Policy sharing, policy learning

INTERREG IVC Thematic Capitalisation Event

Brussels, Belgium

May 2014 22 Register Now

Rural development


During this interactive rural workshop, recommendations for policymakers will be presented together with an explanation of good practices on stimulating rural development including rural tourism or the use of ICT. Furthermore policymakers will be able to learn face-to-face from the INTERREG IVC Rural development projects and exchange views on how to strengthen their region.




Bart Van Herck 

Expert in Rural development, IDEA Consult, Belgium

Mr Van Herck works as manager and expert for the Regional and Urban development unit at IDEA Consult. He manages strategic studies for public authorities, evaluation studies and reports on EU structural and rural development funds. Before joining the IDEA team, he managed the rural development strategy and the rural projects in ‘the Meetjesland’, situated in the Flemish part of Belgium.

Marie-Jose Zondag 

Expert in Rural development, Ecorys NL, the Netherlands

Ms Zondag is a senior consultant at Ecorys with over 15 years experience in territorial cohesion, European funds, regional, urban and rural development. She provides training, moderates events, manages and evaluates projects, develops indicators and strategies, researches and advises. Marie-Jose has a broad knowledge of EU policies and detailed knowledge of good practices and local, regional and national developments throughout Europe. 


Thomas Ducloutrier  

Project Manager – Head of Territorial Cooperation, Regional Tourism Development Board of Auvergne,France

Mr Ducloutrier is the Head of Territorial Cooperation at the Regional Tourism Development Board of Auvergne (France). In his current position he launched and managed the INTERREG IVC projects ICER and CesR, both dedicated to rural development issues. He has twelve years' experience in tourism development and eight years' managing interregional cooperation projects. Thomas graduated in Rural Development Engineering (Vetagro Sup) and holds an MBA from France Business School. 

Vanessa L. Garwood   

Consultant, Blue-eyed Tiger Consulting, UK

Ms Garwood is an Economic Development practitioner working with communities, enterprises and the public sector.  She has a mix of practical and academic knowledge with a special interest in integrated rural development. Qualified in Management, Rural Community Development and Business Enterprise, she develops and manages strategic programmes and also delivers practical regeneration projects. Outside her 'day job', Vanessa has a qualification in Organic Farming, runs a small farm and supports the operations of a family agricultural contracting business. 

Ken Gericke

Expert Advisor, Ministry of Regional Development and Transport Saxony-Anhalt, Germany

Mr Gericke is the INTERREG IVC e-CREATE project coordinator at the Ministry of Regional Development and Transport Saxony-Anhalt. The project enhances the competiveness of rural tourism businesses with ICT. Ken studied Urban and Regional Planning both at the Berlin Institute of Technology and the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He was also involved in various projects across Europe and China.

Vaido Mikheim  

Project Manager, Tartu Science Park, Estonia

Mr Mikheim is currently working in Tartu Science Park, Estonia and dealing with regional development topics. He has four years public sector competence under his belt working with different EU projects and is very active in regional development and smart specialisation issues. Previously, Vaido worked for seven years in the manufacturing industry. He is also involved in BASTIC - Baltic Association of Science, Technology Parks and Innovation Centers.

Irmgard Starmann

Director, InKnowCom, Germany

Ms Starmann is director of Color&Brain, a company for private label innovations. She has a track-record of new inventions in the domains of green leisure, rural development and agro-food. Irmgard has developed the "conceptuation method" for accelerating innovations and the “context inspired learning ecosystem”. She has a background in landscape architecture and ecology, communication and new product/service development.


Event report

Read the "photo-reportage" on the policy learning and the inspiring ideas we have exchanged in Brussels.


Rural development


Marie-Jose Zondag, Bart van Herck /  Overview on Rural development

Ken Gericke / HalberStadt APP

Vanessa L. Garwood / Making greener Businesses:example from B2N project

                                Green business case study: URNATUR

Rural development


Policy recommendations: view / download
Policy paper: view / download
Brochure: view / download 
Report: view / download

Other workshops

INTERREG IVC, financed by the European Regional Development Fund,helps regions of Europe share knowledge and transfer experience to improve regional policy...read more

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