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GRANULAR Project at the SmARTIES Meeting 

Jun 12, 2024 | GRANULAR, GRANULAR Living Labs, News

On 3 June, GRANULAR partners from the University of Pisa attended the mid-term meeting of the PRIN project ‘SmARTIES’ in Pollica, Italy. The project, which stands for ‘Puzzling out smart ruralities, sound knowledge and rural (agricultural/agrifood) entrepreneurial ecosystem’, aims to explore transition mechanisms in the agri-food sector and rural areas, with an emphasis on the role of digitalisation in shaping agricultural practices, knowledge systems and sustainable innovation. 

Throughout the day, several SmARTIES partners shared their work on the growth and evolution of innovation ecosystems in rural areas in Italy. This meeting also provided an excellent platform for the University of Pisa, SmARTIES coordinator, to showcase several initiatives supporting rural development, including CODECS, FUTURAL, and GRANULAR. 

During the presentation of the GRANULAR project, they highlighted the crucial need for more data to support better rural policies, using the rural district of Val di Cecina as a key example. The Living Lab represents a laboratory of innovative ideas to promote sustainability and an alternative form of territorial governance. Despite the multiple potentialities, the territory suffers from a phenomenon of simplification, caused by the decrease of peasant population and simplification of agricultural landscapes, with the tendency to replace the polyculture of sharecropping with a monocultural system especially wine and cereals in the hillside. 

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