New European project to revitalise rural areas in Spain, Portugal and Italy – SHINE is one of the partners

The innovative NewEcoSmart project is taking its first steps and aims to revolutionise rural areas in Spain, Portugal and Italy by training adults over 45 to adapt to the green and digital transition. SHINE 2Europe is one of eight partners from Portugal, Spain and Italy, led by CETEM (from Murcia), who attended the project’s launch meeting on 30 August to outline the first joint strategies.

On 9 October, the consortium will meet at the European Commission’s premises in Brussels for the first face-to-face meeting, which will also include the Policy Officer of the European Social Fund+, the project’s co-financing programme, as well as Carina Dantas and Juliana Louceiro, representing SHINE.

I’m sure many of you have heard of the concept of green transition and probably of digital transition. But what does the Green and Digital Transition consist of? The intersection between these two concepts is where sustainable approaches and digital technologies complement each other. The green transition involves changing the economy and industrial practices in order to make them more sustainable and ecologically responsible, including the adoption of technologies that reduce environmental impact, promote the conservation of natural resources and minimise the emission of gases that aggravate the greenhouse effect.

By boosting entrepreneurial skills and mindsets, NewEcoSmart will promote the adoption of circular and socially responsible production and consumption practices. The consortium, made up of representatives from industry, VET institutions, social innovation actors and local authorities, aims to direct collective experience and knowledge towards revitalising rural areas with a rich tradition of manufacturing Habitat-related products. The project seeks to address the ecological, digital and entrepreneurial skills needs of older adults, small and medium-sized enterprises and micro-businesses.

With the support of public authorities, social innovators, educational providers and representatives of the third sector, the NewEcoSmart consortium will endeavour to develop and implement an inclusive approach to social innovation. Through this approach, digital transformation tools will be created for social economy actors, empowering them to adopt innovative methods that address both the green and digital transitions. The NewEcoSmart project aligns its activities with the European Principles of Social Rights, focussing on principles 1, 4, 5, 8 and 20 (

SHINE’s main tasks will be to develop a toolkit to promote digital and green entrepreneurship, combining a platform with online courses and an application to deepen knowledge on the subject. Both tools will be based on gamification to boost participation. It will also involve stakeholders in the creation of a NewEcoSmart community, as well as the communication strategy, visual identity and image of the project.

With the participation of 8 European partners and funded by the Horizon Europe programme, the project will embrace the mission of creating a sustainable and dynamic future driven by social innovation, while collaborating with local communities and partners to achieve its ambitious goals. More information and monitoring of the project’s progress can be found at