Preliminary agenda - at glance

Monday 9 April 2018

Pre-conference forum

10:00-11:00 - Welcome and registration
11:00-13:00 - Rural Exhibitor Show

Theme 1: Rural innovation to enhance prosperity and well-being

13:30-15:00 - (Parallel sessions)

  • A. Adding value locally: Rural areas and global value chains
  • B. Smart rural communities: Revitalising public goods and services through digital and social innovation

Theme 2: Rural innovation to build sustainable and resilient communities

15:30-17:00 - (Parallel sessions

  • A. Technologies to drive climate change mitigation and adaptation
  • B. Skills of the future

18:15 - 
Dinner reception hosted by Scotland Food & Drink


Tuesday 10 April 2018

Theme 3: The building blocks: Getting rural innovation systems, policies and governance right

09:00-10:30 - (Parallel sessions)

  • A. Supporting businesses to innovate
  • B. Rural policy and future governance

 11:00-11:45 - Pre-conference wrap-up session

Conference opening

Plenary session

12:45-14:00 - Opening remarks

14:00-14:20 - Keynote speaker

Pillar 1: Megatrends and technological change: rural areas
as places of opportunity

14:30-16:00 - (Parallel sessions)

  • A. Production and global transformations
  • B. Quality of Life transformations

16:15-18:45 - Ideas factory/Open space

19:00-21:00 - Taste of Wales – Canapés & Cocktail reception

Wednesday 11 April 2018

Pillar 2: Creating jobs and economic opportunity through innovation

09:00-10:30 - (Parallel sessions)

  • A. Promoting entrepreneurship
  • B. Rural innovation systems


  • C. Leadership and SME capacity building 
  • D. Smart specialisation and other policies supporting access to markets

Pillar 3: Rural Resilience: innovative solutions to environmental and social challenges

13:30-15:00 - (Parallel sessions)


  • A. Rural responses to global climate objectives
  • B. Social innovation and community-led initiatives


  • C. Building green jobs in rural areas
  • D. Long-term planning and prioritisation of rural services

17:00-18:00 - Conference wrap-up and conclusions

Thursday 12 April 2018

Field trips

Two different full day field trips linked to the themes described in the agenda are open to participants. Each field trip will provide the opportunity to engage with local actors, representatives of municipal bodies and local firms.


  • Field trip 1: Robotics, rural regeneration and farm shop fun
    Hosted by Scottish Enterprise

    Participants will visit a range of rural businesses and discuss with the owners how they are making the most of technical developments, market place trends and customer interest in all things “rural”.
  • Field trip 2: Marine Science, business development and deconcentrated energy systems
    Hosted by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE)

    Participants will see how world leading science and technology is supporting rural innovation, entrepreneurship and development of a marine science cluster.


The cost of these optional field trips is £75 (travel, meals & VAT inclusive).

For detailed information and to register for the trips click here.