Scotland (UK) is a strong innovator, ranking among the top 20% of economies among European regions, with strengths in university-firm collaborations and skills for innovation. With close to two-thirds of all growth in productivity from 2010 to 2018 coming from better use of resources in remote rural areas, rural areas are critical to economic prosperity. In addition to the valuable heritage that they offer, rural areas in Scotland have had remarkable achievements over the past decade in terms of economic growth, social innovation and progress for climate mitigation. Unlike the demographic decline perceived in OECD countries, the decline in rural areas of Scotland is much slower. In the case of accessible rural areas, the population is still growing. In part, much of the progress of ensuring well-being in rural areas, is supported by mechanisms to link entrepreneurs with researchers, regional support for entrepreneurs and an established system of social entrepreneurship. This report sets the scene, reviews main policies and programmes impacting rural innovation, and explores the importance of social innovation in rural areas. It provides recommendations to reinforce some of the good practices in Scotland, which is particularly important as the government implements the new National Innovation Strategy.