Pilots

In 9 pilots CORA partners test CORA solutions and assess the effectiveness of interventions to facilitate digital inclusion in rural areas. The type of pilot activities depends on the digital conditions and local priorities in each area and ranges from advancing telecommunication infrastructure to soft measures concerning digital skills and developing new digital services and business activities. Accordingly, each pilot can be assigned to the dimensions of the CORA model. The pilots 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 in rural areas, and
  • increase the level of innovation, attractiveness and productivity in rural areas.

The results and findings integrated into a set of strategic recommendations to be communicated to the national and European decision making authorities.

Sweden + Norway

Leiedal, Belgium

Gemeente Oldambt, Netherlands

Veijle Kommune, Denmark

Syddjurs Kommune, Denmark

Middelfart Kommune, Denmark

Norddjurs Kommune, Denmark

Amt Hüttener Berge, Germany

Lincoln, United Kingdom

Pilots

In 9 pilots CORA partners will test CORA solutions and assess the effectiveness of interventions to facilitate digital inclusion in rural areas. The type of pilot activities depends on the digital conditions and local priorities in each area and ranges from advancing telecommunication infrastructure to soft measures concerning digital skills and developing new digital services and business activities. The pilots 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 in rural areas, and
  • increase the level of innovation, attractiveness and productivity in rural areas.

The results and findings will be integrated into a set of strategic recommendations to be communicated to the national and European decision making authorities.

Sweden + Norway

Leiedal, Belgium

Gemeente Oldambt, Netherlands

Veijle Kommune, Denmark

Syddjurs Kommune, Denmark

Middelfart Kommune, Denmark

Norddjurs Kommune, Denmark

Amt Hüttener Berge, Germany

Lincoln, United Kingdom

University of Lincoln, UK

THINK – Technology hubs: Improving Networking and Knowledge

  • Planning 100% 100%
  • Implementation 100% 100%
  • Operation 100% 100%
The aim of the pilot was to engage Lincolnshire Technology Hubs in selected CORA workshops, in knowledge exchange activities with CORA partners, and in developing the CORA Digital Hub concept. Through this engagement, the hubs and CORA partners contributed to the creation of the CORA Digital Hub Guide, which sets out guidance and support to improve hubs’ capacities to enhance digital skills and improve local business activities and processes.
THINK was designed to be a knowledge sharing pilot, engaging existing hub practitioners from Lincolnshire to contribute to CORA project ideas, and contributing to the creation of the CORA Digital Hub concept and Guide. The Lincolnshire Technology Hubs exemplify an existing, successful, digital hub approach that is based in a rural county of the UK. By engaging with them, the CORA project learned more about hubs in practice, and shared the knowledge within CORA.
The pilot successfully enabled knowledge exchange, gathering information about what makes a successful hub, the challenges hubs have faced, and related issues. The team developed a digital hub guide Be Bold. Be Innovative. Be a Digital Hub along with two e-learning modules about hubs, to inform organisations and individuals across the North Sea Region and further afield about digital hubs and what they could look like. It has been disseminated to regions across the UK and Europe, and picked up by local economic development groups, rural businesses and community organisations.
 

Leiedal

Vejle Kommune, DK

DILA – Digital Learning for All

  • Planning 100% 100%
  • Implementation 80% 80%
  • Operation 80% 80%

The pilot was implemented by Vejle Library and regional stakeholders to establish two digital learning hubs in the rural villages of Smidstrup and Give. These spaces offer ac-cess to local public services, as well as new meaningful activities for digital learning. An inclusive ap-proach was taken to include the local population of rural areas, not only in training activities, but also in developing the activities to be offered. The pilot offered train-the-trainer activities and public work-shops, through which potential digital trainers got upskilled in regards to digital skill and competence training.
The two digital learning hubs were developed as part of the service offered by Vejle Library. These bridged the gap between two rural vil-lages in the region, and the main centre of Vejle. Vejle Library engaged with key stake-holders in both villages to help design and plan services offered by a physical or flexible hub. A public school and a local digital meetup of older residents played a central role, together with local interest groups, citizens and administra-tive staff.
The pilot has conducted a range of events and workshops to help design and activate the hubs. At Give, the pilot has equipped the hub with digital learning equipment and created a mini-makerspace area. It includes a 3D printer, VR headsets, Scan N Cut machines, a green screen and mBot robots, among other things. The local school has sought inspiration and borrowed robots, so children can learn to code. Local citizens have been invited to several activities or offered digital support. In Smidstrup, the pilot has worked with the local public school, municipality stakeholders and the fablab@school network to equip a new ‘crafts and design’ area. They have held workshops and equipped the hub with a laser cutter, Scan N Cut machines and micro:bits. The hub has also delivered train-the-trainer activities and formed good relations with the local development council.

