DigiFABS launched! - Realising digital transformation of SMEs

AUAS taking an important step in the digital transformation of SMEs in the Food & Beverage industry

4 Mar 2024 18:33 | Entrepreneurship

In a dynamic world that is rapidly digitizing, adaptation of people, organizations and society is crucial. Companies must adapt to this digitalization to remain relevant, but many companies experience obstacles in adopting new technologies. Especially in SMEs, the level of digitalization is low, and in particular the F&B sector, being the largest industry in the EU, lags behind in this development. Yet there is enormous potential to benefit from emerging technologies, for example to address sustainability challenges. With participation in the DigiFABS project, the University of Applied Sciences of Amsterdam's Research Group Entrepreneurship is taking an important step in the digital transformation of SMEs in the Food & Beverage industry (F&B sector).

The Research Group Entrepreneurship of the University of Applied Sciences of Amsterdam (AUAS) has joined the European project DigiFABS Digital Change Agents for Food and Beverage SMEs, a consortium consisting of fourteen higher education institutions, vocational schools, companies and networking organizations from seven European regions.

Kick off DigiFABS project

Mike Russell, researcher at the Research Group Entrepreneurship, traveled to Münster, Germany for the kick off of the project this month. The two-day kick off was all about discussing the project with all consortium partners, both in terms of project management and substance, such as expected concrete outputs. Here, Mike Russell explained the research goals, methodology and responsibilities that the project entails.

DigiFABS aims to enhance digital, resilience and innovation skills to optimize the management of digital transformation in small and medium-sized businesses in the F&B processing sector. The goal is to develop a holistic course curriculum for the main stakeholders from the F&B sector; students, educators and companies.

New Skills for Digital Change Agents

For digital transformation to have a sustainable future, the future generation of employees must in fact be prepared with new skills. We call these Responsible Dynamic Digital Change Agents (RDDCA): skilled people who can lead strategic transformation projects within organizations in the field of F&B. Their role requires more than technological knowledge. It's about personal, social and methodological skills to drive digitization projects and facilitate the implementation of digital change. Specifically, a summer school pilot program for students and bootcamps for people in F&B SMEs will be developed over the next three years.

AUAS takes the lead in research

The project is being led by Fachhochschule Münster University of Applied Sciences. The HvA is taking the lead in the research part of the project. We will lay the foundation for the project by gathering insights from the literature and from the field. In addition, we will have an important role in the conceptualization, pilot phase and optimization of the course program. Here there will also be a role for the HvA's collaborative The Food Lab.

The project started on February 1, 2024 and will last until February 1, 2027.