The ideas below have been developed by business, academics, civil society and other stakeholders in the region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace working together over the course of four focus groups on entrepreneurial discovery in four areas.
Please look through the ideas and if you are interested in knowing more or wish to collaborate on one or more ideas, fill in the contact form.
- IDEA 1: Local wine grape varietiesOpen or Close
Research and exploitation of local wine grape varieties through identification of the varietal potential of each variety and of ways to enhance this initial potential during all stages of wine production.
The idea focuses on research on 6-7 local wine grape varieties, aiming at the definition of their oenological potential and its enhancement during the grape and wine production process.
- IDEA 2. Vineyard network with GIS toolsOpen or Close
Development of a network for collecting and management of data on wine grape cultivation
The idea refers to the development of a vineyard network within REMTh using GIS tools. The aim is the monitoring and collection of vineyard data (soil, climate, in-situ sensors) and their management with the use of adapted software. The results will be uploaded on an interactive platform designed to assist vine growers in decision making. The network will also help the Regional Administration to better designate areas for vine growing and wine production.
- IDEA 3. Indigenous microbiota for local winesOpen or Close
Exploitation of indigenous microbiota in the production of local wines
The idea is to exploit local grape microflora for quality improvement and diversification of local wines. For this purpose, native microbiota from important viticultural regions within REMTh will be assessed. Elite strains will be selected based on their technological characteristics and performance in experimental and pilot plant scale fermentations. The wines will be examined through chemical, sensory, microbiological and molecular analyses.
- IDEA 4. Prevention of Dekkera/Brettanomyces bruxellensisOpen or Close
Methods to prevent the growth of Dekkera/Brettanomyces bruxellensis against wine spoilage
The idea is to better prevent spoilage of local wines by the yeast Dekkera/Brettanomyces bruxellensis since it is often associated with the local wine industry. Research activities will include the isolation of Dekkera bruxellensis from local wines, the genetic and physiological characterisation of the isolates, the development of detection methods, and the development of control protocols to be transferred to the producers.
- IDEA 5. Energy from wineOpen or Close
Energy Production using by-products of winemaking or distilling
The idea is to use the biomass of the entire wine producing value chain (grape residues, winery residues, distillery residues) to produce biogas through anaerobic fermentation and then, energy.
- IDEA 6. Food Supplements and CosmeticsOpen or Close
Production of food supplements and cosmetics from wine and tsipouro
The idea is to produce food supplements and cosmetics using extracts from by-products of the various stages of the wine or tsipouro production processes.
- IDEA 7. Organic fertilizers from tsipouroOpen or Close
Using distillery by-products as organic fertilizer
The so-called "giparta", the key by-product of the tsipouro-distilling process, is an organic residue rich in N2 that can be used as a low-cost organic fertilizer.
- IDEA 8. Animal feeds from wine by-productsOpen or Close
Using by-products of winemaking or distilling for animal feeds
The idea is about producing animal feeds using extracts from by-products of the various stages of the wine or tsipouro production process. Sell the substances to animal feed manufacturers. The idea is a derivative of another idea on using substances for food supplements (see above for details) and therefore uses the same approach in its development.<
- IDEA 9. Tsipouro-based LiqueursOpen or Close
Bring tsipouro-based flavoured liqueurs to the market that are traditionally produced in households throughout the Region
The idea is about bringing to the market tsipouro-based liqueurs flavoured by pomegranate, dogwood berries, honey or similar local produce. Tsipouro itself is a strong distilled spirit containing 40-45% alcohol by volume that is produced from the pomace (the residue of the wine press). Tsipouro-based flavoured liqueurs are traditionally produced and consumed in households throughout the Region, but their market opportunity has not been considered so far for various reasons discussed below.
- IDEA 10. Local varieties & local historiesOpen or Close
Use local vineyards to promote local varieties/cultivation/wine-making practices and local gastronomy/cultural identity
Local vineyards should be selected and ‘adopted' to ‘save' and spread certain varieties and cultivation and wine making practices and methodologies from extinction but also in order to disseminate this knowledge to all businesses and interested individuals. The idea also includes building up relations with the local cultural identity, history, cuisine, gastronomy alongside maintaining, and spreading local recipes as well as producing new wine and by-products. Mapping gastronomical profiles of the region is also important in a specific platform to promote local products. The overall integration of wine-tourism in touristic and agricultural strategy of the region is crucial.
