Marco talks about the MiLarder smartphone app at the Growing the Future conference at the University of Gloucestershire in March 2018

We are delighted to announce that CCRI’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow, Marco Della Gala has successfully defended his PhD thesis titled “Organizational models and ICT services to support the sustainable development of local agro-food and touristic systems”.

Marco presented his work at the Department of Mechanical Energetic and Management Engineering of the University of Calabria on 9th May 2018. He started his PhD in Civil and Industrial Engineering there in March 2014.

Marco presented his dissertation seminar on his PhD research in a public presentation in the presence of three external examiners who positively evaluated his work and, with Marco, were engaged in a very constructive discussion on future developments for his research.

For the last two years, Marco has been working with the CCRI to develop a smartphone app, which was launched in February this year.  It is available to download for free from iOS and Android app stores.

The app, which was named ‘MiLarder’ via an online Twitter competition, answers the question “where can I buy local fresh products?” It is designed to help consumers research information on local products and tell them where they can find them. They can search the different local food sources in their area, for example farmers’ markets, farms, box schemes, community supported agriculture, food hubs and pick your own, and can view details, such as description, distance and opening times.

Consumers can also find information regarding which farmers are attending a farmers’ market and what products will be available. Information on special events, promotions and other related news can be found on the app and consumers can tell other app users about their local food experiences.

For producers, the app provides the opportunity for free publicity. They can spread the word about their products via the app and insert and update their own data, such as who they are, their production methods, and at which farmers’ markets they can be found and on which days. They can advertise special promotions, update information on their products and use photos to demonstrate them.

Work on the development of the app was funded by the EU Horizon 2020 program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions – Individual Fellowship,  through a project called SOFIA.

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