Nordregio at 5G Techritory – for a connected and digitally inclusive region
5G Techritory Forum in Riga is a forum that brings together the key players in digital innovation and connectivity in Europe – so of course, Nordregio was present to share our latest work. This two-day event, held from October 18th to 19th, was themed “5G in Action”. We took the opportunity to officially launch the 5G Data Hub! Nordregio’s DigiHub, that hosts the 5G Data Hub, offers a platform for our two research projects on the mission to strengthen the Nordic and Baltic region’s connectivity: The Nordic-Baltic 5G Monitoring tool project and Digital Inclusion in Action. Both projects were represented at Techritory to connect with, and enlighten, stakeholders, partners and potential target groups. Launch of the 5G Data Hub Ana de Jesus, Senior Research Fellow and project manager of our 5G project, officially launched the 5G Nordic-Baltic Monitoring Tool during a launch session. The 5G Data Hub presents a dashboard on 5G in the Nordic-Baltic region that goes beyond observation, showcasing real-world applications across various sectors, offering insights into 5G coverage, testbeds, analytics, and enabling comparisons of 5G activities across the region. What’s more, it’s an open platform where new use cases can be submitted, allowing all users to shape the tool by filling in this form! Watch the launch session here. “The main goal is to have this evidence-based analytics dashboard.” Ana de Jesus “Nordic Council of Ministers, and Nordregio, have a vision for 2030: for the Nordic Region to be most sustainable and integrated region in the world by 2030. This project aims to help the fulfilment of that vision. The main goal is to have this evidence-based analytics dashboard. By doing so, we are fostering knowledge dissemination, innovation and collaboration”, de Jesus declared. During the event, the 5G Nordic-Baltic Monitoring Tool wasn’t just presented; it engaged the community in an interactive session. More than 25 attendees had the opportunity…
Nordregio participates in the 5G Techritory
The Nordic-Baltic 5G Monitoring Tool project will launch the 5G Data Hub during a session at the 5G Techritory event on 18-19 October. Join us and be among the first to explore its capabilities! The Digital Inclusion project will participate in a panel discussing digital accessibility and challenges and opportunities related to compliance. The 5G Techritory on 18-19 October gathers 5G specialists to discuss and strategize about 5G development in Europe and beyond. This year’s theme is “5G in Action,” with discussions covering topics such as defense communications, Open RAN, and the metaverse. The event is organized in Riga and online and is open for registration to all interested participants. Highlights from the 5G Techritory programme: Panel discussion on digital accessibility, 18 October, 13:00 – 13:30, Policy & Strategy Stage Sigrid Jessen, Research Fellow at Nordregio, will participate in the panel discussion on digital accessibility. This session will focus on the current state of digital accessibility, the necessary actions to be taken, and the shared responsibilities among stakeholders in ensuring comprehensive digital accessibility. Our panelists, consisting of experts in accessibility, policy, and technology, will examine the key challenges and opportunities associated with achieving digital accessibility compliance. Gain valuable insights into the implications of the European Accessibility Directive, its requirements, and the roles of various entities in promoting inclusivity and equal access in the digital realm. This session will be streamed on live.5gtechritory.com. Mapping 5G in the Nordic-Baltic countries – Key insights from the Nordic-Baltic 5G Monitoring Tool project, 18 October, 17:30 – 17:50, Policy & Strategy Stage Initiated in 2021, the Nordic-Baltic 5G Monitoring project aimed to contribute to the development of a more integrated, connected, and inclusive Nordic Region. We developed an analytical tool to track 5G progress, going beyond mapping to showcase actual applications across various sectors. As we approach…
Launch of the Nordic-Baltic DigiHub: For a connected and digitally inclusive region
The Nordic and Baltic countries are among the most digitalised and innovative in the world. To leverage our competitive advantage, the ambition is for the region to continue its digital integration. Our vision for the Nordic-Baltic region is that it becomes the most integrated region in the world. To achieve this, collaboration on digital solutions is essential. Welcome to the Nordic-Baltic DigiHub: For a connected and digitally inclusive region! While many successful projects, use cases and trials are already taking place in the Nordic-Baltic region within digital development and integration, access to information is difficult to get and is scattered over several means of dissemination. “We identified a need to showcase more of what is being done when addressing these questions, in a common platform, to enable existing knowledge to be shared and to become more accessible. With these considerations in mind, the Nordic-Baltic Digital Hub was initiated”, says Nordregio researcher Ana de Jesus. The Nordic-Baltic DigiHub is a shared platform that showcases the projects “Digital inclusion in action” and “The Nordic-Baltic 5G monitoring tool” funded by The Nordic Council of Ministers and run by Nordregio. “The hub aims to promote collaboration, digital integration, and sustainable development in the region by sharing knowledge, tools, research, and facilitating exchanges among stakeholders. It focuses on addressing key questions related to emerging digital technologies, environmental impact, societal challenges, and aligning innovation with societal needs”, says Nordregio researcher Nicola Wendt-Lucas. The goal is to support a green, competitive, and socially sustainable digital transformation in the Nordic and Baltic countries, in line with their vision of becoming the most integrated and sustainable region in the world by 2030.
