Pilot areas2019-10-24T11:43:31+00:00

Pilot areas

Azores Living Lab: Quality and Sustainable production (FRCT)

🇵🇹 Portugal 

Name of the area:
Terceira Island | Azores Archipelago

Name of the region:
Terceira Island

Square Km:
402.2 square Km

55.833 inhabitants (2001 census)

The main sector is represented by the milk production chain. Here the effort will be based on creating the conditions to establish a rural entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Azores Archipelago that seeks for quality and sustainability in the production chain. The main challenges here to face are: difficulty in acquiring land and low payment in the primary sector.

Azores Archipelago has nine islands. The rural sector, including the associated processing industry is one of the most important dynamos in the regional economy, being the main activity daily and meat production. Azores rural areas represent almost 80% of the territory, where the agricultural operations represent 56% of useable area, mainly comprising by grazing lands (92%). A special emphasis on the daily excellent conditions that make agriculture very productive. Primary and agro processing activities play a relevant role in the Region’s socio-economic structure account. The agriculture is main economic activity in the primary sector and occupies a 8,5 % of GAV (Gross Add Value), facing the 2,5 % Portugal’s GAV. A shrinking pool of agricultural labor, with a high dependence on family labor (about 80%), with inhabitants engaged in family agriculture representing 17.3% of the Region’s resident population (higher than the Portuguese average, which is around 7.5%). The region’s economic development is conditioned by its geographical conditions due a triple dispersion, the island status, the distances between the nine islands and the peripheral condition in the European Union. These features have been conditioning the development model of the Azorean agriculture, namely: the focus in monoculture as daily farming; the small dimension of the holdings, the extreme isolation between the farmers reduces efficiency and hinder the machinery support; excessively high production costs, transport and supply problems; inadequate processing and marketing infrastructure and a lack of diversification on the agriculture value change.

Terceira Island’s economy is mainly based on agriculture (dairy farming) and dairy processing industries, which fits the innovation platform of “food” from LIVERUR project.

Agricultural activity in the Autonomous Region of the Azores is a key sector of the economy and is a decisive factor for generating income for the local population. Over the recent years, this sector has shown relative stability in terms of production, due to the policy investment in modernization and the restructuring of the production chain. The regional directorate for Agriculture of the Azores Regional Government has work done in the improvement of quality systems of agricultural production, improvement and sustainable development of agricultural production and animal husbandry, vocational training in agriculture, animal husbandry and plant health and veterinary public hygiene. The policy makers have the awareness to understand the advantages of a competitive specialization specially centered on milk and meat production chains, where circularity is an obvious path, especially for the islands ecosystems. There are several sub-programmes to promote and finance agriculture and livestock operations such as POSEI and PRORURAL+, from ESIF. The main actors to be involved in the Living Lab will be the members linked to the agriculture associations, production industry, new rurals and rural entrepreneurs, research centers, governmental institutions, and end users.

Living Lab in agro-tourism and selling of niche products from the farm (WRLS UHLA)

🇨🇿 Czech Republic

Name of the area:
LAG Pošumaví

Name of the region:
West Bohemia, Czech Republic

Square km:

84.462 people

The Úhlava o.p.s public body act for the regional development in the south-western part of Bohemia. It is a small enterprise area, with active and organized primary producers. The point of strength and the problems rely intrinsically in the small entity of the actors.

It is mostly a rolling countryside located at the foothills of the Sumava Mountains, the average yearly temperatures range from 8,0 °C in the lower areas to 5,5 ÷ 6,0 °C in the mountainous parts, average yearly precipitation range from 450 to 700 mm. The usual arable crops grown are cereals, rape, potato, maize for silage and fodder, clover. Grazing is becoming more popular than dairy farming. The area lacks from top transportation connection(no highways or motorways), mostly medium-sized or small businesses are present, the unemployment rate on average is very low, approx.. 3 %, skilled workforce is missing or leaving to better paid regions(Germany, municipal areas of Pilsen or Prague). The municipalities are small (mostly up to 199/499 inhabitants). Some municipalities are getting deserted and inhabited only by holidaymakers.

