ENRD: Rural Inspiration Awards

Hannah Downey

Next year, the European Network of Rural Development (ENRD) will be hosting a Networking Conference in Brussels to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Rural Networking under the Common Agricultural Policy. As part of the event, each National Rural Network (NRN) has been asked to submit the most exciting and innovative case studies under their program to the 'Rural Inspiration Awards'. These awards will recognise inspiring EAFRD-funded initiatives that demonstrate the contribution of rural development policy towards a more competitive, sustainable and inclusive rural Europe.

The main purpose of the awards is to increase the visibility of rural development and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, as well as promote knowledge transfer and networking among rural stakeholders. There are five main categories under which projects may be submitted which are as follows:

  1. Improving competitiveness of farms, forest and other rural businesses, including farm modernisation & resilience, as well as diversification projects.
  2. Environment & Climate Action projects with special attention to resource efficiency, bioeconomy and ecosystem protection.
  3. Rural revitalisation projects which focus on smart villages, improving rural services and innovation.
  4. Social inclusion initiatives with a focus on generational renewal, youth and depopulation.
  5. LEADER ​funded projects which show great examples of the bottom-up LEADER development approach.

Two projects may be submitted per category by each NRN, and of these 25 will be shortlisted for the awards with 5 eventual winners to be announced at an awards ceremony in Brussels held during the Networking Conference next April. The rules for submissions are as follows:

  1. All projects must be 2014-2020 EAFRD-funded.
  2. Projects may be on-going or finalised. As for the entries of on-going projects, these should be relatively near completion.
  3. Each project can only be submitted under one category.

If you have a project case study that you would like to submit or nominate for the awards, or if you have any questions, please contact us at info@ruralnetwork.scot. The deadline for submissions is 7th December 2018.