Project summary

RUMORE improves regional innovation policies and capacities by fostering rural-urban cooperation and partnerships. The project enhances the delivery of innovation by improving innovation chains between rural and urban stakeholders and by supporting the better use of synergies between urban and rural areas. By integrating the potentials of rural and urban areas into smart specialization strategies RUMORE facilitates the better implementation of these strategies and of the cluster policies of the participating regions. As a result, the project strengthens the innovation capacity of the regions, supports their sustainable development and contributes to territorial cohesion.


from 1 Jan 2017
to 31 Dec 2021

Research and innovation

The common challenge

Huge potentials for growth and job creation remain unused due to missing synergies between the urban, usually more innovative areas, and their surrounding rural parts. The focus of existing cluster and regional innovation strategies on cities often leaves rural and peripheral areas and stakeholders outside of innovation chains. This hinders rural areas and stakeholders from unfolding their full potential, hampers integrated regional development and challenges the implementation of joint innovation policies. RUMORE addresses this challenge by improving regional innovation chains through targeted support of rural-urban partnerships.


The project approach

RUMORE brings together eight partners from five European countries and involves them in an intensive interregional learning process. In the course of the process, the project partners develop and test innovative approaches for the design and set up of policy instruments for integrated urban-rural development in innovation policies. The interregional learning process takes place in the form of local stakeholder workshops and Learning Events designed and organized as living labs. Within these, the regions involved identify and transfer good practices of cluster cooperation, stakeholder involvement and knowledge transfer and share experience on the development of action plans for improvement of their own policy instrument.

The exchange of experience results in the development of new methods as well as concrete measures for improved policies in the field of regional innovation strategies. The progress of improvement is continuously supported by the three recurring Working Groups of the project:  

  • Working Group "Influencing Regional Innovation Strategies"
  • Working Group "Institutionalising Urban-Rural Linkages"
  • Working Group "Empowering and Mobilising Innovation Actors"


What is the expected policy change?

Six policy instruments will be improved with an overall influenced amount of ca. 25 Million Euros. The implementation of the improved policy instruments is envisaged to facilitate the better delivery of regional innovation strategies from the urban agglomerations into the rural and peripheral surrounding areas. It will support cooperation activities between innovation actors, will raise the share of innovative companies in the partner regions and will increase the number of enterprises cooperating with research institutes.

What policy instruments does the project address?

The Lower Saxony Multi-fund Programme aims at achieving the objectives of the "Europe 2020" strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The Programme combines ERDF and ESF and finances projects that enhance the regional innovation capacity in accordance with the RIS3. In doing so, the Programme helps the region of Lüneburg to address its needs and potentials to generate growth and employment. The combination of funds in one programme together with the selected joint strategic approach fosters establishment of synergies and promotes effective regional actions. The reduction of (sub-) regional disparities is one of the general objectives of the Lower Saxony Multi-fund Operational Programme.

In line with the German National Strategic Reference Framework, the Lower Saxony Multi-fund Programme defines four priority axes for the ESF and five priority axes for the ERDF, the latter being:

  1. Support for innovation
  2. Support for SME competitiveness
  3. Support for the reduction of CO2 emissions
  4. Sustainable environmentally compatible regional development
  5. Technical assistance

RUMORE addresses funding priorities 1 “Support for innovation” and 2 “Support for SME competitiveness”. The project recognizes the need for integration of systemic innovation in the development of urban-rural interactions and the reduction of regional disparities. Currently, there is division between the economically strong and economically weaker areas in the region of Lüneburg as well as a lack of technic oriented universities and large innovative enterprises, especially in the rural areas of the region. For this reason RUMORE puts efforts in improving the transfer of innovation from the urban cores to the rural areas and in supporting existing nuclei of innovation in the rural areas. Within the project good examples of urban-rural innovation linkages will be identified and included in the Multi-fund Programme.

Which partners are working on this?
  • Office for Regional Development Lüneburg

The Regional Authority of Central Macedonia prioritizes the strengthening of research, technological development and innovation in Priority Axis 1 of its Regional Operational Programme 2014-2020. Specific objective 1b2 of the Programme supports mechanisms that facilitate the establishment of links and synergies between enterprises, research and development centres, and higher education institutes. This has the overall aim to promote applied research as well as knowledge and technology transfer in RIS3 sectors. The need for development of synergies and for improvement of the policy instrument in general is justified by a combination of factors.

  • In the Region of Central Macedonia there is a low interface between research centres, universities and local enterprises. 
  • The synergies between firms in research, development and innovation are currently limited.
  • SMEs in the region do not have adequate research infrastructures and personnel. Additionally, the level of commercial exploitation of primary research and technological development results by enterprises is low.
  • The level of private spending on research, development and innovation is below the national and the European average.
  • There is low level of technological research and application of innovation in RIS3 and other important sectors.

Within RUMORE, the Region of Central Macedonia envisages to facilitate the establishment of links between research and development centres, higher education institutes and enterprises in RIS3 sectors. It will do so by transferring knowledge and good practices of support mechanisms into its Regional Operational Programme.  

Which partners are working on this?
  • Regional Development Fund of Central Macedonia on behalf of the Region of Central Macedonia
  • Hellenic Agricultural Organization DEMETER
  • Centre for Research and Technology Hellas - CERTH

The Operational Programme of Western Netherlands aims at achieving the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy. The Programme promotes cooperation with the social, economic and public partners in the region of Western Netherlands and complements the existing national and regional initiatives and documents. It defines among others the objectives:

  • Strengthening research, technological development and innovation.
  • Encouraging knowledge valorization and leveraging possible cross-over opportunities.