Living Lab in agro-tourism and selling of niche products from the farm. LAG Posumavi area is a small enterprise area, with active and organized primary producers. The point of strength and the problems rely intrinsically in the small entity of the actors and the small number of co-operating entities. A suitable methodology and comparing and using good practices will be a good point to develop.

The permanently growing bureaucratic demand for paperwork prevents some of the small businesses in planning their future growth, improvement and innovation and they rather keep on survival patterns and strategies. Good practices and a hand to find a suitable approach to further development, improvement and sustainability, including partnership and creating local strategies for such small businesses will become a powerful tool to support them in positive business planning and willingness to promotion and co-operation.

Living Lab in organic farming and agro-ecology framework Slovenia (UL)

🇸🇮  Slovenia

Name of the area:

Name of the region:

Square Km:

926.000 people

For Slovenia, a small, predominantly hilly and mountainous country located in the middle of Europe, family farming has been a principal model of agriculture for centuries and it is certain to remain so in the future. This model has proved adaptable to the diverse natural characteristics of Slovenia and resilient to the societal, political and market turnovers the country has faced over the years as part of different political constellations. Slovenia’s territory is characterized by its diversified terrain, rich cultural heritage and abundant and diverse natural sites. Almost 90 per cent of its territory lies 300 meters or more above sea level, while plain areas in the form of closed valleys and basins account for less than 20 per cent of the entire territory.

Describe the piloting activity you would like to do inside LIVERUR project.

Within LIVERUR we would like to build a national network of living labs, where new smart and technology-oriented solutions for family farming environments will be prototyped and tested.

What is the need/challenge in the rural context that your piloting area will address? Although digital farming is becoming more and more popular around Europe, in Slovenia, and especially in rural family farms, people are either not aware of the opportunities new technologies may bring in their farms, or are simply afraid using new technology. That is why, within the LIVERUR pilot, we would like to use existing living labs in the country and build new ones (through other projects and funds) to: 1) bring digital technology closer to family farmers; 2) develop and test prototypes for technology-oriented solutions for family farms; 3) develop business models appropriate for digital family farming.

What stakeholders will be included? Within the LIVERUR pilot in Slovenia, different groups of stakeholders will be included, among them: family farms, food and agri cooperatives, small and medium food and agri entreprises, research and educations organisations, and NGOs.

We are not aware the business model currently present, that is the reason why in LIVERUR, we will start with a state of the field analysis. Afterwards we will evaluate the existing business models, and use the knowledge gained in LIVERUR to improve the business models.

LIVERUR has forecasted to divide the piloting areas in three main innovation platforms: water (i.e. the water cycle), food (i.e. food value chain) and future&technology (i.e. new smart and technology-oriented solutions). In which innovation platform is your piloting actions?

Our piloting actions will be part of the Future and technology innovation platform.  

What is the benefit for the region coming from such a project like LIVERUR? What is the benefit of including circular and living lab approaches in your region? The collaboration that is envisaged in the LIVERUR project will be very beneficial for the region. Through the participation in the project, our country will gain knowledge and expertise from other countries and regions, and will be able to use best practices and develop sustainable business models for digital farming.

Living Lab in Cultivation activities (Mediterranean climate) with short supply of water and technological penetration (UCAM & ADRI)

🇪🇸 Spain

Name of the area:
Vega del Segura

Name of the region:

Square Km:
958.6 km2

108.409 people

The region is a major producer of fruits, vegetables, and flowers for the rest of Spain and Europe. Wineries and olive cultivation are developed as well. Even though the temperature make Murcia very suitable for agriculture, the low precipitation make the water supply a sensible and problematic topic. Vega del Segura is a territory belonging to the Murcia region, with a very high population density. Most exploitations are related to the fruit with bone. LIVERUR will help complementing the EDLP Estrategia de Desarrollo Local Participativo (Participative Strategy for Local Development) adopted by the region in 2016.

The territory of the Vega del Segura has a LAG (Local Action Group) that concentrates the agents related to the economic and social development of the territory. They have developed their Participative Strategy for Local Development, which considers the introduction of new economic models in rural areas, including those related to the circular economy in agriculture, food industry and commerce, to be important.

