Four new rural regions will adopt the dRural digital platform in France, Poland, Portugal, and Czech Republic to improve local markets

The EU-funded project dRural continues to extend its impact all over Europe through four new “mirror regions”- rural areas that will adopt the dRural digital platform to improve local markets. After the three pilots and the first group of mirror regions, the time for new replicators of the dRural metaplatform has come.
dRural digital platform:- The EU-funded project dRural continues to extend its impact all over Europe through four new “mirror regions”. [Pixabay]
dRural digital platform:- The EU-funded project dRural continues to extend its impact all over Europe through four new “mirror regions”. [Pixabay]

dRural digital platform:- The EU-funded project dRural continues to extend its impact all over Europe through four new “mirror regions”- rural areas that will adopt the dRural digital platform to improve local markets. After the three pilots and the first group of mirror regions, the time for new replicators of the dRural metaplatform has come. Following the call launched in January 2024, four new demonstrators have been selected to implement local digital marketplaces. The new mirror regions are located in France, Poland, Portugal, and the Czech Republic and will soon start offering simple and complex services in various fields to local inhabitants.

France - Somme Region

The Somme is the second least populated department in Hauts-de-France. It is mainly composed of rural municipalities with no internal digital capabilities to face changing social and environmental challenges. The regional promoter Somme Numérique, accompanied by the IT company Mecaconnect, will harness the dRural platform to foster the economy in the Somme region. The consortium aims to maximise the impact of some digital services, improving the daily lives of inhabitants and visitors.

Somme Numérique will deploy a “Smart Building” Complex Service that will allow public buildings (schools, sports halls, town halls, etc.) to collect real-time data about energy and water consumption. The “Watercourses Monitoring” Complex Service will use IoT devices to monitor the water level in several watercourses, ponds, and natural areas alongside the river Somme, preventing floods. Lastly, the “Waste Containers Park” Complex Service will continuously and remotely measure the fill levels of the localised waste containers through dedicated IoT devices.

Poland - Oświęcim Town

In Poland, the dRural platform will be implemented in Oświęcim, a town close to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Like most rural areas, in Oświęcim lacks diverse career opportunities for youth. Here, the regional promoter One Humanity Institute (OHI), is already fostering new methods of governance, innovative finance, environmental consciousness, and transformative education systems. Together with Hanson Robotics Europe (SME specialised in IT development), OHI will implement the dRural platform focusing on tourism.

Tourism in Oświęcim, Poland, has been evolving over the years, influenced by the town's historical significance and natural surroundings. The dRural platform will be mostly adopted to help encourage a steady stream of tourist groups to stay longer in the area, making more services and businesses viable in the area. This project will meet the needs of local young adults and tourism operators by increasing traffic and length of stay. This will increase the economic viability of new services such as nature walks, garden tours, innovation workshops, and cultural events run by youth or other local people.

Portugal - Centro Region

The Centro Region of Portugal is rich in history and diverse landscapes, offering a wide range of attractions that reflect its cultural and natural heritage. However, the ageing population living in the area is facing unique challenges in healthcare and social inclusion. One of the primary challenges is the limited access to continuous healthcare and emergency services. The IT developer Sensomatt and its promoter Mutualista Covilhanense will replicate the dRural platform to face such a challenge.

The consortium will launch SensoLife: a healthcare platform with advanced AI-based features, like voice recognition and image processing. These devices will create a supportive environment for the elderly, focusing on their health, safety and emotional well-being. The implementation of SensoLife's features in the Centro Region will enhance healthcare access through telemedicine, reducing travel for the rural elderly. Interactive technologies will combat social isolation, thus improving mental health. Economic growth will be stimulated with new tech-driven jobs. Promoting technological adoption will increase digital literacy among the elderly, fostering inclusivity. Lastly, data-driven health insights will enable personalised healthcare, improving early disease detection and management.

Czech Republic - Roznov Municipality

The Municipality of Rožnov pod Radhoštěm is a rural town situated in the Zlín Region of the Czech Republic, 356km from Prague. The Municipality has the same problem as many other small towns in Europe: it cannot afford to subsidise high-quality public transport that covers all the urban area and which has comfortable timetabling. Rožnov currently has no local (intra-urban) public transport. Consequently, residents and visitors mainly rely on car-based modes of transport.

This issue will be addressed by TOMATIQ AB designs, with the support of the regional promoter Town Rožnov pod Radhoštěm. TOMATIQ AB develops and commercialises digital systems and is currently developing the Tunnll project: a digitised public transport operator for small towns in rural areas. Implementing the dRural platform, Tunnll will offer an innovative service that provides local transport access for citizens to all essential businesses and amenities (i.e. grocery stores, local retail stores, service businesses, beauty and wellbeing services, gyms and fitness services etc.).

The selected mirror regions have won a €120,000 grant each to implement their projects. In the upcoming months, they will be supported by the dRural consortium to develop their platforms and implement their own simple and complex services. AlphaGalileo/SP

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