Rural Economy

The climate is changing. The society's population is increasing in age. Digitalisation is changing all aspects of life and economy. With all of these events occurring rapidly, socio-economic trends and new lifestyles demand a rethinking. It is important for decision-makers and actors in rural areas to prevent the negative impacts of these changes. At the same time, workable compromises are necessary to balance the conflicting interests of economy, society and environment.

In these multi- and trans-disciplinary fields, the research group "Rural Economy" is developing practical solutions and recommendations for action plans. The aim is to implement socially acceptable and innovative transformation practices in rural areas which are also economically viable. Additionally, we want to promote entrepreneurship and create added value by developing new ways of cooperation between urban and rural actors.


  • Analyse and report which factors influence entrepreneurial success and how public services can be maintained.
  • Develop strategies to promote bio-economics and environmental services.
  • Test approaches of public welfare and post-growth economy.
  • Study the horizontal and vertical forms of collaboration and innovative cooperation between urban and rural areas.
  • Value endogenous potentials to achieve sustainable growth and a high quality of life.


  • Urban-rural cooperation
  • Cross-sector cooperation
  • Socio-economic structural change in mountain range communities
  • Bio-economics and circular economy
  • Local and regional value chains
  • Smart Living
  • Public service
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Eurac Research is a private research center based in Bolzano (South Tyrol) with researchers from a wide variety of scientific fields who come from all over the globe. Together, through scientific knowledge and research, they share the goal of shaping the future.

What we do

Our research addresses the greatest challenges facing us in the future: people need health, energy, well-functioning political and social systems and an intact environment. These are complex questions, and we are seeking the answers in the interaction between many different disciplines. In so doing, our research work embraces three major themes: regions fit for living in, diversity as a life-enhancing feature, a healthy society.

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