WP1: Global Engagement and Local Embeddedness of Rural Businesses

WP1: Global Engagement and Local Embeddedness of Rural Businesses

The promotion of entrepreneurship is a common element in rural regional development strategies and globalization potentially offers opportunities for rural businesses to develop international markets. This WP aims to assess the importance of international links for rural SMEs, and to examine the factors that enable or limit their involvement in transnational networks.

WP1 Leader: Nordregio (Andrew Copus)
WP1 Participants: MENDELU, UL, WU, NeVork
Case study regions: Alytus county, Goriška, Jihomoravský kraj, Övre Norrland and Westerwartier

WP2: International mobility and migration of rural population

Although immigration is commonly associated with urban areas, rural regions are increasingly destinations for migrant workers, amenity migrants and cross-border commuters, as well as return migrants. This WP has sought to investigate how regions have managed the social integration of migrant communities, and whether international migration is contributing to economic development.

WP2 Leader: USAAR (Birte Nienaber)
WP2 Participants: IFL, NUIG, Nordregio, UL, NeVork
Case study regions: Alytus county, County Roscommon, Direktionsbezirk Dresden, Övre Norrland, Pomurska and Saarland

WP3: Environmental Capital and Sustainable Rural Development

Sustainable development is a guiding principle for contemporary rural development, with many regions emphasizing renewable energy production or sustainable tourism as economic drivers. WP3 explores whether global environmental concerns and pressure from transnational campaign groups and international treaties has influenced regional sustainable development strategies, and whether international markets are important in the exploitation of regional environmental capital.

WP 3 Leader: IFL (Michael Kriszan)
WP3 Participants: MENDELU, NUIG, USAAR, UL
Case study regions: County Roscommon, Direktionsbezirk Dresden, Jihomoravský kraj, Pomurska and Saarland

WP4: Capacity building, governance and knowledge systems

The aim of WP4 is to explore and analyze the embeddedness of rural regions in knowledge systems and the processes of learning and innovation that are facilitated. Drawing on the concept of the ‘learning region’, research for WP4 is studying institutional structures and initiatives to support rural regional development, in order to understand how regions build capacity to engage effectively with globalization.

WP 4 Leader: WU (Dirk Roep)
WP4 Participants: IFL, NUIG, USAAR, NeVork
Case study regions: Alytus county, Comarca de Verin, County Roscommon, Direktionsbezirk Dresden, Saarland and Westerkwartier