1st CORA Newsletter, December 2018

Rural Digital Future

CORA targets the rural digital divide as a shared concern in Europe. In order to improve and empower rural areas to enhance the use of digital services towards improving the living and working qualities and growths, a digital ecosystem is required to be created. The one comprising of the main dimensions of digital transformation, namely digital infrastructure, digital services and digital skills and competences. CORA aims to enable local authorities to bridge digital divide, improve public services delivery and create an environment stimulating digital innovation in rural areas.

Our CORA concept comprises of three main steps namely identifying the common local challenges, testing solutions to overcome the challenges and streamlining knowledge transfer. The aim is to first identify the exiting challenges in the local context and deliver responsive solutions to overcome these challenges accordingly. The abstract conceptual solutions and approaches shall be tested and the impacts will be analysed. Such an experimental approach, provides new views in terms of barriers towards digital transformation in rural areas.

To do so, the process has started with developing a survey guide and carrying out regional surveys to identify local digital baselines and demonstrations of common transnational challenges among local and regional participating partners. Built on the findings, the CORA Model has been developed comprising on guiding measures, good examples as well as selective training materials for the main target groups namely local communities, authorities and enterprises.

Read more…


The 9 CORA pilots have started the implementation by testing solutions in all three dimensions of the CORA model (digital infrastructure, skills and services). Their aim is to demonstrate how and to which extent the improved digital technologies and environment can:

  • enhance the quality of life of communities,
  • enhance business activities,
  • improve socio-economic conditions, and
  • increase the level of innovation, attractiveness and productivity in rural areas.

The local partnership of Sweden and Norway analyse the possibility of cross border fiber sharing in border areas and test measures to improve the digital inclusion for elderly. A similar concept has been recently implemented by Sunne Kommune and Telia in Sweden, which won the first prize at the European Broadband Awards in Brussels for Europe´s best broadband project.

Vejle (DK) moved into the local communities to host meaningful and engaging digital learning activities. The Vejle approach is based heavily on co-creation which emphasises both dialogue and cooperation with a wide range of local citizens and other stakeholders in local hubs.

Syddjurs and Norddjurs Kommune (DK) have designed their new mobile digital hub to improve digital knowledge by providing information and demonstrating new technologies. Furthermore, Norddjurs has installed a WiFi radio station in nature touristic area of Djursland and is currently monitoring the impact of superfast internet on tourist’s satisfaction.

Middelfart (DK) developed a common understanding among local stakeholders around the importance of digitally decentralized public services. As next, they will develop a decentralize car sharing platform for remote areas in the region.

Lincoln University (UK) experts are continuously in contact with the local digital hubs, transferring the CORA findings to the hubs and monitoring the impact of local hubs on the regional socio-economic improvements.

Oldambt (NL) has set its vision for developing a local broadband innovation center. The planning and preparation phase is in the final stage.

Hüttener Berge (DE) follows its ambition to become an advanced digital region in northern Germany. They started planning the installation of digital information points connected to the local information database in the region.

Leiedal (BE) has gone a step forward and prepared a detailed implementation plan for installing camera shields in the business park.

Read more about CORA pilots.


The CORA partnership has achieved several milestones in conceptual developments, implementation and mainstreaming during the first project year. This includes CORA analysis model and training, pilots plans as well as our mainstreaming plan and events.


CORA Model

CORA Model comprising of digital divide guiding measures, good examples as well as selective training materials for the project target groups namely local communities, authorities and enterprises.

Diagnostic Survey

Groningen University with support from project local and regional authorities developed and implemented a diagnostic survey including regional surveys to identify local digital baselines and demonstrate common transnational challenges in the partner regions.

CORA training

Built on blended learning an integrated training concept has been developed by applying the ”Train the Trainer” apprach. The training concept sets the frame for the development of CORA training materials which are meant for trainers and general audience. Accordingly demonstrative e-learning course have been developed and publicly available on the CORA platform.


Hub concept

Guiding measures and training concept for the successful implementation and development of fixed and digital hubs are being fine-tuned and will be made available soon on the CORA platform.

Pilot plans

All pilot regions have developed regional pilot plans which include local challenges and their approach to solve them as well as detailed pilot activities and expected outcomes.


Mainstreaming plan

A comprehensive plan for dissemination and mainstreaming purposes is currently being developed and will include guiding for policy briefs, communication with stakeholders and transferring the project finding and results to the EU decision making bodies.