- IDEA 11. Wine, gastronomy, culture & entertainmentOpen or Close
Develop and exploit synergies between wine, gastronomy, culture & entertainment
Combination of wine – gastronomy – entertainment and culture (including, sports, local customs, art, etc.) at the regional level; research needed on varieties and on producing a wine - gastronomy – culture mapping for the specific region; other prototype regions should also be examined/mapped; the exchange of ideas and knowledge with other regions is important.
- IDEA 12. Branding regional winesOpen or Close
Position the region as a wine tourism destination
The idea is to capitalize on the assets of regional wines with cultural and touristic characteristics in order to create a strong image of REMTh as far as wine tourism is concerned. The next step would be the planning of a solid promotion campaign creating awareness of the region, hence positioning it as a highly recognised touristic destination.
- IDEA 13. Wine-Gastronomy / Cultural TourismOpen or Close
Creation of tourist product "Wine-Gastronomy / Cultural Tourism"
The idea is related to the previous one (branding regional wines). The main marginal aspect is the recording of small elements that could be linked to form the basic product portfolio in terms of a "unique touristic offer" to the market.
- IDEA 14. Wine value chain clusterOpen or Close
Creation of a wine cluster linking the various actors in the region
The formation of a wine cluster could create stronger linkages among the various players of the value chain within the Region. At the same time it is recognized as the main tool to create economies of scale since most of the enterprises of the sectors involved are small/very small firms, and therefore cannot handle the costs associated with the necessary action to create a sustainable touristic product with a regional dimension.
Dairy and meat
- IDEA 1. Cluster for animal husbandry and agricultureOpen or Close
Production of milk and meat in clusters with the aim to produce high quality products at competitive prices
The idea is about the production of milk and meat in clusters with the aim to produce high quality products at competitive prices and with specific comparative advantages linked to the regional advantages and unique characteristics.
- IDEA 2. Genetic mapping and genetic improvementOpen or Close
Genetic mapping and genetic engineering to produce high-quality and safe products (resistant to illnesses)
The idea refers to the degree that genetic mapping and genetic engineering could increase production and resistance to illnesses. The overall aim would be to produce high-quality and safe products and create herds of national / local identify (through creating cores of development of genetic material) for each animal breed.
- IDEA 3. Inter-community supporting farming/production; short supply-chain from consumer to producerOpen or Close
Collaboration with neighbouring regions in Bulgaria to increase transnational sales for animals and products
This idea refers to establishing collaboration with neighbouring regions in Bulgaria. The aim would be to increase transnational sales for animals and products but also to create support structures for coaching, mapping and training activities. Another aim would be to raise awareness of local communities about local gastronomy. This would be the activity of networks of consumers – users – families – restaurants, etc. These networks would also facilitate exchange of information across the different communities as well as visits to production places or even practice community-based farming (based on the model of community –based agriculture).
- IDEA 4. Completion of vertical integration - Shaughter houses in small farmsOpen or Close
Vertical integration in animal husbandry by creating slaughter houses in small farms
This idea refers to completing the vertical integration in animal husbandry by creating slaughter houses in small farms. The costs of the slaughter houses can be shared among groups of small farms by creating for instance producers' cooperatives.
- IDEA 5. Religious certifications of meat and meat products Open or Close
Organisation and certification of all the links of the value chain of Hallal-certified meat.
The idea is about organising and certifying all the links of the value chain of Hallal-certified meat (breeders, slaughterhouses, meat processing plants), initially to cover the needs of the Muslim population in REMTh and in the longer term to enter other markets abroad (EU countries with significant Muslim populations, Turkey).
- IDEA 6. Production of certified traditional meat products and their promotion via marketing innovationsOpen or Close
Introduction of a private/proprietary quality certification scheme that would cover traditional meat products
The idea is about introducing a private/proprietary quality certification scheme that would cover traditional (meat) products and guarantee the use of local inputs across the value chain and correlate these products with the historical and territorial context of REMTh. Part of this certification scheme would be an electronic infrastructure that would provide to end-users traceability-related information on the inputs and value-added information related to the end products.
- IDEA 7. Innovative technologies in producing local non-pig meat products with improved conservation ability Open or Close
Development of innovative meat products characterised by improved conservation ability
The idea is about developing innovative meat products characterised by improved conservation ability by exploring dehydration or natural antibacterial substances or traditional preservation methods.
