American Farm School
Founded over a century ago, the American Farm School (AFS) serves society by providing formal agricultural education, technical and professional training, outreach and consultancy, new product development, entrepreneurial support, innovation facilitation, demonstration farm services and applied research. The holistic approach and overall practical role of the institute are met through the operation of the two 145 hectare demonstration farms which are considered as “its living laboratory”. In addition to the above services, AFS offers a portfolio of boutique products including Ω3 eggs, pasteurized milk and various other dairy products, turkey meat, pasta, wine, aromatic and pharmaceutical plants and oils, honey and vegetables. All of the above have created over the years a sustainable niche market in Thessaloniki and Athens regions. Operating as a boundary organization, AFS combines the long-term experience in the education and training on the agrifood sector, transferring knowledge and knowhow to young scientist and farmers, with the valuable experience of an innovative farmer itself.
Transnational activities and outreach opportunities come under the remit of the Strategic Program Management Office (SPMO), AFS’s dedicated project management mechanism, which focuses on achieving long-term institutional results through the identification of opportunities, the selection, design and implementation of large projects. The Office ensures that the goals of the selected projects align with the institution’s strategic mission and objectives and that their implementation is undertaken efficiently. The SPMO consists of a team of specialists that comprise a diversified skills portfolio. It plans, undertakes, implements and supervises a series of projects that can be divided into the following categories:
- Large-scale private sponsored projects,
- National Rural Development Programme related measures.
- EU funded Programs, e.g. Horizon 2020, INTERREG, Southeast, Erasmus + etc.
- Industry-funded research, consultancy, mentorship and stewardship projects, including New Product Development services.
- Business start-up, pre-incubation services,
For the accomplishment of its projects, the office uses all available AFS demonstration and research infrastructure, as well as a network of other collaborating farms that belong to farmers in the region and to the extended pool of our alumni. Soon a unique installation of Food Incubator will be constructed to serve as a link between Science and Real Economy and contribute as a cutting-edge Innovation Facilitator Tool of critical significance to the development of the Region. Implementation and monitoring of all the above projects are accomplished by a dedicated skilled personnel – project management team- that has extensive experience in big scale research, R&D and implementation projects.
Tasks in NextFood
WP2 Action research facilitation
WP6 Communication, dissemination and exploitation – Leader