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RURITAGE: Rural regeneration through systemic heritage-led strategies

Call of Interest for Role Models - Open until 18 November 2018


This call is part of the project “RURITAGE - Rural regeneration through systemic heritage-led strategies”, funded under the Horizon 2020 Topic “SC5-21-2016-2017: Cultural heritage as a driver for sustainable growth” (Grant agreement no.: 776465).

RURITAGE aims at demonstrating how Cultural and Natural Heritage can emerge as a driver of sustainable development and competitiveness, by the recognition of rural areas as ‘poles of excellence’ in heritage valorisation and capitalization. RURITAGE aims at transforming rural areas in sustainable development demonstration ‘laboratories’, through the enhancement of their unique Cultural and Natural Heritage potential.

In particular RURITAGE will:

  • Increase knowledge about successful practices of heritage-led rural regeneration and provide tools making successful practices and solutions available and replicable.
  • Identify the financial resources needed to preserve cultural heritage in rural areas, and promote the engagement of rural communities in the decision-making processes
  • Enhance awareness on exploitation possibilities in Cultural and Natural Heritage sector in rural areas, providing roadmaps for the long-term sustainability of heritage-led regeneration strategies.

To do so, at first RURITAGE involved in the project 13 successful cases (Role Models) in much diversified contexts and is now in the process of analysing their good practices. To build a larger evidence base and a highly transferable approach, RURITAGE launches this call for interest for additional Role Models beyond the 13 already involved in the project. Thus if you are a rural territory that used heritage to regenerate your areas, please have a read at our call and apply!

Apply to our Call of Interest for Role Models until 18 November 2018


RURITAGE will build its paradigm for rural regeneration upon 6 Systemic Innovation Areas (SIAs) that can contribute to regenerate rural territories in Europe and beyond and whose intersections constitute a European model of heritage-led rural development.

These six areas are:

  • Pilgrimage: Heritage routes to sacred and historical places are drivers for sustainable and economic growth in many rural areas. Indeed, some observers describe ‘route tourism’ as the world’s best hope for securing sustainability in travel and tourism Thus, heritage routes represent a good opportunity for developing less explored areas with valuable Cultural and Natural Heritage that appeal to external visitors. Already included RMs: Camino de Santiago (ES), Maria UT Way (RO)
  • Sustainable Local Food Production: Using food, wine and gastronomy as a means to profile rural localities has become a widespread way to improve the economic and environmental sustainability of both tourism and agriculture. It has been linked to the development of “alternative” food networks and a resurgent enthusiasm for food products that are perceived to be traditional and local, symbolising the place and culture of the destination. Already included RMs: Preserving old traditions for innovating agro-food production in Apulia region (IT) Coffee production in World Heritage landscape (CO)
  • Migration: Beyond the challenges presented by the migration crisis, especially in the countries most affected by the migrants’ arrivals, and by the received application of asylum, the arrival of ‘incomers’ can also create opportunities for repopulation, growth and potential for rural regeneration. In this context, CNH, in terms of local tradition, languages, art and crafts, etc. can play an important role in boosting and accelerating the process of integration and regeneration. Already included RMs: Migrants hospitality and integration in Asti Province, PIAM Onlus (IT) Boosting migrants’ integration with nature in Lesvos Island (GR)
  • Art and festivals: Festivals and arts’ exhibition have been used as a mean to attract tourists and as an economic resource in many rural areas . Festivals related with ancient local traditions and products, open-air art exhibition and landscape museums are continuously growing and represent an important source of tourism and jobs creation. Furthermore, arts-involved projects for youth engagement can highlight building social connections, self-esteem, and community knowledge thus promoting youth entrepreneurship and a “creative rural economy”, providing aspirational jobs and examples of entrepreneurship that are particularly attractive to young people. Already included RMs: The living village of the middle age, Visegrad (HU) Discovering contemporary at and nature in Haute Provence (FR)
  • Resilience: Resilience refers to the ability of human settlements to withstand and to recover quickly from external shocks. By enhancing the role of Cultural and Natural Heritage for building resilience against the dual threats of climate change and disasters and ensuring that all development is risk-informed, rural communities can protect against losses and simultaneously boost economic growth, create jobs and livelihoods, strengthen access to health and education, and contribute to foster the responsible ownership of CNH in rural areas. Already included RMs: Natural hazards as intangible Cultural and Natural Heritage for human resilience in South Iceland (IC), Teaching culture for learning resilience in Crete (GR)
  • Integrated Landscape management: According to the European landscape Convention , public is encouraged to take an active part in Landscape protection, conserving and maintaining its heritage value, helping to steer changes brought about by economic, social or environmental necessity, and in its planning. Successful examples of participatory landscape management built on heritage - and through their integration in regional and Smart Specialization strategies – have been demonstrated to be an important instigator of rural renaissance. Already included RMs: A Cultural Natural Heritage Approach in Austrått manorial landscape (NW), Douro cultural landscape, driver for economic and social development (ES), Wild Atlantic way (IE)

Mapping activities and impacts in the selected Role Models (RMs) according to the 6 identified SIAs will ensure the compilation of a comprehensive set of initiatives and opportunities related to Cultural and Natural Heritage (CNH) values and dimensions and will support the co-creation and implementation of innovative heritage-led regeneration strategies.

Why apply?

