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Module 1 - Rethinking agriculture: soil, ideas and actions

06 november 2021




Leonardo Collier - Food4Sustainability CoLAB

Soil and Europe

Challenges of the European Ecological Pact

Soil plays a crucial role in the enjoyment of agriculture.

To know and act in order to preserve soils and ensure a safe and healthy food production, this session frames the evolution of soils in Europe in the next 10 years. In this sense, the main challenges and opportunities arising from the new policies of the Common Agricultural Policy are addressed. This initiative reflects an integrated strategy that highlights the fundamental role of the vast ecosystem that begins under our feet, the food we produce, agricultural profitability and human welfare.

In this way, the plans designed by the EU are presented, in order to raise awareness of the importance of the topic and highlight the new perspective and opportunities in the new policies, namely the European Ecological Pact and the Meat to Plate Strategy.

The session was led by Prof. Leonardo Collier, Agronomic Engineer specialised in Soil Production at Food4Sustainability.


Daniela Santos - Agrarian School of Coimbra

What is a soil?

The abiotic perspective

Daniela Valente Simões dos Santos has a PhD in Agronomic Engineering in the specialty of Modelling Water Transfers and Soil Solute Movement, a Master's degree in Irrigation Engineering and Agricultural Resources and a degree in Agronomic Engineering in the specialty of Agricultural Equipment and Water Resources from the Higher Institute of Agronomy of the Technical University of Lisbon.


She is currently an Associate Professor and Researcher at the School of Agriculture of the Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra, where she started in 1998 and teaches courses in the scientific areas Soil and Fertility, Environment and Sustainable Agriculture. She is affiliated to the Natural Resources, Environment and Society Study Centre, Urban Agriculture Support Group, Portuguese Soil Science Society, Portuguese Society of Agricultural Sciences, International Commission of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering and reviewer of the journal Environmental Science and Pollution Research.


In research she has carried out work and been part of national and European projects in the field of Sustainable Agriculture systems, as well as in the evaluation of the sustainability of agricultural systems.


Marie Bartz - Centre for Regenerative and Organic Agriculture - CARE-BIO

What is a soil?

The biotic perspective

Dr. Bartz is a farmer's daughter and a research biologist by profession. She has experience in soil ecology and soil management in Brazil, Mozambique and Portugal, with emphasis on soil macrofauna and conservation agriculture.


She works mainly on the topics: ecology, biology and taxonomy of earthworms in agroecosystems and areas of native vegetation, making the interaction between the themes ecology and taxonomy, as well as the academic/scientific public and farmers


Diogo Pinho - Food4Sustainability CoLAB

What is a soil?

The biotic perspective

In the last 10 years, Diogo Pinho has worked with agricultural and forest soils, with particular emphasis on microbial communities and their complex and dynamic interaction with plants.


In 2015, he started his PhD in Microbiology at the University of Aveiro, working with the Association of Forest Producers of Coruche and also as a researcher at Biocant Park. In 2016, he joined the Forest Research team to study the influence of soil properties and microbial communities on the health and resilience of oak trees. In 2019, he started as laboratory manager at BiomeMakers.


Throughout these years, he has participated in 8 research projects, published 15 scientific papers and presented more than 30 oral and poster communications, most of them related to the soil and plant microbiome. Currently, Diogo is a member of the Food4Sustainability CoLab team, where he works as a soil specialist focusing on the biotic component and on the promotion of agricultural practices regenerating soil life.


Pedro Tereso - Agrosustentável

Agricultural practices on soil

The regenerative perspective

Pedro Tereso graduated in Agrarian Sciences in 1998 from the Escola Superior Agrária de Castelo Branco and has a postgraduate degree in Viticulture in 2009 from the University of Évora.

In 2001 he started as Viticultural Manager at Esporão S.A where he was until 2012, in the technical monitoring of the company's vineyards and olive groves. During this period, he visited wine regions in Australia (Barossa Valley and Yarra Valley) and Spain (Ribera del Duero, Rioja) and has numerous trainings in the areas of Organic Viticulture, Sustainability, Phytosanitary Management, Fertilization and Irrigation Management.

