The SOFIA project is financed by the EU Horizon 2020 program, under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions.
The fellowship was awarded to Marco Della Gala, who is working under the supervision of James Kirwan, with support from Matt Reed and Rob Berry. The aim is to create ICT based tools, in particular mobile applications, to facilitate the exchange of knowledge between farmer and consumer networks and help people access local food.
The project began on 1st June, 2016, and will run over 20 months.
The Sofia project aims to achieve a full understanding of the tangible and intangible assets whose correct exploitation can give sustainable development to local food systems and rural areas and to apply ICT service innovation concepts, in order to create innovative services in a traditional business environment.
In order to foster sustainable development pathways for local food systems, Sofia will study new business models and will explore the value of the use of ICT tools (in particular mobile and ubiquitous services) to increase Situated Learning Opportunities (SLOs) in Alternative Agro-Food Networks and to improve mutual understanding and collaboration between value chain stakeholders.
The overall objective of the project is to improve the competitiveness of local food systems, leveraging their potential in terms of material and human & social resources. In addition, the study will aim to identify, analyze, and classify ICT tools supporting the information flows management both for decision making and for operational processes in the identified collaborative networks in order to:
- foster the sustainable development of local food systems;
- help small scale food growers and producers to better market their products;
- enable consumers to be more conscious eaters;
- increase producers’ and consumers’ learning opportunities by providing further background information, in addition to the face-to-face interaction that is enabled in AAFNs.
Sofia’s results will be exploited to conceive of, design and develop a mobile application to support the context awareness and information/knowledge exchange among farmers and consumers adhering to AAFNs