How can services in rural villages be improved and innovations and cooperation be increased? How can this be done according to the principles of sustainable development and in a manner that ensures services are accessible to everyone? How can people from different age groups and backgrounds be inspired to get involved and participate?
The Finland's Smartest Village competition is now looking for villages that most actively and smartly develop their services in the fields of healthcare, education, energy, mobility, locally produced food, retail sale, hobbies and culture. The challenge is intended for villages with a willingness and need to increase their vitality, activity and innovative solutions.
The Smartest Village competition is organised by the Rural Network (European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development) in cooperation with the structural funds ESF and ERDF, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Rural Policy Council of Finland (MANE), the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities and the Village Action Association of Finland.
The participants of the Smartest Village competition will be offered guidance, ideas, peer support, opportunities for networking and visibility both in Finland and abroad. Smart Villages is a European Union-wide theme.
Smartest Village is now open and participants can register through the link on the Maaseutu.fi/suomenalykkain website. Registration will be open until the end of 2018. However, it is a good idea to join straight away as webinars and discussions will already be organised for the villages in the spring. The decision on the smartest village will be made by a jury with relevant expertise at the end of 2019.