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The Faculty of Biology continues the work on the project AgroLabs

Under the "Balkans - Mediterranean 2014-2020 Transnational Cooperation Program", the Faculty of Biology at the Sofia University, Department of Ecology and Environmental Protection, won and started work on the implementation of the project "AgroFood Innovation Clusters", project acronym: "AgroLabs".

The project has a total value of € 956,303.00, of which 85% is grant from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and 15% is national co-financing. Project leader on behalf of the University is Assoc. Prof. Valentin Bogoev.

The AgroLabs project targets the regions of Central Macedonia in Greece (Imathia), Cyprus (Lemesos), Bulgaria (Blagoevgrad-Razlog) and Albania (Fier).

AgroLabs Project will contribute to make the Balkan Med agro-food sector more attractive, productive and international. In addition, it will support cross border cooperation in the agro-food sector by promoting innovative technologies, strategies and products as well as it will support and increase the know-how of agro-food SMEs and parties in the entire value chain. This will lead to a more competitive Balkan Med region.

This can be achieved through the development of Agro Food innovation clusters, a place where research, industry and authorities can meet to co-create the Balkan Med area’s competences in innovation of agro-food sector. To achieve these aims towards the sustainable growth of the Agro Food sector, all relevant parties should be engaged.

Several Project Partners meetings have been held so far. The Kick–Off meeting for the AgroLabs project took place in Athens – Greece on 28.09.2017 at the Technological Educational Institute of Athens (Lead Partner). The second Project Partners meeting of the AgroLabs project was held in Limassol, Cyprus on 29th and 30th of March 2018.

Upcoming events are to take place in June-July 2018 in Limassol, Cyprus and in November 2018 in Albania.

A number of initiatives are envisaged on the AgroLabs project:


An integrated diagnosis of the Agro-food value chain in the AgroLabs’ target regions (Central Macedonia/Imathia, Limassol, Blagoevgrad and Fier) will be done to identify problems, collect data that can be used as tools for solutions, describe potential alternatives and achieve knowledge exchange.

Four AgroLabs Workshops are going to be organized on the territory of the regions of Imathia, Limassol, Blagoevgrad and Fier. The AgroLabs Workshops will disseminate the knowledge gathered in the Diagnosis Studies of the agro-food value chain.

The AgroLabs Innovation Summit will be held within the project. It is planned a transnational conference that involves key stakeholders from each region to promote the transnational exchange and networking, discuss challenges and develop common solutions and strategies concerning the growth of the agro-food sector in the Balkan-Med region.

Four Local Action Plans will be developed during the implementation of the project. They will be the result of stakeholders’ consultation activities and they will aim at building joint strategy at regional level. They will serve as the operational plan for the establishment of AgroLabs cluster.

The AgroLabs clusters will be developed and operate in the regions of Imathia, Greece; Lemesos, Cyprus; Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria and Fier, Alabania. Agro-Food Innovation clusters (AgroLabs) will serve as physical place where industry (agro-food enterprises, producers, actors in the value chain etc.), research institutions and public authorities meet.

The AgroLabs Assessment comprises the monitoring and evaluation of the AgroLabs Clusters. It aims to monitor the progress of the AgroLabs Clusters development and the evaluation of their operation, in order to provide information about the clusters’ functionality.