Leiedal

Local Partnership – Värmland County Administrative Board (SE), Torsby Municipality (SE), Innlandet County Council (NO), Grue Municipality (NO)

BROADEN – Broadband across border Sweden-Norway

  • Planning 100% 100%
  • Implementation 80% 80%
  • Operation 80% 80%


The aim of the pilot was to provide high speed Internet access on both sides of the border between Torsby municipality in Sweden and Grue municipality in Norway. The pilot aimed to trial an infrastructure-sharing model in a transnational context with different legal and administrative frameworks. The findings have the potential to be replicated in other places along the Swedish-Norwegian border, as well as between other neighbouring countries.
Prior to this project, there were no plans to offer broadband to the most remote areas on the Norwegian side of the border. However, on the Swedish side, fibre broadband was planned, ending at a few remote villages. In this context and, with a history of collaboration between Värmland (Sweden) and Innlandet (Norway), the cross-border infrastructure sharing model was developed with the aim of providing rural border regions with superfast connections.
Working with telecommunications operators and the local municipalities the pilot has developed a technical plan for cross-border fibre deployment. This is of potential interest to other cross-border regions in the EU, as well as cross-border regions between EU and non-EU countries. An underwater cable was placed into Lake Röjden/Røgden. The fibre is now extended from Sweden up to the border with Norway. On the Norwegian side, the fibre was taken from the border cabinet and extended (1.2 km, also through the lake Røgden) to a fibre cabinet at the crossing direction Svullrya. Finnskogtoppen Hotel (on the Norwegian side) installed 1.5 km fibre and already connected to this cabinet. The visitors of the Finnskogtoppen Hotel can now enjoy 900 Mbps speed (upgraded from 3 Mbps before). Check the summary report on the implementation of the pilot.

Länsstyrelsen Värmland

Hedmark fylkeskommune NO

Syddjurs Kommune, DK

CORD – COnsultation for tReatment of Dementia

  • Planning 100% 100%
  • Implementation 80% 80%
  • Operation 80% 80%


The aim of the pilot is to help relatives of people with dementia within the Syddjurs Municipality to get counselling quickly. The anticipated result is a digital system for patients with dementia and their families, which allows for a faster response time to current incidents. By providing consultations online, the travel time of coordinators is also reduced, which will lead to more efficient medical care. The workshops involve all parties concerned in the development and implementation of a system. The pilot is being carried out in close cooperation with the neighbouring municipality of Norddjurs, which also shares the same challenges.
Video consultation in the context of e-health is a priority topic in the Syddjurs municipality: there are four coordinators working with people diagnosed with dementia. Their job is to help and guide patients and their families. There are about 400 known patients with dementia in the municipality, with an additional estimated 300 unregistered. Due to the rurality of Syddjurs the dementia-coordinators currently spend a lot of time travelling to visit patients. Syddjurs designed this pilot using workshops with healthcare professionals to test the integration of video consultation services.
The pilot has selected LifeManager to supply suitable technology as they are able to provide the broad functionality, configurability and technical support required. The implementation process is initially offering training through videoconferencing with 15 citizens. The focus is on one-to-one activities between the citizen and the trainer. The pilot’s next step is to start group-training once participants are familiar with the technology.

Syddjurs Kommune, Dänemark

Norddjurs Kommune, DK

SAINT – Strategies on e-Tourism

  • Planning 100% 100%
  • Implementation 85% 85%
  • Operation 85% 85%
The aim of the pilot was to develop new tourism-oriented digital services to enhance the visitor experience in Norddjurs Municipality and increase the awareness of how Next Generation Networks (NGN) can boost the local economy. The pilot was divided into three areas: a) deploying a pilot WiFi Hotspot in one tourist attraction in a nature area, b) providing access to tourism-oriented digital services and information, and c) developing a good practice guide for local businesses to help them boost business activities and tourism in rural areas using the benefits offered by NGN.
The pilot was designed to support the devel-opment strategy of Norddjurs Municipality and in particular their commitment to support local SMEs. The Municipality sought to provide at least one WiFi hotspot to support tourists, alongside conducting workshops with local tourist businesses to support their digital skills.
The pilot has worked with businesses and stakeholders, conducting interviews to get a picture about digitalisation and what needs they have in the region. Two WiFi hotspots were successfully installed. The project is still developing a process for collecting data from these hotspots (i.e. how many users access it, how often, where do the visitors come from, where do they go afterwards and so on).

Norddjurs Kommune, Dänemark

Amt Hüttener Berge, DE

Digital Citizen Portal

  • Planning 100% 100%
  • Implementation 80% 80%
  • Operation 80% 80%


The aim of the pilot was to implement a technology solution, which would modernise information delivery across the region. As part of the pilot, Amt Hüttener Berge planned to build data terminals (large-format digital outdoor and touch-sensitive indoor screens) in public areas, such as village community houses, to share information with citizens and tourists about the region: connecting content and different participants together. Amt Hüttener Berge hoped that through the introduction of these screens (plus some tablets), citizens, elementary schools, local institutions and tourists would be empowered to use new services available through fibre networks.
In 2017, Amt Hüttener Berge held focus groups with stakeholders over a 6-month period to dis-cuss the Digital Agenda, a multi-year regional framework for the interaction of digital infra-structure, digital services and e-government. Following this, larger feedback groups, made up of people who were well versed in the projects and/or had a high level of interest in using the project results, were contacted via email and given the opportunity to engage in the debate.
The project has installed 5 information terminals (4 outdoors and 1 indoors), 5 e-screens in community centres and provided 132 tablets for 6 class sets at 5 elementary schools. Using all of this means local residents can more easily access up-to-date municipal services and information.

