The 'Mission Numérique' of the Pays Nivernais Morvan, or the Lormes Rural Digital Hub is a multi-functional fab-lab, digital service, innovation and work hub
The Rural Digital Hub in Lormes, is a co-working community, digital training and education space, video-conference and meeting space, fab lab and offers individual offices with tailored ICT support. It describes itself as an ‘Accelerator of Digital Transformation’ for the territory: It has been the focus of digital innovation since 2003, with the 'physical' Hub opening in 2008 (in a former derelict abattoir), with training and education space and 8 small offices, expanding in 2015 with a Fab Lab, improved office space for 6 further businesses and meeting-training facilities.
The ‘Mission’ functions as a Competence centre for business, the public and community sectors, and delivers training and mediation services on behalf of the county and regional governments through two conventions or agreements. At county level the Lormes and Luzy Fab Labs are supported to provide local education and training, digital services for business and social inclusion. On behalf of the regional government information and training services are provided to the District on
1. Digital Innovation et experimentation;
2. Transition to HSB (to accompany the arrival of FTTH)
4. Information and communication
5. The digital economy
6. Co and distance working
The ‘Mission’ is part of a regional network of Fab/Maker labs http://www.net-village.org/fablab/ which is itself supported by a national initiative under the France HSB programme
Funding for the first 2008 phase of the’Hub’ +/- €600000 was obtained via a call for projects of the DIACT (ex DATAR) in 2007 (French National Agency for Regional/Local Development) - the second phase included 39% [email protected]
€197K + [email protected]
€76.5K DETR fund for rural investment.
Evidence of success
* Fully functioning rural digital hub providing a level of digital inclusion, workplace and innovation services to citizens, public, private and community stakeholders rarely found outside Metropolitan areas.
* The setting up and continued functioning of a Digital support team able to provide locally the digital training and upskilling needs of all stakeholder groups
* A working Fab-Lab (from 2016)
* A digital teaching tools programme with teachers adapted to the special needs of each Class
To ensure that the Hub is responsive to and representative of local priorities and can then bridge regional, national and international networks and support/funding mechanisms to develop a local digital strategic, technical and skill ecosystem serving the interests of local people.
Potential for learning or transfer
High, however to succeed in other locations
* Services must be prioritised and co-designed with local stakeholders and citizens with a common methodology and with professional support
* Digital transformation must go hand in hand with physical, social and environmental regeneration of the village, town or territory
* Networking and cooperation between rural communities, their citizens and stakeholders at all levels from local to global is essential to maintain dynamic villages/small towns of the future.