Competition for project “eDorf” (eVillage) starting

Presseinformation / 8.7.2016

Since this Friday, communities or municipalities from areas with special need for action can apply to become a model village in the context of the project “eDorf” (eVillage) of the Bavarian State government. In a two-step competition, one community from northern Bavaria and one from southern Bavaria will be selected by the end of the year as eVillages. The Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering IESE, Kaiserslautern, as the initiator of the first in-the-field lab worldwide on digitalization in rural areas, will contribute its expertise from the Rhineland-Palatinate project Digital Villages.

The main goal of the project eVillage is the promotion of digitalization in rural areas. Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs Ilse Aigner sees particular opportunities as a result of digitalization especially for those areas that are greatly affected by democratic change and rural exodus.

Aigner: “The supply of rural areas can be improved significantly in numerous regards through digital offers. These include commerce, medical care, as well as mobility solutions,” said the Minister. “As a consequence, the attractiveness of the communities as well as the residents’ quality of life will increase.”

The Minister of Agriculture, Helmut Brunner, added: “Digitalization can help to improve the future viability of rural areas. We will test the possibilities for this in the model villages. This will not be about the infrastructure, but about a contest of ideas and very specifically about the question of how to master the challenges faced by rural areas with the help of modern information and communication technologies.”

Communities will have to develop digitalization measures for several subject areas – for instance in the areas of work, commerce, energy, learning, medicine, mobility, nursing care, habitation. In northern Bavaria, the applicants have a competent partner with the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS; in southern Bavaria, the partner is the Deggendorf Institute of Technology. The third project partner and pioneer for the topic of Smart Rural Areas is Fraunhofer IESE from Kaiserslautern. This institute will contribute profound technical as well as methodological results from the Rhineland-Palatinate project Digital Villages to the project eVillage. This will make it possible to quickly generate innovative solutions for citizens and businesses in Bavaria as well. Fraunhofer IESE is the initiator of Smart Rural Areas and has launched the first in-the-field lab worldwide on digitalization in rural areas. Instead of relying on theoretical considerations, the institute has been collaborating with citizens and communities to create digital solutions that can be experienced in reality and has implemented these in practice on site in a dialog involving citizens, industry, and commerce.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering IESE
Fraunhofer IESE in Kaiserslautern is one of the worldwide leading research institutes in the area of software and systems engineering methods. A major portion of the products offered by its customers is defined by software. These products range from automotive and transportation systems via automation and plant engineering, energy management, information systems and health care to software systems for the public sector. The institute’s software and systems engineering approaches are scalable, which makes Fraunhofer IESE a competent technology partner for organizations of any size from small companies to major corporations.

Under the leadership of Prof. Peter Liggesmeyer and Prof. Dieter Rombach, the contributions of Fraunhofer IESE have been a major boost to the emerging IT hub Kaiserslautern for close to twenty years. In the Fraunhofer Information and Communication Technology Group, the institute is cooperating with other Fraunhofer institutes to develop trend-setting key technologies for the future.

Fraunhofer IESE is one of 68 institutes and research units of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Together they have a major impact on shaping applied research in Europe and contribute to Germany’s competitiveness in international markets.