The INNOGROW event is open to local and regional authorities, chambers of commerce, rural SMEs’ associations and entrepreneurs, as well as public policy and rural innovation students. Participants will have the opportunity to network and discuss with European organisations specialized in rural innovation and receive their Certificates of attendance upon conclusion of the event.

Participants will have the chance to get experts’ insights on rural innovation and how innovative sustainable practices can be adopted by rural SMEs. Furthermore, they will have the chance to attend an open dialogue among policy makers, experts and public authorities across EU on rural SMEs innovation and competitiveness. Representatives from Interreg Europe will also be attending the event.

The event starts at 10:00 UTC / 11:00 CET.


10.00-10.05 (UTC) Opening of the meeting [Moderator – Region of Thessaly]

10.05-10.30 (UTC) Keynote Speech [Region of Thessaly]

• Official welcome by the Governor of the Region of Thessaly;
• Overview of the INNOGROW Project.

10:30-10:45 (UTC) State of play of the Interregional cooperation [Joint Secretariat representative]

10.45-12.30 (UTC) Policy changes pursued [Lombardy Foundation for the Environment, Zemgale planning region, Stara Zagora Regional Economic Development Agency, Regional Development Agency of the Pardubice Region, Chamber of Commerce of Molise, BSC Business Support Centre Kranj, Pannon Novum West-Transdanubian Regional Innovation]

• The valorisaton and integration of lessons learnt and project roadmaps in partners' policy instruments;
• The impact of INNOGROW on policies and measures to support the competiveness of rural economy SMEs in partners' territories;
• Main challenges encountered.

12.30-12.45 (UTC) Short break


12.45-13.05 (UTC) Rural enterprise hubs as a good practice for rural development [Dr. Ian Merrell, University of Exeter]

13.05-13.25 (UTC) Impact analysis for new technologies for rural SMEs [Dr. Pattanapong Tiwasing, Coventry University]

13.25-13.45 (UTC) Rural business start-up and business models after Covid-19 [Prof. Matthew Gorton, Newcastle University]

13.45-14.00 (UTC) Short break

14.00-14.30 (UTC) Open Dialogue [Experts/ Policy makers/ Public Authorities]

• Views, opinions, and considerations from policy makers and public authorities;
• Insights and recommendations from experts on rural innovation and SMEs competitiveness;
• Questions – Debate.

14.30-14.45 (UTC) Recap & closure of the meeting [Moderator - Region of Thessaly]