EU Rural Innovation Contest

EU Rural Innovation Contest

Our EURIC ended a few months ago and the project has selected 15 Rural Innovation Ambassadors. We introduced them to the public during an award ceremony that took place during the Organic Innovation Days in Brussels:

Ambassadors of rural areas chosen

 Within the framework of the Europe-wide active project LIAISON, which is coordinated by the Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development (HNEE), 15 companies were selected for the innovation competition. Their ideas should serve as inspiration for other actors.

220 companies, projects and initiatives from 21 EU member states and two EU neighbouring states applied for the European Rural Innovation Competition called EURIC. Since this week, the 15 ambassadors have been confirmed. They were selected by an international jury of independent experts and will be honoured on Tuesday, 3 December 2019 in Brussels at an official awards ceremony during the Organic Innovation Days. „The ambassadors reflect the diversity in content and geography of innovative groups in rural areas in Europe“, says Dr. Susanne von Münchhausen, scientist and coordinator of LIAISON at the HNEE, the German partner in the European project. Of the twelve applicants from Germany, the association Grüne Werkstatt Wendland was selected as an ambassador for innovation in rural areas. The non-profit association has set itself the goal of strengthening the Wendland region through networks between universities, schools, administrations and regional businesses, with a special focus on the themes of creativity, sustainability, demographic change and the exchange between town and country, the jury’s assessment says. „We set out to find as many good examples of rural innovation as possible to make the hard work of the people behind them visible and to promote their great ideas. We were particularly interested in finding initiatives where people with different backgrounds and skills could successfully work together,“ reports Prof. Dr. Anna Maria Häring, also coordinator on the HNEE side. The topic of innovations in agriculture and forestry was hotly debated in the companies as well as in the offices of the European Commission in Brussels. Throughout Europe, the agricultural, forestry and food sectors are confronted with major social, economic and ecological challenges – but also with new opportunities. „This range becomes visible in the results of the competition,“ added the HNEE scientist.

Times are changing! All across Europe the agricultural, forestry and the agri-food sectors are facing major social, economic and environmental challenges – as well as unprecedented opportunities. Rural innovation is currently one of the hottest topics of discussion from the farmhouse kitchen tables to the European Commission offices in Brussels.
The LIAISON project organised a contest with the aim of seeking-out innovative, inspiring and ground-breaking initiatives from within farming, forestry and the agri-food supply chain.

With our story map, we want to showcase more than 175 interactive project approaches submitted to our EU Rural Innovation Contest. The different colours represent different Macro-Regions from within the project:

Nordic-Baltic Sea (green)

          Norway: CRR (Ruralis)

          Poland: AAC (CDR)

Danube / Balkan States (purple)

          Hungary: AKI

          Romania: Highclere

          Bulgaria: ISSK

Mediterranean (Blue)

          Portugal: UEvora

          Spain: UPMadrid

          Italy: UPisa

Atlantic / North Sea (Orange)

          Ireland: Teagasc

          United Kingdom: Soil Association and UExeter

          Belgium: ILVO and Innovatiesteunpunt

          The Netherlands: Group de Bruges

          France: Idèle

          Germany: HNEE

          Switzerland: FiBL


Do you want more information about EURIC or about the project LIAISON in your own national language? You can find the national websites here: