This case study explores a holistic approach to the digitisation of rural services, implemented by the the Fraunhofer Institute in several pilot villages in Germany. The creation of a common digital platform has enabled the development of new solutions for the supply of local goods, communication, mobility and e-government through shared services and common rules.
This case study explores the Finnish ‘Smart Countryside’ analysis of the challenges facing the country's rural areas and the opportunities offered by digitisation. It overviews a range of recommendations for improving digital innovations in rural services that have been used to inform both existing and new programmes in Finland.
This case study explores one of the most comprehensive and integrated strategies for tackling the problems of depopulation and low access to services in Europe: the 'Strategy for inner areas' in Italy. All four European Structural and Investment Funds are combined with national finance to support strategies for both local development and service innovation in 72 pilot areas across the country.
This edition of the EAFRD Projects Brochure profiles twelve participatory social and digital initiatives that are enhancing rural services in six key areas: multi-service hubs; health, education; mobility; energy; and digitisation of the village itself.
The examples showcase how rural communities can sometimes respond to the challenges they face faster than policy, using innovative funding solutions such as private sector investment and crowdfunding.
The Rural Development Programmes (RDPs) can provide complementary support to local communities at each stage of the transformation process of a rural area into a ‘smart village’: from the initial idea to successful scale-up.
- identifying new trends, opportunities and ‘wild ideas’ for rural businesses;
- business support approaches to help realise innovative business ideas;
- supporting access to broadband and digitisation opportunities; and
- building digital capacity.
This comparative case study on 'Mobilising the innovative potential of rural businesses' is based on three innovative business accelerator examples: Academy on Tour (Belgium), Short Food Suppy Chain Masterclass (the Netherlands) and AgriEnt Business Accelerator (Greece). It explores how to most effectively set up and run business accelerator programmes in order to support businesses in rural areas, with a strong focus on practical implementation aspects (including first steps, main triggers, initiators, financial and human resources, challenges and lessons learnt).
This publication highlights how ICT is being used as an essential tool for unlocking the potential of rural areas, making them more attractive places to live, work and visit.