Partners from the RUMORE project participated in international discussions on fostering innovation in rural areas.

On 5th December 2018, lead partners of running Interreg projects and representatives of Regional Managing Authorities and European institutions came together in Hamburg, Germany, to exchange on how to improve policies in the field of rural innovation. The innovation challenges and potentials of rural areas stayed high on the agenda of the thematic workshop “Enhancing rural innovation capacity and performance”. The workshop is part of a sequence of thematic events, organized by the Interreg Europe Policy Learning Platform with the aim to foster exchange of ideas and solutions between European regions.

The interactive workshop provided running projects with a room for exchange on complementarities, good practices and innovation experiences. The participating projects were invited because they share common characteristics and address similar issues. The event gave all participants the opportunity to learn about the latest policy developments in the field of rural innovation and to jointly discuss on the innovation challenges of rural areas. The event allowed easy networking opportunities whilst maintaining an informative programme with interesting international speakers, project presentations on good practices and action plan development and interactive break-out discussion sessions.

In the workshop, the RUMORE was represented by the Office for Regional Development Lüneburg (ArL) and HafenCity University Hamburg (HCU), lead partner of the project. In her opening speech Ms. Scherf, head of ArL, highlighted that innovation capacity in rural areas is a key for regional growth. She presented the main challenges faced by the rural areas in the region of Lüneburg and showcased different initiatives applied by the Office for Regional Development to mobilize actors and boost innovation. One of the major topics of regional importance and also a central theme in the project RUMORE is the support of transfer networks and institutions, of innovative start-ups and young entrepreneurs through improved cooperation between stakeholders.          

In the past two years, ArL and the RUMORE project partnership have identified good examples of cooperation initiatives, which could support innovation processes in rural areas and could inspire improvement in regional innovation policies. To illustrate how cooperation could work on the ground, Galya Vladova from HafenCity University Hamburg presented to the workshop participants two selected good practices - the AgroDesign cluster from the Region of Central Macedonia and the Rural Districts from Lombardy Region.

More information about the thematic workshop and the activities of the Policy Learning Platform can be found here and here.