CORA project partners are actively participating at local, regional and international events to share the CORA story and to stay in close contact with relevant stakeholders.


The training team of CORA has defined 9 areas of training, covering digital skills, digital infrastructure and digital services. CORA partners will develop a minimum of 20 training materials, which can be used through the CORA training platform but also during the local workshops in the pilot regions. The training measures will target local and regional authorities and focus on introducing the benefits of high capacity networks as well as financial and technical solutions for an effective and cost efficient rollout of digital infrastructure in rural areas. It also provides e-learning courses on enhancing the digital skills of local communities and enterprises in rural areas.

Currently 3 training courses are available on the CORA platform:

  1. Digital skills for local communities
  2. Broadband technologies and network
  3. Funding and financing


Coming soon:

  • Digital Hubs
  • Reducing the cost for broadband deployment
  • Digital skills for enterprises
  • Digital skills for public authorities

Events & EU-Stages

CORA project events

Kick-off meeting in Kortrijk, Belgium (November 2017)

The project partner kicked off CORA – COnnecting Remote Areas with digital infrastructure and services on 6.-8. November in Kortrijk, Belgium.

During the three days of intensive work, CORA project partner discussed their ambitious plans and activities to bridge rural digital divide in their regions. Furthermore, the representatives of the Interreg North Sea region Joint Secretariat presented and discussed the financial and communication procedures and regulations with the project partner. Read more…

An energetic CORA Partner Meeting in Lincoln (May 2018)

16. – 18. May 2018 CORA partners and stakeholders met in Lincoln, UK to discuss the current status of the project, share their findings and plan further project activities.

A motivated partner consortium came together on day one, to get an overview of the project activities, requirements and achievements so far. Furthermore all internal and external communication materials were presented and future communication activities at the regional and transnational level were discussed. Read more…

1st CORA annual conference in Kiel (November 2018)

Transnational joint forces to bridge rural digital divide and create smarter regions in the North Sea Region

Officially welcomed by Mr. Jan Philipp Albrecht (Minister of Energy, Agriculture, the Environment, Nature and Digitalization of the Federal State of Schleswig-Holstein), CORA project partners discussed their achievements and exchanged their findings and progress with a great number of stakeholders from the North Sea Region.

Organized by atene KOM, the CORA annual conference kicked off on 13 November 2018 in Kiel by Minister Jan Philipp Albrecht with a focus on the importance of connectivity for rural digital transformation in the State of Schleswig Holstein. Read more…


Join us in Denmark for the second regional conference (March 2019)

CORA partners and stakeholders are invited to view the progress of the danish CORA pilots in March 2019. Further information will follow soon. Please contact us, if you are interested to join.

CORA @ EU events

Broadband World Forum 2017 (October 2017)

In the framework of the BBWF Conference 2017, the CORA project was introduced to European broadband stakeholders at the the “Governmental Workshop” on 24. October 2017 organised by atene KOM.

Over 100 experts, decision makers and representatives from local, regional and national authorities Germany and the EU Member States discussed the latest broadband topics from policy measures to local best practices. Read more…

FTTH Conference (February 2018)

In the frame of the FTTH Conference 2018 in Valencia, the CORA concept was presented and discussed with over 100 broadband stakeholders at the Governmental Day Workshop on 13. February 2018.

The workshop provided a great platform for know-how exchange with the focus on Rural Digital Divide as one of the main digitalization concerns in Europe. Read more…

CORA solutions @ the EUSBSR (June 2018)

The Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region is a meeting place for stakeholders working together for a more sustainable and prosperous Baltic Sea region.

Peyman Khodabakhsh and Darijus Valiucko from atene KOM joined the forum to share, with the stakeholders in the BSR, the CORA solutions for connecting and digitalising regions. The session “Digitalising and connecting the neighbourhood: solutions for the BSR” was organised jointly by the CBSS Secretariat (Daria Akhutina), City of Turku (Mikko Lohikoski), Centrum Balticum and atene KOM. Read more…


Governmental Day workshop at the FTTH Conference Europe (March 2019)

12th of March 2019, 13:00-17:00 @ RAI Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The “Governmental Day” Workshop is an initiative that aims at providing an interactive platform for broadband stakeholders in the EU with a strong focus on addressing the challenges of broadband deployment in rural areas that occur for public local and regional authorities. Sign up here…

CORA Community

Interested to know more about the CORA project, our e-learning and pilot activities towards digital transformation in rural areas? Widen your network by joining our CORA community and stay informed about news, events and project outcomes.