Piloting action description:

To establish a Living Lab of Circular Economy in rural territory that helps to create new business models, it is proposed to carry out the following activities within the ideas may have for applying circular economy models.

  • Selection process of projects, open and transparent for all agents in the territory.
  • Support in the design of the projects that will participate in the living lab, including the feasibility study, legal advice, economic analysis, etc.
  • Implementation of selected projects through: o Interviews with the entrepreneurs who lead each project to support the process o Field visits for project monitoring
  • Evaluation of results
  • Drafting of reports with the conclusions of the process, so that they are included in the online tool of the project (Circular Living Lab Toolbox).

Examples of innovative projects that the EDLP has identified in the territory:

  • Projects to include new technologies as a support measure for local trade, for example app development or sector collaboration tools.
  • Cooperation projects between companies of the same or different sectors for the development of a common objective (i.e. improvement of a production process, product development, cluster establishment, etc.).
  • Introduction of innovation (in the design, manufacturing, marketing …) in traditional or local products (for example by encouraging collaboration with researchers, innovation agents, companies with innovative products …)
  • Generation of quality marks or badges for the promotion and joint marketing of local products.
  • Projects for the articulation of short channels of commercialization for local products.
  • Promotion of new models of economic exchange and cooperation among the inhabitants of the territory.
  • Elaboration and promotion of a digital cultural agenda of the territory.
  • Actions to create and reinforce territorial identity as a strengthening element of the territory, through awareness of its resources.
  • Actions to promote self-employment and women’s entrepreneurship that specifically show the opportunities and possibilities for job creation in the territory.
  • Actions to revalue waste or by-products from agricultural or agri-food activities, including the introduction of circular economy elements, the energy recovery of waste or by-products and the promotion of companies generating products based on by-products or waste and their transformation.

Living Lab in Social Farming Specific aim: Deployment of IoT & Blockchain technologies in the food traceability system (TRA)

🇲🇹 Malta

Name of the area:

Name of the region:
Central Region of Malta

Square Km:
2,7 km²

23.034 people

The aim of the piloting action in Malta is to create a new model and alternative as multifunctional farm to fulfil its role of promoting the means of modern nutrition  against food allergies & food intolerances (like histamine intolerance) as the growing illness in the society. By informing people about the required skills and competencies which are required in social farming & social entrepreneurship  mainly for the social care related religious & another non-profit organisations.

The pilot case will use the experiences of local senior farmers in the selected land of Church Home for the Elderly in Dar tal-Kleru in Birkirkara , by producing spices & medical herbs (like holy basil , peppermint , ginger , thyme , and turmeric) as raw materials . The short food supply chain will be deployed from the seed and production until the post-harvest  through the traceability system ,supported by IoT, Data and Blockhain technologies.

The social farming system and daily management structure will offer services/ activities to develop training to provide volunteers, farmers and active seniors with the necessary skills to develop or improve these services/ activities on this farm. Multi functionality recognises the inter connectedness of agriculture’s different roles and functions beyond safer food production for social, environmental and economic sustainability.

Living Lab in raising production and transition from traditional to modern business models (ZEKA)

🇹🇷  Turkey

Name of the area:
TR33 Region

Name of the region:
Manisa Province

Square Km:
13.269 km2

1.401.601 people

In the coming decade, it is likely that a disproportionate share of global economic growth will take place in emerging markets which have traditionally been agriculture-based economies. In these markets, the number of middle-class consumers will rise rapidly which will be driven by continued migration of rural inhabitants into the cities. An emerging middle class creates changing dietary habits and consumes far more meat, fish, and dairy products than poorer consumers. In addition, these products require more grain inputs to achieve a given level of calories. Thus, not only will food demand rise due to a rising population, but also due to rising incomes.

Consumers are now demanding purer foods with less additives and clearer labelling which brings necessity for traceable and certified foods. Producers and food companies that embrace more stringent environmental and social standards, organic-certification requirements, and traceability standards should be able to better position themselves in the face of evolving regulation and continue to grow to take advantage of this trend.

