UrbanAg: A cluster on entrepreneurial urban agriculture

In recent years, the growing interest toward Urban Agriculture initiatives lead to the sprouting of a number of networks and think tanks of researchers, entrepreneurs as well as representatives of the public society. This is the case of the FAO group “Food for the cities”, but also of those born within several internationally funded projects (e.g. “Supurbfood”, COST projects “Allotment gardens in European Cities” and “Urban Agriculture Europe”, LLP-Grundtvig “HORTIS”, Erasmus+ “Urban Green Train”, “Carrot City”), or those promoted by world leading scientific societies (e.g. ISHS-Landscape and Urban Horticulture commission).
In order to extend the impact of these projects and activities and especially in the view of creating educational tools for boosting innovative urban agriculture enterprises, efficient forms of cooperation between Research, Education and Business shall be pursued.
This can be reached by creating an international and interdisciplinary Cluster on Entrepreneurial Urban Agriculture. The Cluster will involve different actors: HEIs, research centers, SMEs, NGOs, Policy Makers, etc into a forum addressing research, policy and market priorities, and implementing thematic workshops and awareness events.

The cluster, that will be constituted as a working group, will schedule periodical discussion forum, meetings and newsletter with the final aims of:
1) Create a knowledge exchange platform on most innovative entrepreneurial forms in urban agriculture and main potentials/drawbacks;
2) Connect experts from the different disciplines in order to create a discussion network on how to implement interdisciplinary training offer in the field of urban agriculture;
3) Respond to the needs of both private sector and the civil society at large in order to timely address relevant research questions and promote topics and initiatives to main funding agencies.

The cluster will be constituted in July 2017 will first meet during the International Symposium on “Greener Cities for More Efficient Ecosystem Services in a Climate Changing World” that will take place in Bologna, Italy on September 12-15, 2017.