/or cross-country consortia were able to deliver market-ready MVPs to apply for KATANA Open Call 2. Following the crowdfunding competition, the 10 best consortia in terms of the amount collected from private back-ers were selected as KATANA 2nd stage beneficiaries. In addition to a sound portfolio of support services (e.g. 1:1 coaching, investment readiness programme, export training), the KATANA Top10 received a sub-grant worth 100k EUR each as well as the chance to leverage public funding through participation in e-pitches and equity crowdfunding.
Key activities carried out within the scope of KATANA are divided into seven (7) work packages (WP). Main activities in each WP carried out in the second reporting period include:

Platform Development (WP2 – Crowdfunding)
KATANA EQUITY platform and the respective reporting system were developed and are now in full operation.
The platform can be accessed via

Promotion of Large Scale Demonstrators (WP3 – Large Scale Demonstrators)
Three Large Scale Demonstrator Platforms have been developed and are now publicly available:
- PRAGMATIC marketplace for PA services; via: 127 registered SME users
- KATANASTORE multi store; via: 1 successful use case (KATANA Top10)
- FunFood toolbox for functional foods; via: 99 registered SME users

Completion and Follow-up of Open Call 2 (WP4 – Open Call Management)
Open Call 2 was carried out and completed leading to:
- 54 cross-border/cross-sector consortia submitting their products/services for Open Call2
- 10 successful 2nd stage beneficiaries that were selected via the reward crowdfunding process
- 10 innovative products and/or services launched to the market
- Sub-grants worth 1m EUR distributed to Top10 beneficiaries.

Provision of 2nd stage training services (WP5 – Training Services for KATANA beneficiaries)
KATANA training services for 2nd stage beneficiaries were provided including, amongst others,
- Assessment of individual coaching needs with KATANA Top10 consortia conducted and final-ized
- 40+ webinars on start-up relevant topics such as financing & export promotion provided
- 32 days of 1:1 onsite coaching and 8 half-day Skype Sessions held to support Top10 teams
- 10 individual financial and export promotion plans documented.

Future Trends and Technology Watch Plan (WP6 - Future Trends and Technology Watch)
Final Future Trends and Technology Watch brochure published and promoted online via:

Strategic dissemination of KATANA activities (WP7 – Dissemination and Exploitation of Results)
- 52,000+ sessions on KATANA website,
- 2,500+ followers on Twitter, Facebook, & LinkedIn group
- 4,600+ views on YouTube channel videos
- 80+ events hosted or hosted in order to promote the KATANA project.
Building on the above mentioned approach, KATANA had a major impact on the participating SMEs as well as on the European agrifood sector as a whole and will continue to affect its Ecosystem in the future.

On side of the participating SMEs, the project contributes to the innovation performance of the supported SMEs and will helped them to leverage the initial support granted through KATANA by additional funding provided by private investors. Affecting both, resource efficiency and turnover, indicators for a positive impact on side of the SMEs included, for example, the number of cross-border/cross-sector business partners, the creation of new jobs in the supported SMEs, a sincere interest of early adopters in the developed solutions as well as the successful go-to-market of more than 40 innovative products and services.

From the start, it was the purpose of KATANA to reinforce a community that embraces innovative solutions in SMEs, along and across existing value chains and to improve the business environment of the supported SMEs by establishing open collaboration spaces involving innovation actors from different sectors and countries. In this newly created Ecosystem, innovative ideas emerged as a result of a vivid co-creation process among KATANA beneficiaries that ultimately lead to greater osmosis between the traditional agrifood sector and emerging industries. Here, the three LSDs developed within KATANA will further strengthen the Ecosystem by providing the infrastructure for an ongoing collaboration process in the future.
Winners of the 9 Wildcards for the Heidelberg Innovation Forum 2016
Live Recording of Open Call 1 Applications during KATANA Pitching Days
Networking Area at the KATANA Bootcamp
Consortia Formation at the KATANA Bootcamp
KATANA Concept Overview