Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Promoting social innovation in rural areas through living labs

Tirziu, Andreea-Maria (2017): Promoting social innovation in rural areas through living labs. Published in: Proceedings of 4th ACADEMOS Conference 2017 , Vol. 4, No. 1 (15 June 2017): pp. 155-160.

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In Romania, nearly half the population lives in rural areas, therefore it is difficult to associate concepts like smart cities and Internet of Things to the local government’s priority list. Nonetheless, recently there have been various initiatives to increase access to information using ICT methods in the rural communities as well. The purpose of this paper is not to exhaustively measure the already adopted means, but simply to provide a series of items considered barriers to ICT projects meant to contribute to these communities’ development. By researching the studies conducted so far (in Romania, there are about 2700 communes, these being the lowest administrative units), it was observed that the digital divide is found in 100% of these areas. At the urban level, mainly in the big cities, pilot projects for developing digital literacy among the senior population had a relatively high success. This type of programs has been initiated at the level of the communes with higher living standards, generally the ones located near large cities. Their success, though surely less visible than in the cities, is notable. The majority of these programs have the educational and health fields as targets. This article aims to show these programs’ implementation degree in Romania, providing as examples the most successful cases that help the social innovation process. The intention is to generate a list of objectives that the initiators of these programs have to take into consideration during the programs’ preparatory process.

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