HEALTHY RIOJA project involves the implementation of healthy food strategy as a tool to boost the food industry through bioeconomy, health and technology 4.0
The Strategy HEALTHY RIOJA is coordinated by Ctic Cita with the support of La Rioja Government through its innovation department and it is aligned with the Strategic Plans of La Rioja Government
The agri-food sector has always been the most traditional sector in La Rioja. However, due to the growth in the development and application of biotechnology and technologies 4.0 in the food sector, both R & D centers and local authorities detected the opportunity of implementing a regional strategy that promotes collaboration between the different sectors in order to boost the competitiveness and the innovative capacity of La Rioja Innovation System .
This Strategy is based on 4 main objectives:
• ANALYSIS OF BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES: Generate business opportunities in the field of health and nutrition through technology watch and consumer studies 4.0.
• ACCELERATING INNOVATION: to push and foster the agri-food industry to development new healthy products , formulation of concepts in laboratory and industrial prototyping.
• TRANSFER AND EXPLOITATION OF RESULTS through: 1) communication actions and transference of results 2) agreements for knowledge´s transfer with the agri food companies in the region.
• PROMOTION OF COOPERATIVE R + D + I aligned with the regional BIO-TIC strategy.
Main regional stakeholders are: R&I centers and universities, local and regional administration, public and private BIO,ICT and AGRI companies, society, clusters,consumers and farmers associations.

Resources needed

The Project has been funded by La Rioja Government with FEDER co-funding with 225.000 € (2016 and 2017) and 360.000 € (2018,2019 and 2020)
Regarding the resources involved, are composed by Ctic Cita staff and investment to the purchase of Watch Technology tool 4.0.

Evidence of success

Development & implementation of Technology Watch System in Ctic Cita ( i3Vigia): 2 Reports of business opportunities,1 study on nutritional aspects,1 portal of TW for La Rioja agribusinesses
-New healthy food products: 12 laboratory concepts and 8 pilot prototipes:healthy energy bar, wet extruded meat & vegetable,healthy biscuits, veggie gummies ,vegetable meat & snacks, low fat pastry
-2 Joint Research Unit with companies focused on healthy food. R&D project collaboration
- 3 open workshops

Difficulties encountered

Promote the systematic use of technological surveillance in companies in the sector
Development of new products in relation to consumer demands
Difficulty in negotiating the transfer of results to agri food companies
Implement a collaborative system between different regional stakeholders

Potential for learning or transfer

Healthy Rioja strategy has a marked character of regional positioning as a reference within the agri-food sector in healthy food based on the results of targeted research.
On this occasion, the Government of La Rioja plan is to align the regional strategy defined in the RIS3 (Intelligent Specialisation Strategy) and La Rioja R&D Plan with the regional agro business fabric. To this end, Ctic Cita has been the link between the Regional Administration, the basic research carried out at the university and the productive sector within the La Rioja Innovation System.
Through this practice, La Rioja Government is succeeding in promoting and redirecting applied innovation towards the area of healthy food as a new axis of intelligent specialisation.

Please login to see the expert opinion of this good practice.

Main institution
Centro Tecnológico Empresarial Alimentario
La Rioja, Spain (España)
Start Date
February 2016
End Date


Please login to contact the author.

Good Practices being followed by

Javier Rosa

Government of la rioja

Alfonso Martínez

Regional Government of La Rioja

Miren Salazar

Beaz (DFB)