Branded, packaged and processed food: There is an increase in innovation in processed foods with a more branded labels being created. More single people eating alone creating a different demand for packaged and processed food. There exists three quality logos attest to the specific traditions and qualities of food, agricultural products and wines, aromatised wines and spirit drinks, produced in the European Union or in other countries.

Organic food: This market segment has been growing rapidly for years and it is expected to continue its double digit growth, with some estimates indicating the segment should grow 14% between 2013 and 2018. The organic food movement should continue growing in popularity as consumers become increasingly aware of pesticides and genetically modified foods. The biggest obstacle to further growth is cost of producing, supplying and purchasing organic products, so those that can balance cost with an organic approach are likely to find favour with consumers.

All these trends in global markets suggest there are huge opportunities for the TR33 region, which has sound basis both organic and branded food production capabilities, however the main obstacle appears to be the scale of the operations and a very slow transition from family-owned and operated business model to more institutionalised management practises, which will be one of the main training opportunities within this project.

So, we would like create new business models for the transition and help companies to take place in this economic change.

Living Lab in Lake Trasimeno ecosystem (SOG & UCT)

🇮🇹 Italy

Region name:

778 kmsq

Inhabitants 2014:
58.323 – 74,3 inhab/Kmsq
Foreign 12% population
8 Municipalities

Lake Trasimeno ca.:
11.600 hectars / 128 kmq

Regional natural park surface:
13.200 hectars

Total nr. of SMAEs:
ca 7.000

23% of SMEs

Typical regional products:
food, handycraft
Bio-products: beans (fagiolina), safran, olive oil, wine, honey

Climate change impacts:
hot temperatures, dry seasons, low rain rate

The “UnionedeiComuni Trasimeno” was created by the 8 Municipalities of the Trasimeno lake area (Castiglione del Lago, CittàdellaPieve, Magione, Paciano, Panicale, Passignano, Piegaro e Tuoro) aims to develop synergies and cooperations between the Public Admninistrations ( Municipalities, Province, Regional Government), the Economic entrepreneurs and the non profit sector to implement the EC Integrated Territorial Investment (ITI).

This piloting area will be developed in a lake ecosystem, where the depth of the water is extremely reduced. Therefore, living lab concept will be implemented in order to solve water management issues and to boost tourism in the region.

Living Lab in agro-tourism, agriculture and handcraft, for valorising and selling the typical local products and services. The main problems are: the loss of competitiveness regarding the market, the SMAEs dimension and the low integration at territorial supply/value-chain levels, law attitude to cooperate with the Public bodies to share a common strategic development vision.

The benefit deriving from LIVERUR for the region is to open  the mind/improve the attitude to implement innovation regarding technology, organisation, governance and to the market, valorising the professional skills and create new work opportunities (new SMAEs, new jobs for young and for social inclusion). Create cooperation and synergies between the different public bodies (LAG, ITI, the Regional Government) regarding the sustainable development, implementing projects (tourism – environment – agriculture, tourism – environment – handcraft, tourism, agriculture – social inclusion) and agreements related to the supply/value-chains.

Living Lab in the production of fruits and vegetables (ZSA)

🇱🇻 Latvia

Name of the area:

Name of the region:

Square Km:
64 589 km²

2 milj.

Fruit and berries growing have old traditions in Latvia. The climatic conditions and soil are favourable for it, especially in the eastern regions of Latvia. Fruit growing has potential in Latvia, but challenges are mainly lack of cooperation between the growers and the food processors, as well as between the food chain members; cooperatives are slowly starting to develop, lack of knowledge and motivation for cooperation; improvement of knowledge about the production of high quality fruits and production of high value and innovative products.

They develop three pilots:

The first one is a farm which is producing: juices – apple, pear, apple-pear, elder tree, aronia; cooked apples. Farm also is getting honey, pollen, bee bread, propolis, a homogenate of the transeum.

The description of the other pilot is Ltd “Mazburkas”, specializes in growing grapes and sheep breeding. In addition, it provides tourism services. The company has 2 structural units – Smarde civil parish of the Engure region and Vāne municipality of Kandava district. The owner and the leader of “Mazburkas” Ltd – Gunta Niedra.

