Anticipated Futures for Modern Rural Economies ‐ a Request for Guidance by Research, Policy and the Business Community

Gerhard Schiefer


This paper builds on a review of literature and EU policies for rural development, innovation, entrepreneurship and the bio‐based economy. It provides a basis for conceptualizing modern rural economies dealing with food, biobased value chains, and valorization of ecosystem services regarding future conditions for rural entrepreneurship (including agriculture), remote areas (including those in coastal areas), and urban‐rural integration. It will outline emerging opportunities to promote diversification, shared values, innovation, and resource conservation, and to
reach a common understanding of the solutions to set up a “Modern Rural Economy” in different conditions. In general, there are many opportunities for rural development, many of them linked to emerging technologies which reduce the relevance of distance in marketing, sales and many other activity domains and to business opportunities evolving within the bio‐economy and ecosystem services. However, it becomes obvious that the realization of opportunities needs to build on the simultaneous engagement of various stakeholders in business development, research, and public administration. Successful developments require an integrated development approach which combines opportunities into a comprehensive development program.


Rural economy, bio‐based economy; value chains; entrepreneurship

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ISSN 1869-6945


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