Smart Villages support in Germany
The SR21 Country Page
information on Smart Villages in Germany
How is the concept of Smart Villages defined?
No formal definition of ‘Smart Villages’ in Germany.
Is digital a key feature of Smart Villages?
Digital is a key feature of Smart Villages. Smart Villages in Germany are always associated with digital solutions.
Is social innovation a key feature of Smart Villages?
Social innovation is not identified as a key feature of Smart Villages.
How is the CAP supporting Smart Villages?
Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL)
Dr. Ursula Monnerjahn, Head of Division 824: Digitalisation in rural areas
Indirectly, no specific Smart Villages intervention
Indirectly, no specific Smart Villages intervention
Village strategies such as smart village strategies can be funded through LEADER.
Federal Office for Agriculture and Food / National Rural Network (DVS) (Bundesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung, BLE / Deutsche Vernetzungsstelle Ländliche Räume, DVS)
Anke Wehmeyer, Team rural and village development
How are other policies supporting Smart Villages?
EU-Interreg / Alpine Space
Lisa Regina Horn
Yes, other policies also support Smart Villages
National (non-EU funded): National “Digital Countryside” (Land.Digital): funding of 61 innovative projects (2017-2022) through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), addressing digital change in rural areas within the framework of the Federal Rural Development Scheme (Bundesprogramm Ländliche Entwicklung, BULE).
National (non-EU funded): Local ‘Smarte LandRegionen’ (‘Smart Rural Regions’) – funding through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL): It is a model project (based on a competition in 2019) which addresses regional digital services within the framework of the Federal Rural Development Scheme (Bundesprogramm Ländliche Entwicklung, BULE). In total, 22 regions receive funding for projects (7 regions selected by a jury in 2020, and 15 additional regions). The project is accompanied by scientific experts (Fraunhofer IESE).
National (non-EU funded): National “Heimat 2.0” is a project of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community in cooperation with the Frederal Office for Region and regional planning especially for rural areas in Germany. It is funded through the Federal Rural Development Scheme (Bundesprogramm Ländliceh Entwicklung, BULE). Aim of the project is to support equivalent living conditions all over Germany by funding innovative concepts in rural development, which can be implemented through individual pilot projects and science.
Regional (non-EU funded): Local “Digital villages Rhineland-Palatinate” is a project funded by the Ministry of the Interior and Sports of the Federal State of Rhineland-Palatinate and implemented by Fraunhofer IESE. An online platform providing digital solutions for rural communities and local enterprises was developed. The approach is of interest and being taken up by villages in other parts of Germany. It started in 2015.
Regional (non-EU funded): Local „Digital villages Saxony“ is a project in the framework of the future initiative simul+ of the Ministry of Regional Development Saxony. Scientific institutions, companies and the administrative sector working together on innovative solutions (products, technologies, procedures) in rural areas. The basis is digital solutions already developed by Fraunhofer IESE. The area Lommatscher Pflege is the rural area where all solutions are going to be tested.
Regional (non-EU funded): The project “Digital villages Lower-Saxony” is a cooperation project between Fraunhofer IESE and the foundation Digital Opportunities. It is funded by the Ministry of National and European Affairs and Regional Development of Lower Saxony. In the first step of the project, the needs of citizens in rural areas to be more active in digital participation were identified. In the interface of citizens and administration, it was tested how digital village solutions are used and how they can be developed to enable a higher quality of life in rural community interactions. The local engagement of the inhabitants and the connection to the administrative structures are always in focus.
In the second step of the project since July 2022, all villages in Lower Saxony can apply for using the digital solutions.
Regional (non-EU funded): Regional “Digital village Bavaria” is a cooperation initiative of five rural areas in Bavaria, Fraunhofer IESE, scientific and technological institutions funded by the Bavarian Ministry. It is a joint initiative with the citizens to find out how to manage daily challenges with digitalisation. It is divided into 11 fields of action.
Regional (non-EU funded): Regional “Smart Country Brandenburg” is a project for Brandenburg as an area of economy and innovation with its districts, cities and villages connected to the capital Berlin in the centre. It was developed and funded by the institution of promotion of economic development and Fraunhofer IESE and Bitkom with different partners. It is a project for Coworker, user, digital worker, developer and innovative networker in Brandenburg with the city of Berlin in the centre. Heim[at]office (www.heimatoffice.org) is a model project running until summer 2022.
EU – Interreg: The transnational approach makes it possible to bring new ideas and new tools for the implementation of a smart village strategy. The Smart Villages project in the Alpine Space is one example that brings together thirteen partners from six countries.
Please find further information about Smart Villages support in Germany on the Smart Rural 21 project’s Germany country page.
Smart Rural 27 – Smart Villages Taskforce
Information will follow soon.
Smart Villages in Germany
The village Kirchanschöring is located in southeast of Bavaria. Since decades their main focus is sustainability and social equity. This is underlined by the fact that the balance sheet of Kirchanschöring is oriented on economy for the common good.Read more
The smart village Hoher Fläming is not a single village but rather the region around the small town Bad Belzig with 14 localities around it and the municipality Wiesenburg/Mark, consisting of 15 localities. It encompasses 30 localities spread throughout roughly 450km2.
The region is approximately 80km southwest of Berlin, which is a 1h train ride away. Therefore, young creative minds from the capital are coming here for recreation or a change of scenery, but also to settle here. A network of people with smart ideas has developed in the last years, making the region even more attractive. The main goal is to establish smart solutions for a sustainable future (economically, ecologically, concerning social issues). The aim is to implement good urban ideas in a rural area without urbanizing the countryside and to include newcomers and long-established habitants in this process.Read more
In 1970 Ovenhausen became part of the district town Höxter in the eastern part of Northrine Westfalia. Since the community participated in innovative digital projects like “Smart Country Side”, “Digital competences for citizens in rural areas” , “Dorf.Zukunft.Digital” and “Dorf.Gesundheit.Digital” Ovenhausen became a digital village and known as a lighthouse example for future oriented village development. About 800 participants are using regularly digital applications for communication in the village and in other neighbouring villages. Ovenhausen was awarded for being “integrative commune” and the village is recognized for its networking and cooperation.Read more
Sollstedt is located in a rural area in the north of Thuringia, formerly part of the German Democratic Republic. Since the German reunification, Sollstedt has been heavily impacted by economic and demographic change. This has included the collapse of salt (‘Kali’) mining, job losses, outmigration, and population ageing. In addition, important institutions of social life had to be closed and building vacancies and investment backlog have arisen. All these disadvantages have impaired the development of Sollstedt.
Keeping Sollstedt independent is the main vision for the village and the strategy should be to become smart and digital by 2030.
Transforming Sollstedt into a smart village could prove an enabling factor to provide the right work-life balance that this age group is looking for.
Want to get involved or know more on what Smart Rural 27 is doing in Germany? Contact us!
Last update: November 23, 2022