A total of 220 businesses, projects and initiatives entered the contest from 21 EU Member States and from 2 neighboring countries. An international jury of independent professional experts have now selected 15 of them as European Rural Innovation Ambassadors who represent the large variety of innovative groups in different sectors and geographical areas.
The Rural Innovation Ambassador selected for Switzerland is Kaspar Howald for the 100 % Valposchiavo project. Members of AgroCO2ncept were also elected as ambassadors for rural innovation. AgroCO2ncept is an initiative that aims to demonstrate the feasibility of practical climate protection in everyday agricultural life and in the region. Each of the selected Ambassadors will receive personalised promotional materials and international recognition, as well as the possibility to benefit from numerous networking opportunities.
According to Robert Home from FiBL, the LIAISON partner in Switzerland: “Times are changing! All across Europe the agricultural, forestry and the agri‐food sectors are facing major social, economic and environmental challenges – as well as great new opportunities. Rural innovation is currently one of the hottest topics of discussion from farmhouse kitchen tables to the European Commission offices in Brussel. We therefore set out to find as many good examples of rural innovation as we could and to promote their hard work and good ideas. We were especially interested in finding partnerships that bring together diverse expertise from people and organisations with different backgrounds”.
All of the Ambassadors were honoured at the European Rural Innovation Contest Award Ceremony, which took place on 3 December 2019 in Brussels during the annual Organic Innovation Days event organised jointly by IFOAM EU and TP Organics.
- Robert Home, Department of Socio-Economic Sciences, FiBL Switzerland
- Sylvain Quiédeville, Department of Socio-Economic Sciences, FiBL Switzerland
liaison2020.eu: Website of the LIAISON project
- LIAISON is a so called ‘multi-actor’ project funded by the European Commission that aims to understand what makes a successful partnership for innovation. Why do some partnerships have the ability to organise themselves, to capture new ideas, to nurture them and create something new? How do they test this and turn it into something with real practical application? The key objective for LIAISON is how to encourage more of these successful partnerships for innovation! The LIAISON project involves 17 partners in 15 countries. The project receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 773418.
- IFOAM EU represents more than 210 member organisations in the EU-28, the EU accession countries and EFTA. Member organisations span the entire organic food chain and beyond: from farmers and processors organisations, retailers, certifiers, consultants, traders and researchers to environmental and consumer advocacy bodies.
- TP Organics is one of the 40 European Technology Platforms (ETP) officially recognised by the European Commission. Its mission is to strengthen research & innovation for organics and other agroecological approaches that contribute to sustainable food and farming systems. To achieve this mission, it unites large companies, small and medium enterprises, researchers, farmers, consumers, and civil society organisations active in the organic value chain from production, input and supply to food processing, marketing, and consumption.