Decrease text Increase text

NSU Training Programme Module 6: “Networking for Innovation in the 2014-2020 RDPs”

Ghent, Belgium (18-19 March 2014)

The training activity was initiated and kindly hosted by the Vlaams Ruraal Netwerk (Flemish Rural Network) in Ghent.

Support for innovation has been a key priority for EU rural development for many years. The new EAFRD Rural Development Regulation (No. 1305/2013) deeply embeds innovation within rural development policy by:

  • Introducing innovation as a cross-cutting objective that must be integrated into all priorities adopted by Member States in their RDPs.
  • Enshrining innovation within the horizontal Priority 1: Fostering knowledge transfer and innovation in agriculture, forestry, and rural areas.
  • Including rural development policy as a key tool in supporting the European Innovation Partnership for Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability (EIP-AGRI).
  • Introducing a new aim for networking by National Rural Networks (NRNs), namely to, “foster innovation in agriculture, food production, forestry and rural areas,” including the specific obligation to implement activities, “regarding the provision of networking for advisors and innovation support services.

The peer-to-peer training event brought together more than 60 representatives of the NRNs, DG AGRI, the ENRD Contact Point, the EIP-AGRI Service Point and other interested organisations. The mixture of presentations and interactive discussions allowed the participants to:

  • build a common understanding of how NRNs can promote and support a culture of innovation amongst rural stakeholders in accordance with Article 54 of EAFRD Regulation;
  • explore and clarify how the ENRD, EIP-AGRI network and NRNs can most effectively work together on innovation in 2014-2020;
  • share existing relevant examples of ‘networking for innovation’; and
  • consider specific activities that can be included in the future annual work plans (AWPs) of NRNs.


  • Training programme [PDF ]
  • Innovation and National Rural Networks, DG AGRI [PDF ]
  • Overview of ENRD Contact Point support services and activities relevant to Innovation, ENRD CP [PDF ]
  • EIP-AGRI Service Point [PDF ]
  • Implementing innovation support in the case of Flanders, Belgium [PDF ]

Examples and practices for support to innovation

  • Innovation & enterprise services, rural innovation through knowledge transfer, Scotland [PDF ]
  • 24-72 hour race to innovation, National Rural Network, Sweden [PDF ]
  • Innovation camps, National Rural Network, Finland [PDF ]
  • The National Rural Network and EIP, Portugal [PDF ]
  • EIP, APS and NSU, Netherlands [PDF ]
  • More information and materials please find here


  • Participants list [PDF ]


  • Tips for planning the Role of NRNs and their activities in implementing the European Innovation Partnership for Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability (EIP-AGRI) [PDF ]
  • Summary report [PDF ]


Last update: 03/06/2014 | Top