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Programme co-funded by the European Union and national funds of the participating countries
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Agribusiness innovation: A pathway to sustainable economic development

In both countries the unemployment rate rests well beyond the EU average, a phenomenon started as a consequence of economic crisis but has now entrenched itself in both societies as a deplorable social norm that plagues populations. The problem is magnified further by observed law rates of entrepreneurship activity, especially in the population of graduates. As a consequence, the highest rates of unemployment is present in the most dynamic part of the population which is the young graduates.
Educated people is an investment and the most efficient instrument for building innovation capacity and achieving sustainable economic growth. The CB area possesses great advantages still remaining largely untapped: agricultural production and the relevant, processing sectors are two of the strongest and most prominent competitive advantage of the CB area. The CB area, being the host of some of the largest Universities and Research Institutions, produces consistently:
  1. a substantial stream of graduates in a steady pace
  2. valid and viable innovation techniques.
The through boot camps and accelerations programs and their assistance in setting up start-ups.
Furthermore, the project proposes the establishment of permanent networks of the quadruple helix, academia, industry, public sector and society, structures that will stay operational after the project’s completion, to support existing and future graduates in their innovation and business ideas implementation.
The INAB/CERTH is successful in providing technologies, know-how and assisting innovation in the primary and related secondary sector and also educates and trains graduates. The University of Macedonia is the leading university in entrepreneurship education, with an active alumni office and established linkages with the business world, to facilitate the employment of its graduates. The Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Food is the leading institution providing education and research in the area of agriculture and agricultural economics, educating students at all cycles of studies. The National Extension Agency is the leading advisory service, with permanent contacts and relations with the farmers. It is permanently helping its target group in developing business plans or investment programs. The collaboration of the partners will create a well-structured outcome in educating graduates and young farmers through best practices, training and mentoring material and schemes for assisting innovation, startup development and business project design and implementation with special reference to the whole agricultural production value chain, starting from the primary production, buy-out and processing, up to retail and wholesale. The diffusion of the outcome will be promoted through a series of events such as webinars, career days, business and projects contests, e-learning platforms. Companies will take part and provide their own capacity.