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Forum for Opportunities for Rural Area Dissemination Action (FORADA)

FORADA was set up in December 1994 in order to disseminate the results and the conclusions reached through the Opportunities for Rural Areas (ORA) Programme (1992-1994), an action implemented under the European Commission's Third Framework Programme for research and technologi...

FORADA was set up in December 1994 in order to disseminate the results and the conclusions reached through the Opportunities for Rural Areas (ORA) Programme (1992-1994), an action implemented under the European Commission's Third Framework Programme for research and technological development. The aim of ORA was to examine the value of telematics systems for rural development and, more specifically, to investigate both the present status and the future possibilities for using telematics applications to facilitate public services and administration, create jobs, promote business and support socio-cultural development. The activities of FORADA have involved collecting and collating the programme-wide experience of ORA and presenting this to three main target groups: - Potential users of telematics and the public generally, not just in rural areas but to as wide an audience as possible; - Individuals and organizations which may be interested in participating in future telematics research projects for the Commission, particularly in the context of the Fourth Framework Programme, 1994-1998; - Commission services and staff. The third target group is important because, while most participants in the ORA Programme would judge it an overall success, it has been very much an experimental exercise for all concerned. The main objective of the action was as follows: - To disseminate the results from the ORA projects/programme; - To raise awareness and stimulate the use of telematics by SMEs and as a tool for (rural) development, by ensuring that it appears strongly on the agenda of different types of "actors": primarily local and regional actors involved in the development of their area (development agencies, etc.), but also SMEs and other users and suppliers in the advanced communications field. In order to meet these objectives a number of products have been developed. These products are aimed at two distinct audiences: local and regional administrators, and administrators of SMEs. Principle among these products are two 20-page brochures: - Telematics Applications for Urban and Rural Areas: Promoting local and regional development and using telematics; - Telematics Applications for Urban and Rural Areas: Using telematics in your organization. Also available are three related leaflets (one general and one for each of the target audiences), a computer diskette and a video presentation of telematics, applications. Most importantly, a series of seminars is being organized in each of the EU Member States. The seminars have two very important goals. These are: - To raise awareness and promote telematics so as to encourage the use of telematics in the future; - To bring local authorities and managers of SMEs together in order to discuss the common theme of telematics and how it affects them. These seminars will be of interest for any person or group having to deal with the important changes taking place in our environment: the ever increasing pace of technological innovation, and the globalization of trade, investment and work. Telematics allows organizations to better cope with these changes by enabling them to keep pace. Notably, telematics permits access to a wider market for goods and services, allows a greater choice of location, (e.g. through teleworking) and reduces the problem of social and economic exclusion. In the latter case, telematics applications such as distance learning and telematics job creation services help in overcoming these problems. FORADA seminars are taking place in almost all of the EU Member States, with the exception of Luxembourg, which means that 13 national seminars have been organized. It should be noted that in some countries there is more than one seminar date. As yet there is no national seminar organizer for Austria, but this is in the process of being prepared. National seminar organizers and seminar dates are as follows: - Belgium: 7 December 1995 Mr. Thierry Moniquet Tel. +32-10-813814 E-mail: thierry.moniquet.@infoboard.be -Austria: 11 December 1995 Mr. Heinz Schneider TMG Tel. +43-732-798108 - Portugal: 18 December 1995 Prof. J. Dias Coelho ISEGI Tel. +351-1-3871105 E-mail: tomaz@dca.uac.pt - Portugal: 19 December 1995 Prof. J. Dias Coelho ISEGI Tel +351-1-3871105 E-mail: tomaz@dca.uac.pt

Countries

Austria, Belgium, Portugal