The main goal of the project is to identify the contribution of advanced telecommunications systems and information technologies (IT&T) to economic and social activities involved in rural development. This will include an analysis of the positive or negative impact those technologies may have and identification of the common elements of good practice necessary for the introduction of telematics applications in rural areas.
The first stage is a compilation of all known rural development projects involving telematic systems use in all member states of the Community and other European countries. This includes Community initiatives and programs such as STAR, TELEMATIQUE, LEADER and IMPACT, as well as national, regional public and private sector programmes involved in regional and rural development. These will be stored on a database maintained under the associated project, RUDA. Projects will cover a broad spectrum of telematics applications and systems, both specific and general, such as remote education, purchasing, measurement and control, and service offices such as telecottages.
In order to find out the needs of good practice detailed analysis will be undertaken of a limited number of case studies, covering details of the project, its external environment, and perceptions of users and other local stakeholders. This will identify the characteristics, elements and procedures of these projects, in particular those affecting their success of failure. This will permit a determination of the suitability of the technical, economic and social aspects of these technologies and applications to the rural environment; and an identification of ways in which internal demand and new business and employment opportunities can be stimulated using telematics technologies in a range of types of rural areas.
A publicity campaign will be mounted on the basis of the analysis of good practice, in conjunction with the Commission, experts and the consortia participating in ORA actions, which will promote and implement the recommendations and results of the final report in all member states.
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