The Barcelona SmartFarming innovation day on March 7th, 2013 was the first of such roadshow events the SME Drive has organized and as such was also a test of our outreach strategy.
The event was organized as follows:
- Introduction to SmartFarming
- EU-PLF project presentation
- SmartFarming technology examples
- Detailed presentation of the coaching process
- Next step: what do we want from you?
After the presentations, time was reserved for individual interviews with each participant. A special flyer for this event was created by the EU-PLF dissemination group.
We made contact with Barcelona Activa, a governmentally-run incubator in Barcelona, which allowed us to organize the event in their facilities. An intensive market search was performed in order to find potential participants from the farming industry, the academic world and the technological industry. This was done through telephone calls, personal visits and via internet. Following groups/people were contacted:
- 12 technology transfer offices of universities all over Spain, local governmental and research organisations
- 250 Direct e-mails to researchers in ICT, mechatronics, sensor technology, biotechnology, agriculture, targeting in particular PhD students
- 150 high tech start-ups through Barcelona Activa
- 5000 technological entrepreneurs (through Barcelona Activa)
- 1000 technological SMEs (through Barcelona Activa)
Contact with technology transfer offices of universities was surprisingly unproductive; the list of 250 researchers had to be developed by own research.
In general, the evaluation of the Barcelona event and obtained results were seen as very positive by our team. We concluded to continue on the same path for the next events, with minor changes in the program.