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Hochschule für nachhaltige Entwicklung Eberswalde

Better Rural Innovation: Linking Actors, Instruments and Policies through Networks - LIAISON

European Rural Innovation Contest - EURIC

Applications closed

The LIAISON project has organised the European Rural Innovation Contest, the EURIC, with the aim of seeking-out innovative, inspiring and ground-breaking initiatives from within farming, forestry and the agri-food supply chain or bioeconomy or nature conservation field. We were particularly interested in partnerships that bring together diverse expertise from collaborating partners with different backgrounds. 

Until the deadline on March 15th 2019, more than 200 applications from all European regions were received. The 21st of June, a story map with all collected entries will appear on the LIAISON website. Afterwards, a jury of internal and external experts will select the 15 Rural Innovation Ambassadors! The winners will receive international recognition, networking opportunities, personalised promotional material to use for future engagement and the invitation to join a prestigious award ceremony in Autumn 2019.

All Rural Innovation Ambassadors will also be given the opportunity to produce a movie about their project for the EURIC and for their future activities.


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):

  • 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.

Structure of Work

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.


Eberswalde city campus on the 24th of May 2018: Kick-off meeting of LIAISON partners and experts from the PAG

Members of the Consortium

Participant organisation name (Acronym) Kind of organisation Country

Hochschule für Nachhaltige Entwicklung Eberswalde - Policies and Markets Group (HNEE)

Higher education and research


Stichting Groep van Brugge - Independent Network on European Agricultural

and Rural Development Policy (GdB)



Highclere Consulting SRL (Highclere)



Boerenbond Vereniging voor Innovatieve Projecten — Innovatiesteunpunt - Innovation Support

Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (ISP)

Non-profit organisation


Institute for the Study of Societies and Knowledge (ISSK)

Non-profit organisation


Institut de l'Elevage — French Livestock Institute (IDELE)



Agriculture and Food Development Authority (TEAGASC)

Research, education and advisory


Stiftelsen Norsk Senter for Bygdeforskning — Centre for Rural Research (CRR)

Non-profit organisation


Centrum Doradztwa Rolniczego W Brwinowie — Agricultural Advisory Centre Brwinowie (AACAdvisory


Forschungsinstitut für Biologischen Landbau Stiftung (FiBL)



Universidade de Évora (UÉVORA) - Institute of Mediterranean Agricultural

and Environmental Sciences (ICAAM)

Higher education and research


Universita di Pisa — Agriculture, Food and

Environment (UPISA)

Higher education and research


The Soil Association Limited (SA)


United Kingdom

Agrargazdasagi Kutato Intezet — Rural DevelopmentResearch Department  (AKI)



Geography at the University of Exeter — Human

Geography (UEXE)

Higher education and research

United Kingdom

Eigen Vermogen van het Instituut voor Landbouw en Visserijonderzoek - Institute



Universidad Politécnica de Madrid — Planning and Evaluation Group (UPM)

Higher education and research


Get involved!

Get involved with LIAISON if you are a farmer, forester, adviser, researcher, innovation broker, policy maker – or indeed, anyone else! – that is
involved and/or interested in EIP-AGRI Operational Groups, H2020 multi-actor projects or any other type of project using the interactive
innovation approach.
We want to work with you to improve future implementation of the EIP-AGRI!

Contact persons

Prof. Dr. Anna Maria Häring
Dr. Susanne v. Münchhausen

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme

under grant agreement No 773418.