5G applications in public services: What to envision for Nordic-Baltic cross-border collaboration?
As part of the 5G Techritory Forum in Riga on 29-30 November, the Nordic Council of Ministers for Digitalisation and Nordregio arranged a session dedicated to Nordic-Baltic collaboration on the 5G rollout. Nordregio researchers Ana de Jesus and Oskar Penje were there to present the 5G Nordic-Baltic Monitoring tool project and to gather the project reference group. The 5G Techritory Forum gathered over 2000 participants online and physically to meet leaders and policymakers to discuss the 5G ecosystem trends and co-create the industry’s future. The session “5G applications in public services: What to envision for Nordic-Baltic cross-border collaboration” was hosted by Stefan Eriksson, head of the Nordic Council of Minister’s office in Riga. Project manager Oskar Penje talked about the 5G ecosystem and trends in the Nordic-Baltic countries. This was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Heidi Himmanen (Chief Adviser, Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom), including Annika Svensson (Project Manager, Luleå University of Technology), Markku Niemi (Business Tampere), and Elīna Lidere (Latvijas Mobilais Telefons). Different perspectives were shared as Annika Svensson gave her views on 5G innovations in sparsely populated areas, Markku Niemi discussed 5G as a cornerstone for smart cities, and Elīna Lidere added to the debate on creating connected and data-driven cities using 5G technology. Some of the overarching questions addressed were: What can 5G offer to public services in the Nordic-Baltic countries? What are the benefits for society? What are the success factors in building partnerships and collaborations in 5G? What are the main barriers and limitations to further collaboration? The session is available here. Also, don’t miss the interview with Annika Svensson and Heidi Himmanen. There is a need to showcase more of what is being developed 5G has real benefits for society and solves real problems. It can empower more efficient and…
Exploring the bioeconomy status quo in the Baltics
The BioBaltic project has published a storymap series that overviews the bioeconomy development in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Both – Nordic and Baltic countries are rich in biological and renewable resources and have a long tradition of utilizing them for generating social and economic benefits through the traditional sectors, such as forestry, agriculture, and fisheries, as well as in manufacturing and related sectors such as tourism. As we transition into a green economy, there is a huge potential for innovation to develop new goods and services from biological resources while creating value locally. In the past year, the project partners across the Baltics have investigated the state of the art of bioeconomy and developed their visions for further bioeconomy development. Their learnings have been summarised in the following storymaps. Press on the picture to access the storymaps: About the project The BioBaltic project provides a platform for generating awareness of different bioeconomy models through peer-to-peer learning and building networks across Baltic and Nordic countries. This collaboration will enable knowledge generation and exchange on different aspects of the bioeconomy transition, including financing aspects, industrial partnerships and symbiosis or the opportunities of digitalisation. Project partners from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are running so-called “Mobile Learning Hubs” and the overall project is coordinated by Nordregio. Funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers, the project runs from October 2021 until September 2023.
Can digitalization help overcome spatial injustice in sparsely populated regions?
Many sparsely-populated regions in Europe believe that they are left behind because of a reduced presence of public and private services in the area compared to more densely populated urban areas. The use of new technologies can be a means to provide similar services in rural as in urban areas and to reduce costs. However, when services are becoming digitalized, spatial and social digital divides might increase in regions with ageing populations. Nordregio researchers Linnea Löfving, Timothy Heleniak, and Gustaf Norlén, together with the German research institute ILS researched the topic and published an article “Can digitalization be a tool to overcome spatial injustice in sparsely populated regions? The cases of Digital Västerbotten (Sweden) and Smart Country Side (Germany)”. The research compares two similar cases in Höxter and Lippe in Germany and Västerbotten, where digitalization measures have been used to provide public services to the population in order to reduce inequalities or spatial injustice. “The article concludes the need for an inclusive process and the value of a place-based approach when implementing digitalisation measures. It also points to the fact that the two projects complement each other in showing the path towards a more integrated and inclusive approach for rural digitalization policies. While both successfully helped overcome digital divides in diﬀerent ways, aspects of both projects would need to be integrated to achieve greater impact. This is mainstreaming of digital solutions into administrative routines (the strength of Digital Västerbotten) and the involvement of civic actors in the development of digital services according to local needs (the strength of the Smart Country Side project),” says Linnea Löfving, Research Fellow at Nordregio. The article was published in the journal European Planning Studies and is a result of the Horizon 2020 project RELOCAL. Read the article here.