24361 Amt Hüttener Berge, Deutschland

Intercommunale Leiedal, BE

Smart fiber hubs – infrastructure supporting new digital services and collection of data

  • Planning 100% 100%
  • Implementation 85% 85%
  • Operation 80% 80%

Connectivity, smartness and effective digital services delivery are among the main targets of Leiedal. As an intercommunal organisation, Leiedal aims to connect urban and rural areas in South-West-Flanders through an open fibre network, supporting the development and deployment of new digital services and collection of valuable data.
The first component of Leiedal pilot activity will be the establishment of an open access fiber network. A second component focusses on development of valuable digital services and collection of data in favour of local authorities. Through developed services, a web of sensors and the collected data, Leiedal offers valuable insights and understandings to rural local governments for all kinds of spatial-related services, e.g. identifying required infrastructure changes in streets, houses, traffic signs, assessing dangerous traffic and mobility situations, easily performing accurate measurements and low-cost analysis. A third important component, is informing and training of co-workers of local authorities and organisations, learning them how to make use of these tools and data in their daily activities. Through these activities CORA and Leiedal give great opportunities to small and rural municipalities to step up and surpass the digital divide.

Pilot A

Gemeente Oldambt, NL

Smart public welfare solutions and in place support

  • Planning 90% 90%
  • Implementation 70% 70%
  • Operation 70% 70%

The aim of the pilot was to raise awareness and improve the digital skills and competencies of citizens and enterprises in the municipality of Oldambt, as well as testing public welfare solutions using digital technology. Oldambt aimed to create a digital hub (a Broadband Innovation Centre) for local enterprises and start-ups to help improve digital business activities in the area. It was hoped that the Centre would become a place for all citizens, entrepreneurs, civil servants, unemployed, old and young, to get inspired, be engaged and participate in a range of innovation projects in the field of broadband and digitalisation. Topics to be covered included home automation, e-health, virtual reality applications, agri-projects and new energy solutions.
In 2019 the decision was taken to separate the project into two parts, as it was felt that residents required more information on the possibilities of digital technologies. The first stage was therefore to provide a Broadband Information Centre, with a focus on awareness of the Digital Agenda followed by the second stage of the Innovation Centre, focusing more closely on businesses.
The Broadband Information Centre will focus on promoting and stimulating the use and opportunities of broadband, becoming an education/information focused pilot project.
The Oldambt Verbindt Foundation and Groningen Internet Exchange (GN-IX) planned to co-create a digital hub, the Broadband Innovation Centre Oldambt, for local people, enterprises and start-ups to establish and improve digital activities in the area.
The pilot gathered a significant amount of data on the opportunities for an Innovation Centre, which will be used for future phases of the project. The project has successfully increased awareness and interest in a Broadband Information Centre, created partnerships with schools and achieved buy-in from new political leaders for future phases which include the original Innovation Centre concept. Although there have been delays to building the Broadband Innovation Centre, the pilot team have been able to get support from local schools, in addition to the local government partners, therefore cre-ating a stronger local partnership. These schools are taking part in planning for the first phase, the Information Centre.

Eidskog

Middelfart Kommune, DK

COME ALONG (KørMed) – sustainable transportation and mobility in rural areas

  • Planning 90% 90%
  • Implementation 60% 60%
  • Operation 40% 40%

Middelfart is developing an IT-based car-sharing platform KørMed and training citizens in rural areas to enhance the use of this solution. The municipality is investigating sustainable transportation alternatives in rural areas based upon platform technologies and sharing economy principles. An important step is training citizens, enhancing their awareness and trust in using the new technologies. In the KørMed pilot, the Middelfart Municipality is working on how to make transportation in the countryside smoother in an environmentally friendly way. The aim of KørMed is to make ride-sharing easier and more attractive to the inhabitants of the municipality.

KørMed is aiming at the short local trips: transportation over short distances in rural areas outside the major cities of the Middelfart Municipality. KørMed is therefore a search for an environmentally friendly “local” transport solution, e.g. to and from work, to pick up and bring children to sports or to do shopping. The first step in the pilot was about the technological solutions for ride-sharing – such as for example the application GoMore. That is why Middelfart is working on designing concepts that influences people’s behaviour by making it easy and attractive to drive together or share rides. The project is being tested in three “modules”: a workplace, a sports club and a school. During the test period, the target groups are able to sign up to offer or use transportation in different ways using digital services.

The most important lessons learned so far in the KørMed pilot are:

  • The technology and ridesharing apps are either already available or are being developed
  • It is the change of behaviour that might crack the code for more ridesharing
  • The inhabitants show a great interest to “do something for the environment and each other” through ridesharing
  • The potential users need help & nudges in the progress – otherwise the ridesharing will “not happen”

 

Middelfart Kommune, Dänemark