The Ruralia Institute conducts multidisciplinary research that transcends the boundaries of various academic fields. Core areas of research include phenomena in the fields of entrepreneurship and well-being from the perspective of rural areas. On a social level, the institute examines sustainable development and the interaction between rural and urban areas in a globalising world.
Research and Development

Diverse international and Finnish research cooperation enhances the institute’s research work. The institute always endeavours to publish research results in the leading journals of the field, in popularised form in trade journals, and in the institute’s own publication series.

Development activities

The Ruralia Institute coordinates and participates in development processes designed to create and pilot new operating models and innovations pertinent to the development of rural areas. The objective is to blend university-level scientific knowledge, expertise and practical experience-based knowledge in a solution-oriented manner in cooperation with partners.

The development activities benefit businesses, as well as public and third sector operators in rural areas, and promote the effectiveness of different policy instruments. The results of the development projects are published in the institute’s own publication series and relevant trade journals

Read more here Visiting Scholar Programme

Principal Investigators (PI)

  • Consumer research, digitalisation and qualitative methods. Research group
    Ryynänen Toni, Senior Researcher, Adjunct Professor
  • Entrepreneurship in the sustainability transformation of the food system
    Gaiani SIlvia, Senior Researcher
  • Regional and local development policies and politics
    Hyyryläinen Torsti, Research Director, Vice Director
  • Regional development, regional history
    Jumppanen Aapo, University Researcher
  • Regional history and cultural heritage
    Riukulehto Sulevi, Research Director, Adjunct Professor
  • Rural entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility, sustainable food chain
    Lähdesmäki Merja, Senior Researcher 
  • Sustainability science, nature-based entrepreneurship, innovation processes
    Kurki Sami, Director, Professor
  • Sustainable food systems
    Helenius Juha, Professor
  • Sustainable food systems
    Koppelmäki Kari,  Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Sustainable food systems /Research Director-project
    Kallio Galina, Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Sustainable economy and cooperatives
    Vaskelainen Taneli, University Researcher


Research and development

Please find our personnel here: Henkilöhaku I Helsingin yliopisto (

Ongoing research and development projects in which the Ruralia Institute is involved

Please find all projects here at the Research portal.