Why is Nordic co-operation struggling during the pandemic?
Insights on Covid-19 impacts from the perspectives of cross-border communities During Covid-19, free movement of people and services, and trade across borders has been drastically disrupted. Despite existing co-operation agreements, the Nordic countries took uncoordinated actions to protect themselves. Border closures have heavily affected lives in border communities. How could Nordic co-operation recover after the pandemic by integrating the resilience approach and focusing on cross-border communities? Nordregio – Nordic Institute for Regional Development – launches a report that gives an overview of the situation in Nordic border communities following border closures. Results point to the need for a quick recovery and re-engagement in the Nordic Vision 2030, which states that the Nordic Region is to be the most sustainable and integrated region in the world. Fragility of border communities and Nordic co-operation Since the introduction of the Nordic Passport Union in 1954, long before the establishment of the Schengen Area, Nordic citizens could travel without passports and reside freely in any Nordic country. Virtually borderless societies established strong connections with neighbouring countries. This allowed people to easily access goods, services and larger labour markets across Nordic countries. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, countries took unilateral actions to protect themselves, moving away from the Nordic Vision. Since then, border closures inflicted significant social, economic and political impact on the border regions: ‘Hard‘ borders re-emerged and border guards were deployed to stop border crossings. Border closures separated families and friends, and disrupted access to work, education and basic services. The closed Svinesund bridge connecting Sweden and Norway and a fence erected in the middle of Victoria Square between Haparanda and Tornio (Sweden-Finland) created a shock reaction in the communities which haven‘t experienced anything like it since World War II. Great economic losses resulted from a sudden absence of border shoppers…
Open call for picture submission
Help Nordregio to visualise life in the Nordic cross-border areas during COVID-19 Do you live in a Nordic cross-border area? Or have you visited any of these areas before or during the pandemic? Maybe you took a bunch of pictures there? The cross-border communities are facing many challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic and closed borders. Life is not the same any more – many have had to change their daily life and work routines. Nordregio researchers are working on several projects in relation to this situation and you will hear about them very soon. To complement the studies and raise awareness about the current challenges, we would like to ask you to contribute with pictures from Nordic cross-border regions. Guidelines for submission: The submitted picture is made by the person who is submitting; One person can submit up to 5 pictures; The pictures are taken in cross-border areas in the Nordics; The caption describes the location, time and situation portrayed; If people are portrayed in the picture, and their face is recognizable, their signed consent to publish a picture should be provided; If people in the picture are under 18 years old, the parents’ signed consent to publish the picture should be provided; The pictures size is min 1 MB – max 16 MB; The picture formats are jpg, jpeg, png. Share your pictures by the 5th of March! The pictures will be used to illustrate Nordregio’s scientific publications and communications material related to the studies. The submissions are not subsidized but a clear reference to the author will be made. If you have any questions or concerns, please, contact [email protected]
Nordregio is hiring: Head of GIS Department
Nordregio is inviting applications for a senior position as Head of GIS Department. Working at Nordregio means an opportunity to become part of a truly international research environment with a focus on sustainable regional development in the Nordic region and beyond. It offers significant career development potential in terms of enhancing your competences through applied and policy relevant research, achieving an international network of contacts, as well as getting extensive experience in team and project management. You will also get rich opportunities to collaborate with regional and municipal stakeholders in the Nordic countries. Nordregio is currently seeking a new Head of GIS Department with: Expertise in GIS, geo-data, quantitative analysis, and applied research in the field of regional development. Experience in leading a team and managing projects as well as a successful track record in grant applications. Knowledge in geographies and socio-economic trends in the Nordic Region and beyond. A drive for working in teams and in an international applied research environment. Eagerness to present and disseminate results to different stakeholder groups, both orally and in written format. Competences and qualifications As Head of GIS Department, you both lead and manage the GIS-team by planning and organising tasks and activities, communicate with each team member and contribute to their development. You are also a project manager with responsibilities to attract, initiate and lead externally funded research and innovation projects. The geographic scope of your field of interest includes a European and international perspective and expert knowledge in at least one of the Nordic countries. We appreciate abilities in external networking and in communication with stakeholders. Internally we appreciate analytical and creative skills, complemented by abilities to both cooperate and work on your own. For this position, you have at least 6 years of relevant work experience and an extensive network…
- 2021 February
- Baltic Sea Region
- Nordic Region
- Arctic issues
- Gender equality
- Green transition
- Labour market
- Maritime spatial planning
- Regional innovation
- Rural development
- Sustainable development
- Urban planning
How to prepare for Home Alone Christmas 2020?