Currently he is the entrepreneur of the project AGROSUSTENTÁVEL - Precision Agriculture and Sustainability.

Case Studies

Based on the principles of Regenerative Agriculture, Real Idanha preserve and valorise the Traditional Dryland Olive Groves of Beira Baixa, as an important Agricultural, Cultural and Landscape Asset, creating a virtuous and unique Extra Virgin Organic Olive Oil. Furthermore, RealIdanha is rooted in the region's history, by working centenary olive groves of three varieties of Beira Baixa olives: Galega, Bical and Cordovil.

Tiago Lourenço is a self-taught producer of biological olive oil. Co-owner of the company Real Idanha, he manages 195 ha of land in the Bioregion of Idanha-a-Nova (Portugal). The regeneration of traditional olive groves as an important agricultural heritage is the main focus of this project, in which holistic farm management works the soil, introduces grazing and improves waste management.


Torres Vedras

Quinta do Pinto

Certified as Integrated Production, Quinta do Pinto has the greatest respect for the land and nature. It results from the union of sustainable and precision viticulture practices, with about 63 ha of vineyard and an equivalent area in rest for expansion.


On this farm, minimal intervention is observed, resulting in the maximum capture of the potential of the grapes grown in this territory. Here, we analyse and act in a differentiated manner on each plot, thus allowing a reduction in the resources spent for the same number of interventions to be carried out. In recent years, test plots have also been used to optimise defoliation trials, to improve pruning techniques, weeding systems, organic fertilisation methods, trellising, and to select clones and rootstocks that are more resistant to climatic changes.

These operations have been improved in order to enhance the quality of the grapes, always with a view to minimising the ecological footprint. At Quinta do Pinto, viticulture is 100% herbicide free, grape production occurs without artificial irrigation, there is a very significant reduction in the amount of pesticides used, with 100% organic fertilization, and implementation of a "Living Vineyard", where there is maximum respect for the ecosystem.




MaisSolo, is a project that aims to design protocols and install pilot fields in order to improve crop protection. In this way, it aims to achieve an improvement in the efficiency of resource use in agricultural production, contributing to the conservation of biodiversity, soil and water.



Quinta Feliz

Starting in 2019, Quinta Feliz is part of an agroforestry project by the company MendesGonçalves. Although the name of this company may not be immediately recognisable, the brands Paladin and Peninsular need no introduction as they are part of Portuguese life and daily life.


The company's first agroforestry was born based on the concepts of Syntropic and Regenerative Agriculture, and the main idea of this system is to make the most of all extracts. The first agroforestry implemented in February 2019 has 7000 m2, was divided into 4 productive zones: the fig tree with the vine - in which the fig tree is the vine's tutor, the zone of plum and apple trees, and the zone of citrus fruits, avocados and mulberry trees. In this agroforestry there are also autochthonous trees, such as the 'sanguinho das sebes' which also serves for the production of organic matter and for protection from the sun. Service trees and production trees always coexist.

The productions in this agro-forest are hot peppers as a vegetable and fruit trees for consumption in the factory, for vinegar.

There are also olive trees on the farm, some of which are centennial, from which olives are harvested for oil extraction for internal consumption. At the moment, these agro-forests, based on Syntropic Agriculture are certified for Organic Production Mode or in conversion phase.


Évora (ATEVA)

Herdade da Golhelha

Herdade da Golhelha is located 6 kilometres from Reguengos, in the direction Reguengos e Santiago Maior (Alandroal) whose cultural management is fundamentally based on 25 hectares of vineyard planted in 1999, traditional olive grove and field crops, species that constitute the Mediterranean culture.


Over the years, this estate has based its production principles on good cultural practices leading to sustainability.


São Pedro do Sul


LafoBio is a family business, certified in organic production mode by KIWA Sativa, with its head office in Peso, Vila Maior, in the municipality of São Pedro do Sul. Its main activity is horticulture and aromatic and medicinal herbs.

It has a useful agricultural surface of 6 ha and a covered area of 2 ha, the distribution of its products is made at national level and reuses the remains of vegetables and manure of the animals for the realization of its composting.

