While the AEIDL team will be busy with the closure of SHERPA and DESIRA, new projects keep coming our way. First and foremost, last December the European Commission entrusted to AEIDL the setting up and management of the EU Rural Pact Support Office.
This Office will be in charge of facilitating the delivery of the EU Rural Pact and the contribution of the growing Rural Pact community to deliver the commitments of the Long Term Vision for Rural Areas of the EU. We will be working with a range of key partners and experts, stay tuned!
Just a few days later AEIDL welcomed the news of the award of two new projects that we have partnered in: FUTURAL and RURACTIVE. FUTURAL (Empowering the FUTure through innovative Smart Solutions for rURAL areas), led by the Agricultural University of Athens, aims to deliver a set of digital Smart Solutions (SS), under 5 Smart Solution domains, to address pressing social and environmental challenges.
FUTURAL will prototype, test, pilot and demonstrate community-led social, technological and business innovations based on the proposed SS in six rural pilot areas in the EU, representing different geographical and socio-cultural contexts. AEIDL, building on our extensive EU policy expertise, will lead on EU Policy recommendations and governance frameworks, which will be co-created in multi-actor workshops in the new EU Rural Innovation Forum that will be launched by this project.
Likewise, AEIDL will also lead on the development of the EU Policy Recommendations of RURACTIVE, which was part of the same Horizon Europe call “Resilient, inclusive, healthy and green rural, coastal and urban communities”. RURACTIVE, short for “Empowering Rural Communities to Act for Change”, conceives of rural communities and territories as vibrant centres of innovation based on local resources, grassroots action, creativity and social inclusion. These centres will be boosted through digital innovation, valorisation of local resources and training, resulting in attractive places for all people to live, work and stay. The project will enable and enhance the creation of Multi-Actor Rural Innovation Ecosystems (RIEs) in 12 pilot areas, the RURACTIVE Dynamos, in 7 EU, 2 Associated Countries and Switzerland through knowledge exchange, capacity building and networking activities.
Furthermore, on January 1st two new projects launched: TOOLS4CAP and GRASS CEILING. AEIDL will be contributing to the formulation and dissemination of the findings of TOOLS4CAP´s Innovative Toolbox, empowering effective CAP governance towards EU ambitions. Tools4CAP will support the implementation of National Strategic Plans 2023-2027, and lay the foundations for sound preparation of Post-2027 Strategic Plans. Indeed, the launch of TOOLS4CAP started the same day that the new delivery of the Common Agricultural Policy was launched, following the recent approval of the last few CAP Strategic Plans that set up the delivery of food production support and rural development in each Member State.
GRASSCEILING will look at farming from a gendered perspective. This new will improve knowledge of the specifics of women-led socio-ecological innovations in farming and rural communities. AEIDL will lead on the development of recommendations and policy tools that support the inclusion of rural women and women farmers in realising the future of farming and rural areas. This will complement AEIDL’s already extensive work in gender equality in rural areas, such as the booklet “Women move Europe’s mountains” that we edited on the back of the International Mountain Day last December, in collaboration with our partners of the MOVING project and Euromontana.
To support this wider portfolio AEIDL is expanding its team with vacancies being launched of a new Communication Officer to support our work in the Rural Pact and a new Rural and Territorial Development Expert focused on Digital matters, with more job openings to follow.