Cluster Food+i (private entity), and brings together more than 90 companies, research centers and other entities related to innovation in the agri-food sector
The Ebro Valley is one of Spain's most important socio-economic areas formed by La Rioja, Basque Country, Aragon, Navarre and Catalonia. The food and agriculture industry is of strategic value to this socio-economic area, as it generates the largest economic base. At the same time, it is highly atomized sector, with high geographical dispersion where main actors are working locally.
Therefore, Ctic Cita noted the need to impulse the creation of a Cluster organization that brings together under the same roof the main actors of the agri-food system in the region (agro-food companies, research and innovation centers) with the aim of promoting the competitiveness of the agri-food sector in these regions. Cluster Food+i was created as a private initiative of Ctic Cita and the agri food sector of Ebro Valley region.Nowadays is co-funded by La Rioja Government.Likewise, the Government of La Rioja participates and collaborates in the design of the Cluster activities, as well as its follow-up through an innovation agreement that is signed annually.
The main objective of Cluster Food + i is to promote the competitiveness and development of the agro-food sector of the Ebro Valley through collaboration and innovation.
Main stakeholders are agri food companies (from start-ups to large companies), entrepreneur’s, research & innovation centers and universities, farmers associations, technology providers, research centers, public authorities and society from rural and urban areas

Resources needed

Nowadays, Cluster Food+i is composed by 3 people. It´s annual budget is around 300,000 euros coming from: 1)Fees and service billing: 40%, 2) Own innovation projects:35% 3) La Rioja Government competitive contract: 25%.
In this sense, 75% comes from private funds and 25% from regional public funds

Evidence of success

-High participation of companies, especially SMEs.Cluster Food + i has 98 members, of which 87 are companies (of these 86% SME). As a business group they mobilize 3.026 M € of turnover, and 10.020 direct jobs.
-Management Board led by companies
-European positioning of the cluster, both in activity (3 European projects) and in positioning in European networks and platforms such as:EUROPEAN CLUSTER COLLABORATION PLATFORM,BOND SPAIN CLUSTER, BIC (full member), F4L, SMART SPECIALISATION PLATFORM

Difficulties encountered

Highly demanding and changing global environment; small companies and business with a low capacity for innovation, low investment and support from public bodies and difficulty to access financing and grants.

Potential for learning or transfer

The Ebro Valley region is the most competitive agri food region on Spain and Cluster Food+i comprise the main food manufacturers in the region. Cluster Food+i settled an Open Innovation ecosystem scheme with the objective of increasing competitiveness of the agri-food industry through innovation and collaboration This highly adequate ecosystem of innovation fosters relationships between the different actors in the region. Food manufacturing companies and R&i centers working together on a common goal, improve profitability and competitiveness of the sector.

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Main institution
Centro Tecnológico Empresarial Alimentario
Location
La Rioja, Spain (España)
Start Date
March 2009
End Date
Ongoing

Contact

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Good Practices being followed by

Javier Rosa

Government of la rioja

Alfonso Martínez

Regional Government of La Rioja