Are you longing for big family celebrations or secretly feeling relieved and excited to spend this Christmas on your own? In 2020, Christmas is going to be more digital and more local than ever. Nordregio’s Home Alone Christmas Map tells you exactly how to prepare for it. A good internet connection and access to grocery stores are very important success factors when one must spend a “Home Alone” style Christmas this year. For those of you who are saddened by the Christmas restrictions, we have good news. The recent developments in digital solutions allow us to meet and celebrate with family and friends online. And for those of you who are feeling relief when thinking about skipping the celebrations, you can still blame it on the poor broadband connection if you live in some parts of Finland, Norway, the Faroe Islands or Greenland, but do not try this excuse in Denmark, Sweden, Iceland or Åland. You could instead find comfort in endless streaming possibilities for Christmas movies! Due to travel restrictions, near and far, the go-to place this year is our very own, local grocery store – plan for an evening to remember with a local twist. Unless you planned ahead and ordered most food items online. If you are running late, as usual, every kilometer and mile counts when you are rushing to the local store to fight over the last piece of ham. We see no reason to worry for late-runners in most cities across the Nordic Region. But if you are in Iceland or the northern parts of Finland or Sweden – well, we really hope you have planned ahead. As you can see on the map, Home Alone Christmas conditions vary greatly across the Nordic Region. Take a look at the municipality you live in and…
Matching skills for future labour market
Regions and regional labour markets are facing many challenges such as the ageing population and lack of skills, digitalisation and automation of the economy along with the current Covid-19 crisis. Education and skills are cornerstones for contemporary societies in trying to deal with these changes. The project “Skills Policies – Building Capacities for Innovative and Resilient Nordic Regions” has analysed how Nordic regions work with skills assessment and anticipation, skills development and skills governance. Which skills will be needed in future? And what are the enabling and hampering factors for skills development? We are happy to share our main findings in a report and a policy brief, including recommendations for policymakers on how to create skills ecosystems for resilient societies. The topic was also featured in the third session of Nordregio Forum this year. The project is a part of the Nordic Thematic Group for Innovative and Resilient Regions 2017-2020.
Apply to the Nordic Arctic Co-operation Programme
The Nordic Arctic Cooperation Programme of the Nordic Council of Ministers has opened up its call for new project applications for financial support in 2021. Deadline for sending in proposals is 1st February 2021 (12:00 CET). The aim of the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Arctic Cooperation Programme 2018-2021 is to create sustainable and constructive development in the Arctic and for its people based on the four P’s: planet, peoples, prosperity and partnerships. The programme is administered by Nordregio, with one round of applications per programme years.
Stronger cross-border cooperation after the pandemic
Cross-border activities came dramatically to a halt in the spring of 2020 as a result of measures adopted to limit the spread of the Coronavirus. The ability to work, socialise, do business and use services across borders is an integral part of daily life in border communities all across the Nordic countries and Europe. Since the pandemic hit, border communities have faced extraordinary challenges as national borders were suddenly closed and various other restrictions were put in place. These obstacles were at the centre of attention at an online event “Strengthening cross-border communities: Lessons from Covid-19” organised by Nordregio together with the Bothnian Arc and Svinesund cross-border committees on the 12th November 2020. By Páll Tómas Finnsson, Communications consultant at Finnsson & Co Increased awareness of the value of cross-border cooperation “In times of crisis, it’s always possible to find opportunities,” said Martin Guillermo Ramírez, Secretary General of the Association of European Border Regions. He gave a European perspective on the challenges facing border regions, not only because of the pandemic but also in light of political developments such as Brexit and the increasing nationalism throughout Europe. In his talk, Ramírez emphasised that the current challenges should be regarded as an opportunity to further boost cross-border collaboration in the future. “Many of the nation states in Europe decided to close their borders to contain the pandemic, but in some cases, they were reopened less than 24 hours later because of the high level of interaction in the border areas,” he explained. According to Ramírez, the situation has brought the importance of integrated border communities higher up on both the national and European agendas. “This represents an important turn of events, considering that we started the year with the announcement that there would be a budget reduction for cross-border cooperation in…
Nordregio welcomes a new Director in February!
