OECD Rural development and rural well-being

Enhancing Innovation in rural regions


A new multi-stakeholder initiative on unlocking innovation potential and well-being in rural regions


What's the issue?

Innovation is the key to unlocking opportunities in rural regions. However, what drives innovators and early innovation adopters in a rural context is not well understood. Exploring and understanding this knowledge will:

  • Help rural areas improve their prospects for growth
  • Help policy makers support reforms to shift rural policies on placed-based innovation beyond a subsidy and sector specific approach

Critically, it reinforces the resilience of societies and economies in the face of global mega-trends such as demographic, technological and environmental change, and crises such as the recent COVID-19 pandemic.


What can the OECD offer?

The OECD is engaged in a new project on harnessing the innovation potential of rural areas. Rural regions across the OECD now depend on a wide range of economic engines for growth. Increasing networks through improved communications and reduced geographic distances are important drivers of economic change in rural areas.  

Project status


More about rural innovation








Areas of work



Rural well-being: Geography of opportunities


Linking Renewable Energy to Rural Development


Northern Sparsely Populated Areas


 Business Development and growth of rural SMEs

Classifying small (TL3) regions based on metropolitan population, low density  and remoteness




2nd Meeting of the Expert Advisory Committee on Rural Innovation, 12-13 October 2020 (Summary Report)


2nd Meeting of the Expert Advisory Committee on Rural Innovation, 12-13 October 2020 (Agenda)

1st Meeting of the Expert Advisory Committee on Rural Innovation, 3 & 5 June 2020 (Summary report)

12th OECD Rural Development Conference, Korea 2019

11th OECD Rural Development Conference, Scotland 2018




Canada Canada


Switzerland  Switzerland‌ 

United Kingdom Scotland (United Kingdom)

United States of America United States



For more information or to find out how to become a project partner contact Michelle MARSHALIAN, Email:


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