Amid a global decline in productivity, unlocking the innovative potential of rural areas is more critical than ever. This thematic report, part of a series aimed at supporting the development of rural areas, provides up-to-date analysis and research on rural innovation and suggests ways to bridge the growing gap between rural and urban areas, which contributes to geographical dissatisfaction. First, it explores the multifaceted innovative practices that already exist in rural areas and suggests alternative indicators beyond traditional science and technology measures to capture them. Then, it identifies policy drivers and obstacles that can help rural entrepreneurs, businesses, and residents fully realize their growth potential. The results and recommendations are based on research and fact-finding missions from selected OECD member countries.
As productivity growth slows globally, the issue of rural innovation is increasingly relevant. Rural areas face challenges that are often different from those faced by urban areas, but they also offer unique opportunities. Innovative practices are already taking place in many rural areas, but these efforts are often overlooked due to the emphasis on traditional science and technology indicators. The report proposes a more comprehensive approach to measuring innovation in rural areas and suggests alternative indicators that better capture the diversity of innovative practices in these areas.
Policy drivers and bottlenecks are also identified to help rural entrepreneurs, businesses, and residents fully mobilize their growth potential. This includes policy support for local networks, collaboration between rural and urban areas, and targeted investment in rural infrastructure and services. The report emphasizes the need for policy coordination across different levels of government and stakeholders to address the unique challenges faced by rural areas.
The findings and recommendations of this report are based on research and fact-finding missions from select OECD member countries.Highlights the importance of context-specific approaches to rural innovation, as there is no one-size-fits-all solution to addressing the challenges faced by rural areas. As such, emphasizes the importance of continued research and collaboration to develop effective policies and practices that promote rural innovation and help rural areas thrive.