Initial call and proposal for creating a Study of development of smart villages

Few days ago, I got an invitation to propose a plan to develop a Study of development of smart villages for a local municipality of Krsan, Istria, Croatia. I am extremely excited about this and looking forward to developing the study should I win the bid and be selected as the official developer.

The study should involve a variety of information technologies, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft 365, Microsoft Office Applications, wireless technologies, a variety of operating systems (Microsoft Windows, Android, Mac OS, iOS) and as well as multitude of interdisciplinary technologies.

Here is the invitation text, and the associated details.

Invitation and submission of proposals for activities in the implementation of the Action Plan of the National Rural Network 2014 – 2020, the annual implementation action plan of the Network for 2020, which will be co-financed with the funds of Measure 20 “Technical assistance” from the Rural Development Program of the Republic
of Croatia for the period 2014-2020.

Activities must contribute to at least one goal of the Network:

  1. increasing the participation of stakeholders in rural development and in the implementation of the Rural Development Program of the Republic of Croatia for the period 2014-2020 (hereinafter: Program), including the new EU Common Agricultural Policy (hereinafter: CAP)
  2. improving the quality of Program implementation
  3. informing the public and potential users about the Program and the possibilities of co-financing projects, including ZPP
  4. encouraging innovations in agriculture, food production, forestry, and rural areas

Given the specificity of the situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, i.e. the reduced possibilities for the implementation of activities that include trips and events with a larger number of participants, and in accordance with the expressed interest of members, this year the emphasis was placed on activities related to research, analysis, studies, and similar activities. The mentioned activities also fit into the recent processes at the European Union level, that is, at the national level, and related to the programming of the next programmatic, as well as transitional, period. The goal of the Program Management Body is to actively involve members of the Network in the programming processes of the future Strategic Plan of the Common Agricultural Policy 2021-2027 (e.g. through research and analysis on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and measures that would contribute to the resilience of agriculture and stakeholders in rural areas to similar situations; young people’s attitudes about rural areas, expectations and opportunities, etc.), start activities on redefining the role of the Network (expanding the scope of the Network’s activities in the context of the future strategic plan – the first pillar of the ZPP and an active role in the future AKIS (Agriculture Knowledge and Innovation Systems)), development of new/different promotional activities (use of other tools) and to intensify cooperation and communication between the members of the Network, as well as members of the Network and the Governing Body, which should also contribute to new ideas and activities in the coming years.

In accordance with the above, the Management Body of the Program has identified areas/topics of special interest, which will have priority when ranking the applications:

  • the COVID-19 pandemic (impact, examples of good practice (with special emphasis on short supply chains and marketing), funding opportunities through The recovery plan for Europe).
  • collection, processing, and dissemination of information related to the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, programming of strategic plans, the environmental dimension (Green Plan, Eng. Green Deal) using innovative tools.
  • smart villages (consideration of the concept of smart villages, activity proposals).
  • analyzes of the implementation of the Program (reports of non-governmental organizations) with recommendations (it is not necessary to include all measures; an analysis of the implementation and/or achievement of horizontal goals is acceptable).
  • development of programs (educational, social, health, which are not part of other policies/programs), which raise the quality of life in rural areas, especially for vulnerable groups, children, and young people.
  • AKIS, digitalization and innovation (especially networking for the purposes of application/implementation of projects financed from Measure 16, including innovation brokers).
  • identification and promotion of examples of good practice related to the Program, but also life in rural areas in general (primarily digital materials and media).

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