Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Meat research to help the sector's competitiveness

Building strong networks among stakeholders in the European meat industry can highlight priorities and create new policies that will upgrade the sector.
Meat research to help the sector's competitiveness
The EU research Framework Programmes (FPs) offer small and medoim-sized enterprises (SMEs) a multitude of opportunities to receive support in terms of cutting-edge research and funding. The EU-funded project 'Transregional cooperative platform for competitiveness in meat research and SMEs' (Tecare) encouraged SMEs in the meat business to join FPs and take advantage of the considerable support offered.

The project established a European platform to foster global cooperation in agro-food research with a focus on SMEs and public private partnerships, particularly in East Europe. It also set up geographical working groups (GWG) of SMEs in five European regions to discuss the challenges in the meat food chain and outline sector priorities.

In parallel, Tecare built a network of stakeholders to define research project topics and support the results of the working groups. This led to the establishment of consortia to work under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) as well as a sustainable network of technology mediators. The latter is continuing to operate on a European level and interfacing among SMEs, policymakers and research stakeholders beyond the project's mandate.

Tecare amassed research and technical requirements from SMEs related to the food chain in different European regions and forwarded recommendations to EU policymakers. Networking was also encouraged through several events, workshops and exhibitions, some of which were aimed at specific regions in Europe.

This enabled the technology mediators to organise meetings with local GWGs in order to assess their priorities, technical needs and expectations. After the organisation of a successful event in Poland, the project's final event in Brussels revealed the results and experiences of the Tecare partners regarding meat sector SMEs.

The emerging guidelines and priorities will enable the EU to draft new effective policies and measures for supporting competitiveness through research projects in the sector.

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