& Events

From Pisa to Montpellier via Ghent, AEIDL working to bring Europe´s rural areas to the spotlight

Jan 23, 2023 | News

AEIDL is contributing to and indeed co-organising a range of major conferences to present the state of the art of the Horizon projects in which we are presently involved. The latter part of 2022 and the beginning of 2023 is witnessing the start of in-person (or hybrid) events after the COVID-19 crisis. AEIDL experts Carla Lostrangio and Lucia Garrido organised and took part in a range of workshops at the first CODECS Conference held in Pisa on 13-14 December 2022. The CODECS project (Maximising the CO-benefits of agricultural Digitalisation through conducive digital ECoSystems) will accelerate digitalisation in agriculture through innovative approaches and test different solutions in as many as 21 living labs. AEIDL is currently developing with partners the Communications, Dissemination and Exploitation Strategy of this project.

From 31st January to 3rd February 2023 more than 100 rural experts from different parts of Europe will meet in Montpellier, France, for two major international conferences to discuss policies and tools for the future of rural territories. “Co-creating rural futures”, organised by AIEDL, is also the annual meeting of the Horizon 2020 EU-funded SHERPA (Sustainable Hub to Engage into Rural Policies with Actors) project. 41 rural areas will share their experiences in running rural interfaces, a governance mechanism to bring together actors from science, society and policy, to co-create recommendations for rural policies.

This event is hosted by the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Montpellier, coordinator of the Horizon Europe-funded project GRANULAR (Giving Rural Actors Novel data and re-Useable tools to Lead public Action in Rural areas), which will also hold its first in-person conference during that week. AEIDL will be contributing to this set of 3-day stakeholder meeting to discuss how better data and novel technologies- such as Internet of Things, Artificial intelligence and citizen science- can lead to a better understanding of rural areas and to improve rural policies.

Last but not least, on 19 January 2023, AEIDL will be facilitating a foresight exercise on rural digitalisation in collaboration with the Join Research Centre and DG AGRI. The purpose is to explore how digitalisation can help shape rural areas’ responses to future challenges, in order to support policy-makers in considering long-term perspectives. This will be organised back-to-back with the DESIRA (Digitisation: Economic and Social Impacts in Rural Areas) Horizon 2020 project. AEIDL will also co-organise the final conferences of SHERPA and DESIRA in June and May respectively.

Representatives from the European Commission from the Directorate General of Agriculture and Rural Development will participate in these events. They will explain how the European Union plans to revitalise rural areas throughout, for instance, the European Rural Observatory and the European Rural Pact, two flagship initiatives launched recently in the framework of the European Long-Term Vision for Rural Areas.