Broadband network for rural and mounatin areas in Primorje Gorski kotar county - Croatia
Limitations and obstacles for the development of rural innovation systems can be successfully overcome through the use of advanced ICT and digital technologies and tools. In this context, projects for planning and developing an open broadband communication networks in rural areas have special importance. This is because such infrastructure is a key prerequisite for establishing innovative modalities of networking and cooperation between rural innovation stakeholders. Primorje-Gorski kotar County in 2012 started with the e-County project: Planning and developing Primorje-Gorski kotar County's open broadband communication network. The primary aim of the e-County project is to design and provide a long-term plan for a well-balanced development concerning the ICT infrastructure and e-services as a platform which will transform the Primorje-Gorski kotar County into a modern e-public administration and will include its institutions and citizens in the contemporary information society. The project seeks to contribute to the county's economic development and competitiveness and ultimately to the revitalization and inclusive development of its rural areas.
Financial resources of 220 mEur secured through "Digital Knowledge and innovations " on the project list of the European Commission (the so - called Juncker plan). Thanks to the project, RuNe Crow enterprise was established through which investment will be done.
Evidence of success
● Examples of good practice from EU municipalities and Document collections were made available to stakeholders,
● Pre-feasibility studies have been made for different areas of the county
● Broadband infrastructure development plan for municipalities was made;
● 25 local municipalities signed 5 consortium agreements for implementation
● cross-border pilot project RUNE is financing with 220 mEur
● RUNE CROW enterprise was established
● Infrastructure under construction since 2020
Potential for learning or transfer
The e-County project was initiated as a permanent process of stimulating developmental changes based on the Triple Helix regional development model, which means that relevant representatives of the local and regional government, academia and economy are actively involved in the project.
Apart from the fact that this project is primarily focused on the balanced development of ICT infrastructure throughout the entire County, as well as on the development of optimized services and digital contents (i.e. G2C, G2B and G2G services) in the County's cloud that can generate multiplier effects in rural areas; this project is also particularly interesting because of the established and used modalities of linking and co-operation between stakeholders which as such can serve as a good basis for the development of innovation networks.
At the beginning of 2015, the e-County pilot project, now in the form of a cross-border pilot project RUNE involving two countries (Croatia and Slovenia).
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