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Universities and Wineries: Supporting Sustainable Development in Disadvantaged Rural Areas

Chiara Aleffi (), Sabrina Tomasi (), Concetta Ferrara (), Cristina Santini (), Gigliola Paviotti (), Federica Baldoni () and Alessio Cavicchi ()
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Chiara Aleffi: Department of Education, Cultural Heritage and Tourism, University of Macerata, 62100 Macerata, Italy
Sabrina Tomasi: Department of Education, Cultural Heritage and Tourism, University of Macerata, 62100 Macerata, Italy
Concetta Ferrara: Department of Education, Cultural Heritage and Tourism, University of Macerata, 62100 Macerata, Italy
Cristina Santini: Faculty of Agricultural Science, University San Raffaele, 00166 Rome, Itay
Gigliola Paviotti: Department of Education, Cultural Heritage and Tourism, University of Macerata, 62100 Macerata, Italy
Federica Baldoni: Department of Education, Cultural Heritage and Tourism, University of Macerata, 62100 Macerata, Italy

Agriculture, 2020, vol. 10, issue 9, 1-14

Abstract: This exploratory study focuses on the role of the university in supporting sustainable development in rural areas, focusing on small wine producers, particularly those located in remote and disadvantaged areas. Disadvantaged areas have distinctive features. Firstly, they are fragile areas from a sociodemographic point of view because of population ageing. Secondly, they are unstable from an environmental (physical, eco-systemic) point of view, as a consequence of insufficient maintenance of their seminatural capital. University–business cooperation with companies located in those areas thus needs to be designed by considering the specific characteristic of the place. Therefore, this exploratory study sought to understand how the university can work with small wineries and support them and their rural area to face inequalities and low growth, and foster social innovation. We present a case study based on field research in Italy. The results—based on the analysis of 26 semistructured interviews with small wine producers—are discussed by exploring the potential form of cooperation between rural stakeholders and universities, beyond the concept of knowledge transfer. Conclusions highlight the need for the university to act as a facilitator of dialogue at a territorial level, as a first step toward to formulation of shared sustainable goals.

Keywords: small wineries; sustainable development; disadvantaged areas (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q1 Q10 Q11 Q12 Q13 Q14 Q15 Q16 Q17 Q18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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