An international conference on the promotion of the development of innovative technologies and new business models in small and medium-sized enterprises in rural areas took place at the Biotechnical Faculty in Rodica, on February 12th 2019, attended by 40 visitors from 8 European countries.

Norbert Bodor from the Ministry of Finance, Department for the Development of Regional Programs, Hungary, presented the policies of the Hungarian Territorial Operational Program. The Ministry has introduced a new policy-making approach, from the bottom up, which eliminates competition for the allocation of financial resources within the public sector. An integrated development planning system in rural areas was introduced, identification of needs in the economic sector and specific development needs, and how they are transferred to policies at local level: the Development concept for settlements and the Integrated Development Strategy for settlements; at municipal, county level: district, municipal plans; at the territorial level: Integrated territorial programs and at national level: the territorial and settlement development operational program. For the providing local and regional conditions that indirectly help the operation of businesses, with the support of the local authorities, Hungary allocates EUR 4,000 M to Hungary.

Sandra Muižniece-Brasava from the University of Latvia, Faculty of Food Technology, presented support from the Center for Technology Transfer for the innovation adoption in rural small and medium-sized enterprises. The Center is part of the Faculty and promotes various types of economic activities, such as environmental engineering and water management, spatial planning, construction, landscape architecture, environmental sciences and others. An example of this kind of incentive is the Pupuchi project, a fava bean. Fava beans (Vicia faba) are known in the culinary sense as beans and are a type of flowering plants in the family Fabaceae peas and beans. It is known as super food and contains a lot of protein. Incentives for product development were offered by the Faculty in the form of entrepreneurial environment, space, expertise and financial incentives. The product consists of various treatments and flavours of fava beans (roasted, salted, spicy, natural or coated with chocolate ...) and dry apple with sesame seeds.

The international conference was organized within the project INNOGROW, "Regional policy for innovation-driven competitiveness and growth of rural SMEs", co-financed by the European funds of the Interreg Europe program. The total value of the project is EUR 1,574,322, bringing together partners from Greece, Italy, Latvia, Great Britain, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovenia.