Home > Eu Project Profile > KATANA
General Information
Project duration: 
Friday, 1 July, 2016 to Monday, 31 December, 2018
Total budget: 
EU Contribution: 
Partnership Composition: 
Organisation nameFunctionCountryWebsite linkECCP linkIs Cluster Organisation ?
bwcon GmbH (bwcon)
AgroBusiness Park (ABP)
European Federation of Food Science Technology (EFFoST)
Associación Cluster Food+i (Food+i)
Vojvodina ICT Cluster (VOICT)
Organic Products Cluster (OPC)
Polo Technologico Pordeone (POLO)
BioSense Institute (BIOS)
Parnasse S.A. (PARN)
United Kingdom
InoSens Doo Novi Sad (InoSens)
digital worx GmbH (dw)
Synelixis Solutions Ltd (Syn)
Agro Apps (Agroapps)


O1. Symbiotic agrifood ecosystem

KATANA aims to establish a cross-border and cross-sectoral ecosystem that combines the competitive strengths of a traditional industry (agrifood) with three key emerging industries (eco-industries, mobile services and personalized health), in lockstep with the S3 strategy of 7 European regions.

O2. Supportive framework for SMEs and start-ups

KATANA seeks to provide a holistic supportive framework to European SMEs and start-ups accelerating the rate of adoption of advanced technologies and business models related to emerging industries in the agrifood ecosystem.

O3. Technology platforms

KATANA will deliver specific large scale demonstrators in the three targeted emerging industries (eco-industries, mobile services and personalized health), as enablers for shaping new products/services that embed emerging industries in the agrifood ecosystem.

O4. Innovative funding mechanism

KATANA facilitates the emergence of stellar teams (consortia of SMEs and start-ups) across the ecosystem and thereby runs an innovative funding scheme that simultaneously ensures transparency, community- and market-based evaluation as well as the mobilization of private matching funds.

Sectoral/industrial focus:

Agrifood, emerging industries (eco-industries, mobile industries, personalized health), ICT

Executive Summary: 

“KATANA - Emerging industries as key enablers for the adoption of advanced technologies in the agrifood sector" supports European SMEs in the agrifood value chain to simultaneously access knowledge, technology, capital and markets in order to respond to the global competitive environment. KATANA aims to provide this access to companies by leveraging upon the multiplier potential of cross-border/cross-sectoral collaboration and the systemic approach which homogenizes services towards the aim to place new products/ services in the market.

KATANA proposes a systemic approach by combining (i) an innovative selection and funding scheme based on peer to peer evaluation and crowdfunding; (ii) a holistic portfolio of support services covering the entire KATANA lifecycle and (iii) three large scale demonstrators capitalizing upon emerging industries (eco-industries, mobile services and personalized health).

KATANA is a cluster-driven project, bringing together 7 active clusters of SMEs from all over Europe (from Scandinavia to Mediterranean and Balkans) covering the entire ecosystem, namely agriculture, food production and ICT/ emerging industries. At the same time a diverse and strong presence of five SMEs as technology providers within the consortium will guarantee that the technological infrastructure for the large scale demonstrators will be delivered by actors who understand the needs of the community. The innovative selection method and the corresponding algorithms will be provided by an RTD organization with long experience in organizing and running Open Calls and competitions for SMEs.

Expected Results:  

R1. Strategic impact on the agrifood sector

KATANA takes into account the combination of technology trends, consumer needs and global competition to provide the infrastructure (i.e. knowledge, technology, market orientation and risk capital) that facilitates the transition towards a new symbiotic agrifood ecosystem. Thus, KATANA will have a long-lasting impact in supporting SMEs of the ecosystem to share similar values, adapt to change and survive global competition.

