Review of the SMART4ALL Digitized Environment & Digitized Agriculture Special session.

A successful special session on the application domains of Digitized Environment and Digitized Agriculture was held on February 23rd, 2024 in Albania, as final SMART4ALL event. Organized by the University Metropolitan Tirana (UMT), the session, that took place at the building of Piramida in Tirana, brought together representatives of the local ecosystem of technology of Albania with SMART4ALL beneficiaries from other SouthEast European countries, with vice-ministers, big companies, students and other stakeholders, involved and interested in the application of innovative technologies in the fields of agriculture and environment.

The event, which was moderated by the Head of the Computer Engineering Department of MTU, Dr. Elton Domnori opened with a welcome message by the Rector of MTU, prof. Nikolla Civici and some statements from the Vice Minister of Tourism and Environment of Albania, Ms. Almira Xhembulla and the Vice Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Enio Civici, who both underlined the need for innovation and application of technological developments in the Western Balkans and the significant contribution of SMART4ALL project to the digital transformation in SEE countries. The floor was afterwards given to the project coordinator, prof. Nikolaos Voros from the University of Peloponnese, who gave an overview of SMART4ALL and presented the offered services and achievements of the project, emphasizing on the sustainability and the legacy of such an emblematic project that will continue to provide tools for technology and business development through the Marketplace. A more analytical presentation of the Marketplace services was given by the SME Task Force leader, prof. Adrian Besimi from the South East European University.

On the second session, which was hosted online, speakers from FundingBox (Mrs. Maria Roca, Elena Japundzic, Paulina Jankowska, Laura Zarzur) and FastTrack Ventures (Mr. Giuseppe Mele) gave advice on how to attract and deal with investors, what steps to follow for a competitive proposal preparation to be submitted on EU open calls for cascade funding, while three open calls (ICOS, NEPHELE, TARGET-X) were presented.

Three digitized environment and digitized agriculture projects, funded by SMART4ALL under open calls for CTTE and one internal pathfinder application experiment were presented on a third session, attracting the interest and comments of the audience. More specifically:

  • Prof. Miodrag Mihaljevic from the Mathematical Institute of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (MISANU) presented BC4GRID project that developed a decentralized smart grid system with application of the blockchain technology for reliable and safe grid operation and trading
  • Mr. Harris Siakantaris, CEO of Cyclopolis (Greece), gave a presentation of ERMES project for transforming micromobility vehicles to environmental sensors
  • Dr. Marko Mančić, from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nis, introduced A mobile photovoltaic IoT controlled system, developed in the context of IoT SolTrack
  • Prof. Visar Shehu, presented, on behalf of Marseco, an IoT Driven Intelligent Emergency Management System developed in the context of ITIEMS experiment

The session closed with a short speech by the Vice-rector of Development at the Metropolitan University of Tirana, Dr. Nick Frydas, and with an interesting panel discussion, moderated by Dr. Elton Domnori, among 9 participants:

  • Mr. Arbi Bamllari, founder of Skaitech, Aviation & Aerospace Component Manufacturing
  • Prof. Dr. Betim Ciço, Faculty of Computer Engineering, Epoka University
  • Dr. Donald Elmazi – Director of the Research and Development Center & Lecturer, University Metropolitan Tirana
  • Prof. Edmond Panariti, Former Minister of Agriculture
  • Mr. Elvis Bregu – Head of Business Development at Vodafone Albania
  • Mr. Genci Kojdheli, General Director of Integration, Strategic Planning and Economic Development, Municipality of Tirana
  • Mr. Gergij Mulla, CEO at Helius Systems, software development SME
  • Dr. MIlan Banic, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Nis and SMART4ALL beneficiary for IoT Soltrack project
  • Prof. Nikolaos Voros, University of Peloponnese, SMART4ALL project coordinator

It is worth mentioning that the event was partly covered by the Albanian Top Channel. You may watch the video here.