0 Rural sustainable development through innovation

Rural sustainable development through innovation

The Mediterranean region faces various constraints that represent a great challenge: climate change jeopardising crop levels and increasing health risks, severe environmental degradation, high social gaps, economic competitiveness threatened by international competition, etc.

In this regard, it is necessary to reflect upon and implement innovative solutions so that the Mediterranean cities and territories confronted to environmental, economic, social and political crises can adapt. The Mediterranean region has a great number of assets such as a broad maritime and land space, great biodiversity, high-level solar power, economic growth potential, extraordinary heritage based on ancient expertise and culture.

Besides, we can identify several heavy trends:

- The growing empowerment of local communities and the rise of “short channels”;

- Agricultural, technological and organisational innovative dynamics, in the North and in the South of the Mediterranean;

- The changes triggered by the digital revolution;

- The emergence of new vegetable resources (biomass, micro-algae, etc.);

- The possibility to build sustainable and shared food security and sovereignty in the “Africa - Mediterranean - Europe” space.

Today, IPEMED is exploring these innovative ideas. In 2016, the Institute carried out an exploratory study on the micro-algae industry in the Mediterranean; it underlined the development potential of this industry in the North and the South of the Mediterranean, according to the type of applications and the economic models.