Project half-time – it’s time to talk about results and look ahead. The RUMORE project starts in 2019 on track and is ready to champion its upcoming goals.
In the first two years of the project, the partners fostered committed and engaged local stakeholder communities. These communities are now up and running in each partner region with cooperation extending beyond simple meetings and workshops. In Amsterdam, for instance, the establishment of a stakeholder group set the framework for a first of its kind network on the topic of organic streams innovation and a circular economy. The process has brought together pioneers in the field who are now working together to develop ideas tailored to their region’s needs. The newly developed ideas will bring about change in Amsterdam and its surroundings, away from a linear style of production and consumption system.
Meanwhile in Lombardy, stakeholder cooperation grew into a new thematic group called “Innovation for enterprises”. Organised as a discussion table and managed by Lombardy Region, this group operates in the framework of the “Milan Rural Metropoly” agreement; a strategic roadmap to preserve the character of rural lands within the Milan Metropolitan Area. The thematic group brings together SMEs from rural areas, technological clusters, public authorities and research institutes. They seek new ideas to foster innovation processes in local enterprises and to better harness synergies between existing funding sources.
The RUMORE project reflects on success stories within its project regions with highlights including:
- The Region of Lüneburg and Leuphana University launched an innovative student competition for sustainable rural area development and local stakeholders were involved to assess the feasibility of the concepts’ implementation.
- The Green Knowledge Portal Twente initiated the ambitious “Twente Canteen” idea; an innovative approach to promote regional products in municipal canteens.
- The Region of Central Macedonia established a new mechanism for targeted support of triple helix cooperation called “One Stop Liaison Office”. The Office operates as a joint Regional Contact Point between regional stakeholders and S3 platforms. The activities support the nomination of Central Macedonia as a European Entrepreneurial Region for 2018.
- Legislative changes in Bulgarian regional policy offer District Government Burgas the chance to actively shape new policy development processes.
RUMORE will be crossing the finish line of its first project phase at the end of 2019. The overarching objective of the project activities for this year is the compilation of the Action Plans in each partner region. The specification and fine-tuning of the Plans is crucial as they will ensure a joint agreement for future actions in the regions.
To discuss next steps in drafting of Action Plans and to share project developments, the project consortium will come together in March 2019 in Thessaloniki, Greece. Partners will discuss how to better capitalize on the potentials of rural areas and include them in regional value chains. Further project events planned for 2019 are the Interregional Learning Event in Burgas (June 2019) and Lüneburg (October 2019).