The Ratio Project, which is part of the EU Interreg Europe programme, will celebrate its final day this Wednesday, September 21, at the Joaquín Roncal Center in Zaragoza. From 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., the good practices in Innovation and Development in rural companies of this project, which has had the Aragonese Federation of Municipalities, Counties and Provinces (FAMCP) as coordinator, will be presented. Partners from seven different European regions will meet on this day: experts from the German region of Leipzig; those of the Usti region, in the Czech Republic; the representatives of the Malopolska Local Democracy Foundation, in Poland; those of the Vidzeme region, in Latvia; those of the City Council of Vila Pouca, in Portugal; and the Italians from the Association of Municipalities of Lazio.

Companies in rural areas face numerous barriers daily to be competitive compared to those installed in more industrial development poles. Geographical isolation, lack of infrastructure or slow Internet connections and difficulties in finding workers with specific training are some of the obstacles that rural SMEs are forced to overcome. Faster broadband and the implementation of advanced knowledge in information technologies are necessary to enhance innovation and increase the productivity and sustainability of these rural enterprises.

Throughout its almost 48-month duration, the Ratio Project has analyzed a critical issue for rural development: the consolidation of innovation in local non-urban SMEs. All the participating partners have developed actions to solve this problem and their effort, cooperation and dedication have been demonstrated in the results achieved: proposals for regional action plans that, in many regions, have been taken into account to be incorporated into the regional innovation policies within the framework of the European Union.