Funding from Horizon Europe will support a research project at the University of Galway, coined female-led innovation in agriculture and rural areas [FLIARA].
Dr Maura Farrell is heading the project along with a team from the School of Geography. The team will be working with 13 partners across 10 different European countries.
Female led innovation
Dr Farrell says that women in agriculture and rural areas have historically been a group who are overlooked as a valuable resource.
She says FLIARA aims to engage women who are carrying out projects relating to agriculture and innovation, in four areas of sustainability: economic, social, cultural, and environmental.
“We unearth particular innovations that women are leading or involved in and then we try and spotlight these as key innovations right across different countries in Europe.”
Community of practice
Maura says they hope to bring the women’s ideas together at 4 community of practices [interest groups], in 4 regions across Europe.
“And within these community of practices, we would spotlight women who are already innovators in their field and women who can, not just enhance rural development but also enhance equality for women in rural areas.”
President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh says that the FLIARA is very important to the University and he is delighted that it is being led in Galway.
“[It] reflects our value of openness and that sense that we want to work with and support communities not only in agriculture but more broadly in rural areas.”
Furthermore, he hopes FLIARA will highlight and support the important work that women do in agriculture and rural areas.
“Women have played a really important role in rural Ireland and the FLIARA project will make that even more visible and provide role models and mentors.”
Finally, Professor Ó hÓgartaigh says the project is an opportunity to share our ideas internationally and learn from our global partners also.
“What we learn in Galway, what we know in Galway, and how we live in Galway has particular distinctiveness to it that we can also teach and have exemplars internationally.”