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The Institute for Development and Innovation has launched a new development project – ESIRA (Enhancing Social Innovation in Rural Areas), supported by the European Commission through the Horizon Europe program. The project aims to improve the socio-economic situation of the population in rural areas. The ESIRA Consortium consists of 15 organizations from 8 European countries, including universities, expert associations, and non-governmental organizations.

The ESIRA project was formed with the vision that empowering the socio-economic position of rural communities is crucial for sustainable economic development that respects and integrates different social structures and practical needs of marginalized groups.

The Institute for Development and Innovation is implementing ESIRA in the Jablanica and Pčinja districts through mapping marginalized groups (youth in NEET position, women, entrepreneurs) and launching innovative initiatives aimed at strengthening their economic and social status. Local innovative initiatives will contribute to reducing the unemployment rate and the risk of poverty for individuals in marginalized groups and increase their participation in the labor market. The mission of the Institute, implemented through the ESIRA project, is to create and empower economically independent individuals and associations in the Jablanica and Pčinja districts.

Within the ESIRA project, the Institute for Development and Innovation is responsible for communication activities between academic associations, local organizations, and residents of rural communities. The Institute for Development and Innovation also leads data dissemination activities with the aim of informing the broader scientific community and civil society about the potential and significance of the project. Additionally, the Institute plays a key role in creating a strategy for exploiting the project’s results.