Additional Role Models selected following this call will have the great opportunity to see their good practices promoted by RURITAGE and to share their experiences with the other Role Models and knowledge experts enabling the subsequent enhancement of the good practice in their own rural territory.

The learning captured with other partners could lead to a wider recognition of the potential for rural regeneration of the good practice across Europe and beyond, therefore increasing worldwide the visibility of their rural area.

All the rural areas selected through this call will be awarded the title of RURITAGE Role Model. They will be promoted widely to a range of audiences with an interest in rural regeneration through heritage-led strategies through the following activities:

  • inclusion within the RURITAGE Practices Repository, an open Repository that will be made available online within the RURITAGE Resources Ecosystem platform, collecting and mapping, for each RM, the key SIA related and cross-cutting themes characterizing model heritage-led rural regeneration strategies.
  • invitation (at the project premises) to present their practices during the ‘Training workshop’ in March 2019 that will be held in Spain, where RMs interested in further developing heritage-led regeneration actions will have the opportunity to run bilateral meetings with other RMs and/or Knowledge Facilitator Partners.
  • possibility to join the other RURITAGE workshops, covering their own travel and accommodation costs
  • free access to the Digital Rural Heritage Hub (Digital RHH), conceived as an open blog for discussion, accessible per SIA and per the cross-cutting themes. The Digital RHH will also include multiple educational and capacity building activities through a series of webinars on the topic of each SIA and on tools and standards related to cultural and natural heritage (i.e. heritage and sustainable tourism, intangible cultural heritage safeguarding, disaster risk management for CNH, historical urban landscapes, etc.).
  • favourable subscription to the RURITAGE Brand, guaranteeing networking among RURITAGE branded organization and the participation to a yearly event.
  • great visibility through the project website and RURITAGE dissemination activities.

Who is eligible?

Eligible beneficiaries for the Call for Good Practices are rural communities both from EU Member States and non-EU Countries, as defined below:

  • Municipalities and towns in rural areas
  • Local Action Groups (LAGs)
  • Local agencies defined as public or semi-public organisations, responsible for the design and implementation of specific policies (economic development, energy supply, health services, transport, etc.).
  • SMEs and Start-ups
  • Private foundation, banks, investment agencies
  • Non-profit organisations (NGOs, onlus, local associations, etc.)

Applicants must be eligible for participation in the EC H2020 Framework Programme and be located or implementing their actions in “predominantly rural regions” (the rural population accounts for 50 % or more of the total population) or “intermediate regions” (the rural population accounts for a share between 20 % and 50 % of the total population) according to EUROSTAT definition.

If you have any doubt on your eligibility, please directly contact us before submitting your application.

What kind of good practices are eligible?

Candidate Role Models can apply by submitting good practices they have been implementing in their territory.

A good practice as understood in RURITAGE is not only a practice that is good, but a practice that has been proven to work well by ensuring desired results and could be recommended as a model. It is a successful experience, which has been tested and validated and that has reached a great impact in rural regeneration, and that deserves to be shared so that a greater number of rural communities can adopt it.

Submission procedure

Each applicant can submit more than one Good practice. To submit each Good Practice proposal, applicants must submit:

  1. The online application form in English. The direct link to the online application platform is provided on the dedicated webpage:
  2. 2 images presenting your good practice (in jpg or pgn format)
  3. Any eventual other materials in pdf or jpg format- short documents, infographics, etc.- or link to youtube or vimeo videos you may deem relevant for supporting your application (in English or with English summary) (optional)
  4. Consent to participate in the RURITAGE project

The submission of the Good Practice applications is paper free.

The submission period for Good Practice proposals will be open until midnight 18 November 2018.

By submitting a proposals, the applicant declares its commitment, if selected, to provide the information needed to fill the RURITAGE Practices Repository. In particular selected applicants will have to provide data regarding the following categories:

  • territorial context
  • details on the regeneration process (drivers, kind of activities, timeline)
  • details on heritage (cultural and natural) resources of your territory
  • information on the stakeholders involved in the process
  • data on the financial dimension (barriers, funds available, sources)

For any doubts feel free to contact us.

Assessment process

The assessment panel will include UNIBO staff as responsible of the task and the involvement of RURITAGE Advisory Board could be foreseen if necessary.

All submitted proposals will be reviewed for compliance with the eligibility criteria outlined below:

  • The application form is filled in and submitted in English, respecting the procedure outlined in the call for proposals and within the notified deadline.
  • The candidate is eligible according to rules set out in the present Call.

The Assessment panel will rate all the eligible proposals for good practices against a scorecard linked to the following criteria:

  • Relevance
  • Fit with Principles of integrated and sustainable rural regeneration
  • Transferability
  • Evidence base
  • Impact

Up to 8 good practices will be awarded. At least, if possible, one good practice for each SIA will be selected. The assessment will also consider the geographical coverage of the submitted good practices, in order to try to give evidence of diversified contexts.

Additional good practices could be selected that will not receive funds form the project for participating to the “Launch workshop” but that could have access to all the other benefits (on their own premises).

The results of the assessment will be submitted to the RURITAGE Steering Committee for final approval of the selected good practices.

After approval by the Steering Committee, the information on selected good practices shall be published on the RURITAGE website.

The applicants will be notified about the results of the selection process by email.

All the selected rural areas will be awarded the title ‘RURTAGE Role Model’.

Apply to our Call of Interest for Role Models until 18 November 2018