Smart Villages support in Slovenia
The SR21 Country Page
information on Smart Villages in Slovenia
How is the concept of Smart Villages defined?
The term ‘Smart Village’ is defined as a rural community that uses innovative solutions and digital technologies to improve economic, social or environmental challenges.
Smart Villages are made up mainly of people who take the initiative and mobilise local potential to tackle rural challenges. Smart settlements connect with other communities and actors in rural and urban areas. Digital technologies are an important tool for the preservation and development of rural areas in the future.
Examples of areas and activities that can be understood under the Rural Future – Smart Villages initiative:
- Construction of infrastructure, preservation of agricultural and forest landscape, preservation of village architecture, rural natural and cultural heritage and customs;
- Construction of the next generation broadband connection (most households with an access speed of at least 30 Mb/s or above 100 Mb / s);
- ‘Smart agriculture’ (automation, sensors, robotics, large databases (BigData), blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, etc.);
- Digital platforms that can replace basic services: e-learning, e-government, social services, transport, tourism, gastronomy, transport, traceability of food production…);
- Health care (home clinic, e-health);
- Social innovation (services for the elderly, promotion of social inclusion in rural areas, care for the elderly, the disabled, creating a friendly environment for people with disabilities, assistance to people with disabilities, social agriculture projects using agriculture as a basis for providing various health and educational therapies, legal protection and info points, etc.);
- Cultural and social life in the countryside (arrangement of common areas and activities for the elderly, young people, and women; locations for rest and recreation, events, traveling library, connection to a joint music school, theatre);
- Environmental protection, ecological awareness, circular economy (waste, water and soil protection, reduction of fertilisers and plant protection products);
- Mobility in rural areas (suppliers, free transport for the elderly, local passenger and suburban transport, rail transport, integration of different modes of transport into the integrated hub);
- Self-sufficiency in food and care of nearby towns and densely populated areas (direct sales to farmers – consumers, care of tourist complexes);
- Self-sufficiency in renewable energy sources (sustainable sources: biomass, wood, soil, sun, water, wind; connecting villages into energy cooperatives, intelligent collection and distribution networks);
- Tourism (dispersed hotels, boutique tourism, agritourism, recreational tourism, cultural heritage and customs in connection with rural tourism);
- Innovative entrepreneurship (home jobs, revitalisation of rural services, complementary activities on the farm, rural services…), promotion of entrepreneurship for young people, women, older generations who have lost their jobs, for people with disabilities, for people with special needs, creation of additional jobs cities, additional activities on agricultural holdings, teleworking centres;
- Promoting the sharing economy in rural areas (joint use of agricultural machinery, cars, services, etc.);
- Transition to a green economy in rural areas, a circular economy, a bio-based economy.
Source: Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food https://skp.si/pametne-vasi-staticna-vsebina/definicija-pametnih-vasi
Is digital a key feature of Smart Villages?
Digital is a key feature of the definition. Digital technologies are an important tool. Digital platforms can contribute to basic services such as e-learning, e-government, social services, transport, tourism, gastronomy, transport, traceability of food production, etc. It will be used to support the elderly through e-care.
Is social innovation a key feature of Smart Villages?
Social innovation is a key aspect of Smart Villages, especially through services, care and inclusion of the elderly and the disabled, through, for example, social projects using agriculture as a basis for providing various health and educational therapies; legal protection; info points; etc.
Cultural and social life in the countryside can also be improved through the arrangement of common areas and activities for the elderly, young people, and women, such as locations for rest and recreation, events, traveling library, connection to a joint music school, theatre.
How is the CAP supporting Smart Villages?
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food
Indirectly, no dedicated Smart Villages interventions identified.
Indirectly, no dedicated Smart Villages interventions identified.
The development of ‘Smart Village’ concepts can be a topic of Local Development Strategies. The ‘Smart Village’ concept should address economic, social or environmental challenges by using innovative solutions and digital technologies.
Slovenian National Rural Network
Matej Štepec, Advisor
CAP Network support
Yes, specific network activities on Smart Villages.
- Information provision & communication: the NRN developed a dedicated Smart Villages webpage containing news and videos.
- Survey on Smart Villages: in May 2020, the NRN and the LEADER office within the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food (MAFF) launched and analysed a survey on Slovenian Smart Villages.
How are other policies supporting Smart Villages?
See more information presented during the ‘Smart Villages for a Green, Digital and Resilient Europe‘
Government office for Digital Transformation
EU – Interreg – Alpine Space
EU – Interreg – CARPE DIGEM
Other funds and policies are expected to support Smart Villages:
Resilience and Recovery Funds are expected to be used for supporting digital community-led services in small communities (also supported by the REACT-EU Fund)
Cohesion Policy will also support Smart Villages (rural areas) in a coordinated way. Slovenia’s Partnership Agreement within the EU’s 2021-2027 Cohesion policy provides ERDF support for CLLD under Priority 9. Smart Villages will also be supported within measures promoting digitalisation of public services and society (Priority 1). Additionally, interventions for construction of high-speed broadband infrastructure in areas where there is no interest of operators or investors are planned (Priority 2).
Digital policies: the Government office for Digital Transformation, Digital inclusion division, is responsible for strengthening digital competencies and promotion of digital technologies and solutions. The main measures relate to providing access to digital competence trainings.
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.
The CARPE DIGEM project brings together 10 partners from seven countries in peripheral, rural and emerging European regions to develop inclusive digital innovation ecosystems and services.
Please find further information about Smart Villages support in Slovenia on the Smart Rural 21 project’s Slovenia country page.
Smart Rural 27 – Smart Villages Taskforce
There is currently no taskforce set up in Slovenia. However, Smart Villages exchanges among Slovenian stakeholders with an interest in the Smart Villages concept is taking place on an online platform (GROOP).
Smart Villages in Slovenia
The Šentviška Gora Plateau comprises a group of small villages in the hilly part of western Slovenia. Its residents (approximately 600) mainly engage in agriculture, especially livestock and crop farming.
Over 40 km of beautifully landscaped trails are available to hikers, runners, and cyclists, with all major intersections properly marked. Hikers can climb up Črv Peak (974 m), the highest peak on the Plateau, or visit the Kostanjevec Gorge and its main section called Žlebi, where speleologists have the opportunity to explore natural karst caves. There is also a winter sports centre featuring a ski slope, a cross-country skiing area and two ski jumping hills. The people who live and work at the heart of the Plateau also create its everyday life. The products and services offered by the local providers reflect high quality, tradition, and harmony with the natural environment. Nevertheless, like other rural areas, the Plateau is facing the problems of ageing population and outmigration.
Want to get involved or know more on what Smart Rural 27 is doing in Slovenia? Contact us!
Last update: November 16, 2022