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Female Led Innovation in Agriculture and Rural Areas

Fliara logoHorizon Europe project FLIARA to enhance women’s role in rural life, agriculture and rural affairs

FLIARA - Female Led Innovation in Agriculture and Rural Areas - is a three-year project with a €3m budget. It is funded through the European Commission's Horizon Europe Programme, which aims to enhance the role of women in rural life, agriculture and rural affairs and to identify visions for sustainable farm and rural futures. Anne Kinsella, Senior Research Economist within the Rural Economy and Development Programme, Mellows Campus, Athenry, is the Teagasc Principal Investigator on this innovative project. 


The project will actively involve female farmers and female rural entrepreneurs and aims to combine futures and case study methods, alongside network building and policy benchmarking. The diverse project partnership is led by University of Galway and includes universities, SMEs and other practitioners across 10 EU countries. 

The project will identify visions for sustainable farm and rural futures and the sustainability innovations needed to realise these visions. In the University of Galway, the project is being led by Associate Professor Maura Farrell, who was a Teagasc Walsh Scoholar and completed her PhD in 2018 on rural development programmes.

Teagasc is one of the three Irish partners - along with the University of Galway and Longford's Women's Link - and one of main research roles is in contributing to work package 3 (WP3) on the Irish Case Study. This task will include guidelines for case study selection and the final selection of case studies.

Project partners will carry out the interviews on identified themes with women engaging in innovative practices on farms and in rural areas. One hundred interviews with women leading farm innovations and a further one hundred interviews exploring innovative practices led by women in rural areas will be carried out across the 10 selected EU countries. These interviews will explore key issues relevant to both women in farming and women leading innovative practices in rural settings, but also the pathways women have taken in establishing their innovative practices.

In addition to a county analysis a comparative analysis between countries will take place and this will provide a high-level analysis of issues and pathways faced by women engaged in innovations under the four dimensions of sustainability.

The project proposes a unique and innovative approach to, firstly, improve the understanding, awareness and recognition of women’s role in a more sustainable rural future, as well as developing more effective policy and goverence frameworks, that can support and enhave the capacity of women who live and work in these areas to contribute to it.

Researchers will also investigate women-led innovations on farms and in wider rural areas looking at their pathways in the innovation ecosystem. Building on the power of social networks, (a series of Community of Practice networks) it will also bring together female rural innovators identified throughout the case study process. Project outcomes will result in end-user ready resources, including policy proposals and practical tools supporting women-led innovation.

Project partners

  1. University of Galway
  2. DELFT University of Technology, Netherlands
  3. Teagasc Agriculture and Food Development Authority, Ireland
  4. University of Calabria, Italy
  5. Longford Women’s Link, Longford, Ireland
  6. University of Turku, Finland
  7. University of Ljubljana, Slovenia  
  8. Consulta Europa, Canary Islands 
  9. Eberswalde University, Germany
  10. ELARD: European LEADER Association for Rural Development, Belgium
  11. University of Oulu, Finland 
  12. Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, Sweden
  13. ECOLISE: European Network for Community-Led Initiatives on climate Change and Sustainability, Belgium  
  14. Mendel University, Czech Republic 
  15. Linnacus University, Sweden 

See some team members below

FLIARA Project team picture