Addressing the Digital Divide in Rural Areas – CORA and COM³ North Sea Regional Conference At University of Lincoln


UoL 4.0 Challenge Project team and the University of Lincoln hosted a 3-day CORA/COM³ regional conference with project partners from the North Sea Region. The conference addressed, reflected and action planned how municipalities, regions, institutions and business organisations can work together to challenge the digital divide in rural areas.

Agenda activities

The agenda included workshops, presentations, interactive sessions, discussions, and a variety of cultural activities. Attendees had the opportunity to discuss digital uncertainties and potential feasibility of achieving digital transformation objectives, tackling uncertainties of smaller municipalities, and delivering digital services in rural areas.

Day 1 – CORA

First day of the partners meeting started at Lincoln Cathedral Visitor Centre with an opening session by Liz Price sharing some historic information about the city of Lincoln. Jane Deville conducted some evaluation of the maturity check, and analysed the roles of integrated digital strategies in Digital Maturity.

Liz Price, Senior Research Fellow at Lincoln International Business School
Jane Deville, Research Fellow at Lincoln International Business School

CORA partner reflected on CORA workshops considering the current project status in the rural journey and the next step implementation. There were some presentations regarding CORA Extension plan (Smart Rural Journey) aiming to tackle uncertainties of smaller municipalities, deliver digital services in rural areas, and develop action plans for their digital transformation. 

CORA partner workshops
Day 2 – CORA & COM³

On the second day of the meeting, attendees visited Lincoln Mosaic Digital Hub and the Business Lincolnshire and UoL 4.0 challenge Project team delivered some presentations.

David Regler, Digital, Creative and Tech Sector Specialist from Businesses Lincolnshire reflected on approaches to support digitalisation in Lincolnshire
Chang Ge, Digital Lead of Lincoln International Business School
Abbey Langford, Project Controller from Teledyne e2v, UoL4.0 project alumna shared her successful story connecting the project experience to her career development

The attendees found this opportunity to visit University of Lincoln and had the rest of their meeting agenda at Minerva Building. The main presentation topics were about COM³ pilot updates with the aim of strengthening the municipal administration’s role as supporter and digital hub for local business development, as well as targeting communication & networking service, with improved strategic orientation. Therefore, COM³ partners started to share the latest updates about selected pilots (OldambtVinjeVejle, and Torsby).

COM3 Pilot Updates

Day 3 – COM³

On last day of the partners meeting, COM3 partners discussed how to disseminate the COM3 findings and highlighted the result indicators. Liz Price from the University of Lincoln represented the COM3 Business Survey Campaign which will begin in January 2023 with the aim of measuring the effectiveness of COM3 on regional businesses regarding the use of digital technology.

CORA and COM³ North Sea Regional Conference in Lincoln finished with a closing presentation by Bieke Blauwblomme about the last updates on project management, finance, and communications management.

Bieke Blauwblomme sharing information about the last project updates

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