Professionalizing Knowledge Transfer Processes Unit

“REGINA” Kick-Off: Start of the Research Project to Strengthen Regional Value Chains in Organic Agriculture

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The research project "REGINA" started with a digital kick-off event with representatives of the participating project partners. The aim of the project is to evaluate the prospects of success in the implementation of an online marketplace for regional food in Saxony.

Digital marketing channels could take on a central role for the (direct) distribution of organically and regionally produced food in the future. Despite the increasing relevance of regionality and sustainability for the purchasing decisions of Saxon consumers, it currently is  still at an early stage though.

Against this background, the scientific project "REGINA" started on February 19 with a joint kick-off event of all project partners. In addition to the project managers of Fraunhofer IMW, representatives of the Landesamt für Umwelt, Landwirtschaft und Geologie (LfULG) as well as of the Biohof Barthel were present at the digital kick-off event. In the project, Biohof Barthel acts as a model farm for the development and application of a technological system integrated along the value chain for online food trade. Other farms will be integrated as part of the project in the future.

Based on the knowledge gathered in the project, concrete recommendations for action for setting up an online marketplace for regional food in Saxony with a focus on organically produced products will be made. The Professionalizing Knowledge Transfer Processes Unit at Fraunhofer IMW coordinates the project and is responsible for analyzing the current innovation ecosystem of the model company. The researchers also ensure the development of future framework conditions that would have to be created for the successful establishment of digital marketing channels. In cooperation with the Business Models: Engineering and Innovation Unit, intercompany business processes and data flows within the value chain are analyzed and optimized using business process management methods. This implies an evaluation of economic efficiency as well as the derivation of transferable and practical recommendations for taking action.

"Strengthening regional value chains is not only essential for improving the sustainability of agricultural products. Regionality also plays an important role in consumer confidence. Digital marketing channels must be thought of as part of a holistic solution here, which would also open up new opportunities for producers of high-quality food."

Dr. Juliane Welz, deputy head of Professionalizing Knowledge Transfer Processes Unit.

Through the sub-project of "REGINA" carried out at Fraunhofer IMW, the field of organic agriculture is being addressed. Another sub-project of "REGINA" for the field of conventional agriculture has started at the same time. For this, the LfULG cooperates with the Leipzig CONOSCOPE GmbH. The "REGINA" project is set to run from January 2021 to February 2023.