The lead partner, Tolna County Development Agency comes from the smallest and most rural county in Hungary,  Tolna. The county is situated in central Hungary, in the west bank of the river Danube, in the meeting-point of the Transdanubian Hills and the Great Plain. TCDA has its office in the city of Szekszárd that is the county capital.

Read more what the project manager Mr. Balázs Kiss has to say about the county and TCDA´s priorities in the project.

What is Tolna County Development Agency about?

The Tolna County Development Agency (TCDA) is a public, non-profit entity, owned in 100% by the Tolna County Municipality. Its relevant main activities are: implementing transnational cooperation projects to improve regional knowledge and to bring policy changes in relation to local actors, thus bridging the gap between the Managing Authorities of the Operational Programmes (OP MAs) and the regional economy. TCDA also offers assistance to other municipalities in developing European projects, and helps strategic and operational planning on regional, sub-regional and settlement level, management of territorial cooperation projects, capacity building.

The owner of TCDA Ltd. is responsible for shaping strategies on a local (county) level which also includes food industry, related issues are recognized which entitle TCDA Ltd. to participate in international cooperation related to the aforementioned questions.

Who are the people working behind the project?

TCDA is the lead partner of project FRIDGE, also a partner in four other EU-funded projects on fields such as e-mobility, environmental protection, energy efficiency. We are a small arm of the Tolna County Council dealing with European projects. At the moment, our small office consists of 4 people, who take care of the European projects together.

The project will be managed by project manager Balázs Kiss and accompanied by Anikó Kiss and Agnes Filler. Anikó will be in charge of the financial activities of the whole project and Agnes will be helping with the project communications and other practical project activities.

FRIDGE project team at TCDA.

What is interesting in your region and its food sector?

Tolna County is the most rural county of Hungary, dotted with small settlements whose heritage is a very colourful one with local flavours changing from village to village. The local food industry is building on smaller, local producers, Social Cooperatives, the famous Szekszárd Wine Region, and a few bigger companies producing dairy products.

What do you wish to accomplish with FRiDGE in your region and what would you like to learn from other regions?

TCDA intends to share good practices of food industry and SME support and the associated financial sources to harmonize the demand of the food industry organizations with the characteristics of the Economic Development and Innovation Operational Programme (EDIOP).

TCDA expects benefits at the development of well-proven technologies, improved system approach and integration into existing systems in terms of food industry. Results of such projects with possible novel financing will be introduced to national level.

Who are involved in your regional stakeholder group?

In our stakeholder group we have representatives from the Ministry of Finance, Local companies of the food-industry sector, Tolna County Council, Hungarian Chamber of Agriculture and various associations from working food industry. The first stakeholder group meeting will be held in January where relevant companies, local authorities will gather to discuss about the state of the food industry in the region.