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The SOFIA project is financed by the EU Horizon 2020 program, under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions.


Sofia helps people to access local food

The SOFIA project  is a training-through-research project funded by the EU Horizon 2020 program, under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions – individual fellowship (call 2015).

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: mobHand2

  • 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

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Researchers involved in the SOFIA project
Marco Della Gala

Marco Della Gala

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow
Marco Della Gala joined the CCRI from the University of Calabria on 1 June 2016 to work on the SOFIA project. He was awarded with a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellowship. He will be working towards creating ICT based tools, in particular mobile applications, to help people access local food, a topic very close to the heart of the CCRI.
James Kirwan

Dr James Kirwan

Reader in Food Studies and Society
James is the ER supervisor. He has been working at the CCRI since 2002. His main research interests are the socio-economic impacts of local food networks, particularly the relationship between the production and consumption of food and their inpact on sustainable rural development.
Matt Reed

Dr Matt Reed

Senior Research Fellow
Matt is a sociologist with research interests in how and why social change takes place around food. He has worked at the CCRI since 2007. His main research interests are in organic food movement, in rural communities, in social networks, and in the changing technologies of food.
Robert Berry

Dr Robert Berry

Research Fellow
Rob joined the CCRI in 2012. His research is concerned with the application of geographical information systems (GIS) and geospatial technologies in rural and agricultural research.
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