Living labs - instruments of social innovation in rural areas

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Published Mar 1, 2018
Andreea-Maria Tirziu Catalin Vrabie


In a country where nearly half the population lives in rural areas, it is difficult to link concepts such as smart cities, Internet of Things to the local government’s priority list. However, lately there have been numerous initiatives to improve access to information using ICT in the rural communities as well. The purpose of this article is not to exhaustively measure the already adopted means, but merely to provide a series of items retrieved as barriers to ICT projects meant to develop these communities. Following the studies conducted so far (in Romania there are about 2,700 communes – the lowest administrative entities of our country), it was observed that the digital divide is found in 100% of these areas. At the urban level – especially in the big cities, pilot projects for developing digital literacy among the elder population had a relatively high success. Such programs have been initiated at the level of the communes whose living standard is higher (the ones that are located near large cities). Their successes, though certainly less visible than in the urban communities, are noteworthy. Most such programs have targeted educational and health fields. The article we propose aims to show these programs’ implementation degree in Romania, providing as examples the most successful cases that help the social innovation process. The intention with which we start this study is to create a list of objectives that the initiators of these programs have to take into account during the preparation of those programs.

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Tirziu, Andreea-Maria, and Catalin Vrabie. 2018. “Living Labs - Instruments of Social Innovation in Rural Areas”. Central and Eastern European EDem and EGov Days 325 (March):511-23.


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