Newsletter Feature: INCiTiS-FOOD Report – Connecting Stakeholders, Empowering Youth, and Bridging Living Labs

Building Connections for Sustainability

By building connections among diverse stakeholders, INCiTiS-FOOD is revolutionizing the future of food security and driving impactful agricultural development. Recently, the project had impactful activities on three occasions.

A recent meeting between INCiTiS-FOOD and PAEPARD, the platform for African-European partnership for agricultural research and development, highlighted the importance of aligning and strengthening the capacity of African stakeholders to participate in European-led development initiatives for Africa. This meeting aimed to create more responsive development programs and mobilise resources by combining African and European institutional and financial support. Both INCiTiS-FOOD and PAEPARD share a common vision of addressing key Sustainable Development Goals (SDG-2 and SDG-4), strengthening the collaboration.  Furthermore, one inspiring example is the INCiTiS-FOOD Living Lab in Franceville, where young volunteers were empowered through training and guidance toward better agricultural practices, addressing the scarcity of animal feed and promoting financial independence. 
Additionally, the active participation of partners from Aglobe Development Center in community development committee workshops organised by the Alimosho Local Government; demonstrate a commitment to holistic and collaborative approaches towards sustainable progress in regions such as Lagos with INCiTiS-FOOD at the forefront.

Cross visitations between Living Labs

Organising and participating in cross-visitations between Living Labs (LLs), our innovation-enabling user-centred environments, provides an opportunity for LLs to exchange knowledge, experiences, and best practices, fostering collaboration and networking among different stakeholders. By learning from diverse approaches and unique territorial experiences, LLs can expand their capabilities and transfer that knowledge to their communities. These events also help LLs raise public awareness about the benefits of sustainable agriculture, contributing to the broader adoption and impact of INCiTiS-FOOD circular practices in Africa. With this in mind, we are thrilled to share the details of the exciting visit at the University of Ibadan (UI) in Nigeria! The Living Lab at UI had the honor of hosting the first LL cross-visitation as part of the INCiTiS-FOOD inter-living lab collaboration. The visit brought together representatives from Bundeswehr University Munich, UI principal officers, experts, and student interns, creating a fruitful environment for discussions and exploration of future opportunities. This visit signifies a step towards the prosperity of the Living Lab, as stakeholders work together to drive innovation and sustainable solutions in the field of food systems.

INCiTiS-FOOD at events

INCiTiS-FOOD had the opportunity to be presented at the DIGI-SI Agrifood EU Funding Clinics event by Foodscale Hub in May where the project’s future open calls were introduced as well as other topic-related information. In the same month, Beyond Expo, Greece allowed INCiTiS-FOOD to present its equity-free funding opportunity in yet another event through the explanation of the open call procedures by Foodscale Hub.

The International Agricultural Fair in May in Novi Sad, Serbia was an enticing occasion for INCiTiS-FOOD to connect with youth and other stakeholders. Also, the project’s partners, namely Foodscale Hub, spread awareness of INCiTiS-FOOD while simultaneously educating interested parties about food security in Africa.

June was an interesting month for our project where INCiTiS-FOOD partner Youth 4 Development attended the International Farmers and Food Processors EXPO in Kenya where there was an opportunity to inform local farmers about the project and upcoming activities. In parallel, partners from Njala University, Sierra Leone and University of Bundeswehr Munich attended the International FoodSecTech Summit in Tel Aviv, Israel. They had an opportunity to share their knowledge and experiences on how to tackle the challenge of food security in a panel discussion. Additionally, our partners at Bundeswehr University Munich showcased INCiTiS-FOOD at the Open Day of the university in June where the insights and updates from the Living Labs in Africa were presented. The event celebrated the university’s 50th anniversary and offered hands-on activities and opportunities to learn about cutting-edge research projects – such as INCiTiS-FOOD.

INCiTiS-FOOD Living Labs Update

The INCiTiS-FOOD LLs are progressing strongly, with gates preparing to be open to the general public in the near future, with University for Development Studies (UDS) LL opening the horizon first. 

Most importantly, the LLs are preparing for their train-the-trainer session aimed at enhancing the knowledge and building greater technological capacities of Living Lab leads. UDS LL INCiTiS-FOOD will host partners for the construction and training on aquaponics at the Nyankpala Campus in June and in August while the Kenya LLs will have their own training sessions. One more training will be organized in November in the Gabon LL region so stay tuned and check out our Knowledge Hub portal!

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