Module 2 - Innovation and Entrepreneurship

27 november 2021



Nuno Oliveira - NBI - Natural Business Intelligence

Bioeconomy opportunities and strategies:
Exploring new sources of income and valorisation of agricultural products

Biologist, specialized in ecology (FCUL) and geography (FCSH), with over 20 years of experience in biodiversity and ecosystems. He was the first ecosystem manager known in Portugal, at Esporão Group, where he worked for over a decade, and created the first Portuguese company specialised in biodiversity conservation action plans. Fascinated by the interdependencies between ecology and economy, he specialised in strategy and management (IST). Throughout his career he has worked as a technical and scientific consultant for organisations such as Quercus and the WWF, as well as participating in the pilot project to assess the ecosystem services of bathing areas, with the European Blue Flag Association, and in the regional forest management plans for the Alentejo and Lisbon and Tagus Valley, among others associated with agro-ecology and the valuation of ecosystem services.


Alongside his passion for natural life, he discovered his love of communication early on. He was a radio announcer in a local radio station and created a pseudonym to write short stories. He often participates in lectures as a specialist on "biodiverse" themes and teaches a post-graduate course in sustainability management (ISEG). He argues that empathy should be a compulsory subject and does not hide his pride in his children being representatives of a movement for climate action.

Founded on March 9, 2020, NBI - NATURAL BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE is a Business & Ecology consultancy specialized in creating options for a Natural-Based Economy, establishing bridges between knowledge and practice.

NBI's areas of expertise are Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services, Bioeconomy, Natural Capital, Climate Adaptation, Agroecology and Forestry.

The NBI team is composed of consultants and senior researchers with long experience in developing strategic and innovative projects inspired by Nature, using technical and scientific knowledge in the areas of ecology, economics and management.


Pedro Gaspar - UBI Universidade da Beira Interior

Interconnections between the value chain and opportunities to contribute at each stage

Pedro Dinis Gaspar has a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. He is a Professor at the Electromechanical Engineering Department of the University of Beira Interior. He is an integrated researcher of the R&D Centre Centre for Mechanical and Aerospace Science and Technologies, collaborator of the Collaborative Laboratory Food4Sustainability and collaborator researcher of the Assisted Living Computing and Telecommunications Laboratory, of the Telecommunications Institute. He was a professor/collaborator of more than 15 Master or Degree Curricular Units. Currently he is a teacher (regent/collaborator) in curricular units such as Industrial Climate and Cold, Industrial Robotics, Industrial Automation, Quantitative Methods for Decision Support. He is the Director of the Master's Degree study cycle in Industrial Engineering and Management (2nd cycle).


He has participated/coordinated several national and international research projects, as well as ID&T contracts with industry, mainly related to the agro-food industry. To point out the global coordination or UBI of projects such as BioD'Agro - Sustainable solutions for the agro-industrial sector, PrunusBOT - Autonomous aerial robotic system for controlled spraying and forecasting of fruit production, PrunusPOS - Optimization of storage processes, cold conservation, active and/or intelligent packaging, and traceability of food quality in the post-harvest of fruit products, and Pack2Life - High performance packaging. He has supervised several PhD theses and MSc dissertations.


Pedro Dinis Gaspar is author/editor of 8 books, co-author of 25 book chapters, 58 articles in international peer-reviewed journals, and more than 150 papers in conference proceedings (national and international), besides having twenty patents in the process of submission or approved. He has been involved in the organization of several national and international events (as chairman or member of the organizing committee), such as conferences, congresses and workshops. Research interests involve Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer (Refrigeration); Energy Systems: renewable energies, production, rationalisation and sustainability; Computational Fluid Dynamics modelling; Decision Support Methods and Automation and Robotics.


Francisco Vaño Cañadas - General Manager of Castillo de Canena

A case of innovation and entrepreneurship in a hundred-year-old company

The Castillo de Canena Group is a leading group in the premium sector of Extra Virgin Olive Oils (AVEF). Since its foundation (1780), the company has held several quality awards both in Spain and internationally.

