In April 2019, association Renewable Energy Sources Cluster (RESC) has started the implementation of project „Enhancing the Competitiveness and Sustainable Growth in the Agrofood Sector through the promotion of Circular Economy“, with acronym ‘AGROFFICIENCY’. Project partners of the RESC for the implementation of the project are Chamber of Small and Medium Sized Industries of Thessaloniki (Lead Beneficiary), Small Enterprises’ Institute of the Hellenic Confederation of Professionals Craftsmen and Merchants, Greek Association of Supply Chain Management and Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The project is a joint initiative that is being realized in the frame of the INTERREG V-A Greece – Bulgaria Programme 2014-2020.
The project’s overall objective is to enhance the support offered to established & newly established SMEs of the CB agrifood sector by creating a One-Stop-Shop business support center (BSC) that will work in an incubator-like model for SMEs. BSC is going to provide the necessary training, one to one consulting & networking, giving the means & opportunity to local agrifood SMEs to develop their business tools, generate new ideas & equip them with all the necessary know-how, properly manage, communicate & plan their operations, while creating a competitive advantage that will make them more enticing to investors. Moreover, the BSC will educate them on cost efficiency strategies & methodologies & promote the integration of Circular Economy & Contemporary Logistics in their operations. The BSC intends to follow a cooperation based approach by acting as a bridge between the 2 countries & promoting innovation in the agrifood value chain.
The main project outputs are Training Sessions & Workshops, Targeted consulting of SMEs about existing Green Labeling Schemes & Circular Economy best practices, an E-Support Platform & Hybrid Networking & innovation forums for Agrifood Sector Stakeholder. Its innovative character lies on offering a holistic set of services that are complementary & offer a cohesive end result, which is the direct support of newly established SMEs. Its focus on businesses operating in the value chain contributes to its innovative side. Lastly, the holistic character of the whole venture will create added value to the CB sectors of Agrifood, RES & Logistics.

Some key activities that RESC is engaged in include:

1. Establishment of an Observatory for circular economy and provision of the equipment needed to support the work of “Centre for support of the business”. The operation of the Observatory for circular economy is directly aimed at promoting innovations in resource efficiency among both the established and newly established SMEs within the agrifood sector in the cross-border region.

2. Hold workshops and attend an International fair.

3. Pilot activity: the procurement of composters in order to promote environmentally-friendly practices among the established and newly established SMEs within the agrifood sector in the cross-border region.

4. Collection of data and conducting research into the topic of circular economy.

“The Project is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and by national funds of the countries participating in the Interreg V-A “Greece-Bulgaria 2014-2020” Cooperation Programme”.