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Around one-third of EU citizens reside in rural regions, representing a significant portion of the EU territory. Despite facing challenges such as population decline and limited access to modern services, rural regions offer opportunities for growth that is both inclusive and sustainable. Bridging the gap between rural and urban areas is crucial for meeting Europe’s environmental objectives.

RURACTIVE envisions rural communities as innovation hubs, focusing on digital innovation, local resource valorization, and training. The initiative aims to create Rural Innovation Ecosystems (RIEs) in 12 pilot areas, fostering collaboration among diverse stakeholders and local communities. To ensure long-term success, RURACTIVE emphasizes multilevel governance, capacity building, place-based development, and inclusive participatory processes, addressing the needs of vulnerable and excluded groups. Recognizing the importance of digital access, the project prioritizes providing digital training and resources to all residents, with a strong commitment to inclusivity.

RURACTIVE aligns with the goals of the EU Digital Agenda by enhancing communities’ capacity to innovate through integrated Rural Development Drivers (RDDs). These drivers include improving transportation options, transitioning to sustainable energy sources, promoting sustainable agriculture and agroecology, preserving local culture, enhancing local governance and social welfare, and promoting nature-based and cultural tourism

Key outputs:

  • RURACTIVE Solutions’ Catalogue including a set of smart and community-led solutions for rural development
  • Women-led rural innovation booklet integrating a gender perspective into smart rural solutions
  • Commercialisation: deployment of a novel product/service (offered to target public/ private/ partnership organizations
  • RURACTIVE Digital Hub for rural innovation containing RURACTIVE tools and services
  • Develop guidance and recommendations for policy-makers on drivers and instruments that support community-led innovation and smart solutions
Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed on this website are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Research Executive Agency. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them. Project No. HORIZON-CL6-2022-COMMUNITIES-02-01-two-stage

Target Groups

Teachers, Academics, Researchers, Adults, Policy makers, VET professionals, Public bodies, General public

Education Level

Higher education, VET, Adult education, Professional education