CORDIS - EU research results

Digitisation: Economic and Social Impacts in Rural Areas

Project description

New tool to assess impact of digitisation in rural areas

The successful digitalisation of agriculture and rural areas is a top priority of the EU. Digital technologies can help tackle important and urgent economic, social, climate and environmental challenges facing the EU's agri-food sector and rural areas. The DESIRA project will develop a methodology - and a related online tool - to assess the impact of past, current and future digitalization trends, using the concept of socio-cyber-physical systems – which connect and change data, things, people, plants and animals. Impact analysis will be linked directly to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, and will contribute to the promotion of the principles of Responsible Research and Innovation. Involving 25 partners across Europe, the consortium will organise 20 Living Labs and one EU-level Rural Digital Forum. The project will ultimately contribute to policy development across the EU.


DESIRA will develop the concept of Socio-Cyber-Physical Systems to advance understanding of the
impact of digitisation in rural areas, linking analysis directly to the United Nation’s Sustainable
Development Goals. Operationalising the Responsible Research and Innovation approach, DESIRA
will enrol agriculture, forestry and rural stakeholders in co-developing scenarios and policies in Living
Labs established in 20 European Regions, and a Rural Digitization Forum gathering 250 stakeholders
from all Europe. A Virtual Research Environment tailored to the purposes of the project will connect all participants and allow to increase substantially the interaction within the network.
DESIRA will provide a Taxonomy and Inventory of Digital Game changers which will be implemented into an online Visualization Tool, a Set of Socio-Economic Impact Indicators aligned to the Sustainability Development Goals implemented into an online Socio-Economic Impact Tool, a Pan-European Assessment of digitization in European rural regions, a Needs, Expectations and Impact appraisal report, a Comparative Scenario Report based on scenario development activities of Living Labs and the Rural Digitization Forum, a Policy analysis and Roadmap, an Ethical Code to be adopted by researchers and innovators and recommended by policy bodies, five Use Cases that will
report a further analysis – co-created by Living Labs with the support of ICT specialists - of the most promising solutions identified by Living Labs, Showcase Technologies - including a Virtual Farm Platform - that will create a selection of proof of concepts suggested by Use Cases. A detailed, multi-media dissemination, engagement and communication strategy will accompany the project from the beginning, looking at research as a multifunctional (research, engagement and communication) process and at the same time involving
communication specialists in the development of adequate messages and in the choice of the most effective media.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 646 718,75
56126 Pisa

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Centro (IT) Toscana Pisa
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 646 718,75

Participants (24)