Rural innovations

European Innovation Partnership is a new tool for agricultural productivity and sustainability in Finland. The goal is to choose 10 rural innovation groups under programme period (EIP-groups, Operational Groups, OGs). These groups are selected by a specific selection group appointed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. This section will mainly focus on presenting Rural Innovation Groups.

In addition to European Innovation Partnership RDP contains lots of opportunities for rural innovations. In co-operation measure in general the target is 300 projects that will promote knowledge transfers and creation of innovations in rural areas to promote the business and competitiveness of all sectors of rural industries. Farm and business development measure will, for instance, encourage for innovative experiments. In LEADER-measure innovations are one of the priorities. Learn more about these measures:
Rural Development Programme for Mainland Finland 2014-2020

Innovation partnership and cooperation

Rural Innovation Groups

The measure aims to create an optimal setting for developing innovations that promote agriculture and forestry by making the best possible knowledge and expertise available for the group developing the innovation, ensuring that an idea, once suggested, can be turned into a deployable innovation. The business potential of the innovation to be developed is an important element of the selection criteria. While the project may also be associated with investments in agriculture or food production, these will be realised as separate projects, and their potential eligibility for support will be determined on the grounds of the relevant support scheme's principles. The support level may be increased by 20% at maximum if the project has no links to the operation of a rural innovation group. The project may also involve international co-operation.

The beneficiary is the responsible implementer of the project, which may be an organisation under public or private law, including an SME, a research unit or a development organisation, a foundation, an educational institution, a municipality or an association that assumes responsibility for project implementation. The group must contain at least one entrepreneur of primary production.

Learn more about Rural Innovation Groups (from page 654):
Rural Development Programme 2014-2020

Selection criteria for rural innovation groups

The innovation groups will be selected in a separate programme-level application procedure and there are programme level selection criteria for rural innovation groups. Plans and applications concerning rural innovation group activities should be submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. A specific selection group consisting of experts will be set up to make the selections. As the selection criteria for innovation groups, the potential for innovations that the project aims for is assessed:

1. potential to promote the implementation of programme strategy (20%)
2. potential to generate new business (25%)
3. needs-driven nature and commitment shown by the project (25%)
4. quality of the project plan, cost-effectiveness and feasibility (30%)
A project may be awarded 0 – 3 points for each criterion.
Applicants may leave their support and payment applications electronically through Hyrrä system. The call for Rural innovation group-projects is ongoing.

Eligible costs

Eligible costs are reasonable costs incurred for the organisation and implementation of co-operation. The support may cover minor procurements associated with the project. While the project may also be associated with investments in agriculture or food production, these will be realised as separate projects, and their potential eligibility for support will be determined on the grounds of the relevant support scheme's principles. In this case, the support level may be higher. In demonstration projects closely associated with the project, reasonable costs of requisite investments are also eligible on conditions defined under measure M01.
The following reasonable costs incurred for the implementation of a development project are eligible for support:
• payroll costs and fees;
• travel costs;
• purchases of outsourced services;
• costs of renting premises;
• material costs and other costs necessary for project implementation.
While support will not be granted for the normal product development of a medium or a large enterprise, large enterprises may also participate in the implementation of a co-operation project by lending their expertise to the project as part of the value chain. An eligible cluster must be new or about to start new operations. Projects related to the growth of a normal individual enterprise or an existing value chain or subcontracted research projects will not be implemented under this measure, unless their results are published. The costs incurred for the commercial production or exploitation of a newly developed prototype or product and the costs incurred for the beneficiaries' normal operations are also not eligible. Support will not be allocated to developing or marketing a product that has already been commercialised. Support will not be granted for research.
A rural innovation group may at most be designated for three years.

More Information:

To share project ideas, interesting projects and research needs. (Some areas only available to registered users.)
To search funding opportunities, research needs, projects and people. (Some areas only available to registered users.)

Innovation camps

Harvesting regional innovation camps 2013.pdf

Harvesting regional innovation camps 2014.pdf

Date updated: Jul 9, 2021