Disruptive Technologies Transforming NPA Communities

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DISTINCT  =  Disruptive Technologies Transforming NPA Communities
Exploration of Practical Application of Disruptive Technologies in Public Service Provision
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Project Status: Completed
Project Leader: Jose Manuel San Emeterio
EU Programme: Northern Periphery and Arctic (2014-2020)
Project Budget:  €153,846
Start Date:  Oct, 2020
Finish Date:  Mar, 2022
Project Website:
The aim of the project is to:

Support three NPA regions to achieve significantly enhanced capacity to deliver future-proof viable public services using disruptive technologies as a result of increased awareness, preparedness and innovation planning

Specific objectives are to:
  • Prepare public authorities for the adoption of disruptive technologies for public services delivery
  • Assess the potential of NPA area's centres of innovation and applied research in disruptive technologies
  • Catalyse the uptake of disruptive technologies in public services provision
Donegal, Ireland
ERNACT Network   (Lead Partner)
Project and finance management, communication and dissemination activities.

Jose Manuel San Emeterio
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Iceland, Iceland
City of Reykjavik   (Associate)
Input in the disruptive technologies assessment by collecting information from Iceland on the potential use of disruptiv

Magnus Yngvi Josefsson
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Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador   (Associate)
Collecting information from Newfoundland and Labrador on the potential use of disruptive technologies.

Randy Follett
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North Karelia, Finland
Karelia University of Applied Sciences   (Partner)
Contributing to all activities, KUAS will lead the development of the disruptive technologies pilot/demonstrator.

Timo Rui
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Västerbotten, Sweden
Umeå University   (Partner)
UMU will utilise their research capacity in innovative business development and digitalization in public sector.

Mikael Söderström
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This project explores the practical application of Disruptive Technologies in public service provision. This includes use of Virtual Reality (VR), Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain in health and social care, environmental management and training.

Successful application can save costs, increase viability, improve use of scarce human resources, span distances and improve decision making. However, the small number and concentration of disruptive technology research and innovation centres, allied with low levels of awareness, present serious blockages to realising this improvement. The approach of DISTINCT is to work on a transnational axis, producing discrete outputs to overcome these blockages and challenges, i.e:

1. Use technology foresight techniques and structured engagement with public sector and research/innovation workers to estimate demand and identify applications, models and solutions.

2. Deploy demonstrators and develop disruptive technology rollout roadmaps to build awareness, confidence and implementation knowledge in distinct public sector areas (environment, health/social care and training).

3. Document existing disruptive technology centres of capacity and best practice options to improve innovation and diffusion.

This will drive achievement of the project’s main result, i.e, 3 NPA regions with significantly enhanced capacity to deliver future-proof viable public services using disruptive technologiesnnand contribute to the NPA Programme result for Priority Axis 1- Innovation.

The project brings together 3 main partners (university/public sector) from Finland, Ireland, Sweden with associate partners from Iceland and Canada.

Core ERNACT regions
Newfoundland & Labrador
South Ostrobothnia
Upper Franconia
West Romania
Derry & Strabane
United Kingdom