RURALITIES Project Kick-Off Meeting Marks a Big Step in Rural Innovation

In a big step towards fostering rural innovation and sustainable development, Pedal Consulting s. r. o., in collaboration with 36 pan-European and 16 African organizations, launched the ambitious project RURALITIES. The project, funded by the European Commission the Horizon Europe program, aims to deliver ecosystem and climate-driven innovation and training centers across Europe.

Coordinated by PEDAL Consulting, RURALITIES envisions transforming rural landscapes by providing expertise and establishing a comprehensive learning framework through living labs. The kick-off meeting, held on November 2nd, 2022, in Bratislava, Slovakia, set the stage for a transformative journey.

Key Objectives:

  • Real-Scale Practice in Rural Socio-Ecological Systems: RURALITIES plans to execute real-scale practicing (demonstrators) in six simplified rural socio-ecological systems (SIMSES) across Italy, the United Kingdom, Slovenia, Spain, and Romania.
  • Facilitator Recruitment and Training: The project aims to recruit, train, and coach over 1,000 facilitators distributed across participating countries. These facilitators, including trainers, role models, and hub coordinators, will play a pivotal role in creating the foundation for the project’s learning framework.
  • Support for Rural Innovation: RURALITIES seeks to coordinate actions with local and regional authorities to support rural innovation in sectors such as food, logistics, tourism, health, energy, and digital technologies.

RURALITIES has outlined key milestones to achieve its goals:

  • Action Plan and Roadmap: Develop an action plan, roadmap, and dissemination/communication plan by March 2023.
  • Website Launch: Launch the RURALITIES website on rural innovation from various initiatives and countries by March 2023.
  • Specialized Training Centers: Establish specialized training centers for facilitators by December 2026.
  • Expertise Centers: Open RURALITIES expertise centers as information and contact points by December 2026.
  • Innovation Accelerators: Set up RURALITIES Hubs as innovation accelerators, providing tools and methodology to implement project results by December 2026.

The kick-off meeting in Bratislava marked the beginning of an extensive journey towards rural innovation and sustainable development in Europe. With clear objectives, a dedicated team, and the support of the European Commission, RURALITIES is poised to make a lasting impact on rural communities by fostering innovation and knowledge-sharing. Stay tuned for updates as RURALITIES progresses towards its milestones, reshaping the future of rural landscapes.



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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation program under grant agreement no 101060876. UK participants in Horizon Europe Project RURALITIES are supported by UKRI grant numbers: 10051963 The Highlands and Islands Transport Partnership and 10050988 Earthwatch Europe.