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National Rural Network


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ENRD Newsletter September 2017



 A major innovation event – the Agri Innovation Summit –will take place in Lisbon, Portugal on 11-12 October 2017, bringing together a wide range of stakeholders to discuss how rural areas can best take advantage of current and emerging innovation opportunities.

Rural businesses, both farm and non-farm, can benefit from innovation and digitisation opportunities supported under the Rural Development Programmes (RDPs) and Horizon 2020. Creating linkages and complementarities between multi-actor innovation initiatives can further increase that potential for rural economies. Participants will discuss and provide input on how EU innovation policy tools can better support rural areas now and after 2020.

The event is designed to build on Point 7 on ‘Boosting Knowledge and Innovation’ of the Cork 2.0 Declaration. It is a joint initiative of a Portuguese Consortium, the Portuguese government, ENRD and EIP-AGRI networks.


The Contact Point (CP) welcomes two new colleagues, Flavio Conti, who has joined the knowledge development group as a Policy Analyst, and Derek McGlynn, who has joined the knowledge sharing group as Publications Manager. As part of a planned process, Mike Gregory has taken over as Team Leader from Paul Soto – we wish Mike every success and patience.

We warmly thank Paul for his work as Team Leader over the past three years and wish him inspiration in his new role as Senior Policy Expert. Paul will now concentrate more on the strategic direction of the CP with a particular focus on the topic of ‘Smart Villages’.

We bid a warm farewell to Ed Thorpe (Communications Manager) and Doris Marquardt (Policy Analyst) and wish them great success with their new professional horizons.

The EAFRD Projects Brochure on ‘Transition to Greener Rural Economies’ is now available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Polish on the ENRD website.

This edition explores RDP-supported approaches to taking advantage of economic opportunities that are environmentally and socially sustainable. It is part of the broader ENRD thematic work on ‘Transition to the Green Economy’, which also features a dedicated edition of the EU Rural Review (issue 23).

For electronic and paper subscriptions to the ENRD publications, please write to subscribe@enrd.eu.


Following the summer months, the Contact Point is getting ready to relaunch practitioner-led activities on the topics of Transnational Cooperation (TNC) and LEADER Innovation. Look out for the ‘save the date’ for dedicated workshops.

The latest event on improving LEADER implementation explored  the barriers faced by LAGS and ways of overcoming them through specific actions – see the workshop highlights.

For further information, explore the LEADER/CLLD section of the ENRD website where you will find a range of useful resources on LEADER/CLLD, including:

LAG database, now containing the contact details of over 1 800 Local Action Groups (LAGs);

Partner Search section, including plenty of new cooperation offers;

LEADER Cooperation web page featuring an updated guidance and new LEADER/CLLD Cooperation factsheets and ‘landscape’.


Momentum is building up for the next meeting of the European Rural Parliament (18-21 October – Venhorst, the Netherlands) with organisers conducting extensive surveys and consultations with rural stakeholders to help identify how citizens can participate in shaping policy.

Consultations are focused on six priority thematic areas: youth; social inclusion; poverty; rural services and infrastructure; local and sub-regional economies; and integrated rural development and LEADER/CLLD. The outcomes of these consultations will be discussed with over 300 delegates at the event and further disseminated across Europe.


A new database of good practice examples of social innovation in agriculture, forestry and rural development in marginalised rural areas has been made available by the Horizon 2020 project SIMRA.

The database features examples from across Europe, demonstrating the diversity of social innovations and some of their key characteristics. Interested individuals are invited to share their good practice examples with the project team.

A series of videos showcasing best practice examples in rolling out high-speed broadband projects across Europe’s rural areas has been produced by the Broadband Competence Offices Support Facility (BCO-SF).

The videos present approaches and solutions tailored to the specific contexts of rural areas in a number of countries, including Austria, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK.


A new EU project – rural SMEs – will work to boost innovative rural entrepreneurship in new niches of business opportunity, including in areas such as energy, environment, eco-industries, ICT and social innovation.

The project aims to improve regional support systems for entrepreneurs through identification and exchange of good practice in business development, addressing issues such as access to finance; communication and logistics; access to knowledge and; innovation service support. The project is funded under Interreg Europe and will run between 2017 and 2021.


A transnational network of rural touristic ‘routes’ will promote hiking in European regions that have traditionally focused on mass tourism or, on the other hand, have benefited less from more traditional forms of international tourism.

Run by the Hiking Europe project, the initiative aims to internationally position local assets in Croatia, Ireland, Italy and Spain, and boost regional economic development through a joint promotional and commercial strategy.       

Aiming to boost short food supply chains in Europe, a newly launched Horizon 2020 project – SKIN – will work to create a knowledge and innovation network and foster demand-driven, bottom-up innovation.

The project will bring together food producers and consumers into a permanent association of stakeholders, working to improve the efficiency and economic impact of short supply chains.

See the EIP-AGRI website for further information on this and other Horizon 2020 thematic networks.

A branding campaign and a dedicated website to promote Natura 2000 products with the aim of showcasing their socio-economic benefits and triggering new partnerships between site managers, farmers and local businesses has been launched.

The campaign is run by Eurosite, the network of Europe’s natural site managers, in order to raise awareness of the benefits Natura 2000 can provide to local economies.


See more information on the ENRD website

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