R2. Industrial leadership in the EU and associated countries

KATANA consortium includes 7 active clusters of SMEs from all over Europe (from Scandinavia to Mediterranean and Balkans) covering the entire ecosystem, namely agriculture (OPC, AgroBusiness Park), food production (EFFoST, Food+i) and ICT/emerging industries (bwcon, VOICT, POLO). The collective critical mass of these clusters is more than adequate to create the snowball effects needed to attract the volume and variety of stakeholders and particularly SMEs/start-ups that can foster cross-sectoral collaboration across value chains which integrate innovative and competitive solutions.           

R3. International competitiveness and future economic growth

KATANA will support the ecosystem to increase the competitive value chains by connecting the agrifood sector with emerging industries and by capitalizing upon a consortium that spreads to 8 European countries as well as very strong links with local SME communities. 40 new products/services will be assisted to find their way to the market and will be tested through reward crowdfunding, while 10 will be further financially assisted. Given the technological focus of KATANA and the market based evaluation method, it is expected that supported consortia will achieve a significant market share in their niche domains and create sustainable jobs.

R4. Leverage of funding

The leverage of private funding by supporting services as well as a (reward and equity) crowdfunding platform is a core element of KATANA at all stages of project development. The approach allows KATANA beneficiaries to tap into the pan-European community of investors and early adopters while it ensures that EU funding is provided in lockstep with market criteria. Hence, the so called “Death Valley” problem that many SMEs face after obtaining seed capital is avoided. Also, the institutional role of the participating clusters secures that KATANA benefits and approach will be incorporated in a significant number of regional interventions across Europe.

R5. Support of regional smart specialization strategies

KATANA aims to a direct link and broad long-term synergies with the smart specialization strategy (S3) of 7 European Regions, which define the agrifood sector and/or ICT and/or emerging industries as part of their priorities. The approach moves a step further in the sense that it perceives S3 of every region as a dynamic process involving all stakeholders. KATANA will identify the most promising actors in these regions to trigger a dialogue among stakeholders on the update of S3s according to the spirit of the KATANA ecosystem, which aims to unlock the potential of traditional sectors (e.g. agrifood) by exploiting the competitive edge provided by emerging industries.

R6. Contribution to the innovation performance of supported SMEs

KATANA is clearly influenced by Lean Startup method, since it proposes a similar, iterative approach (from teams to products and from ideas to market validation), that aims to accelerate the pace of launching new products and services in the market. In this context, KATANA will deliver clear and measurable results that are pointed out by specific KPIs (e.g. number of new or improved products, processes, marketing or organizational methods, resource efficiency or turnover). In medium term, KATANA will provide business support structures, including an online matchmaking facility and a reward/equity crowd-funding platform, which are self-sustainable and can easily be handed over to the ecosystem itself to ensure wider impact and sustainability of KATANA results.

R7. Establishment of open collaboration spaces

KATANA will create a diverse, symbiotic and open ecosystem in the very promising and highly important area of agrifood by combining: (i) three open-end large scale demonstrators, upon which SMEs can deliver their own solutions without the need to re-invent the wheel, (ii) a broad range of already growing communities including FIWARE ecosystem, ETP “Food for Life”, EIP Agri and the European Network of Living Labs, (iii) pitching, matchmaking and networking opportunities and (iv) additional private funding and an innovative self-sustainable crowdfunding model that supports the entire lifecycle of innovation. The KATANA ecosystem will lead to the creation of new ideas for innovation in three key emerging industries (eco industries, mobile industries and personalized health) and new cross-border collaboration partnerships, which will be subject of further development and with the potential for further impact.

E1. Project-related events

  • 15 open events (i.e. info days, conferences etc.)
  • 10 targeted events (i.e. physical workshops, trainings etc.)
  • 10 events across Europe where Katana is presented

E2. Events for Katana beneficiaries

  • >8  regional matchmaking events (“Makers’ Marketplace – Where ideas and people meet”)
  • 3 days onsite bootcamp for all 1st stage beneficiaries
  • 2 days coaching and investment forum for all 2nd stage beneficiaries