Next2Met partners and stakeholders have been very active during the month of November 2020. Two stakeholder meetings took place online, held by the Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly (EMRA) and the Regional Council of Päijät-Häme.
Smart Agriculture in the Midlands, Ireland
On 23 November 2020, the Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly (EMRA) met online with 23 Irish and Finnish stakeholders from the agricultural sector, including contractor representative groups, academics and representatives from the manufacturing and software industry. They discussed Smart Agriculture in the Midlands and built capacity among stakeholders by exchanging experiences and looking at some of the technology used in the smart agricultural industry. Using an interactive poll, Irish stakeholders provided some useful insights into the current status of smart agriculture and recommendations for its further development. Stakeholders underlined the need to address the skills gap and cost scalability within the farming community, enhance the competitiveness of the sector, and support collaboration and new areas of research, development and innovation. This could be addressed by providing education and training, consulting with farmer groups, promoting digital solutions and offering grants/subsidies to encourage farmers to a digital transition.
Lights, COVID, Action! Päijät-Häme, Finland
On 24 November 2020, the Regional Council of Päijät-Häme organised an online meeting gathering 14 local stakeholders with the aim of launching the Action Plan work for regional policy change. The local Next2Met Stakeholder group, consisting of representatives from companies, universities, municipalities, and other relevant actors, embarked on this road with a lot of optimism despite the challenging COVID situation. Based on the experiences exchanged and lessons learned from project partners, the Action Plan will be linked to local strategies and roadmaps as well as smart specialisation focus areas. The group is inspired by the Good Practices presented by partner regions and finds a lot of potential in incorporating them at the local level to increase the region’s attractiveness. Interesting themes include smart regions using sensors and open data, sustainable tourism, smart transport, and telecare social and health services.
We are looking forward to the next stakeholder meetings - stay tuned!