- IDEA 8. Sustained and integrated promotion of local, traditional fermented food systems from authentic microbial cultures Open or Close
The idea refers to the isolation and identification of the microbial strains from local traditional milk products. It is also refers to probiotic properties standards testing, testing for research activation of cytochromes, as well as antibiotic resistance testing.
- IDEA 9. Development of functional products based on local dairy products Open or Close
Research and development of functional products based on local dairy products enriched with different ingredients
The idea is about the research and development of functional products based on local dairy products. The functional products will be enriched with different ingredients (for example carbohydrates from domestic legumes) and will be promoted to special groups of consumers. The project is closely related to the other 2 partnerships of the same working group, especially with the development of local microbial cultures that might boost the functional food sector. Possible exploitation of by-products should be further investigated, since they present a high market potential.
- IDEA 10. Dairy/meat sectors clustersOpen or Close
Formation of a wide cluster initiative composed of actors of the meat and dairy value chain
The idea is related to the formation of a wide cluster initiative comprised by as many actors of the meat and dairy value chain. The idea's main goals are:
- To comprise a regional epidemiological control mechanism
- To establish of livestock zones / production parks.
- To take advantage of shared resources and services (e.g. standardisation, veterinary services, etc.) with additional research activities.
- IDEA 11. Research and/or implementation of new technologies and methodologies for the production of new value added productsOpen or Close
Development of new technologies or implementation of new production methodologies in order to innovate at traditional production processes or new added value dairy products
The idea is about the development of new technologies or implement new production methodologies in order to innovate at traditional production processes (e.g. cheese bags) or new added value dairy products (e.g. ariani with honey).
- IDEA 12. Energy production from animal waste Open or Close
Production of biogas (and other forms of energy) from animal waste and its exploitation
The idea is about the production of biogas (and other forms of energy) from animal waste and its exploitation. The idea's main goal is the implementation of an environmentally friendly alternative method for energy production.
- IDEA 13. Development of a network for collecting and management of data on mil and dairy production chain Open or Close
Creation of a regional network for recording and valorisation of regional data (from soil studies, measurements and mapping) and their management to the local producers' benefit
The idea is about the Creation of a regional network for recording and valorisation of regional data (from soil studies, measurements and mapping) and their management to the local producers' benefit. The idea's main goal is the development of an interactive platform designed to assist local stakeholders (meat/dairy production / distribution) in decision making. The platform would also assist Regional Administration in policy making.
- IDEA 1. Regional/local tourism organisationOpen or Close
Managing & coordinating the touristic product(s) at the regional or local level
The idea is to establish a regional organisation for managing and coordinating the touristic product(s) in the region. To implement the idea, all stakeholders in the regional tourism value chain should contribute, including: municipalities and the regional government, hoteliers, managing bodies of National Parks, tourist agents, chambers of commerce, networks of local food/beverage producers and Higher Education Institutions.
- IDEA 2. Off-season tourism Open or Close
Extending the season of under-utilised regional assets
The idea is about organising off-season cultural and athletic events to extend the touristic season. Rehabilitation tourism is included within the specific concept. To implement the idea, all stakeholders in the regional tourism value chain should contribute, including: Regional government and municipalities, hoteliers, Chambers of commerce, the Physical Education and Sports Dept. of Democritus Univ. Thrace, local sports associations and teams. The implementation of this idea would benefit from an organisation that would co-ordinate tourism activities at the prefectural level.
- IDEA 3. Eco-TourismOpen or Close
Collaboration with neighbouring regions in Bulgaria to increase transnational sales for animals and products
The idea is about improving the infrastructure in support of eco-tourism and nature activities (hiking, climbing, bird-watching, mountain bike, hunting, camping, 4x4 racing, herbal tourism, etc), especially within the boundaries of the Region's four National Parks.
- IDEA 4. Innovative management of cultural heritageOpen or Close
Connect local cultural assets to innovative digital tools/applications and create new business models
The idea is about the exploitation of local cultural assets with the implementation of innovative digital tools and applications in order to create new forms/models of business applications within the tourism industry.
- IDEA 5. ICT based applications for thematic itineraries Open or Close
Innovative applications of touristic touring with emphasis on cultural heritage
The idea is about the formation of solid co-operation among the components of the triple helix for the creation of modern ICT based applications for thematic itineraries.
- IDEA 6. Personalised tourismOpen or Close
Digital platform to support personalised tourism services
The idea is about the creation of platform to exploit currently available digitised repository and offer innovative services like visit planning & execution, aid/guidance, promotion/advertisements, wherein a provider can plug or make available individual services, with a participatory operating model to support business sustainability.