Currently, the education institutes and enterprises from urban and rural areas in the region of Western Netherlands are not well connected in economic clusters. The improvement of the links between urban and rural stakeholders hides huge potential for the generation of higher economic output and job creation. Various measures are necessary to boost the innovation in the region:

  • Better connection between SMEs predominantly located in rural and peripheral districts, large enterprises and knowledge institutions located in urban areas.
  • Improvement of the regional entrepreneurial environment and the regional labor market mismatch by integrated actions for sustainable urban and regional development.
  • Increase in the number of marketable products and services through the cooperation between SMEs as well as between SMEs and knowledge institutions.
  • Development and use of test beds, living labs and demonstration sites to create a link between demand (end-users) and supply (enterprises and knowledge institutions).

Within RUMORE, the City of Amsterdam envisages to improve the Operational Programme of Western Netherlands through integration of new projects on regional cluster innovation. These include programmes for improvement of urban-rural market connections, support mechanisms for innovation clusters between areas facing demographic growth and demographic decline, and projects for strengthening cooperation between the metropolitan areas of Amsterdam, Eindhoven and Rotterdam.

Which partners are working on this?
  • City of Amsterdam

The Lombardy ERDF Regional Operational Programme promotes smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The main priorities of the Programme are in line with the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy and the development policies of the Lombardy Region. They aim at boosting the productivity and competitiveness of enterprises and at promoting sustainable development of the entire territorial system.

The ERDF Regional Operational Programme focuses on seven consistent and integrated Priority Axes. These are subdivided into one or more specific objectives linked to the activities co-funded by the Programme. The development of the entrepreneurial and research system in the Lombardy Region is in the focus of Priority Axes I and III, namely:

  • Strengthening research, technological development and innovation
  • Promoting the competitiveness of SMEs

Both the ERDF Regional Operational Programme and the RIS3 strategy place a strong emphasis on the development of technological clusters in the regional specialization sectors. However, both documents mainly focus on urban areas without taking into full consideration the potentials of stakeholders (in particular R&D institutes and enterprises) located in rural and peripheral districts. The Lombardy Region aims to support the integration of these stakeholders and to thus increase the competitiveness and innovation capacity of the regional economy. Therefore, it promotes cluster and innovation strategies that foster urban-rural partnerships. The Region acknowledges that a better rural-urban cooperation between enterprises in rural districts, urban high-tech clusters and research and development institutes will lead to improved innovation of rural SMEs.

Within RUMORE, the Lombardy Region envisages to improve the regional innovation chains between enterprises located in peripheral areas, urban technological districts and research centres. Efforts will be focused on actions in the agrofood, energy and environment sectors. The project will contribute to more innovative, diversified and resilient rural economy and will help to prevent increasing land consumption and urban sprawl.

Which partners are working on this?
  • Lombardy Region

The Regional Development Strategy of Burgas Region promotes the achievement of sustainable economic development under Strategic Objective 1 “Promotion of sustainable economic dynamics based on innovative platform development, improved infrastructure provision and implementation of environment protection policies”. Within this objective, the Strategy supports the creation of networks of enterprises that have significant innovative potential and could develop competitive products and services. The objective promotes activities that strengthen the links between economic actors in urban centres, rural and peripheral areas and boost their innovative character. The necessity to develop such links and to improve the innovation performance of Burgas Region is justified by a combination of factors:

  • Low diversification of the local economy, low technological capacity and competitiveness of the business, missing research infrastructure and personnel.
  • Significant differences in the economic development of the municipalities, concentration of economic activities in Burgas and the coastal municipalities, underused economic potential in rural and border municipalities.
  • Insufficient cooperation between regional and municipal authorities, enterprises and R&D centres.

Within RUMORE, the District government Burgas envisages to improve the Regional Development Strategy of Burgas Region through targeted support of new projects. The new projects will strengthen the links between enterprises, research and education institutions and regional and local authorities. A focus will be placed on the creation of synergies and innovative solutions in the field of green bio-technologies as one of the sectors with highest potential for future development. The created synergies, the information spill-over and the optimal use of available funding will create favorable innovation environment both in urban and rural areas.  

Which partners are working on this?
  • District Government Burgas

The Regional Vision “Green Metropolis Twente” sets the foundations for the economic and social development Programme of Twente Region. The Programme Powerful Twente 2014-2020 is in line with the priorities of the ERDF Operational Programme of Eastern Netherlands. The Programme emphasizes the importance of improved cooperation between rural and urban areas and stakeholders. It supports the closing of regional economic and ecological chains and the establishment of new forms of cooperation that foster regional innovation.

The Programme Powerful Twente fosters the building of clusters and networks that lead to more innovation orientated cooperation between education, government and entrepreneurs, especially between SMEs as well as between SMEs and education institutions. It promotes experimental development of new products, services, processes or applications, including the development and testing of prototypes within SMEs.

Within RUMORE, the Green Knowledge Portal Twente envisages to improve the Programme Powerful Twente through integration of new projects and the development of new transfer mechanisms that foster innovative products and cooperation formats. Efforts will be placed on the field of agro-food that is among the sectors of regional specialization. All this will contribute to boosting the innovation capacities of both urban and rural areas and stakeholders.

Which partners are working on this?
  • Green Knowledge Portal Twente