About the DFC and CORA contribution

The DIGITAL FUTUREcongress virtual is one of the first fully virtual events of its kind. It took place on 26-28 May 2020. In the frame of the event, the CORA project coordinator Peyman Khodabakhsh held a presentation on “Smart Regions: developing together the digital future of rural areas” and showcased the approach and pilots implemented in the CORA project.

Smart Cities & Smart Regions

The concept of “Smart Cities & Smart Regions” has become very popular in recent years, as it promises a higher quality of life for people and makes cities and rural areas more efficient and sustainable. The digital transformation and the effective use of digital technologies, especially in rural areas, is a fundamental element to maintain and improve their attractiveness for families and companies. This requires long-term investments in future-oriented technical and social infrastructures. In the entire Smart Cities & Smart Regions process, the comprehensive development of digital services and the continuous improvement of the digital skills of citizens and other interest groups and their participation and engagement must be at the center. What is important is an integrated approach that takes into account all digitalization dimensions (infrastructures, services, skills) and thus contributes to the future viability and resilience of rural areas.

As part of the presentation at the congress, the integrated methodology for developing a strategy for a smart region and its complex dimensional system were presented by Peyman. In addition, some of the pilot projects as part of two EU-funded projects developed and supported by atene KOM (“CORA – Connecting Remote Areas with digital infrastructure and services” as well as “COM³ – Building COMpetencies for COMpetitive COMpanies”) were showcased. These pilot examples from different European regions illustrated the dimensions of digital transformation and digital ecosystems. They offer innovative approaches in the area of future-proof digital infrastructure, intelligent services of general interest and administration, digital hubs and the further development of digital skills as well as digital business development. The cases demonstrate how both advanced and simple digital technologies can improve the quality of life and work in rural areas.