220 companies, projects and initiatives from 21 EU member states and two EU neighbouring states applied for the European Rural Innovation Competition called EURIC. Since this week, the 15 ambassadors have been confirmed. They were selected by an international jury of independent experts and will be honoured on Tuesday, 3 December 2019 in Brussels at an official awards ceremony during the Organic Innovation Days. „The ambassadors reflect the diversity in content and geography of innovative groups in rural areas in Europe“, says Dr. Susanne von Münchhausen, scientist and coordinator of LIAISON at the HNEE, the German partner in the European project. Of the twelve applicants from Germany, the association Grüne Werkstatt Wendland was selected as an ambassador for innovation in rural areas. The non-profit association has set itself the goal of strengthening the Wendland region through networks between universities, schools, administrations and regional businesses, with a special focus on the themes of creativity, sustainability, demographic change and the exchange between town and country, the jury’s assessment says. „We set out to find as many good examples of rural innovation as possible to make the hard work of the people behind them visible and to promote their great ideas. We were particularly interested in finding initiatives where people with different backgrounds and skills could successfully work together,“ reports Prof. Dr. Anna Maria Häring, also coordinator on the HNEE side.
The topic of innovations in agriculture and forestry was hotly debated in the companies as well as in the offices of the European Commission in Brussels.
Throughout Europe, the agricultural, forestry and food sectors are confronted with major social, economic and ecological challenges – but also with new opportunities. „This range becomes visible in the results of the competition,“ added the HNEE scientist.
Background to the EURIC competition
In January 2019, the Horizont 2020 project LIAISON launched a Europe-wide competition to identify innovative, inspiring and groundbreaking initiatives in agriculture, forestry and agricultural value chains. Each of the selected ambassador projects will receive an individualised video portrait that can be used in their own advertising, and will also benefit from international recognition and numerous networking opportunities. Details of the ambassadors can be found on the international LIAISON website at http://liaison2020.eu/euric/
For further information, please contact
HNEE project page https://www.hnee.de/LIAISON
Twitter @liaison2020 and #EURIC19
About the partners involved in the award ceremony
– LIAISON is a so-called „multi-actor project“ with 17 partners from 15 countries with the aim of contributing to improving the conditions for successful innovative partnerships. Why are some innovation groups able to organise themselves, pick up new ideas, develop them and create something new? How do they test these innovative ideas and how do they make them applicable? The aim of LIAISON is to promote such successful innovation partnerships. LIAISON is funded from the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Support Programme of the European Union (funding number 773418).
– IFOAM EU represents more than 210 organisations from the member and acceding states of the EU as well as the member states of the European Free Trade Association. The organisations come from all areas of the value chain of the organic agricultural and food industry and beyond; they include agricultural and production and processing organisations, retailers and wholesalers, certification organisations, consultants, scientists and environmental and consumer protection organisations.
– TP Organics is one of 40 European Technology Platforms (ETPs) officially recognised by the European Commission. Its mission is to strengthen research and innovation for biological and other agro-ecological approaches that contribute to sustainable food and agricultural systems. To this end, it brings together large companies as well as small and medium-sized enterprises, scientists, farmers, consumers and civil society actors involved in the value chain of organic agricultural production – from agricultural production, supply, food production, marketing to consumption.
contact for scientific information:
Dr. Susanne v. Münchhausen and
Prof. Dr. Anna Maria Häring
Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development (HNEE)