Eight RUMORE partners continue another year with fruitful interregional cooperation. They will exchange experiences and strive to improve rural-urban partnerships for better innovation policies in their cities and regions as a reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This has two main reasons: First, there is a need to develop more flexible instruments to manage rural-urban cooperation which is manifested in innovative ways in the partner regions among others via regional food chains; e.g. after the closure of restaurants and canteens, alternative uses and outlet markets of regionally produced food need to be found quickly. Also, the pandemic demonstrated the vulnerability of global supply chains and, thus, increased regional resilience is a core topic for the food sector, too. Second, digital tools (like B2B/B2C platforms or blockchains) that allow reacting more flexibly on the crisis became evident to be crucial. Some of the partners already started using such tools and also the Greek RUMORE partners made experience with a digital innovation hub for food production.

The partners will address the following four policy instruments:

- Strategy Amsterdam Circular 2020-2025/Circular Economy Program/NL

- Regional Operational Programme of Central Macedonia 2014-2020/GR

- Green Metropolis Twente: Programme Powerful Twente 2014-2020/NL

- Development plan of Burgas municipality 2021-2027/BG

Like in the first project phase, the cooperation will focus on interregional exchange and search for good practices. In this phase three, the exchange will focus on changes in urban-rural cooperation with a focus on regional food chains as well as on mitigation measures and funding to react to COVID-19. These experiences shall then be included in the work with the regional stakeholders and improve the addressed policy instruments. The partners hope to hold a physical meeting with Living Lab in Thessaloniki in spring 2022.