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PoliRural Yleinen

The observations and insights of PoliRural project – Policy Value Chain

PoliRural project is a Horizon2020 funded project that researches, innovates, and delivers novel solutions to future-oriented collaborative policy development for rural areas.

What is then the policy value chain?

The image on right represents my subjective interpretation of the policy value chain. It is shaped based on my experiences and learnings at PoliRural. It is rather ideal and optimistic. I trust that in real life the value chain is far more complicated and fuzzy. I have also doubts about policymakers’ interest and ability to include into the process the diverse change factors (drivers, mega-trends, trends, weak signals), and multiple voices of the customers i.e. citizens and civil society.

However, this image includes the following components of PoliRural Pre-Foresight studies:

  • PoliRural partners have identified and described 64 Change Factors that are grouped in STEEPV-groups, that are Social-, Technological-, Economic-, Environmental-, Political-, and Value weighted change factors.
  • PoliRural 12 pilots have listened to rural inhabitants and rural development professionals on needs and requirements that echo diverse rural realities.
  • PoliRural 12 pilots have mapped policies that aim to impact on rural future and compared the policies to needs.
  • PoliRural has investigated, through local stakeholder panels, the SWOT situation in pilot areas. What are Häme region’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats from the stakeholders’ perspective?
  • PoliRural pilots have explored rural-related Key Performance Indicators (KPI) through System Dynamics Modelling and later we will define a locally adapted set of KPIs that are addressed to direct the rural policy value chain transformation. Imagine, we will monitor and assess policymakers’ performance and impact on rural areas.

There are though a bunch of parameters and components that I have brought into the image but which are excluded from the PoliRural research e.g. the values and principles of politicians. They are out of the box, in this research.

As a result of Pre-Foresight studies, the HÄME pilot, just like the 11 other pilots, has acquired a better understanding of rural reality from the policy value chain and policy-making performance point of view. The Pre-Foresight phase purpose is to make observations and seek evidence on the environment. To understand what is the situation today, in order to be able to define a future vision for 2040.

The next phases of PoliRural research are firstly the actual Foresight phase and then to define the Post-Foresight.

Stay in tune, follow PoliRural web-page.

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PoliRural

The observations and insights of PoliRural project – Stakeholders

PoliRural project is a Horizon2020 project that researches and innovates novel approaches to future-oriented collaborative policy development for rural areas. Project web-page is www.polirural.eu.

Project has 12 pilots of which HÄME in Finland is one. The overall ambition of HÄME pilot is:

The Häme pilot will use PoliRural results to boost the region’s attractiveness by introducing business-friendly policies that can encourage new entrepreneurs to create products and services on circular-economy and well-being, which in the future may become a significant source of employment. 

One key element at the project is local stakeholder panels which engage diverse, multi-actor stakeholders that are attached to rural areas either by profession or otherwise.

HÄME pilot has engaged 50 panel members. The members have been mapped according to the PoliRural standard procedure. The overall aim of stakeholder mapping is to identify actors interested and involved in collaborative policy development for rural areas and people within the framework of PoliRural project. As a result of the mapping (Table 1), a list of potential stakeholders and the way they are involved in PoliRural project activities must be prepared. 

Stakeholder mapping process is divided in four consecutive phases: 1) Identification phase, 2) Analysis phase, 3) Mapping phase, 4) Prioritization phase.  The detailed explanation of the phases is in the document T.4.2. Stakeholder Mapping & Regional Panel Setup. 

Table 1: An example of stakeholder mapping

The analysis of HÄME stakeholder panel nature and characterization resulted in the following images. HÄME pilot has succeeded to engage a very diverse panel that has representatives from potential rural newcomers up to policymakers at different levels.

The role of members and their engagement level varies. It may be that some take the role to inform about the project to their own network, some advise and consult project staff based on their experiences and know-how, some are willing to involve in the project activities, and some contribute to the R&I process and formulation of the results of the project.

The role of stakeholder panel in Polirural is discussed in this article.

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PoliRural

RURAL FUTURES

Horizon2020 projects’ knowledge transfer session on 26.4.2021 among Finnish partners.

We had an opportunity to hear achievements and plans through four H2020 project presentations. All projects are putting efforts into a novel rural future.

