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  • Vital Rural AreaisaEuropeanco-operationproject(2009-2014),comprising13projectpartnersfromsixNorthSeacountries,focusedonthestrengtheningofruralareas.ThecentralpartoftheprojectisformedbytheRural Power Pack,ageneralworkingmethodforsustainableregionaldevelopmentcreatedwithalargenumberofbestpracticepilotcasestudies.ThisRural Power PackprovidesaninteractivetoolboxtobeappliedinotherregionsthroughouttheEU27.

    The main goal of the Vital Rural Area project is to developtransnational strategies to strengthen regional rural areasby finding new and innovative solutions to threemain socio-economicalproblems,encounteredinmostruralareas:lackofeconomicdevelopmentandinnovation,negativeorinsufficientregionalpromotionanddownsizingoftheleveloraccessibilityofservicesandamenities.Theseproblemswereconvertedintothreemainchallenges:1. TheempowermentofSMEstowardsneweconomic

    prospectsandinnovations2. brandingofregionsforprofessionalmarketing3. optimisingservices,formoreandbetteraccessibleservices

    andamenities

    Vital Rural Areas 43 projects focused on one of these threemainissues,andcoveredoneormoreoftheseseventhemes:

    Theprojectsevolved intobestpracticepilotcasestudies thathavebeendiscussedandimprovedandsometimestestedandimplementedinotherVitalregions.

    The Co-operative Agreement Approach was used as anorganisation and process instrument that ensured thesustainableimplementationofprojectresults.

    Developed alongside the delivery of best practice projectresults, the Rural Power Pack is an integral and generalworkingmethod,thatcanbeappliedinmanysituationswherecommonly encountered problems or challenges are faced. Itconsistsofaproblemsolvingmethodologyincludingpracticaltoolsandinstruments.

    THE RURAL POWER PACK

    InDenmarkourpartnerisVejenKommune.Theyspecializein several of the Vital themes, most dominantly inBroadbandimplementationandapplications,combinedwithempowermentofSMEsandpublicservices.The InnovationhouseisasuccessfulincubatorprojectwithinthethemeSMEEmpowermentthathasbeentransferredandappliedinotherVitalregions(Fryslan,theNetherlands;Rogaland,Norway).

    DISSEMINATION OF PROJECT RESULTS AND PARTNER SEARCH Our project results and experiences are now beingdisseminatedthroughoutotherregionsandEU-countries.Wearesearchingfornewregionalpartnerswhocancontributetheir experiences and ideas to improve our knowledge onspecificsubjectsandtheRural Power Pack.Tofacilitatethisprocesswehaveintroducedcountry pagesonourwebsite,maintained by the partners. A Virtual Meeting Room,containing a Skype conference facility, a live stream forconnecting partners and a socialmedia corner, facilitatingwebinarsandmasterclassesisnowunderconstruction.

    UPCOMING WEBINARSUpcomingwebinarsusingtheVirtualMeetingRoomwillbe

    launchedinearly2014andfocusonthefollowing:1. The Innovation House concept introducing new

    partnersworking on stimulating and connecting youngentrepreneurs

    (SimonSimonsen,scs@vejenkom.dk)2. E-learning development. Derived from the projects

    already delivered in Vital (solar water heating by deFriesche Poort and earth warmth by WAK, Husum),we are searching for new partners (from knowledgeinstitutesandcompanies)todevelopnewe-modulesandtofindnewmarketsforregionalentrepreneurs

    (LieuweFeenstra/PeterLaan,peter.laan@faro-advies.nl)3. Broadband implementation and applications. Inseveral

    Vital regions there is a vast experience on broadbandimplementation. We are now investigating futureperspectives on optimal use of the broadband facility(services,care,education,entrepreneurship)

    (SimonSimonsen,scs@vejenkom.dk).

    Weinviteyoutojoinusintheseactivities.Donothesitatetocontactoneofustoshareyourknowledge

    EDUCATION BROADBAND & DIGITAL SERVICESSME

    EMPOWERMENTGOOD

    GOVERNANCECOMMUNITY

    BUILDINGWELLBEING &

    LIFESTYLEPROFILING &

    BRANDING

    LOCAL/REGIONAL APPROACH

    BEST PRACTICE PROJECTS

    - Lessons learned / experiences- Applicabillity check- Sustainability check- Extension Of Knowledge By Exchange

    THEMES AND CONTENTS

    WORK PACKAGES1. SME EMPOWERMENT2. BRANDING3. SERVICES

    THEMESEducationBroadband & Digital ServicesSme EmpowermentGood GovernanceCommunity BuildingWellbeing & lifestyleProfi le & Branding

    METHODOLOGY

    COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT APPROACH

    KEY PROJECTS

    1. PROBLEM ANALYSIS2. PROPOSED SOLUTIONS3. EXECUTION OF PROJECT4. EXPERIENCES / RESULTS

    1. PROBLEMS/CHALLENGES2. SOLUTIONS3. BARRIERS4. TOOLS

    PRESENTATION

    www.vitalruralarea.eu

    INTERREG IV-B PROJECT VITAL RURAL AREA

    Dr. Peter Laan, Project manager Vital Rural Area is anexperiencedprojectmanagerandruralexpert,whohasbeenworkingwithEU-programming includingLEADER formore than20years.InVitalRuralArea,Peter-togetherwiththepartnership-developedtheRuralPowerPackanditsmethodologyandisresponsibleforthedisseminationoftheproject.Peter.laan@faro-advies.nl;+31642288961

