The background

Sustainability-oriented innovation (SOI) refers to the new products, processes and/or management systems that impact positively on a company’s capital, while addressing goals in the economic, social and environmental sustainability dimensions and more specifically:

Economic sustainability: the innovations should not reduce or even increase profits or incomes, unless all stakeholders along the value chain benefit.

Social sustainability: the innovations should generate additional profits and incomes that benefits sufficiently large numbers of stakeholders and is equitably distributed along the chain.

Environmental sustainability: the innovations should create additional value without depleting natural resources (water, soil, air, flora, fauna etc.).

In agri-food chains, Sustainability-oriented innovations (SOI) are also motivated by an organization’s sense of meaning about its role in the society, or by looking to the past for inspiration about more sustainable ways of doing business. In order to achieve the sustainability expectations and enhance the value chain competitiveness, such innovations might involve: operational optimization, organizational transformation and building systems, but with the involvement of multiple actors, or in other words a system changing approach, rather than a single actor!

Ploutos Innovation Framework

Ploutos will provide this systemic approach through the Sustainable Innovation Framework. Its main purpose will be to provide a toolkit for assessment and adaptation to changes according to the following three dimensions: behaviour, collaborative business model and data driven technological innovation.

Behaviour Innovation: Ploutos philosophy is that in order to bring about changes that have the potential for a long term impact, it is essential to adopt a social innovation approach that focuses on co-creation and new forms of connections and cooperation across the value chain. One of the key goals of Ploutos is for social innovation to become a fundamental concept in all future agrifood innovations, by introducing a behavioural innovation approach that is straightforward to execute by all innovating parties.

Business Model Innovation: Ploutos project is to developing an innovative reusable approach to guide the design, assessment, commitment and effectuation of business models that address the complex requirements of re-balancing the agrifood ecosystem, thus involving multiple actors and deal with the opportunities of digital transformation.

Technological Services: Ploutos will focus on reusing and extending technologies which make the new business models possible and enable greater and more effective flow of data to farmers (such as advisory services) and from farmers (producing data services). Ploutos will particularly focus on interoperability architectures that effectively integrate with the growing technological offerings for farm management, precision farming and integrated supply chain data management. Considering the reuse of existing ICT solutions as more sustainable, Ploutos will leverage on the outcomes of H2020 projects like IoF2020 ( and SmartAgriHubs ( adopting innovative but robust ICT solutions already tested within the conducted Agri-Food Large Scale Pilots.