Green Point Living Lab - Pomurje Region

With an attractive location, bordering Austria in the north, Hungary in the east, and Croatia in the south, Pomurje region nurtures close ties with the neighboring countries in the fields of economy, development, and culture. It lies in the fifth European transport corridor, representing one of the most important transport routes in Europe. Modern railways and highways connect the region with Central European economic, transport, and logistics centers. Transport routes and infrastructure connections offer the opportunity for further investments in the field of industry, logistics, business zones associated service activities development, and nature- and people-related tourism. It is the most suitable area for food production in the country, therefore particular attention is given to stimulation of agricultural production. Agricultural holdings of this region cultivate almost 13 % of all agricultural land in Slovenia and raise nearly 12 % of all livestock. The granary of the country produces almost one-half of the total wheat yield and nearly one-third of maize in Slovenia. Due to the spatial spreading of agriculture and production intensity, the pressure of this economical line on the environment is severe. Similar to the entire Slovene agriculture, Pomurje agriculture is characterized by the contradiction between the socio-economic and land structure in the rural area.

Very closely connected to food production are gastronomy and tourism, which are also significant sectors in the Pomurje region. The Green Point is a fully operational, largest, and most advanced regional short food supply chain, founded by farmers, involving more than 100 local farmers, food producers, and cooperatives, covering the process of production in a greenhouse and open-air fields, with logistics from own distribution center and different means of sales: gross sale, retail and online. The Green Point delivers food to citizens, public institutions (schools, kindergartens, elderly homes, hospitals, …), and private organizations (HoReCa sector organizations). In 2023, Green Point SFSC became a Living lab (also ENoLL member), based on a Multi-Actor Approach involving input from the industry and technology providers, primary producers, food businesses, consumers, citizens, local authorities, and other

actors, and promoted with a view to co-create innovative systemic solutions in support of food systems sustainability goals. The Green Point Living Lab implements innovative models and 14technologies relevant to the Smart villages & Rural development concepts, piloting and demonstrating technological (blockchain, big data, …), economic (circular economy, Food loss and waste, …), and social (consumer participation, public awareness, food sharing, food locality, …) innovations.

Main focus

Economic Development, Agri-food, and Mobility

Challenges addressed

  • Supply chain traceability and transparency and food safety;
  • Reduction of food waste & loss and regulation of excess food;
  • Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Pilot solutions

1) Co-create a transnational community that will change both the practices and the perception of smart rural areas, through facilitating capacity building of the selected rural area, promoting existing digital tools and solutions, and developing innovative and interactive digital tools to promote the “smart transition” of Alpine areas, considering community and sustainability aspects.

2) Transfer some of the most successful practices from the past Smart Villages project, among which the practice from Pomurje region is the most popular in Slovenia.