Thematic Working Group 4 - Evaluation of Innovation

In the current programming period, increased emphasis has been placed on innovation to achieve both RDP and EU level objectives in a sustainable way. The policy framework for rural development, however, takes a broad approach on innovation, considering the specificities of different situations in the Member States. Innovation is therefore described as a new idea that proves successful in practice. It may be technological, but also non-technological, organisational or social. Innovation is supported with a specific group of measures, which may be programmed under various Union priorities for rural development and their focus areas. These measures include knowledge transfer and information actions, advisory services, farm management and farm relief services, co-operation, and the support for LEADER local development. Innovation can also be promoted through the activities of the National Rural Networks.

The Annual Implementation Reports (AIRs) to be submitted in 2017 and 2019 must include answers to the evaluation questions related to innovation. To assist rural stakeholders in answering these evaluation questions, the Evaluation Helpdesk has launched in 2016 a Thematic Working Group to draft “Guidelines: Evaluation of Innovation in RDPs 2014 – 2020” with the aim to:

  • Examine and address the major challenges in the evaluation of innovation;
  • Review existing experiences in the evaluation of innovation;
  • Identify and design effective solutions for the evaluation of innovation inside RDPs;
  • Develop guidelines for the evaluation of innovation, which will serve to complement existing guidance and the CMES.

The Guidelines are currently under development and will be published in the second half of 2017.