dRural, the new rural communities’ marketplace

Press Release -

ICONS expertise in social and business innovation is supporting the creation of a new digital service network in rural areas

Inhabitants in four rural areas in Europe are to benefit from a pioneering service network using digital technology, thanks to an ambitious initiative aimed at improving holistic rural development, sustainability, digital innovation and social cohesion.

“In dRural we are working on a new methodological framework for impact measurement and social assessment. Combined with our exploitation activities, this will be fundamental for the project results’ effective deployment, upscaling and replication” says Giuliana Folco, Director of the Social and Business Innovation Unit at ICONS. “In this project ICONS will fully deploy its circular and integrated approach to science communication, social and business innovation to create tangible impacts and improve rural communities’ economy and quality of life”.

The EU project dRural is taking its first steps to co-develop and roll out a digital service network for people living in rural areas (including, among others, health and care, social, eGovernment, Agri and IT services). The project is expected to help grow the economy and improve quality of life. The future multi-service solution will be set up in four rural regions of Europe: Extremadura (Spain), Jämtland Härjedalen (Sweden), Dubrovnik-Neretva County (Croatia) and Region Gelderland Midden (The Netherlands). It will be demonstrated in each region to ensure it can adapt to regional needs while integrating local service providers. 

In these regions, the project team will set up a network of service providers and other players through an open call system, leveraging financial support for third parties. This is to encourage uptake of the solution and to expand the network. This mechanism will promote new market openings to allow smaller and newer players to capture value too.

For more information: www.drural.eu 

Media contact: Ilaria Orfino, ICONS, ilaria.orfino@icons.it

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement N° 101017304