NEXADA's vision is to exploit the R&D and innovation potential present at the nexus of water technologies and digitization to respond to the challenges and needs of the food sector related to the sustainable development of this sector (with a main focus in the dairy, sea-industry and beverage subsectors) in terms of their management of the water cycle. Collaboration between agents from the water and digital sectors should encourage the creation of new innovative solutions that, in turn, will allow food companies to overcome current challenges and barriers to obtain greater control and efficiency of their water cycle. These improvements will translate into greater savings for companies (both in terms of water and energy, water consumption or reagents) and an increase in their sustainability, as well as their brand positioning.
NEXADA is a project promoted by three Spanish clusters from different sectors and regions: Galician Food Cluster (Clusaga), Catalan Water Partnership (CWP) and the Association of Knowledge Industries and Applied Technology of Euskadi (GAIA). This initiative receives funding from the 2022b call of the Spanish national clusters programme (Programa de Apoyo a las Agrupaciones Empresariales Innovadoras, AEI) of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism and is coordinated by Clusaga.
Thus, the main objective of the NEXADA project is to promote R&D and innovation business projects that exploit the existing synergies in the water-digital-food nexus, to offer high value-added solutions to end users of the food sector (mainly dairy, sea-industry and beverages) that support them in their sustainable development.
Specific objectives of NEXADA
To maximize this potential for collaboration between the water and digital sectors and thus respond to the challenges of the food sector, the following specific objectives will be pursued in the execution of the project:
- Explore the challenges of water and digitization of food companies in relation to their characteristics and prioritized subsectors (dairy, sea-industry and beverages).
- Identify points of improvement in the processes of food companies that can be reinforced through the implementation of R&D and innovation.
- Map the range of water and digital solutions that can be implemented (or, when appropriate, replicated) to improve the processes of food companies.
- Maximize the value for food companies of technologies in the water sector through their improvement through digitization.
- Encourage collaboration between the water, digital and food sectors in the project for the preparation of large-scale R&D and innovation projects with a focus on improving sustainability.
Therefore, the main result of this project will be the definition and design of R&D and innovation projects focused on improving the sustainability of the food industry, likely to be submitted to upcoming calls from the national clusters programme or to other calls of interest.