Author: Manlio Bacco, National Research Council (CNR), Italy

Digital transformation is a process responsible of profound changes in the economy and in the society as a result of the uptake and integration of digital technologies. These play a central role, disrupting existing mechanisms and thus triggering responses from actors impacted both positively and negatively by such a process.

The Horizon 2020 project, DESIRA, aims at assessing and anticipating the impact of digital transformation in rural areas. A large and multi-disciplinary consortium deals with the creation of a conceptual and analytical framework, with the assessment of past and present game changing effects of digital technologies, and with the set-up of a methodology to anticipate future effects. The framework and assessment will be evaluated through 20 Living Labs in different European geographical areas.

The massive presence and the growing set of ICT technologies, and combinations of them, creates the need for a systematisation and categorisation, in order for them to be effectively deployed. Following this, the work conceptually describes the approach proposed by DESIRA to build an impact model to analyse digital tools supporting the ongoing process of digitisation in rural areas. The idea is based on a semi-automatic identification of relevant application scenarios by analysing responses to an online questionnaire, and performing both experts’ interviews and a literature review.

A Digital Inventory Tool will be developed to explore the resulting knowledge base, also opening to annotation of the content and collaborative handling of the items in the knowledge base.


Photo credits: David Henrichs/Unsplash

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