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Research and innovation

Enhancing rural innovation

Research and innovation priorities from the strategic approach to EU agricultural research and innovation.

Priorities to enhance rural innovation

Priorities 4 and 5 of the strategic approach to agricultural research and innovation are

  • new openings for rural growth;
  • enhancing the human and social capital in rural areas and boosting knowledge and innovation systems.

The priorities aim to boost sustainable growth in rural areas by modernising policies and encouraging innovation. 

Opening new avenues for rural growth

This priority tackles the various factors, rural and farming dynamics and policies that determine the development of rural territories to boost rural growth and well-being.

It looks at how to organise sustainable, innovative and circular food and non-food value chains and systems from a territorial and cross-sectoral perspective.

Deploying digital technologies is a crucial element within a wider strategy to sustain and boost rural economies by taking advantage of digitalisation.

Research and innovation activities also look into ways to improve the valuation of a range of public goods from agriculture and forestry and better reward rural communities for delivering those goods.

Enhancing the human and social capital and boosting knowledge and innovation systems

This priority aims at supporting sustainable growth in rural areas by encouraging innovation through the development of an enabling environment and innovation ecosystem that enhances participatory and system-based approaches.

The first strand of activities focuses on skills (education and training) and human and social capital of farmers, foresters and rural dwellers, in particular the development of cooperation links and networks.

The second strand is devoted to the functioning of knowledge and innovation systems, with attention to all actors in the value chains and rural economies and relevant links with urban areas. This looks in particular at how to improve advisory services, demonstration sites, peer-to-peer learning and at how to translate available knowledge into practice.