Smart development of rural areas is key for the future of Europe.

Digitisation and the opportunity to explore the potential of ICT are key factors in empowering rural communities to become smarter territories i.e. to make these areas more appealing to residents, tourists, and new inhabitants, thereby breaking the cycle of depopulation and economic downturn. This can be achieved by improving policy instruments (PIs) towards a more cohesive and integrated territorial planning approach, potentially extending beyond the sector-specific aspects of ERDF/EAFRD/ESF for the benefit of local residents and businesses.
The INSPIRE project partners work on LEADER, ROP, ESF, local, and national policy tools to encourage a smart shift in conscious and forward-thinking rural areas. This transformation will be driven by digitisation and engagement across the six dimensions of the smart-village concept: Economy, Environment, Governance, Living, Mobility, and People. The aim is to enhance policy instruments to safeguard communities for the future and serve as inspiration to others.
The project partners include the lead partner, LAG South Warmia and Olsztynek (Poland), along with eight other partners: Ballyhoura Development CLG (Ireland), IFLS and Lahn-Dill-Wetzlar (Germany), IFKA (Hungary), Zemgale (Latvia) and Catabria (OPE and RMEF) Spain
Their objective is to enhance and align their policy instruments to support smarter policies for rural areas, ultimately improving living conditions and promoting more innovative enterprises.
AP Poliedra (Italy) manages the interregional knowledge exchange and interconnected meetings among the project partners, namely Interregional Workshops (IW), Study Visits (SV), Regional Stakeholder Meetings (RM for the involvement of local actors) and leads contacts with Macroregional Strategies and with other smart-rural projects.
The improved policy instruments will integrate insights gained from the knowledge-sharing process and will strive to introduce more targeted, innovative, smarter and territorially specific and all inclusive policy instruments for rural areas. INSPIRE also aims to operate within the New European Bauhaus framework, promoting rural areas that are enriching, sustainable, and inclusive. This approach goes beyond mere functionality, aligning with the environment and fostering social interaction to meet local needs.

The Kick Off Meeting for the INSPIRE project was held in Olsztyn, Poland on June 26th and 27th, 2024. This event facilitated knowledge sharing, formalised project management, and involved study visits and interregional workshops.

Read About The INSPIRE Kick Off Meeting

To find out more, visit the INSPIRE Project website below:

INSPIRE Project Website

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For any further information about the INSPIRE Project, please contact Nichola Grufferty at [email protected].