One of the key factors of the competitive and sustainable food and rural economy is considered to be the successful adaptation to the emerging societal challenges. Thus, in the framework of the ongoing strategic research AKI examines the factors influencing the population retention capacity and the carrying capacity of the food and rural economy, and the societal objectives of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (employment expansion, generational renewal, social inclusion, knowledge-transfer). A major focus is put on potentials of generational renewal, labour supply and demand related to technological modernization and digitization, spatial mobility of the population, social innovations being important from the point of view of the sustainable development of rural areas, social enterprises, maintenance of rural communities and preservation of cultural heritage.

Main research topics:

  • Characteristics of human resources in the rural economy, and within this, the food economy, including socio-demographic processes, changing labour demand of the sector, types of employment;
  • Innovations, R&D&I activities aimed at enhancing the adaptive capacity of the food economy, knowledge-transfer – including agricultural education and training at both secondary and tertiary levels, and agricultural advisory services – facilitating the practical application of research results;
  • Co-operations, networks in the field of agriculture and rural development, rural communities promoting the more efficient exploitation of social innovations’ potentials in rural areas;
  • Effectiveness of agricultural and rural development measures supporting catching-up of rural areas and job creation considering mitigating social and territorial inequality;
  • Impact assessment and modelling of societal impacts generated by the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy and the guidelines of the EU’s bioeconomy strategy.


rural economy, bio-based economy, population retention, generational renewal, labour market processes. agricultural employment, innovation, knowledge-transfer, social impact assessment, territorial cohesion


Sustainability Research Directorate