A closedown conference of AGFORISE (Agrofood Clusters Platform with Common Long-Term Research and Innovation Strategy towards Economic Growth and Prosperity) project, was held on the 16th of January in Mersin, Turkey.
Agforise Project Closed with a Final Conference in Mersin
A closedown conference of AGFORISE (Agrofood Clust
s Platform with Common Long-Term Research and Innovation Strategy towards Economic Growth and Prosperity) project was held on the 16th of January in Mersin, Turkey. The project which started in 2009 lasted 3 years, ending with a conference organized by MTSO (Mersin Chamber of Trade and Industry) at Mersin. AGFPORISE Project partners from Turkey, Italy and Spain, local stakeholders such as the governor and governorship representatives, board members of Mersin Chamber of Trade and Industry, researchers and industrialists active in agro-food sector in Mersin Region attended this meeting. AGFORISE project team achieved its objective by creating a common dialogue platform and joint action plan among the Agrofood clusters in order to maximize the research capacity and benefit from research infrastructures in partner countries. AGFORISE has made a great contribution to sustainable development, economic growth and prosperity in the Mersin region in Turkey, Emilia- Romagna region in Italy, and Murcia region in Spain. TAGES is one of the project partners of AGFORISE.
Ministry Representatives, Mersin Governor and Local Stakeholders Met for AGFORISE Project
Among the participants from Turkey, besides Hurrem Betul LEVENT from Mersin Chamber of Commerce and Industry hosting the Conference, there were a number of representatives making speeches from Mersin local authorities and AGFORISE partners. The Conference was opened by the speech of Ahmet ZAHTEROGULLARI, Turkish Ministry of Family and Social policies Deputy Secretary and also the Project Coordinator of AGFORISE. ZAHTEROGULLARI presented the importance of agro-food sector for Mersin by stating that Mersin produced 450.000 hectare fruit and 2 million tons vegetable and citrus but the city had a need to increase the efficiency in the sector, use agriculture technologies and enlarge the irrigated areas. ZAHTEROGULLARI took the attention to the AGFORISE project not only providing a common agricultural dialogue between 3 countries but also being an umbrella project for the development of new projects afterwards. Ahmet ZAHTEROGULLARI added that AGFORISE, which is known to be one of the successful projects of FP7, contributed to the technological and economic level of EU by raising the competition between the EU and other countries. He continued saying that agriculture was one of the most strategic sector for the EU which contributed to Mersin’s agriculture sector within 3 years.
The opening speech was followed by the speech of Hasan Basri GUZELOGLU, the governor of Mersin. GUZELOGLU highlighted that Mersin was a heaven of agricultural production for Turkey and projects like AGFORISE Project will advance the potential of the city. GUZELOGLU mentioned that projects like AGFORISE are very essential at enhancing the potential of agriculture in Turkey. He also stated that ‘With a 9% of growth in agriculture AGFORISE is a significant reference to show how Turkey reached a huge success in the agriculture area and will continue to reach a higher percentage till 2023.’
Ahmet YÜCER, General Manager of Republic of Turkey, Food, Agricultural and Livestock Ministry General Directorate of Agricultural Research and Policies (GDAR) was also among the speakers. YÜCER emphasized that presence of 4 research institute in Mersin Region showed the importance given by the Ministry to this Region. He added that research of ALATA, one of the project partners of AGFORISE, was worth to be mentioned for the sector.
Koralp OZKUT, Assistant Project Coordinator of AGFORISE from Mersin Special Provincial Administration presented the project objectives in detail and summarized the activities performed by 13 partners. Hurrem Betul LEVENT from MTSO presented the SWOT and SoR Analysis of 3 Regions with specific emphasize on Mersin Region analysis. Dr. Davut KELES from ALATA; Federica ROSSI from IBIMET; Boris LEFEBVRE from Grupo TASO made presentations on the benchmarking studies results attained through visits to other European regions who are leaders in agro-food sector. Comparison studies performed in VALORIAL Agro-food cluster in Rennes, France by Murcia region partners, Avignon Region and PEIFL cluster in France by Mersinregion partners, Oresund Cluster in Denmark by Emilia-Romagna region during the project. Leda BOLOGNA from ASTER presented the Joint Action Plan of three regions.
Leyla ARSAN, CEO of TAGES and Gurbet DENIZ YAVUZ, Projects Consultant of TAGES were also presented in the Conference and Project partners’ meeting which was held after the Conference in order to discuss the final issues left in the project such as the final deliverables and technical and financial reporting of the project. TAGES is providing coordination support to the Project Coordinator MSPA.
AGFORISE objectives have been achieved successfully
After the opening speech of each participant, experts made their presentations concerning their achievements during the AGFORISE Project. The objectives of the AGFORISE project have been successfully achieved through 3 years of hard work by the 13 partners from Turkey, Spain and Italy
- 1. A sustainable dialogue has been established between the competitive Agro-food clusters which are Mersin region in Turkey, Emilia-Romagna in Italy, and Murcia in Spain.
- Research & Development & Innovation Strategy Dialogue & Cooperation between the Agro-food clusters has been created.
- Trade & Investment opportunities in Agro-food sector have been enhanced.
- Cross collaboration between the participated regions has been improved.
- The competitiveness of European regions in Agro-food industry has been increased and significant added-value to the European Agro-food community has been created.