This webinar series aimed to help us get a better understanding what is meant by Rural Innovation, what opportunities are available for both communities and enterprises in rural areas to become more innovative, what new sectors are emerging as a result of new technologies and the transition to a greener economy; and society and what supports are available or needed for micro and SME’s to become more innovative.
Week One – Rural Innovation
In the first conversation of this series, Irish Rural Link was joined by an experienced panel who gave us an understanding of what rural innovation looks like in action and we delved into the emerging opportunities and funding across sectors which will ensure sustainable rural and regional development.
Week Two – The Value of the Irish Bioeconomy
Discussions around the Bioeconomy are relatively new and there is a growing desire to deliver more from the bioeconomy in terms of added economic value as well as outcomes that meet emerging social and environmental needs. This is driven by a variety of factors including a desire to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions, increase resource efficiencies and to reduce waste, while supporting broader rural development strategies. Supporting the bioeconomy efficiently can offer an opportunity for rural investment and improved delivery of public goods including enhanced biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Irish Rural Link encouraged all those who have an interest in exploring bioeconomy projects and policy in Ireland, to join them in this conversation.
Week Three – “Food Innovation in Ireland”
Food innovation relies on the development of new food products, processes, and services. Primary producers, entrepreneurs, food and beverage companies are always seeking new ways to address consumer trends by making new product offerings such as healthy, nutritious food alternatives that are not only enticing, accessible, and unique, but also sustainable. The development of a short food supply chain or values chains enhances the connection between citizens and producers, building mutual trust and simultaneously providing producers with a higher return for more premium products.