Alentejo (Portugal)

Alentejo (PT18) is the largest region in Portugal. Predominantly rural, Alentejo is an emerging region that combines forefront innovation in digital, industry and territorial management, with rich, vivid and diverse of cultural heritage. The etymology of the name is além-Tejo, that in Portuguese means across (or beyond) the Tagus. Indeed, Tagus (Tejo) is the longest river in the Iberian Peninsula. In addition to a flourishing and unspoilt nature, Alentejo is the place of fine arts and historic traditions. Medieval unspoiled castles and walled in the cities of Évora, Marvão and Monsaraz, among many others, combine with innumerous architectural and intangible world heritage listed sites and goods. Among other examples, Baroque architecture unique examples qualify as Baroque Splendour. Now adays, Alentejo ranks as one of the most culturally rich, diverse and captivating regions in Europe. Alentejo’s unique coast line, one of the best preserved and appreciated in Europe refers as an example of sustainability and biodiversity, as it does the unique forest and landscape where good agricultures practices coexist with modern farming and water management techniques. Alentejo homes the largest fresh water reserve in Europe and is the geographic identity of some of the best instances of European gastronomy. Finally, Alentejo combines is very distinctive “joy de vivre” with some of leading examples of innovative industries in areas such as aeronautics, digital, biotechnology, energy or education.

Lapland (Finland)

Lapland, in North Finland, is a sparsely populated rural area, where distances are long, climate harsh and thus the logistic conditions are demanding. The cross-border road E8 is highly used for sea food transports, travel and tourism. All three are fast growing industrial sector and need added accessibility by road, flight or by railway. Also Mining industries on both sides of the Finnish-Swedish border have needs to transport their products to the world markets. The mines have a huge challenge to electrify and digitalize their processes and achieve higher safety and decarbonization goals in the future.

Piedmont (Italy)

The pilot area is in the province of Cuneo, in the Piedmont region in a rural area near Cuneo, in the third largest province of Italy and is typical for agricultural production (fruits and vegetables) and for farming. "I Tesori della Terra" is a small-size farmer cooperative based that produce dairy organic products and is involved in social farming by contributing to social inclusion of person with handicaps and person with disadvantages. The Pilot Site, classified in the Rural Development Programmes (RDPs) as Rural Areas under development, that present relevant problems related to abandon and isolation and are burdened by accessibility problems, administrative and production fragmentation. Piemonte’s RDP aims is perform actions related to restoring, preserving and enhancing agriculture and forestry ecosystems as well as on improving the competitiveness of agriculture.

Penedès (Catalonia - Spain)

The Catalan wine region of Penedès, located 60 km south-west of Barcelona, is a rural region of Catalonia whose main agricultural activity is the production of wine and Cava). The city of Vilafranca del Penedès is the central stakeholder in the region. Its municipality has recently engaged in several projects to foster rural development of the entire wine region, including bioenergy generation from vine shoots pruning residues, leading to small District Heating (DH) networks. The INNOVI stakeholders association is promoting projects focused on the implementation of monitoring and Decision Support System (DSS) for energy and process management throughout the wine and Cava production chain and on the development of an intelligent tool for automatic evaluation of the main technologies for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Västerbotten (Sweden)

Region Västerbotten is the second largest region by surface area in Sweden, the region consists largely of rural areas, being more sparse and rural than most other regions in Europe. It is classified as a non-metropolitan region with a predominantly rural profile and is divided into 15 municipalities, 14 of which can be considered as rural areas. In rural area of Region Västerbotten, ageing of the existing houses in the rural area provides an excellent opportunity to carry out energy efficient renovation. As a national survey revealed that homeowners living in rural areas are more willing to perform energy renovations but there is a lack of knowledge regarding energy efficiency measures and their potential energy savings.

Hålogaland (Norway) - Tourism

The region north of the Arctic Circle in Scandinavia is one of the most sparsely populated areas in Europe, with a total number of inhabitants of only 900 000, split between Norway, Sweden and Finland. The region has a few urban areas (with Tromsø in Norway being the largest at 77 000 inhabitants) and is made up of large and thinly populated areas. The area around the town of Narvik (14 000 inhabitants) in Northern Norway will be used as a demo-site for this use case and awareness raised throughout the region of Hålogaland (120 000 inhabitants). Northern Norway and Narvik is Norway’s candidate to host the Alpine World Championships in 2027.

Hålogaland (Norway) - Health

The pilot aims to demonstrate how medical supplies and services can be offered to residents of rural regions by aerial drones. The region is recognized by settlements scattered over several islands, separated by mountains and valleys, difficult weather conditions, tall waves, or blocked access due to landslides or avalanches. Weather conditions may delay deliveries in case of emergency or requests for assistance. Local authorities and SMEs will supply key services such as logistics and management. The use case area covers Hålogaland region featuring settlements, fishing communities and small farms, scattered in nearby islands, near the seashore and in fertile hills.

Southern Burgenland (Austria)

Southern Burgenland is a characteristic rural area in the southeast corner of Austria consisting of two districts within the province of Burgenland – Oberwart and Güssing. They cover an area of 1,228 km² and have a population of approx. 80,000 inhabitants distributed between 19 municipalities with the town of Güssing in its core. Southern Burgenland has overall the poorest infrastructure regarding public transport in Austria and in the largest part no connection to the railway systems. Private transport via car is by far the dominant way of mobility for most of the people in this region with a clear impact on regional tourism. Demonstrations for peer-to-peer-trading of energy and building of foundations for digitally connected energy communities lead to the integration of region´s distributed renewable energy resources (PV plants, storage systems, etc.) in different platform solutions.