Smart Villages: Digital Tools for community Engagement and Sustainable Rural Development
Veronika Zavratnik, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
The project Smart Villages (Smart Digital Transformation of Villages in the Alpine Space) creates opportunities for a smart transition of municipalities and regions in mountainous areas through new forms of stakeholder involvement facilitated by Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
Alpine space rural communities are deprived of highly needed jobs, good provision of services as well as a favourable climate for enterpreneurship and social innovation, which result in a brain drain. Digitalization is a promising approach to counter the situation. A smart village approach for mountain areas could unlock the potential of local actors to make their region a more attractive place to live and work. The project aims to apply a smart village approach and bring together Regional Stakeholder Groups (policy makers, business, academia and civil society) in a quadruple helix approach to improve the framework for innovation through new forms of stakeholder involvement facilitated by Information and Communication Technologies.
The project contributes to better framework conditions for innovation on two aspects – the organisational/societal part (working with Regional Stakeholder Groups) and the technical part (development of Digital exchange platform and toolbox with new digital products) and combining the strengths of both sides. Finally the transfer of the results to the policy level contributes to improve the political framework conditions for digital innovation.
Supporting SMEs in digital transformation – Digital Innovation Hub Slovenia
Andreja Pucihar, University of Maribor, Slovenia
The initiative Digital Innovation Hub (DIH) Slovenia is Industry Digital Transformation one-stop-shop in Slovenia and beyond. It creates awareness and provide services to grow digital competencies, share digital experience and case studies locally, regionally and internationally, influence the government to adapt regulation and open its data to foster entrepreneurship.