Duration: 48 months

Progress: Month 4


Architecture for Unified Regional and Open digital ecosystems for Smart Communities and wider Rural Areas Large scale application

The sustainable and resilient future of Europe relies on the urban and rural areas and their capacities to innovate. Due to lower population, insufficient investment, connectivity gaps, and lack of digital skills, countryside territories, however, still struggle to keep up with the innovative solutions. Being behind the digital age leads to difficulties in the development of competitive private businesses and efficient public services.

The AURORAL project focuses on the rural areas and their digital transformation. It aims to increase connectivity and digitalisation of countryside regions by delivering a digital environment of interoperable service platforms. The environment builds on an open, API-based, interoperable and federated Internet of Things (IoT) architecture and includes a reference implementation supporting flexible integration of heterogeneous services, bridging the interoperability gap of the smart object platforms and creating markets for services in rural areas.

The AURORAL digital environment is demonstrated through eight large-scale pilot regions in different EU member states. The following five domains will be covered by pilots: smart health, smart energy, smart mobility, smart farming, and smart tourism.

Overall, by providing interoperable services, developing applications, and boosting innovation, the EU-funded AURORAL project aims to increase economic growth in rural areas and tackle significant societal challenges.

Visit the project website to learn more about AURORAL.

  • Digital services creating critical mass in rural areas of Alentejo (Portugal)
  • Sustainable mobility, smart tourism and smart energy systems in Southern Burgenland (Austria)
  • Home-based empowered Wellbeing and Health Service in the Arctic (Norway)
  • Hyperlocal tourism and mobility services in the Arctic (Narvik and Harstad in Norway)
  • Improving public service of energy advisory in a rural area: an open-access smart tool (Sweden)
  • Bioenergy production from wineries’ agroforestry residues in Penedès wine region (Catalonia - Spain)
  • Precision dairy farming and social eco-tourism in the rural area of Piedmont (Piemont Region- Italy)
  • Intelligent communal logistic data system for Lapland (Finland)

DIGITAL SME will contribute to the AURORAL project by connecting members of rural innovation ecosystems (digital SMEs, local universities, industrial bodies) and local and regional authorities managing the rural development funds. It will engage various stakeholders, inform about the project results and its business opportunities. As a part of the project, DIGITAL SME will also help to manage and promote the open call for SMEs.

In addition, DIGITAL SME will also develop policy and standardisation recommendations to ensure the interoperability of the project architecture. Finally, it will provide recommendations on developing an investment platform that will support investors and private stakeholders in providing new services.

  • 6 world-class technical research centres and universities (CERTH, SINTEF, UPM, DEUSTO, UMEA, UNIV OULU)
  • 6 leading industrial companies and SMEs  (ATOS, BVR, BOSONIT, LUXACTIVE, UNP and IrRADIARE)
  • 2 international networks (DIGITAL SME, FEBEA)

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement N° 101016854.

This communication reflects only the author’s view. It does not represent the view of the European Commission and the EC is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.