2021 will bring a new Director for Nordregio, as its current one, Kjell Nilsson, will retire. Rolf Elmér will assume the role, his mandate starting in February. Elmér brings long experience from research institutions, organisations and the private sector. He has worked in top leadership roles at e.g. Carl Bro Energikonsult and Sigma Exallon and Svenskt Näringsliv, working with regional policy in Southern Sweden. For more than eight years, he has facilitated dialogue with politicians to improve labour market and business policies. As a spare-time occupation, Elmér works since 2011 with Miljöbron, a non-profit association that strives to connect students with companies focused on sustainability projects. Rolf Elmér holds a doctorate in physics from Lund University since 1996 and an Executive MBA from the Stockholm School of Economics, obtained in 2004. His interests and competencies are varied, but focused on societal development through sustainable solutions and policy within environment, energy, innovation and digitalisation, Elmér is 54 years old and currently resides in Skåne, outside of Lund, together with his wife, Tina.
Health & Well-being in the Nordic Region
Three reports were launched 21 October, see the links below to the reports and check the webinar recording here: Are the Nordic people equally healthy and happy? How are digital solutions improving health and well-being? And how can digital solutions in health care and social care contribute to regional development? Although the results of these studies show that the Nordic countries are performing well on many indicators related to health and wellbeing in an international comparison, there are persistent gaps between regions, socio-economic groups and gender. Digitalisation has the potential to overcome some of these gaps by improving accessibility to welfare services and thus wellbeing. Increasing access to fast Internet broadband and to bridge digital divides, are important issues for Nordic governments to address. Otherwise, we run a risk of cementing persisting inequalities in the Nordic countries. Three reports, State of the Nordic Region 2020 – Wellbeing, health and digitalization edition, Digital Health Care and Social Care – Regional Development Impacts in the Nordic Countries with In-depth accessibility study – Regional development impacts in the Nordic countries, are initiated and funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers and produced by Nordregio. Digital Health Care and Social Care – Regional Development Impacts in the Nordic Countries, report is also part of the Swedish presidency at the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2018 as a prioritization project Health care and care with distance-spanning technologies (VOPD, Vård och omsorg på distans).
Webbseminarium – Återhämtning efter covid-19 på Åland: Kapital och Kompetensförsörjning
Den 9 september bjöd Ålands landskapsregering in till lärandeseminarium som anordnas i samband med utvärderingarna av Landsbygdsutvecklingsprogrammet (LBU) och Strukturfondsprogrammet. Seminariet med namnet ”Återhämtning efter Covid-19 på Åland: Kapital och kompetensförsörjning” behandlade de ekonomiska och sociala konsekvenserna av Covid-19, hur Åland ska återhämta sig med tanke på kapital och kompetensförsörjning samt vad LBU-programmet och strukturfondsprogrammet 2014-2020 och kommande EU program 2021-2027 kan tillföra? Seminariet hade 65 deltagare och modererades av Elin Slätmo och Jukka Teräs, seniora forskare på Nordregio, och författare av utvärderingarna tillsammans med ÅSUB. Diskussionen inleddes med att Sölve Högman och Susanne Strand, byråchefer på Landskapsregeringen gav sina perspektiv på hur LBU- och strukturfondsprogrammet kan stötta återhämtningen på Åland. Enligt Sölve Högman finns det mycket att lära av jordbrukssektorn eftersom resiliens och återhämtning är en del av vardagen för lantbrukarna som varje år påverkas av väder och klimat. Inom LBU-programmet finns därför stöd inbyggda, även om dessa kan behöva omformas för att bli mer långsiktiga. Susanne Strand, ansvarig för strukturfondsprogrammen, menar att Åland, som alla andra stater och områden med EU-program, i nuläget funderar på kommande programperiod och undersöker vad det finns för behov i regionerna. Huvudtalare för seminariet var Peter Wiklöf från Ålandsbanken. Peter Wiklöf förklarade att Åland vanligtvis brukar klara sig bättre genom kriser än fastlandet Finland eller Sverige men att krisen åsamkad av Covid-19 varit annorlunda. Den åländska arbetsmarknaden, med generellt låg arbetslöshet, har fått uppleva permitteringar, framförallt på grund av minskad turism och minskad efterfrågan på varor. Dessa perspektiv bekräftades senare med statistik från Jouko Kinnunen från Ålands statistik- och utredningsbyrå, ÅSUB, som presenterade siffror på hur Ålands ekonomi och arbetsmarknad påverkats av Covid-19. Några slutsatser är att det är turism- och transportsektorn som har drabbats hårdast och att det framförallt är unga på väg in på arbetsmarknaden som påverkas mest. Både Jouko Kinnunen…
