The Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR) of Portugal is funding the Interior+ project with more than 850,000 euros, an academic-business partnership led by the Polytechnic Institute of Guarda (IPG). In the scope of the projects a platform will be created to make agricultural businesses in low-density territories and rural mountain areas more sustainable and competitive, in partnership with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region, research centres and higher education institutions. The Interior+ project, which combines innovation and technology with tourism and rural activities, was ranked first out of thirteen projects applying for funding from the PRR for the revitalisation of rural areas.
Using advanced technological tools - such as drones, IoT ("internet of things") and artificial intelligence - the platform aggregates useful information for agricultural entrepreneurs on soil characteristics, adjusted diets for animal husbandry, resource optimisation, consumer needs, consumption trends and commercial strategies. With this platform, companies have at their disposal a set of data that allows them to adapt to market needs and maximise the value of endogenous products.
In addition to the IPG, 14 other organisations are involved: Farmers' Association for Integrated Mountain Fruit Production, Competence Centre for Beekeeping and Biodiversity - represented by the Agri-Food Technological Support Centre, CerFundão, InCubo - Incubator for Innovative Business Initiatives, the Castelo Branco and Viana do Castelo Polytechnic Institutes, INIAV - Braga Centre, Meltagus - Tejo Internacional Natural Park Beekeepers Association, Monte Silveira Bio, O&C - Olive Company, Lda, Soprobeira, Quinta da Biaia, Gabriela Isabel Alves, Cereal do Vale and TeroMovigo - Earth Innovation.