Kantor Management Consultants and Schuman Associates to run again the ‘Support Facility for Broadband Competence Offices’ for Rural Development, to make sure the rural areas of Europe are fit for the future
New technologies for Rural Development
Today when we speak about the emerge of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), Edge Computing, 5G, blockchain and supercomputing, we all have in mind urban and environments and high-tech skilled societies. In fact though, all those technologies have great potential to make agriculture more efficient, sustainable, and competitive.
Imagine a rural world, where IoT sensors collect environmental and machine data, which can be exploited by farmers to make better decisions, such as crop and livestock real time monitoring. Image farming robotics, accurate geo-spatial data that enable precision farming and digital image-segmentation that helps isolate and treat sick animals.
Nevertheless, as in other sectors and society as a whole, the digital transformation of agriculture poses the risk of a digital divide. For example, between connected and disconnected farms and economically small and large farms. A good example to understand where we are standing is the fact that only 65% of Europe’s rural areas enjoy connectivity of more than 30 Mbps. This creates a real obstacle for the use of all the emerging technologies that could potentially benefit greatly the development of rural areas.
European Budget for Rural Development
Europe allocated between 2014-2020 a budget of €135 billion for the purpose of rural development and has planned €95,5 billion for the period 2021-2027. Reaching the targets of the EU's digital ambitions for 2030, will provide more opportunities for the sustainable development of rural areas in agriculture, farming and forestry and will make sure that the rural areas of Europe are fit for the future.
The BCO Support Facility project, an EU funded project, builds upon those goals and aims at setting up a European network of national and regional offices (BCOs) that would support the broadband roll-out in Europe, especially in the rural, remote and underserved areas.
Kantor in Rural Development
Kantor Management Consultants has a long history of working closely with the European Commission in rural development. Now, in partnership with Schuman Associates, has renewed its 4-year contract with the European Commission, for the project ‘Support Facility for Broadband Competence Offices (BCOs)’ and will continue to support the European Commission with a team of experts in order to contribute to the extent possible, to the EU targets for a digital and cohesive Europe.