PoliRural SHERPA RURALIZATION DESIRA

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Blue Wings Composting CITIES2030 PoliRural

Blue Wings Composting – Toukkakompostori – again

Blue Wings Composting – Toukkakompostori – has won 16.4.2021 the national Finnish STEM – StarT competition, together with 9 other projects. See the results.

Thanks to all participants and stakeholders, particularly Länsiharju primary school’s 4th class and their teacher. In the below picture the class and teacher forward the well-fed and fat larvae back to nature at Vesijärvi-lake for fish food. Thanks greatly also to the CEO of Blue Wings Composting, Saverio Danubio from Italy.

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Inspire Hackathons PoliRural Yleinen

OpenSpring INSPIRE Hackathon 2021 – #2

Challenge #2: Regional Attractiveness

This challenge’s primary goals are to explore and develop different forms of simple, understandable, and tempting attractive communication of regional attractiveness assessment. The challenge results will help identify and visualise similarities and differences between various regions based on statistical data. The team should consider, test and experiment with multiple approaches that include but are not limited to index calculation, clustering or machine learning methods.

The work in the challenge will be divided into three tasks: dataapplication and testing.

The data group will focus on optimising existing input data sets, adding new data, and dealing with data semantics, including classification of input data according to various classification systems (e.g. UN SDG, GEMET, RRI pillars etc.). Also, calculation methods and assessment of the attractiveness will be moved on, including testing machine learning approaches.

The application group will develop and improve existing interactive web application(s) showing attractiveness maps (index and clusters). The goal of the application’s development is to provide more opportunities for adjusting the perspective of attractiveness assessment to concrete user requirements.

The challenge will be tested in different scales including parcel level


The application is available at https://hub.polirural.eu/hsl-ng/rural-attractiveness-cz/

The testing group will guarantee communication with stakeholders, including providing feedback for developers and data experts and initial development of business models.. 

The results will be presented on cases focused on the Polirural project (NUTS 3 regions in Europe), Czech municipalities, African countries and other areas.

***The registration for this challenge opens on 1st April***
Registration link will be available at https://www.plan4all.eu/open-spring-inspire-hackathon-2021/

The mentors for this challenge are:

OTAKAR CERBA Assoc. prof. Otakar Čerba, PhD works at the Department of Geomatics (Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of West Bohemia, Plzeň, Czech Republic) and cooperates with Plan4all. He is focused on cartographic visualization of spatial data, Linked Data on the geographic domain and semantic issues of geographic data. He has been involved in many international projects such as Polivisu, Humboldt, SDI4Apps, SmartOpenData, Plan4all or ROSIE. Otakar Čerba is the member of the board of Czech Association of GeoInformation and the chair of the Commission on Maps and the Internet of International Cartographic Association

KAREL CHARVAT graduated in theoretical cybernetics. He is a member of International Society for Precision Agriculture, Research Data Alliance, vice chair of Club of Ossiach, CAGI, and CSITA. He was in period 2005 – 2007 President of European Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture Food and Environment (EFITA). Now is chair of OGC Agriculture DWG. He was organiser on many hackathons, where as most important were series of INSPIRE Hacks and MEDHackathon. He work on implementation on national INSPIRE Geoportal. Now he is also active in Plan4all association. He has long time experience in ICT for Environment, transport, Agriculture and Precision Farming. Now he is one from promoters of Open and Big Data in Agriculture in Europe. Participation in projects: Wirelessinfo, Premathmod, EMIRES, REGEO, RuralWins, Armonia, aBard, EPRI Start, Ami@netfood, AMI4For, Voice, Naturnet Redime, Mobildat, SpravaDat, Navlog, c@r, Humboldt, WINSOC, Plan4all, Habitats, Plan4business, SmartOpenData, FOODIE, SDI4Apps, AgriXchange, FOODIE, SDI4Apps, OTN, DataBio, EO4AGRO, EUXDAT, SmartAgriHub, SKIN and other projects.

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Horizon2020-CITIES2030 Inspire Hackathons Yleinen

OpenSpring INSPIRE Hackathon 2021 – #5

Challenge #5: SmartAfriHub III – African Agricultural Water Security

The goal is to continue building the African Community to support SmartFarming in Africa.

