Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation.
Read more about the Horizon Europe programme here.
This call aims to improve rural-urban cooperation, connections and planning for an integrated territorial development.
The successful proposal will contribute to fostering a sustainable, balanced equitable and inclusive development of rural areas, supporting the implementation of the European Green Deal, in particular to the farm to fork and the biodiversity strategies, the organic action plan, the common agricultural policy (CAP), the long-term vision for the EU’s rural areas and its objectives (contributing to make rural areas stronger, connected, resilient and prosperous) and to its flagship initiative “Research and innovation for rural communities”, and the EU territorial agenda for 2030.
Projects results are expected to contribute to all of following expected outcomes:
Rural and urban areas are interdependent and can mutually benefit from a territorial planning that takes into consideration their interactive relationship.
People, goods, services, information, financial capitals, energy, etc. flow between these areas, but these linkages are often neglected by policy makers that tend to deal with rural and urban issues separately. Proposals should aim at improving rural-urban cooperation, connections and planning for an integrated territorial development that adopts equitable measures to respond to socio-environmental disparities and foster sustainable growth.
Proposals are expected to support specific projects for developing rural-urban territorial partnerships to enhance the well-being of rural and urban people, increase resilience and favour a more synergistic/interlinked/networked development of rural and urban areas.
Proposal should also prioritise experimentation and innovation in domains that have been demonstrated to favour bi-directional urban-rural synergies and the development of a well-being economy: proximity (shortening distances/value chains including in the agri-food sector with particular attention to organic production), greener economy/society (e.g. ecosystem services and protection and restoration of biodiversity and natural capital, including nature-based solution – NBS), circularity (closing loops/ flows), services (improving social connectivity, new ways of working and living, pooling of and/or itinerant services), culture, landscape and heritage (building territorial identities as well as improving access to a valorised cultural heritage and cultural life) and mobility (sustainable and affordable mobility alternatives for rural residents).
Projects financed under this topic should capitalise on lessons learnt to further upgrade and future-proof policy frameworks and enabling environments.
Proposals should pay attention to the ecological and digital transitions, the potential of digital technologies as well as social inclusiveness, environmental knowledge and access of rural communities to good quality services and opportunities. In addition, they should analyse the impact caused by COVID 19 pandemic on integrated territorial development and address challenges that resulted from it.
Proposals must implement the multi-actor approach and bring together multiple science fields, in particular the social sciences and humanities (SSH) (e.g., economics, human geography, political science, cultural studies, etc.), and actors with complementary roles and experiences (e.g., service providers, transport services, public authorities, associations, innovators, small and medium enterprises -SMEs - etc.).
Proposals should cover a representative variety of European rural areas (e.g. rural-costal areas, mountains areas, remote rural areas) and build on results of relevant Horizon 2020 projects such as RURBAN, ROBUST (e.g., rural-urban learning hub), COASTAL, RURITAGE, RURALURE, SmartCulTour, TExTOUR, and FOODSHIFT 2030 and seek to improve/uptake governance and role models they have identified as promising.
To be eligible for funding, applicants must be established in one of the eligible countries, i.e.:
Unless otherwise provided for in the specific call conditions, legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes:
The total indicative budget for the topic is EUR 11.00 million.
The Commission estimates that an EU contribution of around EUR 5.50 million would allow these outcomes to be addressed appropriately.