Smart villages and the digital ecosystem

Villages represent communities, small settlements, which host from a few dozen to a few hundred inhabitants, linked to the countryside. In general, the socio-economic contexts in which rural communities develop in the 21st century are changing rapidly, but they are still marked by some characteristics that distinguish them from other types of settlements, for example, the lack of infrastructure or the availability of services. One of the most important rural infrastructure gaps is in the area of ​​mobility, and the other is evident in digital infrastructure and digital skills.

For the EU, the overall level of digital literacy among adults was lowest in rural areas (e.g. only 48% of the rural population had basic or advanced digital skills) and highest in urban areas (e.g. 62 % of adults living in urban settlements). There is also a lack of centrality in the sense of administrative, cultural, logistical, social, educational organizations.

Digital innovation requires access to digital networks, the skills to exploit them, and the individual and community capacity and willingness to seek change and develop solutions to meet social, economic and environmental challenges. The expansion of high-speed broadband to reach a growing number of rural communities has laid the groundwork for rural stakeholders to play a role in the rapidly developing digital economy and society.

The definition of a smart village ecosystem can be given as an ecosystem consisting of a network of micro enterprises, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), farmers, local and central government employees, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), small private industrial units , logistics, ICT technologies and services. It also acts as a facilitator and helps to connect the villagers with the external environment and certain resources such as financial resources, natural resources, semi-skilled, unskilled and skilled human resources and an industrial environment that interact with each other to provide more services. good for a smart village.

There are four broad areas of interest in the smart village ecosystem. The first would be digital services, which include services such as smart transport, various ICT services, e-books, smart education, various online services for smart village residents and better energy efficiency. The second area of ​​interest of the smart village ecosystem is the institutions or units that comprise the village veterans, different levels of schools, village committees, smart information centers and so on. The third area of ​​focus is resources which include land, energy, financial resources, human resources (unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled human resources), health care facilities and medical resources (drug stores, doctors, paramedical facilities etc.), water , agriculture. The fourth and final focus area of ​​these smart villages is maintenance, which includes renewal and clean energy, self-sustainable irrigation, attractive investment destination, land mapping and efficient use of agricultural land.