Smart Villages? A key for development in rural areas

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ERNACT Slovenian partners organise an event to promote the digital transformation process.
20 September 2019 - ERNACT  project
Project partners, stakeholders and invited guests during the study visits. Picture by LTFE.

ERNACT Slovenian partner the Laboratory for Telecommunications (ICT Department at Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana) has organised on the 11th and 12th September the 'Smart Villages – a key for development in rural areas' conference as a midterm event within the Interreg Alpine Space project 'Smart Digital Transformation of Rural Areas in Alpine Space – SmartVillages'.

The aim of this event was to explore and discuss how rural areas can benefit from the application of the smart cities approach. "It has been an excellent opportunity to learn from our Slovenian partners about how to apply technologies and innovative smart approaches for the development of rural areas", explains Jose Manuel San Emeterio, Project Manager at ERNACT, who attended the conference and the study visits together with Brian Boyle, ERNACT chairperson and Head of Information Systems at Donegal County Council (Ireland).

ERNACT representatives participated in the study visits to the village of Padna where, among others, they could enjoy local truffle, wine and olive oil producers and the renovated Panda Tourist Info Centre with e-bike rental, defibrillator, free Wi-Fi access points and a chatbot for tourist information. They also visited the renovated cultural centre Božidar Jakac hall with multimedia equipment and the farmers market before moving to Šmarje village, in which the municipality organised a reception with a performance of Istrian musicians. Attendees got the opportunity to tour around the renovated village square, visit Santomas wine cellar and Emonec brewery, a family business development with a high-technological coffee roasting plant. The group also visited Olive mill Lisjak & small local brewery.

Regarding the conference, ERNACT Slovenian partner Emilija Stojmenova Duh moderated a session about policy, involving European Union, Smart Villages and Sustainability. Afterwards, attendees could learn more about Smart Villages project and listen about some good local practices. During the evening, they organised some parallel sessions, including, a presentation of the book 'Smart Villages in the EU and Beyond', SEROI+ workshop, moderated by Clive Peckham from Digital Nièvre Joint Authority (France) and Emilija Stojmenova Duh, and 'Building a Sustainable Future for Rural Communities in Europe – Towards a European Rural Agenda for Smart Rural Territories' workshop.

Post-conference resources, feel free to download all Smart Villages conference presentations, entire conference video and the photo gallery of the project meeting, study visits and conference.
Clive Peckham, Project Manager at Digital Nièvre Joint Authority, during the conference. LTFE.

Click here to email  Ianire Renobales at ERNACT for further information

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