AWI 185/18EU: LIVERUR – The Living Lab concept in rural areas

Initial situation

Against the background of the Europe 2020 Strategy (smart, sustainable, inclusive growth) and the challenges of migration from rural regions as well as a high average age of the rural population, concepts are sought to maintain a viable and liveable rural area. The corresponding call in the Horizon 2020 research programme ("Business Models for Modern Rural Areas") aims to utilise the potential in rural areas. The food sector and rural areas are to be supported simultaneously and new forms of sustainable economic activity are to be found. Based on the Living Lab concept, region-specific guidelines for innovative business models are to be developed. These are to be based on the use of local resources and social innovations combined with regional circular economy for small and medium-sized agricultural enterprises.


The objective of the LIVERUR project is to identify new business models for rural areas and thus create added value for rural areas in the form of sustainable jobs, economic and social stability, also taking into account globalisation and climate change conditions. The project pursues the following five concrete goals:

- Analysis and conceptualisation of the Living Lab concept for rural areas.
- Development of a benchmark system of existing business models that takes into account social and environmental concerns as well as economic ones.
- Development of a regional Living Lab concept ("Regional Circular Living Lab Business Model_RAIN")
- Development of an IT platform for the application and dissemination of the concept, especially in 13 pilot regions (in Austria: Südburgenland)
- Evaluation of the implementation of the Regional Living Lab concept in the pilot regions. 

State of the project

The BAB is involved in a wide range of tasks in all eight work packages (WP). In addition, the BAB has the main responsibility for WP 4 and the tasks contained therein and Deliverables 4.1, 4.3 and 4.4. Using a method developed within the project for project evaluation according to the LIVERUR aspects, projects in the 13 pilot regions were selected and presented in a report (Deliverable 4.1). Extensive literature research was carried out, which, in addition to the work done within the framework of the project, serves as the basis for the "RAIN concept" to be developed by the BAB, which focuses in particular on Living Lab and circular economy approaches. First drafts for the RAIN concept as well as a roadmap for implementation in the pilot regions were prepared, presented to the project partners and tested and discussed in joint workshops. WP 4 was concluded with corresponding reports on the developed business model concept (Deliverables 4.3 and 4.4) and also accepted by the project coordination. The interim results of the project were presented in a conference in Brussels (02/2020) to the responsible persons in the EU Commission and in a public event. Further work was done in the framework of work packages 5 (support for the pilot regions in the implementation of the developed RAIN concept) and 6 (preparation of documents for the interactive RAIN internet platform to be designed). Formal midterm reports and a first project account were prepared and submitted to the project coordination.

Work 2021

The focus of the AOD's work in 2021 is to continue to support the implementation of the project results in the pilot regions and to disseminate them. A publication with policy recommendations derived from the project results is being worked on


Project start: May 2018

Project end: December 2021

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Project Status


Project Leader



Mountain Areas Research and Regional Development



MMag.a Sigrid EGARTNER

former employees
GRUENEIS, Heidelinde Heidelinde GRUENEIS

Mountain Areas Research and Regional Development


Agricultural, Environmental and Food Systems

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