The Research Group analyses processes of emergence, establishment and dissemination of novel ideas, practices and projects in rural areas, which are referred to as social innovations. The Research Group thus contributes to innovation research and to the study of transformation processes in rural areas. It takes into account that rural areas are not uniform, but highly diverse. The Research Group investigates novel solutions with which rural actors address central challenges in areas such as local supply, mobility, health care, work, education, culture and communication. If technical innovations, in the form of digital technologies and applications, are part of the social-innovative solutions, they are given special attention. Innovative forms of urban-rural cooperation are also included in the research. The innovation-oriented activities of actors from civil society and social enterprises are just as much of interest as those of actors from local politics and administration.