Communities in rural areas looking for support and inspiration to become a 'smart village' can now apply for the EU-funded 'Smart Rural Project'. The project is coordinated by the E40 Group as a 'Preparatory Action for Smart Rural Areas in the 21st Century'. It is being implemented together with European partner organisations, including the Institute for Rural Development Research (IfLS) in Germany.
As part of the project, a total of 17 'smart villages' will be selected to become part of the project. As a result, they receive guidance and support in the development and implementation of 'smart' local approaches and strategies, as well as the opportunity to learn from other 'smart villages'. Digital solutions play a key role, but are only one of several elements alongside other technical and social innovations. The experience gained in the project should help to better tailor future EU initiatives to the needs of communities on their way to becoming "Smart Villages".
In the preliminary phase of the project, five "Smart Villages" have already been selected in Finland, France, Greece, Ireland and the Czech Republic. As of now, German municipalities (as well as cooperations of municipalities) in rural areas can apply for one of the 12 additional places until May 11, 2020. The online application form in English is available here. Further information on requirements and advantages of participation can be found here in the call for applications (in German).
The IfLS is responsible for the application process in Germany.
Contact persons at IfLS: Sarah Peter (peter[at]ifls.de)