What is RAIN Platform?

REGIONAL CIRCULAR LIVING LAB PLATFORM, RAIN Platform, is a business oriented practical tool proposed and based on the LIVERUR project. It is an entrepreneurial tool targeting entrepreneurs, potential entrepreneurs and policymakers as well as an innovation ecosystem community to support the implementation of circular economy solutions for the supply-value chains. 

The platform is conceived for entrepreneurs and is here to act as an incubator, where target entrepreneurs can find useful resources for evaluating business models and obtain advice, co-design successful business models, funding solutions, experts counselling and legal feedback.

RAIN platform is here to be a point of contact for entrepreneurs and stakeholders involved in circular economy adapted to rural context, and living lab concept as an approach to rural and regional development.

The opportunities that RAIN platform offers go from tools for new products and services development and implementation at European, national, regional level, to impulse proposals or cooperations between the concerned stake- and shareholders in order to create new or to improve existing value-chains supporting the long-life learning and the long-lasting cooperation between rural communities and R&D institutions regarding the diverse challenges they can face together.

The RAIN platform offers multi-stakeholder collaboration from design to the market; observing, capitalising and sharing data on material flows and waste; promoting the use of recyclable materials, sorting within public procurement; and deploying operational tools aimed at businesses. RAIN Platform can support preparation and adoption of a roadmap towards a circular economy which outlines the proposed actions to be taken.

Indeed, the platform acts as a stock-exchange of opportunities aiming to offers always ideas, suggestions, exchange of experience and even more creation of common understanding regarding a problem, a law, a new suitable market, a foreseen service, enabling different interested or concerned subjects to pool their own ideas.

What can you find on the RAIN platform? 

The RAIN Platform helps the implementation of the RAIN business concept and connects the rural entrepreneurial community and relevant stakeholders. It has been designed to help you to enhance your business in different ways:

RAIN Tools

Help end-user needs and interests, and identify factors influencing adoption taking into account regional and national specificities through rural living labs.

Provide tools that will help the on-line assessment of new business models, smart farming technology solutions.

On-line tools for the design of successful business models in rural areas adopting the concept of living labs and circular economy.

Open Learning

Create an inventory of direct applicable solutions from the large stock of research results and commercial applications in circular rural economy.   

Provide useful documentation and material to help users to improve their business thanks to the circular rural living labs portfolio in the EU and beyond. 

RAIN Community

Generate multi-actor, innovation-based collaborations among different stakeholders across the borders of rural areas by the RAIN Community.

Benefits of adopting the RAIN Business Model

These aspects emphasize the importance of personal relationships with each other as well as other aspects like life quality or environmental care. Enforcing biodiversity by developing sustainable strategies for agricultural businesses and creating innovative approaches for marketing plans, promotion tools etc. is another important goal. Living labs can provide a fundamental base for further innovations and therefore be vital for value creation by higher involvement of all important members.

Open new markets and new promotion perspectives; to integrate the field of traditional industries in the circular economy and develop the value of the product for more cost effectiveness. Indeed, radical innovation for ecological, social, cultural and economic improvement and sustainable development.

It represents a regeneration of the stakeholders that eases the implementation of workshops and demonstration actions. They will be adapted to the needs of the territory and encourage the transfer of knowledge that allows the development of innovative projects in the territory.

The emergence of new types of economic exchange between people offers multiple alternatives for the economic development of the territory: collaborative economy, circular economy, green economy, etc. put the accent on people and the relation of economic operations to the common good, including the quality of life of the people, the care of the environment, etc.

Using living labs, processes of co-construction (e.g. agenda-building and policy inputs, co-evaluation, co-funding) and co-production (e.g. citizen science) regarding the climate change and the related demographic and social impacts for the agriculture of the concerned community, integrating value-sensitive design and gender-sensitive design will be supported, helping the small businesses in planning their future growth, improvement and innovation and they rather keep on survival patterns and strategies. Good practices useful for a suitable approach to further development, improvement and sustainability, including partnership and creating local strategies for such small businesses will become a powerful tool to support them in positive business planning and willingness to promote and co-operate.

The integration of living lab and regional circular economy has a sure positive effect on resource efficiency and efficacy. This will make the territorial businesses more economic and more sustainable in the long term by:– reducing the pressure on (natural) resources; – opening up new revenue streams; and – fostering innovation and collaboration between agricultural sectors / industries and eco- or agri-tourism. Acting now in this way of thinking is important to benefit from the market. The rural circular economy concept through the bio-food value chain, from farm to market, with no waste, can have high added value in this context.  

LIVERUR piloting area is just a starting point; it is the necessary proof of concept in order to boost RAIN business models to take off. Of course, the application are much wider than the single rural sectors and innovation boxes chosen in the piloting phase. Spill-over effect are enormous. 

The LIVERUR project: an extremely innovative business model

LIVERUR is a Horizon 2020 project that aims to expand an extremely innovative business model called Living Labs among rural regions. Living Laboratories are ecosystems of open innovation, centred on the user, which often operate in a territorial context encouraging a more sustainable mobilization of resources, better cooperation between operators along the value chain leading to new services. In addition, Living Labs integrate research and innovation processes within a public-private partnership.

The project is orientated to support a sustainable regional and rural development, driven by co-operation, integration and innovation. The basis for the strategic development of a rural Living Lab is to establish an association of sustainable stakeholders; users, policy makers, businesses and researchers enter into agreements on the basis of which they can participate in a longer-term collaboration. LIVERUR is well aware of the connectivity problem that might be present in the rural areas and it intends to overcome these barriers by the means of structural technical analysis performed jointly with the local connection provider.

LIVERUR’s short-term objective is to improve knowledge of business models that grow in rural areas, including the understanding of their potential. In the long term, the project will increase the potential for rural economic diversification. LIVERUR project’s ambition is also to build a platform for rural communities at local and territorial level: moving from a linear to a more circular economy for new business models (value-supply chains), new modes of consumer behaviour and new solutions for turning “rural” waste into resources managed in an efficient way, also alternative financing and alternative or cashless payments, such as products of blockchain technologies.

By fostering job creation and innovation in rural areas especially in the context of circular economy, LIVERUR prevents from labour delocalisation and internal migration thus contributing to rural resilience to global economic and climate changes and social inclusiveness. Moreover, naturally the use of local food chain valorises local food production enabling the conservation and proliferation of local resilient genetic material.

By fostering job creation and innovation in rural areas especially in the context of circular economy, LIVERUR prevents from labour delocalisation and internal migration thus contributing to rural resilience to global economic and climate changes and social inclusiveness. Moreover, naturally the use of local food chain valorises local food production enabling the conservation and proliferation of local resilient genetic material.

You can find more information about the project LIVERUR here

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