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New initiative to support rural youth in Europe secures prestigious funding

The FYI-R: Future Youth Information for Rural Areas (IG18213) project, led by Iscte with Francisco Simões as the Grant Holder Scientific Representative, has received the prestigious COST Innovators Grant (CIG). This significant funding aims to tackle the pressing challenges faced by rural youth across Europe, providing crucial tools and knowledge to key stakeholders for designing future-oriented policies and services.

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Rural areas in Europe are undergoing substantial changes, with young people aged 18-29 encountering unique challenges such as limited employment opportunities, dwindling social services, and poorer educational and employment outcomes compared to their urban counterparts. Built upon the work of the COST Action 18213 – Rural NEET Youth Network – and its main deliverable, the European Rural Youth Observatory (EURYO), the FYI-R project seeks to address these issues by developing a strategic foresight toolbox. This toolbox proposes to tackle the lack of knowledge and tools to design future-oriented policies of stakeholders at European, national, regional, and local levels. The goal is to be an instrument to anticipate and respond to the needs and aspirations of rural youth at these levels.

Francisco Simões, the leader of this CIG explains that “The FYI-R toolbox is proposed as a hybrid instrument combining a national foresight hub, a permanent web-based survey, visual foresight displays, and tailored reporting for various end-users.” This innovative approach will be co-developed with stakeholders across 16 European countries, ensuring it meets the specific needs and contexts of each region.


The COST Innovators Grant (CIG) plays a crucial role in bridging the gap between research and practical application, fostering market, product, service, and societal impact. CIGs support the acceleration of research breakthroughs and are an integral part of the COST Strategic Plan under Horizon Europe.



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