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On 15, the Interreg Europe Policy Learning Platform hosted a webinar on drivers of innovation in rural areas.

The event explored different approaches to support innovation in rural economies, make them more resilient and able to respond to current societal challenges and transitions (digital, energy, ecological …) and facilitate the uptake of the latest technological solutions.

Webinar agenda overview

Navigate to the discussion topics of interest in the webinar agenda overview below.

00:00:25 Introduction to the Policy Learning Platform services by Thorsten Kholish, Project Manager.

00:04:31 Introduction to the topic of rural innovation by Marc Pattinson, Thematic Expert of Research and innovation.

00:15:46 Keynote speech by Olavi Luotanen from DG Connect who provided insights into the role of the digital economy in supporting rural communities.

00:32:36 Presentation by Clive Peckham, from Nièvre Numérique, on good examples of rural innovation driven by different levels of cooperation and digital technology.

00:46:53 Presentation by Ninetta Chaniotou, from the Regional Council of Kainuu on how a small traditional industry agglomeration turned into a competitive cluster thanks to innovation-based growth and knowledge infrastructure.

Panel discussion
1:00:06 Q&A To what extent do you and other colleagues from other DGs put together a broader base framework for rural initiatives and smart communities? What sort of interactions are you facilitating with your colleagues from other DGs?

1:04:30 Q&A The Smart Specialisation strategies do not support rural innovation but innovation in big AGRI food businesses. What is there to support small communities and businesses to design and implement innovation in non-AGRI sectors ( care, energy, education, mobility in rural areas)? Rural areas that are dynamic will innovate; how do we trigger innovation in those rural areas lagging?

1:12:24 Q&A What are your thoughts on a Smart Region approach? We are working on a framework here in the Southern Region in Ireland (NUTS II) as an enabler for a regional S3 and regional innovation approach.

1:15:44 Q&A To what extent S3 strategy development process should engage to ensure smart region dimension?

1:18:51 Q&A To what extent was your initiative part a of a network of other competence centres? Or was it a unique one? How did it impact other rural development project strategies?

1:25:03 Q&A Can you give us a bit more insight on what the cascade funding will look like?
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