ZAGREB, 28 Feb (Hina) – The Croatian Chamber of Agriculture (HPK) and the Zagreb Faculty of Agronomy are participating in a new EU project aimed at empowering women in rural areas and increasing the number of socio-ecological innovations led by women in agriculture, the rural economy and rural communities, the HPK said on Monday.
The €2.8m Grass Ceiling project is financed under the European Union’s Horizon Europe programme. It was launched in January 2023 and will last until December 2025. It aims to encourage innovations led by women in rural areas and in agriculture.
The project will establish living labs in nine countries, train 72 rural women innovators and establish a network-learning and innovation system, the HPK said.
Living labs are open innovation ecosystems in real-life environments using iterative feedback processes throughout a lifecycle approach of an innovation to create a sustainable impact on real life and business in rural areas, the HPK explained.
The Grass Ceiling project, run by the South East Technological University (SETU-Ireland), brings together 25 partners from across Europe. It will develop a forum where women can drive socio-ecological transitions by developing innovations in response to socio-ecological challenges and strengthening the resilience of rural areas.
“The project will establish nine living labs for rural women innovators in Ireland, Croatia, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Scotland, Spain, and Sweden. Each living lab will train between six and eight women and establish a network-learning and innovation system that will support women innovators, strengthen and measure their innovative identity, and transform gender norms and stereotypes by sharing and capturing insights on rural women-innovator policy and practical experience,” the HPK said.
Through these living labs, researchers will analyse the current position of women regarding prevailing trends in European agriculture and the rural areas of the countries involved, understand the drivers and enablers for women-led innovations, the barriers encountered and supports that are needed at Member State and EU level.
Women innovators from rural or farming organisations will co-lead each lab, and local stakeholders from the public and civil sector will join the project in Croatia, the HPK said.