And the last one, “Sutras ogu dārzs” Ltd., grows strawberries and blueberries in tunnels, so that farm can harvest then faster than in other places in Latvia.

Living Lab in Short supply chain in agriculture (RMB)

🇦🇹 Austria

Name of the area:

Name of the region:

Square Km:
1.471,4 km²

97.343 people

Including Living Labs in the frontier scenario of short supply chain management in agriculture, phenomenon which includes for example direct marketing, community supported agriculture.

The small-shaped structure of the agricultural companies in the pilot region requires the development of alternative sources of income and a strengthening of the image of farming production measures. An aim of the project is the development of new business models in order to reinforce the cooperation between the sectors agriculture, tourism and the regional enterprises to boost sales of regional agricultural products and to find possibilities for new, attractive areas of employment for the businesses in the pilot region. Awareness of consumers about the real value of regional high-quality products is ought to be raised and businesses in value adding and cooperation-processes shall receive support. Agricultural innovative products are not only thought to add value, but also act as self supply of the region. Moreover, agricultural businesses shall receive help and support in order to exploit new non-agricultural sources of income. In this aspect tourism, healthcare and social services provide a solid base and promising perspectives.

Living Lab in traditional craft sector: circular handmade Berber carpet production (DAR)

🇹🇳 Tunisia

Name of the area:

Name of the region:

Square Km:
266,02 km²

10.273 people

Oudref is a town and commune in the Gabès Governorate, Tunisia. The town is a center of production for the margoum, the Tunisian Berber carpet. Dar Margoum is a non-profit organization, founded in 2012. Objective of the Association: preserve the authenticity of Margoum, encouraging innovation and renewal, and paving the way for graduates of higher institutes of arts and crafts. The living lab in this region will take care of establishing a circular approach to the production of Berber carpet, from production to waste recovery.

It is merely obvious that the project will have many considerable effects on society, economy and environment. To start with, it will improve the craftsmen’s income and then, rising their number which is actually in decrease. Moreover, it will give confidence to those young women drop out of school to work. In fact, rehiring some scattered textiles in fashion and as a result conservation of berber patterns, conservation of vegetable dyeing (The project will have a positive effect in the environment). Another important positive impact is to open new markets and new promotion perspectives; to integrate the field of traditional industries in circular economy and develop the value of the product for more cost effectiveness. Indeed, radical innovation for ecological, social, cultural and economic improvement and sustainable development.

Living Lab in boosting exportation of high quality products; social inclusion framework (E35)

🇮🇹 Italy

Name of the area:
Pilot 1: Reggio Emilia Municipality, namely the peri-urban area and rural areas surrounding the city.
Pilot 2: Reggio Emilia Province, rural communities located in the Appennine area Name of the region: Province of Reggio Emilia

Square Km:
2.291,26 km² (Province of Reggio Emilia)
230,66 km² (Municipality of Reggio Emilia)

532.483 inhabitants (Province of Reggio Emilia)
171.491 inhabitants (Municipality of Reggio Emilia)

In the framework of Reggio Emilia territory new emerging small farm activities are in development, in cooperation also with the third sector, with the aim to create occasions of social innovation and social inclusion of disadvantage groups with the involvement of several stakeholders. The Reggio Emilia Living Lab will have the aim to connect the emerging small social farming system with the big one already present and well established, in order to create occasions of development and sustainability of the new small social farms, leveraging also on the excellency products of the territory, in boosting and reinforcing a network for exportation.