    PROJECT MANAGER VITAL RURAL AREA

  • INTERREG IV-B PROJECT VITAL RURAL AREA

    www.vitalruralarea.eu

    INSPIRING EXAMPLES LOOKING FOR NEW PARTNERS AND CONNECTION TO OTHER RURAL WORKERS

    1. THE INNOVATION HOUSE http://vitalruralarea.eu/sme-empowerment/24-sme-empowerment-and-enterpreneurship/55-37innovation-house

    2. E-LEARNING FOR REGIONAL WORKERS ON RENEWABLE ENERGY http://vitalruralarea.eu/component/content/article/39-sme-empowerment-and-enterpreneurship/projects-sme-empowerment/ 156-e-learning-module-solar-water-heating-nl

    3. BROADBAND-APPLICATIONS http://vitalruralarea.eu/broadband-digital-services/23-broadband-and-digital-services/138-20broadband-and-digital-services

    Rural Power Pack methodology

    PROBLEMS/CHALLENGES Lackofjobs,education,ambitionandpower

    SOLUTIONS Aconcept/placetosupportSMEsandentrepreneurs

    BARRIERS Cultureandhabits,politicsandtiming Moneyforinvestment

    TOOLS SWOTanalysisforpreparation CasestudiesfromotherInnovationHouses

    Rural Power Pack methodology

    PROBLEMS/CHALLENGES Lackofknowledgeandeducation

    SOLUTIONS Empowering of regional SMEs by providing themwith training on newtechnologies

    BARRIERS Attitudeandlackofambitionandknowledgeoninnovationprocesses

    TOOLS E-modulesonthepracticalimplementationofdifferenttypesofrenewableenergyindifferentlanguages

    Awebsite(www.educationer.eu)tobeusedinseveralcountries A European network of regional workers and institutes working on

    renewableenergy

    Rural Power Pack methodology

    PROBLEMS/CHALLENGES Lackofinfrastructure,services,education

    SOLUTIONS Fibrenetwork(FTTH)toeverybody Digitalservices,trainingprogrammes

    BARRIERS Politics,regulations,(changeof)cultureandhabits Money(missingbroadbandinvestment)

    TOOLS EUsGuidetoBroadbandinvestment Business-casetool

    The main objective of the Innovation House concept is for it to bean incubator to stimulate and support SME empowerment and entrepreneurship. The general idea is to gather different SMEs andentrepreneursininspiringsurroundings,collaboratingwithasupportingandinspiringstaff.Enterprisesinthehousewillhaveadistinctsenseofcommunityandmustbewilling toestablish linkswitheachother,butenterprisesoutsidearewelcometousetheservicesaswell.

    The InnovationHousecannotexactlybecopied fromoneplaceoronecountrytoanother,butanumberofkeyelementscanbeidentifiedand

    SMEs in the installation sector, especially the small ones with 1-15employees,lackknowledgeofthelatestinnovations.Thisisthoughttobeathreattotheirlongtermsurvival.ThemainobjectiveofthisprojectistoempowerexistingSMEsandestablishnewSMEsinruralareas,byprovidingtrainingin(new)technologiesonrenewableenergy.

    The institute for vocational training Friese Poort (Leeuwarden, theNetherlands) combined with an experienced company in renewableenergy (Kenteq),was thefirst one todeliverane-learningmodule forSolarWaterHeating.Thecourseisqualifiedtothehighstandardsoftheenergysector.Andavailableonthewebsitewww.educationer.eu,ready

    Sincedistanceisalwaysakeyissueinruralareas,lackoffastbroadbandconnection is considered to be a major challenge for future growth,development and settlement in rural areas. Networks based on fibretechnology are therefore supposed to be a necessity to keep up lifequalityandcompanyperspectivesinthenearfuture.

    TheVitalprojectperformed inVejenhasbecomea leadingexampleofbroadband application in Denmark and is mentioned as an exampleofbestpracticeby theEU-Commission.Next to that,otherbroadband

    combinedinalocalsetting.Oneelementisahousewithdifferentsizedoffices,meetingfacilitiesandonemeetingroomequippedwithsupportforidea-generationandcreativity.

    The original concept, developed in Vejen Kommun, was introducedand implemented in the Vital region of Lauwersland (Friesland, theNetherlands) and in Rogaland (Norway) in 2012 and 2013 andwe arenowsearchingfornewpartnerswhohaveexperienceinthisfieldandarewillingtosharethiswithus.

    foruseforboththedesignerandtheinstaller.

    Simultaneously,WirtschaftsakademieSchleswig-Holstein(BroHusum)deliveredacourseon theuseofEarthWarmth toemployeesofSMEsandstudentsattheAcademy.Thewebsitewww.educationer.euprovidesanexcellenttoolforaddingnewmodulestotheseries,dependingonthedemandsoftheregionorcountryinvolved.

    Wearenowsearchingfornewpartnersthatworkinthefieldofinstallationtechnologyandrenewableenergy.

    projectsbyVitalRuralAreapartnershavebeeninspiredbyexperiencefromtheDanishproject,andintheVitalRuralAreaproject,broadbandand ICT-applications have been the basis for many different pilotactivities.Theactualchallengeistodevelopandimplementnewapplicationsforfastbroadbandinservices,careissues,andeducation.Thetimeisripetocapitaliseonthefacilitiesthatcanbenefitfromfastbroadband,resultinginsavingmoneyforlongerperiodsandthereforeopeningopportunitiestomaintainanddevelopqualityandaccessibilityofbasicservices.

    2014-01-30T11:1