Support to innovations with Rural Development Programme in Sweden has not been very successful so far. Few projects have been granted funds and those funds have been allocated to activities which could be expected to emerge even without support. At the same time, focus on innovation has been constantly growing in the society. Accordingly, it seems reasonable to improve the design of the innovation support in the programme. Such an improvement was also called for in the Midterm evaluation.
The report contributes with new knowledge on how to develop support measures for promoting innovations in the countryside based on an identification of the obstacles that get in the way of innovative activities in the countryside. Rural economy is dominated by small firms which cannot engage in R&D activities. In addition, production of services, where innovations are more difficult to develop, is growing in importance in rural areas. The analysis is based on an innovation system approach. An iInnovation system is defined as a network of organizations, enterprises and individuals focused on bringing new products, new processes and new forms of organizations into economic use, together with the institutions and policies that affect their behaviour and performance. The report identifies system failures in the information systems for the most common rural activities. The analysis is based on scientific literature and interviews with stakeholders.
The report is in Swedish with an English summary