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EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Network
News article10 November 2022

Smart Rural Hub: Capacity building by the Italian NRN

The LEADER team of the Italian National Rural Network launched the initiative “Smart Rural Hub” to prepare future implementation and build the capacities of LAGs and other local actors on this topic.  


The preparation of the CAP Strategic Plan for the 2023-2027 programming period has ended after a long period of work and exchanges among all stakeholders involved in the future implementation of the programme. One of the most relevant novelties of the new programme relates to the implementation of strategies for smart villages, which will be possible by applying to the specific smart villages’ intervention (planned under Article 77 of EU Regulation 2115/2021) or through the implementation of LAGs’ local development strategies.

In early 2022, the LEADER team of the National Rural Network launched the Smart Rural Hub initiative, in collaboration with the Forum LEADER. The aim was to create a common way of thinking about smart villages, to prepare the ground to start implementing these strategies in the coming years and to build the capacities of LAGs and other local actors on this topic.


The main objectives of the initiative are to create a repertoire of good examples, encourage the implementation of pilot actions and stimulate the planning of smart village projects in the Local Development Strategies 2023-2027. LAGs are the main target of the initiative, but its outcomes will support all actors interested in engaging with this topic.

Smart Rural Hub includes various activities to be implemented by the end of the year: webinars, training, meetings and study visits, ‘smart weekends’ and the creation of ad hoc publications. Between April and June, four webinars were organised to exchange practices and knowledge on different aspects of smart villages. In April, a call for projects was launched and LAGs were invited to submit project proposals about smart villages. These proposals were discussed in a peer review event that took place in July. The aim of the event was to run a peer-evaluation process that could facilitate the improvement of the project proposals submitted. During the event, participants were involved in a training section on the use of instruments and methods to perform the territorial diagnosis, which is seen as a key requirement before engaging in a smart village process (to find out more about the project, click here).

You can find more information by clicking on the following link:

Smart Rural Hub logo


Publication date
10 November 2022
CAP Implementation