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Accelerating the digital maturity of Flemish food companies

Why this project?

In a fast-evolving technological world, most food companies, including many SMEs, have a hard time gaining a clear insight into their own 'digital maturity' and their greatest digital needs.  On the other hand, there is a gigantic range of digital possibilities, software packages, suppliers and consultants. All this makes it extremely difficult for these companies to formulate clear goals for themselves and make choices.  Food companies generally do not have the expertise themselves to sift through all the different digital options.  

Flanders’ FOOD has been committed to accelerating digitisation in the Flemish food industrial for several years.  Our ultimate goal is that every food company, small or large, will take steps towards 'the factory of the future' where digital systems support all facets of operations.   As a company, you will be better equipped for the future and for retaining your competitiveness and growth. 

Understanding that digitisation plays a very important role is widely accepted. But how do you start and how far are we as a company?  The DigiTrack project wants to support Flemish food companies in expanding their digitisation strategy.  

Investing in further digitisation? Absolutely!  But how?   

Research approach

DigiTrack is a collective research, development and dissemination project (type COOCK), that wants to offer a solution for the high demand for independent support and coaching in taking steps towards digital transformation.  We want to do this by working towards the following goals:  

  • With a still to be developed structured ‘scan’ we want to make it possible for food companies to map out their current approach and needs in the area of digitisation and help them make the right choices in the future. Where is my company at right now? Which digitisation solution provides the best perspectives for my company? Which expertise am I missing and at what speed can my organisation absorb this type of solution?  
  • Together we will develop terminology that digital technology providers can use to communicate in a language that is understandable for the food industry. Based on a needs analysis of the food companies, technology providers and consultants can fine tune their solutions to meet the specific needs of the food sector.  
  • A third objective is creating a template for a strategic plan for implementing digitisation, so that food companies, together with providers, can create their concrete digital transformation project and reduce the risk of missing essential steps.  
  • Since previous projects have taught us that there is a need for learning ‘together’ and ‘from each other’, a learning network will be created: the DIGIDENKERS (DIGITHINKERS).   Participants can learn and exchange new knowledge during the various sessions.  The digital technology providers will be invited to give specific knowledge boosts. 
  • Finally, two generic cases will be carried out to test this project's various building blocks.  The results will then be used to support the broad knowledge dissemination.  

Target group and expected results 

Companies will gain insight into their needs regarding digitisation in a well-founded manner and be able to draw up a phased plane for digitisation.    

The target groups include: 

  • Food companies  
  • ICT companies 
  • Digital technology (hardware) providers  
  • Consultancy companies that provide support for digitisation projects 

This project aims for a wide range of possible implementations that will enable companies to take new steps towards digital solutions.

Project partners

Flanders’ FOOD manages and coordinates the project. Sirris is responsible for the execution, under the supervision of Olivier Biot.

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