The challenge combines three concepts:  

  • Educathon – we support further development of African SmartFarming capacity development by providing rich content at SmartAfriHub 
  • Datathon – we support building an Open Repository of Data in Africa and
  • Ideathlon – we collect ideas and needs to enhance Food, and particularly Agricultural Water Security by enhancing the local Food Nutrition Surveillance System (FNSS).

We embrace transversally, over all three concepts, the COVID-19 era experiences,  observations, best practices and innovations. The ultimate goal is to build local food and specially Agricultural Water Security that is resilient in any circumstances.    

In addition,  the goal is also to support publishing of new scientific papers and building of potential consortia for research projects.   

During the previous two years Plan4All has organized 3 INSPIRE Hackathons (Nairobi, Kampala and COVID-19) that have reached out to hundreds of African smart agriculture experts, practitioners and stakeholders.  As a result of these hackathons we have a African community of practice which is active in Digital Innovation Hub –  SmartAfriHub, Whatsapp and Facebook.   Our goal is to continue and extend these activities by leveraging  OpenSpring INSPIRE Hackathon.

Educathon

Digital Innovation Hub – SmartAfriHub platform connects people to the information and facilitates capacity development. Firstly, leveraging social media type of features like Blog, Forum, Science Shop and connecting users with developers and researchers. And secondly,  by sharing demo applications, where farmers, developers and researchers have a chance to cooperate, test different API for new solutions and also provide common experiments. 

Digital Innovation Hub is based on the use of Liferay Portal and as a backend, it uses SQL and non-SQL database and integrates tools like SensLog, HSlayers NG etc.

Our development goals are to improve SmartAfriHub based on user’s feedback and suggestions, to integrate new functions on the platform,  and to engage new organizations and individuals to share their own content through the platform. 

Datathon

In the area of  open data we see following pathways:

  • using QGIS Layman to collect data from different countries and regions in Africa
  • promote utilisation of COPERNICUS data with focus also on Sentinel 1
  • collecting a database of best practices by using Best Practices Atlas.
Ideathon

According to FAO, Food Security is “a situation that exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life” .  The four pillars for Food Security are (Figure 1): 

  • Availability 
  • Access 
  • Use and Utilization 
  • Food System stability 

Figure 1: Food Security  

ref. https://wocatpedia.net/wiki/Definition_and_Dimensions_of_Food_Security

The starting point is the first pillar of Food Security, which is “Availability” which refers to the physical existence of food and water. 

  • Globally: Irrigated agriculture represents 20 % of the total cultivated land and contributes 40% of the total food produced worldwide. Currently, agriculture accounts for 70 % of all freshwater withdrawals globally. However, there is pressure for water re-allocation which means that 25-40% of agricultural water will be reduced. 
  • Africa: Agriculture is the largest user of water in Africa, accounting for about 85-88 % of total water use. Yet only 185 million ha or 6 % of the total area of the region is under cultivation. Of this, some 12 million or 6% of the total cultivated area is under irrigation. (Source)

The World Health Organisation (WHO) published in 1984 a description of a Food Nutrition Surveillance System (FNSS).The national and local nutrition surveillance systems focus on identifying trends in key nutrition-related health indicators for their populations, with particular attention on vulnerable groups. The objectives are: 

  • Monitor population health and nutritional status
  • Deliver trustworthy data on the people nutritional status
  • Show trends and comparisons
  • Raise awareness about nutritional problems
  • Provide guidance to health-related intervention programs 

The national and local authorities’ responsibility is to establish a pragmatic and reliable surveillance system to alarm and prevent water availability and water quality-related food security problems and risk.

This hackathon challenge is addressed to African communities’ Agricultural Water Security. The aim is to grasp local current situations, identify needs and ideate solutions to improve the water monitoring system.  

The water monitoring system encompasses e.g. collecting data, analyzing data and sharing data with feasible and robust digital tools to enhance decision making, risk management and development.

The registration for this challenge opens on 1st April. Registration link will be available at https://www.plan4all.eu/open-spring-inspire-hackathon-2021/

The mentors of this challenge are:

TUULA LÖYTTY earned her MSc in Industrial Engineering and Management from Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology. She has worked for 18 years at the private sector corporations such as dairy-, sugar- and metal industry and for 18 years at the higher education in three different universities contributing research and innovation action. Digital solutions and ICT technology have been part of her work since 80′ and she prefers to act as a bridge between IT – developers and end-users.  She launched the new phase in 2018 when she jumped into an entrepreneur career.  She is a member of Plan4all (www.plan4all.eu) committee. Co-operation with Plan4all has encompassed mentoring in Nairobi, Kampala and COVID-19 Inspire Hackathons in 2019-2020.

