The “Digital Villages” project was initiated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Sports Rhineland-Palatinate and the IESE in the summer of 2015.Through an open innovation competition, associations of municipalities were invited to submit project ideas to improve the quality of life in their area by the means of digital services. Subsequently, an independent jury of experts of politics, society and research selected the associations of communities of Eisenberg, Göllheim and Betzdorf-Gebhardshain as winners.
Main objectives of the project:
1. Innovation within a smart rural ecosystem: Digital Villages aims to add value to the rural ecosystem by means of digital solutions and services. The main components of the ecosystem are the community, domain specific services (e.g. mobility, health, etc.), a technical platform, the basis infrastructure, and the organisation of all these layers
2. Develop cross-sectoral solutions: To maintain and operate digital solutions in rural areas, cross-sectoral solutions are necessary.
3. Create a culture of collaboration between residents, local authorities and local industry: Using the living lab approach to enable collaboration between all stakeholders to create innovative solutions
4. Build solutions that are sustainable
5. Develope digital solutions that are affordable.