Academic partners

Rural Sociology Group of Wageningen University

The Rural Sociology Group is teaching and researching on a range of topics linked to rurality, systems of food provisioning and place-based development. Specific attention is paid to the different levels at which transformation processes occur and are shaped, as well as to the different actors and institutions involved. The Rural Sociology Group studies and analyses these transformation processes from an interpretative-explanatory sociological perspective, combining qualitative and quantitative research methods. A common denominator is the focus on diversity, agency, micro-macro linkages and processes of institutionalisation. Characteristic is the comparative and empirically driven research approach. An important feature of its research is the multidisciplinary approach, based on a well-established co-operation between sociologists, economists, spatial planners,  agronomists, animal scientists and technicians. Equally relevant is the close collaboration with (organisations of) stakeholders.

Cardiff University Sustainable Places Research Institute

The Sustainable Places Research Institute brings together a team of ten leading academics from Schools across the University to develop the emerging field of sustainability science and studies the complex and dynamic interrelations between ecology, society and economy. It acts as an integrating hub for examining the interdependencies and trade-offs between key resource sectors, such as energy, food, water, and waste, while combining place-based community, business and governance interests to derive solutions that can progress sustainable transition. The Institute’s research framework is based upon three sets of structuring and interacting research themes which ‘propel’ sustainable place-making: (i) a re-appreciation and re-valuing of the ecological and physical infrastructures of places; (ii) the re-positioning and adaptation of markets and governance structures around natural resources in and through places; and (iii) a re-grounding of socio-technical and community processes and practices around the use and re-definition of place-based assets. Feeding into these themes are the outputs from five distinct programmes of research: 1) Sustainable Rural-Urban Communities; 2) Co-Evolving, Interactive Systems; 3) Health, Infrastructure and Well-being; 4) Food, Land and Security; 5) Risk, place, identity and sustainability.

LUKE Natural Resources Institute Finland

LUKE Natural Resources Institute Finland is a cross-disciplinary research institute, aggregating broad expertise and research competence to support the sustainable use of natural resources. It comprises the former state research institutes MTT Agrifood Research Finland, the Finnish Forest Research Institute, the Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute, and the statistical services of the Information Centre of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. LUKE operates under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

University of Latvia, Faculty of Social Sciences

The Faculty of Social Sciences is a centre for advanced social and political research in Latvia. Research is organized in three main areas: regional and rural development; Latvia’s role in the Baltic Sea region and Northern Europe; democracy, inclusion, communication and culture.

University of Aveiro, Department of Social, Political and Territorial Sciences

The University of Aveiro organizes research through a network of 14 Research Units and 4 Associated Laboratories. The Department of Social, Political and Territorial Sciences includes research groups in Regional/Urban Planning and in Governance, Competitiveness and Public Policies (which includes a sub-area on Territory, Development and Tourism Attractiveness).

University of Leuven, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences of the KU Leuven aims at providing attractive academic training at an international level in the fields of Bio-engineering, Geology, Geography and Tourism. The department aims at making an important contribution to the scientific understanding of societal issues such as environmental pollution, food production, climate change, nature and landscape management, soil and water management, exploitation of underground resources, rural and urban development, international development collaboration and tourism. KU Leuven boasts a rich tradition of education and research that dates back six centuries. The university’s basic research orientation has always been and will remain fundamental research. At the same time, the university remains vigilantly open to contemporary cultural, economic and industrial realities, as well as to the community’s needs and expectations.

Non-academic partners

Royal HaskoningDHV

Royal HaskoningDHV headquartered in the Netherlands, ranking globally in the top 10 of independently owned, non-listed companies and top 40 overall, is an engineering and project management consultancy. Their added value lies in their expertise in regional development, multi-stakeholder collaboration, asset management, energy, industry, infrastructure, strategy, transport, urban and rural planning, and water management.

Except Integrated Sustainability

Except Integrated Sustainability delivers concepts and strategies for resilient, just, and inspiring cities, companies, and governance. Their added value lies in the application of innovative systemic analysis, development of road maps towards resilience, execution of solutions with inspiring design and cutting edge methodologies and tools for systemic improvement of socio-economic systems using its Symbiosis in Development (SiD) framework. SiD manages both the process and the theory to reach equitable, self-reliant and resilient communities, places, and organizations. It then guides stakeholders to design and execute projects based on these strategies to realise fundamental societal change.

Visionary Analytics

Visionary Analytics is a research based policy advisory, specialising in education and innovation policy areas. Its added values lie in tailored advice for EU institutions and national governments and the delivery of services in education, innovation and methods.

Binaural – Associação Cultural de Nodar

Binaural-Nodar is a leading Portuguese socio-cultural NGO in the field of innovation in the use of creativity and audio-visual technologies for the documentation and promotion of both tangible and intangible features of rural areas. BN has developed a wide range of activities: hosting international media arts residencies in close contact with rural communities, management of sound and video memory archives, education activities about rural landscapes and soundscapes, definition of innovative and participate tourism-related activities, connecting visitors with experiences, methodologies and practices, and regular publication of cultural objects.

Welsh Government

The Welsh Government is one of the devolved administrations in the UK, and bound by its statute to pursue sustainable development in the carrying out of its functions. Their added value lies in the experience with testing and developing better outcomes for places, assessment of new processes for joint working to support people in local places and engage them in effective policy making for sustainability.

GEN Finland

GEN Finland is a NGO and a national network of Eco villages and other sustainable lifestyle organisations, as well as individuals, interested in these aims and activities. Their added value lies in the promotion of a sustainable lifestyle and communality by supporting development of new Eco villages, fostering collaboration between Eco villages, and reinforcing the common significance of eco-communities and sustainable lifestyle in Finland and internationally.

Kalnciema Quarter

Kalnciema Quarter is a cultural SME in a creative urban district engaged in the multifunctional use of urban space and new forms of green marketing.