Castillo de Canena is part of the restricted group recognised by the United Nations, United Nations Global Compact, awarded to companies and NGOs committed to building a more sustainable future.

Located in the Spanish province of Jaén (Andalusia), the Group integrates the entire AVEF value chain, represented by four companies: Cortijo Guadiana, agricultural production; Cortijo de La Loma, transformation; Castillo de Canena olive juice, production, marketing and distribution of AVEF Premium own brands; Castillo de Canena, the Group's holding company that recently opened a new business line - olive oil and gastronomic tourism, aligned: Nature, History, Art, Gastronomy...

Castillo de Canena is a family group with great environmental concerns. They grow and harvest their own olives, taking the utmost care of their trees and the ecosystem in which they grow. With an international outlook, their products are sold in over 50 countries. Direct supervision of all links in the value chain, ensures that the pillars of Research & Development and Sustainability guide the working philosophy; this philosophy is one of the reasons for the international recognition of the market and consumers and in particular the United Nations.


Clara Martinez - Relationship Manager European Circular Economy Fund

The role of Venture Capital in the Primary sector

The European Circular and Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF) is the first venture capital fund exclusively dedicated to the bioeconomy and the circularity of the bioeconomy in Europe.

Aiming to become one of the largest funds in this area, with a target of €250 million, of which the European Investment Bank (EIB) is funding €100 million, ECBF is one of the most important financial instruments to achieve the Green Deal goals of making Europe climate neutral by 2050.

Prolupin GmbH (GER) company producing plant-based proteins and dairy alternatives such as yoghurts, ice cream and fresh lupine seed cheeses. After successfully establishing its vegan brand `Made with LUVE', international expansions come through the Prolupin brand.

Peel Pioneers (NL) refines orange peels into valuable products for applications in food, animal feed and cosmetics. (BEL) is a leader in developing next-generation biobased products based on naturally occurring microorganisms. The company develops products that help reduce fertilizer application and control fungal diseases in corn and wheat.

for agro-entrepreneurship

Climate farmers is a platform supporting producers to scale up regenerative agriculture and reverse climate change.

The unparalleled potential of regenerative agriculture to store carbon in soil and restore ecosystems, while improving farmers' livelihoods, must be brought to its full potential. Climate Farmers is a complete programme of training mentoring and financial support

The mission is to build the infrastructure needed to scale up regenerative agriculture in Europe.


The i-Danha Food Lab Accelerator is a new business acceleration programme that supports entrepreneurs for 6 months through mentoring equivalent to an in-kind award of up to €15,000.


The main areas of support are the verification of prototypes, validation of business models, directly with key players suppliers and customers, in particular farmers. During the mentorship programme, the selected projects have access to experienced business catalysts, expert mentors, investors, companies, presentations and connections with the startup ecosystem of the BGI network.


Quinta do Arneiro is an organic farm in the municipality of Mafra. There are 30 ha where an infinity of vegetables and delicious strawberries are produced. It was an option, from the very first moment, to sell directly to the final consumer due to the importance given to the direct contact between producer and consumer.

All the production is sold in baskets for home delivery in the Greater Lisbon region, in organic street markets in Lisbon and Cascais that take place on Saturdays and in the shop in the Quinta itself.

Besides the fresh produce, they also transform the products from their own vegetable garden. This allows them to extend the life of the fruit and vegetables beyond their season while avoiding waste.

And it is also in the Quinta that you can try delicious dishes in the restaurant with a literally "farm to table" concept. Quinta do Arneiro will continue to work towards a truly sustainable future and a more respected nature.


Doctor in Tourism, Leisure and Culture, specializing in Tourism and Development, from the University of Coimbra, he is an Adjunct Professor at the School of Management of Idanha-a-Nova (ESGIN) of the Polytechnic Institute of Castelo Branco (IPCB) and develops research activities at the Centre for Research, Development and Innovation in Tourism (CITUR).

Besides the various institutional positions held, he is the coordinator of the Tourism degree and the Master in Management of Tourism Units in Rural Areas at ESGIN. He participates in services and intervention projects in the tourism area, in national and international seminars and congresses and has several scientific publications in the area of tourism.



