Research projects


The Ruralia Institute conducts multi- and interdisciplinary research focused on the phenomena and solutions related to the promotion of entrepreneurship and welfare in rural environments. From a social perspective, the Institute’s research is linked to sustainable development and the interaction between urban and rural environments in an increasingly global world.
Broad-ranging research cooperation and doctoral school partnerships, both in Finland and abroad, give a further boost to the Institute’s research. The Institute publishes its research results in the leading science journals of its field, but also releases popularised versions in trade journals and in its own publication series.


The Institute coordinates and participates in development processes to devise and pilot new operating models and innovations for developing rural environments. The goal is to generate solutions in cooperation with our partners by integrating academic research data, expertise and practical, empirical data.
In addition to serving rural enterprises as well as participants in the public and third sectors, the Institute’s development activities promote the impact of policy instruments. The results of our development projects are published in trade journals and in the Institute’s own publication series.



The Ruralia Institute's research and development will focus on two areas in 2013–2016: the food chain and natural resources, as well as the development of local communities.

As regards the food chain and natural resources, the Institute has in recent years focused on sustainable food systems, organic production, biological/integrated pest management, food safety and new natural products, as well as nature-based entrepreneurship.

As regards research in the development of local communities, the focus has been on rural residence and services for second-house owners, rural innovation environments and LEADER activities, research on local geography and history, regional history, the utilisation of natural resources, as well as conflicts and their solutions related to nature conservation.

At the Ruralia Institute, research and development are closely intertwined, with research inspiring the Institute's development and vice versa. The Institute's research and development are based on a networked operating model, partner collaboration and the utilisation of the knowledge capital available at the University of Helsinki.

To increase the impact of project results, the Institute engages in active communication and applies knowledge to generate new solutions. The Institute's experts are active participants in social dialogue and serve as specialists in various working groups.

Ongoing research and development projects:

Previous research projects