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PoliRural - Future Oriented Collaborative Policy Development for Rural Areas and People

Rural areas are under pressure. Despite being home to more than a quarter of Europe’s population and providing more than one fifth of all EU jobs, the old-fashioned image of the rural idyll is seemingly no longer valid. Over the past twenty-five years, rural regions have experienced a rapidly shrinking population as people, especially young adults, have migrated to cities with the lure of better paid jobs, modern affordable homes and more exciting lifestyles.

PoliRural is a research and innovation project designed to advance rural policy development in the age of disruptive data and technologies in order to deliver a trusted, scalable and transferable solution for policy co-creation. It brings together decision makers, experts and rural inhabitants using advanced policy simulation tools to better understand and tackle regional challenges, ultimately making rural areas and professions more attractive and liveable for established populations and recent or potential newcomers.

Polirural DIH (Digital Innovation Hub)

The Polirural Digital Innovation Hub (PDIH) is a multi-actor ecosystem that supports communities in their digital transformation by providing a wide variety of services from a one-stop-shop. The purpose of a DIH is to:

  • provide a social space for a community of practices; 
  • promote pilots work and support access to their analysis
  • promote existing best practices
  • offering new tools and technologies for testing
  • provide access to digital technologies and competencies;
  • provide access to infrastructure and tests digital innovations (“test before invest”);
  • support effective data management
  • provide development playground for map-based projects;
  • offer training and skills development;
  • help in networking and connecting users and suppliers of digital innovations;

The main goal of this activity during the PoliRural project is to design and develop a fully functional Digital Innovation Hub, which will be modified on the base of real experiences during the project and prepare complex solutions, transferable to pilots and other regions. It will also offer a solution for the global promotion of pilots. This DIH integrated technology, datasets and libraries in one infrastructure with a complex user-oriented portal in the Web environment. The user portal provides general principles of the content management framework as well as principles of social space by providing a blog, forum, science shop, wiki pages and similar. The DIH can connect end-users with developers or researchers to improve the impact of the demo applications or case studies by short-chain feedback from end-users. End users can join larger communities around the DIH to get advice, cooperation potential and access to modern technologies utilisation.

The instantiation of the DIH is based on a cloud solution where Liferay is providing user portal framework and background for front-end applications. Behind the user interface, OpenStack provides a back-end environment where many libraries for data analyses, data storage and data publishing are installed.