DESIRA (Digitisation: Economic and Social Impacts in Rural Areas) aims to improve the capacity of society and political bodies to respond to the challenges that digitization generates in rural areas, agriculture, and forestry, and to provide a comprehensive assessment of both opportunities and threats. To achieve its goal, DESIRA wants to build a knowledge and methodological base that makes it easier to assess the past, current and future socio-economic impacts of ICT-related innovation. The initiative seeks to embed responsible research and innovation into the practices and policies of researchers, developers, and users, as well as to provide mechanisms and tools that facilitate the evaluation of challenges and opportunities related to digitization and thus support decision-making.
DESIRA will develop the concept of Socio-Cyber-Physical Systems to advance understanding of the impact of digitization in rural areas, linking analysis directly to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Operationalizing the Responsible Research and Innovation approach, DESIRA will enroll agriculture, forestry, and rural stakeholders in co-developing scenarios and policies in Living Labs established in 20 European Regions, and a Rural Digitization Forum gathering 250 stakeholders from all Europe. A Virtual Research Environment tailored to the purposes of the project will connect all participants and allow to increase substantially the interaction within the network.
The task of ITAS is to develop a set of socio-economic impact indicators aligned to the SDGs which will be implemented into an online socio-economic impact tool. Based on this tool, a Pan-European Assessment of digitization in European rural regions will be performed. Additionally, ITAS will establish and operate a Living Lab.
This Horizon 2020 project, coordinated by the University of Pisa, Italy, brings together 25 organizations, including AEIDL, from across sectors and disciplines including research institutes, NGOs, and SMEs.