Digital villages

© Photo Smileus – Fotolia.com

The digital village project aims to harness the potential of digitalization in rural areas.

“Digitales Dorf” project prepares rural areas for the future.

Increasing urbanization, in conjunction with demographic change, is taking a massive toll on rural areas. Ultimately, these developments restrict the viability of services in the public and private sector, and technological and social infrastructure, causing them to slowly die out. However, digitalization offers new ways to combat these challenges. Accordingly, the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology has tasked us, in conjunction with the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering IESE in Kaiserslautern and the Deggendorf Institute of Technology, to harness this potential and put it to the test in two model villages in North and South Bavaria.

The project aims to network key spheres of life in rural areas and the results are expected to be applicable nationwide. The model villages were chosen in a competition open to all Bavarian municipalities in “regions with a particular need for action”. The selection was announced in December. The winner for North Bavaria is the Steinwald Alliance in the Oberpfalz district, while in South Bavaria Spiegelau- Frauenau was chosen. As project partner in North Bavaria, we will begin implementation of the project idea in the Steinwald Alliance from March 2017 along with the Fraunhofer IESE. Implementation of the project’s key components is scheduled to continue until mid-2018.