Rural regions make up roughly half of the territory of the EU-28, with just over one-quarter of the population living in these areas. By building innovation capacity and implementing innovative solutions, rural and sparsely populated areas can overcome their inherent challenges and remain viable business locations.
There are many aspects of rural innovation including the characteristics of innovation ecosystems, the conditions for the local business sectors, industrial diversity, access to physical and digital infrastructure, relations with urban counterparts, and more. Rural development and rural innovation are high on the policy agenda, with links to cohesion, agricultural and digital policies to name but a few.
In the Interreg Europe community, there are also several projects tackling the issues of rural innovation, directly or indirectly. The Policy Learning Platform offers a range of services to promote cross-project and interregional cooperation and capitalisation services to reinforce the different approaches and identify synergies and good practices to boost rural innovation.