The European Project “NICHE – Building innovative food value chains in regions”, in which the Region of Crete participates as a partner and is implemented by the Regional Unit of Rethymno, has been designed along the lines of the common points and the existing innovation potentials of the Regions participating in the Project in relation to the food sector.

The main factors that contributed to the collaboration of the participants in the Project are:

  1. The importance of the food sector in their socio-economic regional development.
  2. The desire to improve the current level of research and innovation in the food sector as a means to respond to the current demand, taking into account the potential of the food sector as already recognized and reflected in Regional Strategies for Smart Specialization.
  3. The willingness to learn and exchange experiences with other European Regions facing similar challenges and opportunities.
  4. The need to put in place the appropriate tools to help the development of the food sector, building on the reinforcement of the existing research and innovation potential in these areas.

The project seeks to drive food businesses to adopt, to a greater extent, research and innovation actions in response to the existing demand.



ROUMANIA – (Lead Partner) Regional Development Agency of the West Region Romania
GREECE – Region of Crete
IRELAND – Donegal County Council
FINLAND – Regional Council of South Ostrobothnia
ESTONIA – Tartu Science Park Foundation
POLAND – Kujawsko-Pomorskie Voivodeship
NORTHERN IRELAND (UK) – Derry City and Strabane District Council

Each Partner will develop an Action Plan to transfer one or more best practices to its Region, in order to reinforce the innovation of small and medium-sized enterprises operating in the wider food sector.

The Region of Crete participates in the Project and its implementation is carried out by the Regional Unit of Rethymno.

For more information on NICHE you can visit the official website of the project, as well as, at the website of the Region of Crete.