AURORAL Innovation Gap Workshop – Digital solutions for rural areas – addressing cohesion, interoperability and technical challenges

DIGITAL SME, together with its partners, organised a Workshop on the Innovation Gaps in the AURORAL Project.The event took place on Wednesday 25th January 2023, 10.30 – 12.30 CET

As the AURORAL project is aiming at building an interoperable middleware architecture to connect and replicate services in remote regions around Europe, a thorough research has been made on which services already exist in the following identified Smart Communities domains: Smart Health, Smart Farming, Smart energy, Smart Logistics and Mobility, Smart Tourism, Smart Governance, Smart Industry.

Whereas many example and best practices have been found in the Smart Mobility and Smart Tourism domains, and they are well covered by the AURORAL consortium, there are still many gaps to be addressed.

Main findings show that rural areas could greatly benefit from services based on IoT technologies and AI, but the potential of the exchange, process and analysis of big data acquired through sensors and drones is still to be exploited and discovered in the domains.

Another specific domain full of potential opportunities to be leveraged with the use of digital technology and the processing of big data is Smart Energy, especially in terms of integration with other services, and how data coming from energy flows could serve to improve conditions and quality in other domains.

This workshop presented findings, innovation and knowledge gaps from the umbrella review that has been conducted for the submission of the Report on AURORAL innovation gaps, as part of the project´s deliverables.

The event summarized the results of the first workshop, where general recommendations and best practices to tackle rural areas digitalisation challenges were presented. Companies developing and delivering digital services that could benefit from the AURORAL middleware presented their approach, to inspire, share knowledge and allow the consortium to fine-tune the scope of the open calls that will be launched later this year to tackle the identified gaps.

When and Where

  • Date: 25 January 2023
  • Time: 10:30 – 12:30 CET
  • The Workshop had been entirely held Online.


10.30 –      10.40 Welcome addressMarcos Nogueira, CDDR Alentejo
10.40 – 11.00 Findings, innovation and knowledge gaps from the umbrella review – data, best practices and opportunities

  • Bård Johan Hanssen, Master of Science at SINTEF Nord AS
  • Tore Syversen, Research Scientist at SINTEF Nord AS
11.00 – 11.15 Results of the first workshop: general recommendations and best practices to tackle rural areas digitalisation challenges

Alessandra Zini, Project Manager at European Digital SME Alliance

11.15 – 11.35 Companies´ pitches: possible innovative approaches to overcome AURORAL gaps

  • Future Intelligence Ltd – Harris Moysiadis, Business Development Manager
  • Orchestra city by Martel Innovate – Amrita Prasad, Partnership and Community Expert
  • Infosaude CEFAR – Centre for Health Evaluation & Research, Zilda Mendes, Deputy Director – HiCorr project
  • Smart Energy DIH – Tadas Kubilius, Director
11.35 – 12.00 Q&A and open discussion DIGITAL SME
12.00 – 12.10 Concluding remarks DIGITAL SME
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