Peri-urban and rural areas have these needs in common:

  • To preserve and promote landscape, as a resource, and to decrease human pressure and environment footprint.
  • To create new jobs/increase employment, especially for youngsters and vulnerable groups.
  • To develop local value-chains and production-chains, to foster offer diversification and increase competitiveness.
  • To create services for the benefit of communities, without charging costs to public authorities, and creating job at the same time.
  • To foster social inclusion and reduce disparities.
Living Lab CRAB Montreuil-le-Gast

“Air & energy territorial plan”Living Lab for environment and Resilience (CRAB)

🇫🇷 France

Name of the area:
Montreuil Le Gast

Name of the region:
South of Brittany

Square Km:
9,14 km² 

1.927 people

The Living Lab plans to build a collective biogas plant. It will collect waste from local town and businesses and mix it with farm slurry and manure. The idea is to include local actors, farmers and local authorities to design and draw the business plan and to agree on the project management with a balanced governance. This living lab will take place in the south of Brittany near the rural town called Montreuil-le-Gast

“Metha BDC”: Living Lab for resource efficiency and management  (CRAB)

🇫🇷 France

Name of the area :
Bourg des Comptes

Name of the region:
Val d’Ile Aubigne

Square Km:
23,41 km²

3.241  people

The Living Lab aims to find innovative solutions to improve the energy efficiency of livestock farm and decrease the impact on the air quality. The solutions will be designed by a collaborative process including a wide range of territorial stakeholders (farmers, local authorities, scientists, experts, neighborhood) in the north of Brittany in the local region of Val d’Ile Aubigne. Then some of these solutions will be tested on farms, and globally evaluated (for social, environmental and economic impacts) and the best ones will be promoted among others farmers.


Living lab CRAB Dairy Territorial Value is a Lorient

“Dairy Territorial Value”: Living Lab for competitiveness of SMAEs &rural value chains “Dairy Territorial Value” (CRAB)

🇫🇷 France

Name of the area :
West of France

Name of the region:

Square Km:
17,48 km²

57.567 people

Create a living lab focused on the link between dairy production and territorial value. With a Living Lab approach the aims is to engage local stakeholders (farmers, consumers, dairy factory…) to find innovative solutions to improve the value chain and the territorial positive impact (employment, environment) of dairy products.

Living Lab in the West of France for the livestock production chain improvement (CRAPL)

🇫🇷 France

Name of the area :
West of France

Name of the region:
Bretagne and Pays de la Loire

Square Km:
59.000 km²

6.900.000 people

Brittany and Pays de la Loire are two main regions in agriculture production. Together, they are the biggest area for the production of dairy, pig and poultry in France and one of the first in UE. The agriculture sector of the two regions create 95 000 jobs in the production and 90 000 in the food industry. Farming and food industry is a major economic force (economy and employment) and an essential factor of occupation and balance of the regional territory (respectively 72.9% and 65% of the area used for farming in Pays de la Loire and Brittany). The crisis (increase of input price, and decrease of output price) has an impact on farms and food industry, reducing the income, but thanks to modernized farms, production area dynamics, good soil and climatic conditions, dense industrial fabric, the presence of innovation actors, livestock remains and must remain an asset of the west of France.

Livestock represents a large part of agriculture in west of France, but declining due to the lack of competitiveness and then attractiveness. Our objective is to develop new techniques to reduce energy dependency in livestock farms, using farm resources, to make them more competitive, and then to keep our productive potential of livestock in west of France. We would associate farmers who work on energy self sufficiency, policies (regional and local – a test in 1 rural area that could be then replicate in other rural areas in west of France), our experimental farms, some entrepreneurs in energy production, and academia (agricultural school, training centers, research institutes).

Our piloting action is both in food and future and technology:

FOOD : our objective is to develop livestock farms that are resilient and using own resources, in order to maintain livestock production (ie food), integrating circular economy.

FUTURE and TECHNOLOGY : we plan to develop new technologies for energetic self-sufficiency (using methane to produce fuel for tractors, photovoltaic equipment for self consumption, etc.).

To test the implementation of living lab techniques, using guidelines, that will help us to go faster and further in competitiveness and innovation.


LIVERUR aims to expand an extremely innovative business model called Living Labs among rural regions. Living laboratories are ecosystems of open innovation, centered on the user, which often operate in a territorial context, integrating concurrent research and innovation processes within a public-private partnership.


The Liverur project involves more than 20 European partners from peripheral areas in which the development of the rural economy is vital for their survival.
Although Liverur is focused on Europe, one of the partners is located in Tunisia, which provides a greater internationalization to the project.