Agrodrone is a company specialising in precision agriculture since 2017; it produces crop spectral maps based on satellite or drone flight, focusing on soil fertility from a perspective that frames physical, chemical and biological fertility; it has patented technology for fertilisation with soil microbiology and produces organic fertilisers based on Biochar.


AgroGrIN Tech offers sustainable solutions for a healthy world, applying tangible, ecological and economical processes that promote the efficient management of fruit waste, thus avoiding serious environmental and economic problems.

AgroGrIN Tech has developed an innovative and environmentally friendly process of transforming industrial fruit waste into functional food ingredients, valorising all the waste. In addition, the company has a patented technology that enables it to separate natural functional ingredients, which is fundamental for the AgroGrIN Tech process.


PurezaNotória Lda, is dedicated to the development of value-added products, sourced from industrial products and by-products. Its main project - Sustainable Protein (brand CORe Protein) - aims to create a protein extract by filtering whey, adding natural flavours from "ugly fruit". This product is 100% natural, benefiting the entire logistics and production chain, promoting the circular economy and reusing industrial by-products and creating a value-added item that allows the consumer to personalise its nutritional intake.

As a secondary product, lactose, which can be fermented into ethanol and can be sold as a disinfectant, alcoholic beverage companies, as a biofuel or even transformed into a biodegradable polymer with various applications from clothing to medical equipment without risk of rejection.


Dutch-born Peel Pioneers refines orange peels into valuable products for applications in food, animal feed and cosmetics.

Orange is a very popular ingredient, particularly in Mediterranean countries. Peel Pioneer makes the most of freshly pressed peels locally. Nothing is left unused. The company gets dietary fibre, antioxidants, orange and orange oil from the peel. These ingredients are widely used in food, cosmetics and cleaning products. The cellulose that is left over after the production process is destined for farmers for use as animal feed.


Nasekomo is the largest integrated manufacturer of insect proteins in Central and Eastern Europe. They cultivate black soldier flies (BSF) to convert organic waste into premium sustainable food ingredients for the livestock and agricultural industries.

Their bioconversion technologies use vertical farming principles with automation to enable optimised industrial breeding and handling of insects, and also covers their transformation into insect oil, soil fertiliser and protein meal.

Currently, Nasekomo is moving into an upgraded industrial demonstration facility located near Sofia, in which piloting our technologies will enable the expansion of protein production capacities to 630 tonnes/year by the end of the year, and ~2,400 tonnes/year of insect products by the end of 2022.

Nasekomo is also developing a suite of technologies along with a franchise business model to enable several other industries to enter the sustainable organic waste recycling space through insect bioconversion. They use by-products from agro-industries as a source of sustainable fishmeal production. They offer 100% recycling of by-product volumes, replacing zero-value disposal alternatives such as landfilling.


Plant on Demand is an e-commerce, ERP, CRM and logistics management platform for local producers and food hubs. It allows the creation of an online shop fully adapted to agri-food needs that is linked to a back-office platform for managing sales, inventories, sales documents, route optimisation, payments and more. It can be used by individual producers who wish to sell online and digitise their processes or by groups who decide to cooperate and work together, offering a platform for selling their products together and automating management.

The vision of Plant on Demand is to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable, local and respectful production and consumption system based on cooperation and technology.

Módulo 2

Ideation Session

More difficult than getting the idea off paper is putting the idea on paper. The TXM Business methodology (Think, eXperience, Manage) supports innovators in a non-linear way in the ideation process. This is the starting point based on new tools through the gamification of ideas.

TXM Methods is a methodology development company for open innovation focused on the use of methods, techniques and project tools for developing innovative products in the most diverse areas. TXM Methods exists for 2 years and has 53 collaborators and 39 labs in several Brazilian states. More than 1500 projects and over 5000 innovators have already gone through the TXM methodology (Think, eXperience and Manage).

"We find the best techniques, tools and project methods to develop open innovation methodologies from ideation to strategic management."

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