RURALITIES Project Shines at High-Profile Horizon Europe Event

A transnational seminar “EU Funding Opportunities under Horizon Europe: Focus on Widening Calls” took place at the Mövenpick Hotel Gammarth in Tunis on 3. July 2024.  Organized by the Unit for the Management of the European Research and Innovation Framework programme “Horizon Europe” under the Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MHESR), this event was a significant milestone in the Horizon Europe initiative.

The RURALITIES project had the distinct honour of being invited and presented as a best practice example on how to join Pillar II calls from Associated countries, North Africa, and Outer Most regions.

This invitation underscores the importance and impact of our work, highlighting our innovative approach in creating a network of rural training and expertise centres. By interlinking the rural spheres of Africa and the EU, we are fostering a community of practice supported by a digital collaborative platform, living labs, and citizen science initiatives.

Event Highlights

The seminar gathered a diverse group of stakeholders, including research and innovation (R&I) experts, representatives from the European Commission, National Contact Points, academics, businesses, and civil society members.

Key objectives of the event included:

  • Highlighting Funding Opportunities
    Providing detailed insights into the “Hop-on Facility” and “ERA Talents” funding mechanisms.
  • Enhancing Awareness
    Increasing understanding among research and innovation communities about the “Widening” calls in Horizon Europe.
  • Fostering Synergies
    Initiating and consolidating synergies between Horizon EU-WIDERA networks and other prominent European networks.
  • Improving Proposal Quality
    Offering valuable advice on proposal writing, particularly for applicants targeting Pillar II actions.

RURALITIES Project Presentation

Our participation was a proud moment for the RURALALITIES initiative. It allowed us to showcase the efforts in bridging innovation gaps between leading and less advanced countries in the EU. By presenting our network of rural training centres and our focus on modern concepts like smart villages and eco-villages, we demonstrated how these initiatives are creating a more integrated and cohesive European Research and Innovation ecosystem.

“Participating in this event has been a pleasure, as it aligns perfectly with the aims of our project. Moreover, I was honoured to network with a highly dedicated and inspiring group of individuals,” emphasized Gabor Mester, RURALITIES Project Coordinator and Project Manager at PEDAL Consulting.

The Importance of the Seminar

This event was not only an opportunity to highlight the achievements and goals of the RURALITIES project but also a platform to engage with key players in the research and innovation sector. By participating, we aimed to enhance our network, gain new insights, and contribute to the broader goals of the Horizon Europe program. The presence of high-profile attendees and the collaborative environment provided a unique chance to push forward our mission of reducing innovation disparities and strengthening the European R&I ecosystem.

We are grateful for the invitation to such an esteemed event. Our heartfelt thanks go to the NCP_WIDERA.NET project team for perfect organization. The RURALALITIES project’s inclusion in this event is a testament to the significance of our work and our commitment to fostering innovation and collaboration across borders.

All you need to know about RURALITIES initiative:
RURALITIES – Climate, ecosystem and knowledge-based expertise – PEDAL Consulting (