Smart rural development and beyond
Call for papers for a special session, ERSA Groningen, 29 August – 1st September
André Torre, Fred Wallet, and the participants of the TASTE project

The growth strategy Horizon 2020 forms the fundamental priority for the overall EU policy and builds on the ambition to create “a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy”. The goals are to be achieved by promoting research, innovation, and knowledge in order to realize regional economic growth. This has been the point of departure for the TASTE project, a collaboration between partner universities in four European countries with the aim to assess the potential of smart growth policies for rural development (

In this special session we want to assess about the main results of the TASTE project, resulting from a 4 year research, but also to go one step further in order to define new principles for a future agenda of development patterns in rural and peripheral areas. This session will be an opportunity to present the main results of the project, and to discuss them in the light of contribution from scholars wishing to join.

So, the aim of the special session is threefold:

- First, to make it clear that, as it is defined nowadays, the H2020 policy does not really apply to rural, remote or peripheral areas, for various reasons. Smart development strategies appear to be well suited for well-developed or intermediate regions but they offer only very limited possibilities for peripheral remote regions because of the small scale, the weak local specializations and technological skills and the lack of relatedness, connectivity and critical mass.

- Second, to open the discussion about the design of the main lines of a future development of rural areas, based on the observations of various local examples or case studies. We want to exemplify that local rural development experiences are based, especially all over Europe, on different factors that could contribute to the setting of a new development policy for these regions. It especially encompasses the possibility of access to different types of environment, cultural or landscapes amenities (for tourism, leisure), the value creation based on local resources, the relations between urban and rural areas, the involvement of local population in participative and cooperative experiences and behaviors, the different types of organizational, social and institutional innovations. Local development strategies need to be tailor-made and flexible enough, regarding local peculiarities and various sorts of resources.

- Third, identifying and measuring the development patterns and innovation processes characterizing rural territories requires questioning the relevance and limitations of analytical tools and available data to account for what may be a coherent rural development. The overrepresentation of technological innovations and patents, the lack of consideration of land issues and environmental amenities, the informal nature of governance relations, or the weight of agriculture and the residential economy are elements that call for the convening of new methods, tools and data.

This session is organized under the umbrella of the TASTE project of the Ruragri Era-Net. Papers are welcomed from the members of the project and from other scholars in the field.

Extended abstracts (1500 words including contribution, theoretical framework, empirical approach and / or results) or draft papers (between 5000 and 10,000 words) must be sent before February 10th, 2017, to the following address: (with a copy to the organizers)

André Torre,;
Fred Wallet,
  • Agenda

  • TASTE Final Seminar
  • Future paths for a smart rural Europe?
  • September, 28th, 2017 Agroparistech, 16 Rue Claude Bernard, 75005 PARIS - Amphi Coleou (Ground Floor) >> read more
  • .

  • Smart rural development and beyond
  • Call for papers for a special session, ERSA Groningen, 29 August – 1st September
  • André Torre, Fred Wallet, and the participants of the TASTE project >> read more
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  • Recently published on Vertikals website
  • This is smart rural growth
  • Lucia NALDI, Pia NILSSON, André TORRE, Frederic WALLET, Hans WESTLUND, Sofia WIXE >> read more
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  • Recently published in Journal of Rural Studies
  • What is smart rural development?
  • Lucia Naldi (a), Pia Nilsson (b), Hans Westlund (c), (d), Sofia Wixe (b) >> read more
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  • 3rd Geography of Innovation Conference 2016
  • Abstract Submission Deadline Fast Approaching
  • >> read more
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  • TASTE special sessions during the 18th Uddevalla Symposium 2015 on:
  • Regional development in an international context Regional, national, cross border and international factors for growth and development
  • June 11-13, 2015 Venue: University of Southern Denmark, Alsion, Sønderborg, Denmark >> read more
  • .
  • 2015, May 12th and 13th
  • TASTE Spring meeting - Milan
  • >> read more
  • .
  • Job advertisement : CDD Ingénieur ou Master
  • Analyse et cartographie des dynamiques agricoles territoriales en Languedoc-Roussillon et Midi-Pyrénées à l’INRA UMR Innovation, Montpellier >> read more
  • .

  • 2015, August 25th - 28th
  • Special session during ERSA meeting - Lisbon, Portugal
  • Towards a Smart Rural Europe >> read more
  • .
  • Job advertisement : Post-doctoral position
  • « Développement des espaces ruraux : Dynamiques des clusters agro-alimentaires en Midi-Pyrénées » >> read more
  • .
  • 2014, November 4th and 5th:
  • TASTE Annual meeting - Ivry-sur-Seine
  • >> read more
  • .
  • 2014, August 28th:
  • Special session during ERSA meeting - St Petersburg
  • >> read more
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  • 2014, August 28th:
  • Meeting of the team leaders, St Petersburg
  • >> read more
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  • 2013, October 30th and 31st:
  • Kick-off meeting - Paris
  • >> read more
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  • 2013, September 24th:
  • Kick-Off Meeting of RURAGRI funded projects – Brussels
  • >> read more
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  • 2012, November 28th
  • Pre-meeting organized by leader team
  • >> read more
  • .
TASTE is supported by the European Commission
and funding bodies in 4 countries
in the framework of FP7
European Commission FP7 Ruragri
Keywords Smart rural development - Land use and management - Innovative agriculture and business - Territorial governance
- Entrepreneurship - Rural Urban relationship

Scientific Coordinator : André TORRE (INRA) -
Project Manager : Frederic WALLET (INRA) -