Social innovation to empower and transform: NewEcoSmart will revive rural areas through green and digital transition

The NewEcoSmart project is taking its first steps to revive rural areas in Spain, Portugal and Italy, through capacity building and training, towards the green and digital transition.

Many have certainly heard of the green transition and probably also about the digital transition. But what is this twin transition after all?

The intersection between green and digital is where sustainable approaches and digital technologies complement each other. The green transition involves changing the economy and industrial practices to make them more sustainable and ecologically responsible, and this includes the adoption of technologies that reduce the environmental impact.

However, this twin transition is still ongoing and demands multiple investments to actually reach people and communities, especially those in rural areas.

To this purpose, a Consortium led by CETEM (Spain) and seven more partners of 3 countries – from Spain, Amuebla, Ayuntamiento de Yecla and CTIC; from Portugal, SHINE and AD ELO; and from Italy, CEIPES and UNINA – was selected by the European Commission to implement an innovative project: NewEcoSmart.

By enhancing entrepreneurial skills and mindsets, NewEcoSmart aims to promote the adoption of circular and socially responsible production and consumption practices.

Composed of industry representatives, education and professional training institutions, social innovation actors and local authorities, NewEcoSmart intends to direct this collective experience and knowledge to revitalize rural areas with a rich tradition of manufacturing products related to Habitat. The project seeks to meet the ecological, digital and entrepreneurial skills needs of adults 45+, small and medium-sized companies and micro-enterprises.

“We are excited to launch NewEcoSmart as a pioneering initiative to revive rural areas and empower adults 45+ through social innovation. Combining the rich tradition of manufacturing with the demands of the green and digital economy, we are confident this project will bring lasting benefits for the communities involved”, says representative Almudena Muñoz Puche, of the project leader CETEM.

The NewEcoSmart project will align its activities with the European Pillar of Social Rights, focusing on principles 1, 4, 5, 8 and 20, raising awareness and acceptance on the green and digital change, thereby strengthening employability in our changing economies. It aims not only to provide development opportunities for individuals and companies, but also to improve efficient and digital energy infrastructures, resulting in safer, more cost-effective and healthier solutions for all involved.

With the participation of 8 European partners and funded by the Horizon Europe programme – European Social Fund (ESF+) – 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 project progress can be consulted soon at


  • Project name: New circular and social responsible business models within habitat sectors to revitalise rural areas
  • Project acronym: NewEcoSmart
  • Grant Agreement n.: 101102499
  • Start Date: August 1, 2023
  • End Date: July 31, 2025
  • Coordinator: CETEM
  • Consortium: 8 partners from 3 countries
  • Funding: € 812 159.54



  • CETEM – Asociacion Empresarial De Investigacion Centro Tecnologico Del Mueble Y La Madera De La Region De Murcia
  • Amuebla – Agrupacion Empresarial Innovadora De Fabricantes De Muebles Y Afines De La Region De Murcia
  • Ayuntamiento de Yecla
  • CTIC – Fundacion Ctic Centro Tecnologico Para El Desarrollo En Asturias De Las Tecnologias De La Informacion


  • SHINE 2Europe, Lda
  • AD ELO – Association for Local Development of Bairrada and Mondego


  • CEIPES – Centro Internazionale Per La Promozione Dell’educazione E Lo Sviluppo Associazione
  • UNINA – Universita Degli Studi Di Napoli Federico II