- IDEA 7. ICT tools for tourism Open or Close
Development of high added value digital tools for key tourism sectors
The idea is about the development of high added value digital tools for hospitality and food/gastronomy businesses & professionals with a range of offered end products and services to support quality personalised experience. Main expected outcomes are: the support of smart building management, with multiple targets, including energy efficiency and comfort optimisation for hotel facilities; the creation of personalised services targeting regular visitors (for example professionals) and supporting visit and preferences data recording and management; the support of basic information provisioning tailored to food/gastronomy offerings and used also by hospitality services units.
- IDEA 8. Digital business innovation in tourism Open or Close
Establishment of an organisation to offer support for digital business innovation in tourism
The idea refers to a horizontal intervention that will incorporate regional-level data recording and management, innovation awards and destination management services. This can offer multi-stakeholder educational support for improving tourism services and acceleration services for innovative business ideas.
- IDEA 9. Regional culinary centre Open or Close
Enhancing the knowledge of local actors on local cuisine capabilities
The idea is about the formation of a regional culinary centre to develop local cuisine capabilities in accordance with key tourism objectives (through a PPP). The idea's main goals are: to set a Regional Quality Agreement for all the actors of the value chain of agro-food and tourism; to enhance the aspect of collaboration with neighbouring regions; to increase the involvement of citizens within the establishment of gastronomy - tourism projects; to develop a platform that might combine local ingredients with recipes towards exchange of information on local cuisine (especially Med. cuisine).
- IDEA 10. History and cuisine Open or Close
Development of co-operative projects for linking locality, history and gastronomy
The idea is about the creation of a structure to design a gastronomy-tourism strategy that will influence the touristic promotion of the region. The idea's main goals are: to associate history and cuisine - the (re)creation of ancient regional and more recent history and cuisine - fusion of different cuisines (Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, etc.); the promotion of local dishes associated with local myths, recipes, etc. and connect the above with famous chefs, local events etc.; the organisation of a competition of gastronomic city of the region with a relevant awarding scheme; the development of tourist destinations connected to the agro-food value chains.
- IDEA 1. Geological and Geophysical Research in Marble Quarries; Underground Mining EquipmentOpen or Close
Identification of quality marble reserves and their underground mining
This idea is about identifying promising, in terms of quality, marble reserves and to support the transition to underground marble mining. These would allow considerable improvement in the efficiency of the marble extraction process
- IDEA 2. Integrated interventions for energy efficiency in quarries and marble processing facilities Open or Close
Optimising processes for minimum power consumption
This idea is about supporting firms in performing various actions to optimise power consumption. These include energy audits, implementing "fast wins" by training employees, replacing inefficient equipment, introducing renewable energy sources at quarries and introducing environmental management systems. Relevant gains are expected by optimising consumption, which can be increased by introducing renewable energy sources.
- IDEA 3. Reusing quarry and marble processing residues and scrapOpen or Close
Generating and diffusing know-how on process / management of marble debris and residues.
There are various ways to be explored in reusing quarry and marble residues. This might include debris recycling, uses of by-products in areas like 3D printing, construction industry (manufacture of synthetic marble, or chippings) organic cleaning of urban waste as soil improver/fertilizer or even production of new materials. Such actions would reduce unprocessed waste and increase value added in the industry.
- IDEA 4. Clustering across the marble value chainOpen or Close
Creating a regional brand and entering international markets.
A marble cluster would help across the different elements of the value chain. First, it would help to capitalise the uniqueness of the regional marbles and create/promote a strong regional brand. This would support exports and growth in international markets. The regional brand/cluster could be used to promote the marble tradition in cultural tourism initiatives and to undertake joint R&D efforts to optimise processes and explore new product development.
- IDEA 5. Restoration of Marble quarries Open or Close
Exploring new activities on quarry sites
There are unexplored opportunities for quarry restoration, apart from standard ones like tree planting. These include, for instance, creating leisure areas or open theatres. Exploring these options would allow the creation of new economic activities in quarry sites, though environmental legislations impose tight requirements on the issue.
- IDEA 6. Planning / coordination of access to the raw material Open or Close
Improving planning and use of scarce sites
This idea is about introducing a reinforcing cycle of planning of access. This would enable better use of scarce sites and sources, which would be combined with incentives on restoration. In turn this would lead to better and smoother exploitation of marble sources and sites.