MARKETA KOLLEROVA studied Linguistics at University of South Bohemia. In the Plan4all team, she is responsible for international cooperation and communication, where she uses her experience from her past life as a foreign mission clerk. Enjoys the comparison of living in different countries and regions.

KAREL CHARVAT graduated in theoretical cybernetics. He is a member of International Society for Precision Agriculture, Research Data Alliance, vice chair of Club of Ossiach, CAGI, and CSITA. He was in period 2005 – 2007 President of European Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture Food and Environment (EFITA). Now is chair of OGC Agriculture DWG. He was organiser on many hackathons, where as most important were series of INSPIRE Hacks and MEDHackathon. He work on implementation on national INSPIRE Geoportal. Now he is also active in Plan4all association. He has long time experience in ICT for Environment, transport, Agriculture and Precision Farming. Now he is one from promoters of Open and Big Data in Agriculture in Europe. Participation in projects: Wirelessinfo, Premathmod, EMIRES, REGEO, RuralWins, Armonia, aBard, EPRI Start, Ami@netfood, AMI4For, Voice, Naturnet Redime, Mobildat, SpravaDat, Navlog, c@r, Humboldt, WINSOC, Plan4all, Habitats, Plan4business, SmartOpenData, FOODIE, SDI4Apps, AgriXchange, FOODIE, SDI4Apps, OTN, DataBio, EO4AGRO, EUXDAT, SmartAgriHub, SKIN and other projects.

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CITIES2030 PoliRural Yleinen

PoliRural meets CITIES2030

H2020 PoliRural project develops an innovative text mining application called SemEx – Semantic Explorer. SemEx pilot is addressed to analyse unstructured data which is related to rural development and rural attractiveness.

CITIES2030 implements System Thinking on City/Region Food System transformation.

CITIES2030 conducts a “literature review” on System Thinking, but not in a traditional manner, but using a text mining application which is developed at PoliRural project.

One example of the SemEx visualizations

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Blue Wings Composting PoliRural Yleinen

Blue Wings Composting

The STEM-center in Päijät-Häme region organized a StarT-festival 16.3.2021. The festival was part of the Start-program which introduces STEM project and good practices which are carried out at Päijät-Häme schools. The link to the StarT-programme is this one https://start.luma.fi/


The Blue Wings Composting – Toukkakompostori in Finnish – was one of the candidates in the group of “good practices”.

Look the video about Blue Wings Composting.

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Blue Wings Composting PoliRural Yleinen

Blue Wings Composting part 4/4

An organic fertilizer

The experiment at Länsiharju school is finished. Children and the teacher feed most of the larvae to teacher colleague’s chickens and to the Vesijärvi fishes. Less than 100 larvae were bred from larvae up to black soldier flies.

The fourth fraction which is a result of the experiment is a glass bin full of organic fertilizer which is a composition of composted food, peat which was used as a bed of larvae and larvae poo. I will use this fertilizer in the garden in spring 2021.

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Blue Wings Composting PoliRural Yleinen

Larvae-based bioconversion adds value to four end-user groups 1/4

Black Soldier Fly larvae – based bioconversion at Länsiharju school in Lahti was terminated according to the plan.

The bioconversion by larvae was in operation for 14 days. Larvae ate with good appetite mixed school kitchen waste food that was served to larvae once a day.

The bioconversion was managed by the teacher of Länsiharju school and 10-years old children of the class. The forthcoming bioscientists were courage and curious, and they handled and monitored larvae daily basis according to detailed guidance and data collection matrix (see pics below).

Larvae guidance (Copyright Tuula Löytty)
Data collection matrix (Copyright Tuula Löytty)

The bioconversion produced value tor four different end-user groups. The first end-user group was the teacher’s home chicken farm. As you can see on the video the chickens really enjoyed to eat fat larvae which are full of protein and oil. Healthy diet indeed – for chickens.