(26 November 2020) – Coincidentally, two Spanish media recently interviewed two AEIDL experts. El Diario Montañés (Santander) interviewed Enrique Nieto on the issue of “intelligent territories”. El Comercio (Asturias) published an interview with Yves Champetier on the revitalisation of rural areas.
For Enrique Nieto in El Diario Montañés (23/11/20), it is essential to support the creation of territorial innovation ecosystems that contribute to strengthening the bottom-up approach to development by linking it more closely to the sources and actors of knowledge and innovation such as universities, companies, technology centres, NGOs, etc.
A tool already exists to support these innovation ecosystems in the agricultural sector: the EIP-AGRI Operational Groups, which have been successfully financed in recent years by the EAFRD and Horizon 2020. This experience should inspire the creation of a similar approach but applied to rural development as a whole.
For Yves Champetier in Pegados a la Tierra, the rural supplement of the daily El Comercio (24/11/20), the COVID-19 crisis has accentuated the difficulties of rural areas but there are many individual and collective initiatives to get out of it.
However, to have an impact, these initiatives need to be coordinated by bringing together local authorities, entrepreneurs and citizens, and ensure that the proposed solutions work together. “Subsidy policies are only valid in the short term. To succeed, we need to build a global vision on the future of the territory, and make sure that all individual initiatives can add up, mutually reinforce each other, and produce ‘snowball’ effects.”