The RUMORE project consortium presents project’s achievements and experiences to innovation and policy experts from all over Europe.

The international conference “Innovation through Rural-Urban Cooperation”, co-organised and hosted by the Office for Regional Development Lüneburg, was hold on 22-24 October 2019 in Lüneburg, Germany. The event provided an exciting overview of project outcomes and lessons learnt, resulting from three years of intensive cooperation and interregional exchange in the partnership. It offered participants a forum for discussing how the project results have informed policy change in the partner regions and can contribute to enhanced innovation processes in urban and rural areas.

“Through the project RUMORE, we managed to develop solutions that allow us to foster sustainable economic growth and to stimulate regional development”, so Birgit Honé, Lower Saxon Minister for Federal and European Affairs and Regional Development. Urban-rural partnerships have played a vital role in the Region of Lüneburg for many years. Thanks to RUMORE and a good practice from Twente (NL), the Region succeeded in involving students and young practitioners in the conceptualisation and implementation of regional development projects. By doing so, the Region supports the development of strategically relevant innovation projects, which meet local needs and mobilize entrepreneurial activities on the local territory.    

During the international conference the participants, representing both partner institutions and stakeholder organisations, gathered to discuss the six Action Plans, developed in the framework of the project. They shared their ideas and actions for innovative cooperation projects. The partners demonstrated how these actions address local territorial challenges and relate to existing policy documents. Further to this, they shared good practice examples from their regions and discussed on how future policy documents can provide more targeted support for integrated urban-urban development that builds on the innovation assets of both urban and rural areas.   

The programme of the international conference was rounded by a special session dedicated to the RUMORE project recommendations. The set of targeted recommendations aims to equip European regions will tools and ideas for enhancing innovation process and rural-urban partnerships. The full version of the document can be viewed and downloaded here.

The public conference programme was followed by two days of intensive interregional learning. During the two days, all participants had the possibility to exchange on the next steps towards implementation of their Action Plans. Moreover, they visited and learnt about the following good practice examples from Lüneburg Region:

  • Future City Lüneburg 2030+: an urban real-world laboratory for the implementation of the sustainable development goals at local level.
  • WirGarten e.V.: a citizen-organized vegetable cooperative in Lüneburg, which has developed a model for alternative food supply for towns and cities.
  • ISI Buchholz: a start-up and innovation centre in the middle-sized city of Buchholz, which supports young and future-oriented businesses from the region by offering offices, workshop co-working spaces and expert advice. 
  • Fruit Growing Centre Jork-Esteburg: a research and testing field in the small town of Jork, which combines different institutes, training and advisory services and experimentation farms.

The RUMORE conference and learning event in Lüneburg was the last one in Phase I of the project. In January 2020, the RUMORE starts its two-year long Phase II, during which the regions of Burgas (BG), Lüneburg (DE), Central Macedonia (GR), Lombardy (IT), Twente (NL) und Amsterdam (NL) will intensively work on the implementation and monitoring of their Action Plans.