Online workshop 24 September: NordMap in a nutshell
We are happy to invite you to the 3rd online NordMap workshop on 24 September at 9 am, where you will get a change to be introduced to NordMap in a nutshell and get familiar with the tool in 30min. During the workshop we will show you how to: Find the statistics and infographics for regions Create maps and share them with others Find similar regions and municipalities Use time series to see change over time Play around with map colours or design map in favoured spectrum Sign up here: https://www.lyyti.fi/reg/Online_Workshop_NordMap_2_1296 And visit Nordmap here: http://nordmap.org/
Online workshop 27 August: Learn to make maps in 30min!
NordMap is easy and free to use web-mapping tool – We are happy to show you online on 27 August at 9am, and it only takes about 30min! Are you studying or working with regional development and planning? Or perhaps just interested in regional and municipal differences when it comes to ageing, employment figures or the economy in the Nordic Region? All topics related to State of the Nordic Region are included in NordMap and data continuously updated. NordMap is easy to use and you don’t need any previous mapping experience. Sign up here: https://www.lyyti.in/Online_Workshop_NORDMAP_5794 And visit Nordmap: http://nordmap.org/
Healthy and active ageing is more important than ever
In the Decade of Healthy Ageing (2020 – 2030), the COVID-19 crisis raises the stakes of active and healthy ageing practices across the globe. The lock-downs and physical distancing practices challenge daily life as we know it. In our bustling, densely populated cities the changes are enormous. And our older citizens are among those who are most affected. This article shares insights from the ESPON ACPA study in light of the COVID-19 crisis written by Erik van Ossenbruggen &Thijs Fikken (Ecorys Netherlands ) and Mats Stjernberg (Nordregio). The article was originally published in ESPON magazine May 2020. Today, the need for a long-term strategy on active and healthy ageing is more evident than ever. The fact that most regions in Europe have experienced significant population ageing in the last two decades, and that this trend will continue the coming decades, further underlines this notion. In ESPON ACPA researchers analysed policies and practices on active and healthy ageing in eight European cities: Greater Manchester, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Gothenburg, Hengelo, Nantes, Oslo and Zaragoza. Older people and COVID-19 COVID-19 sheds new light on the outcomes of the study. It is evident that the virus hits older people the hardest. For example, in Spain, 90 % of the COVID-19 related victims are 65+ years old. The same applies to other countries studied in ACPA, such as France (91%), The Netherlands (94%), Norway (96% 60+), Sweden (95% 60+) and the United Kingdom (87%). Unfortunately, COVID-19 data on detailed geographical (urban) levels are not readily available for all the stakeholder cities and the relationship with settlement size seems to be complex. In some countries including Italy, the Netherlands and Spain, cities do not seem to be hit disproportionally. Also in France results are mixed: the city regions of Paris, Strasbourg, Lyon and Lille show the country’s highest…
Small rural businesses taking the leap
How do small businesses adapt to the digital transformation? What are the strategies to overcome the digital divide? Nordregio has published a new report and a short policy brief together with illustrative online thematic stories to elaborate on the digital journey’s of small rural businesses, especially in tourism, manufacturing and bioeconomy in the Nordic countries and Latvia. Digitalisation holds considerable potential for rural areas as it offers the promise of overcoming geographical distance, ensuring equal access to opportunity regardless of where people live. At the same time, rural and sparsely populated areas are thought to lag behind their urban counterparts when it comes to the provision of digital infrastructure and the development of digital knowledge and skills. These urban-rural disparities are often referred to as the digital divide and can prevent rural communities from unlocking the opportunities associated with digitalisation. Visit the publications and stories at the The Nordic Thematic Group for Innovative and Resilient Regions 2017-2020 website