Project Summary

ORIGINN is an Interreg Europe project to promote the economic and social transformation of rural areas through innovation, with a particular focus on the agri-food sector. With seven partners from across Europe, this initiative for interregional cooperation focuses on identifying and sharing good practices in innovation-driven rural development. The geographic focus of ORIGINN in Ireland is the midland counties of Longford, Westmeath, Offaly, and Laois.

The ORIGINN partners are:

  • Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly
  • Government of Catalonia – Department of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda (Spain)
  • Region of Jämtland Härjedalen (Sweden)
  • Centru Regional Development Agency (Romania)
  • Prešov Self-Governing Region (Slovakia)
  • Emilia-Romagna Region (Italy)
  • Ministry of Rural Affairs of Estonia



ORIGINN began on the 1st of March 2023 and will run until the 31st of May 2027.


Across Europe, rural development has progressed at a lower rate than urban areas. This has hampered the relative social and economic opportunities of rural regions. Ongoing challenges like loss of population and relatively limited employment opportunities are common to rural regions. The adoption of innovative practices, smart specialisation strategies, and digital technologies can help to unlock the potential of the rural economy and ensure its sustainable development into the future. The agri-food sector is particularly relevant, given its prominence in the Eastern and Midland Region. This project offers a valuable opportunity for interregional exchange of knowledge, with the project partners benefitting from each other’s experience in designing and implementing policies that foster innovation and sustainability in the rural economy.

Overall Objective

ORIGINN’s main goal is to strengthen policy instruments in the participating regions in relation to rural economic and social development. Areas of thematic focus are digitalisation, industrial sustainability, social innovation, and soft innovation. In addition, the project aims to develop the capacity of the participating partners through the sharing of good practices, stakeholder engagement activities, and study visits.

What will this project change?

For the Eastern and Midland Region, the policy instrument in focus is the RSES (Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy). This is the overarching strategy for the development of the region based on three cross-cutting principles of healthy placemaking, climate action, and economic development. Participation in ORIGINN will afford EMRA the opportunity to learn from regions across Europe that are facing similar challenges in developing and supporting vibrant, diverse, and resilient rural communities. These valuable insights will inform the evaluation of the RSES, strengthening this instrument to ensure that policies for innovative social and economic transformation in rural areas reflect the needs and the potential of the region.

For more information on ORIGINN please visit:


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