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The OECD Rural Development Policy Conference, Enhancing Rural Innvoation, took place on 9-12 April 2018 in Edinburgh, Scotland (United Kingdom).
A number of global shifts are likely to characterise the 21st century and shape how rural areas can succeed in a more complex, dynamic and challenging environment. In the 21st century successful rural areas will be outward-looking and engaged in regional, national and international markets.
Inequalities remain a concern for many countries around the world. In some countries, rural communities are being left behind and most of them continue to face structural challenges. Notwithstanding this fact, rural areas have a wide range of assets and resources and a strong potential for sustainable growth.
Enhancing innovation is key to mobilise growth potential and promote well-being for rural dwellers.
The Conference brought together leading policy makers, private sector and renowned experts to exchange experiences and good practices on issues related to innovation in rural areas, including the development of policies to benefit from the 10 key drivers of rural change, and making the most of opportunities for job creation, economic growth, and service delivery.
The discussions identified relevant policies, initiatives and programmes that can support rural areas to benefit from technological change to boost rural economies and improve wellbeing for the rural dwellings.
Ultimately, this conference contributed to shaping a rural policy that is able to adapt to the changing conditions of the 21st century.
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Previous conferences in the series
The conference was hosted by the Scottish Government, European Commission and the UK Government in close co-operation with Highlands and Islands Enterprise & Scottish Enterprise and the European Network for Rural Development.