Brussels (BE), February 2007 – A European consortium composed of 30 partners from 15 different countries has received a EUR 8.6 million grant from the European Commission to develop methods and technologies enabling people in rural areas to fully participate in the information society as citizens and professionals. The three years project (15 Mio EUR budget) entitled ‘Collaboration@Rural: a Collaborative Platform for Working and Living in Rural Areas', or ‘C@R’, will provide a collaborative platform for rural communities and will develop a common methodology for the setting and implementation of Rural Living Labs. Rural Living Labs are user-centric real-life research contexts, involving people, businesses and public players in the co-creation of services enhancing rural development. The objective of the C@R project is to promote the introduction of collaborative working environments as key enablers of sustainable development in rural areas. C@R proposes a technological response to the barriers preventing rural development and a methodology to involve all users and players (including providers and public administrations) in the real use and co-creation of the services and collaborative applications. In this sense, the Living Labs established in C@R are about ‘creating together a process and a suitable environment for this process’. Therefore, the project considers them as drivers for continuous innovation. Project work is on track and amongst other results relevant business cases for sustainable innovation that take into account the local boundary conditions of the seven different Living Lab locations have been delivered. The ultimate goal of the C@R project is to make an impact on rural policy development. This will happen as soon as tangible results, such as new business creation or participative public services offered to the remote citizens, are emerging. Policy makers will be involved from the very beginning they will be provided with ways to assess the impact on rural development policies. 'The project, which in line with the objectives set out in the Lisbon Strategy, seeks to built a territorial balance based on growth, essential economic diversification and improvement in the life of people living and working in remote areas’ as said Rafael Jaén Vergara, the president of the Tragsa Group, the company leading the consortium.
Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia, United Kingdom