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Better Rural Innovation: Linking Actors, Instruments

 and Policies through Networks - LIAISON


The  European Innovation Partnership for Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability (EIP-AGRI) was launched by the European Commission in 2012. The core concept promoted and facilitated by the EIP-AGRI is
the ‘interactive innovation approach’.

This is an exciting new approach that’s already working very well in EIP-AGRI Operational Groups and Horizon 2020 multi-actor projects, but there is lots of potential to make it work even better!

How are we working in LIAISON?

LIAISON is a truly multi-actor project that is bringing together a diverse community of researchers, actors from innovation projects, initiatives and networks, decision-makers and administrators in a highly interactive work programme to jointly investigate the design and implementation of interactive innovation projects – both inside and outside of the EIP-AGRI.

LIAISON has seven main workpackages (WPs):


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  • WP1 provides the conceptual framework and – very importantly - builds a solid foundation for the whole project through the common understanding of key terms and concepts.
  • WP2 aims to enhance the participatory methods we use to work together in the Project.
  • WP3 is central to the Project and involves the ‘light-touch review’ of the experiences of 200 projects and other innovation initiatives through
    which we will
    assess the infrastructure of H2020 and Rural Development Programmes at the project, national and European levels.
  • WP4 will take the review process in WP3 further through the in-depth assessment of 32 interactive innovation projects in a range of
    sectors and countries.
  • WP5 is focussed upon testing and enhancing the methods used for assessing the effectiveness and impact of interactive innovation projects.
  • WP6 will integrate the findings of WPs 1-5 and synthesise the main project recommendations.
  • WP7 brings practitioners and stakeholders to the project, and facilitates the dissemination and exploitation of project results.

What can you expect from LIAISON?

LIAISON will produce practice-ready methods and tools for optimising the use of the interactive innovation approach in projects funded within the framework of the EIP-AGRI – and beyond. During the lifetime of LIAISON there will be:

  • A European Rural Innovation Contest concluding with an interactive database (Story Map) of around 150 case studies and the nomination of 14 Innovation Ambassadors
  • On-going support provided to the AKIS Strategic Working Group of the DG AGRI Standing Committee on Agricultural Research
  • A series of in-depth, hands-on 'How To’ Guides for fostering co-creation and co-learning when working with interactive innovation projects (e.g. innovation support services)
  • Policy Briefs on improving the institutional environment for interactive innovation projects (e.g. for RDP Managing Authorities) implementing the EIP-AGRI at national / regional level
  • Videos and other communication materials presenting good practices in the planning and implementation of interactive innovation projects

All of the above – and more – available as a web-based Interactive Innovation Tool Box.

All practice and policy-orientated project outputs generated by LIAISON will be subject to a process of validation and fine-tuning process based upon practical peer-review by consortium members and other closely involved actors and stakeholders.