Interview − 01 Jun 2023
Tobias Brandt, Professor of Digital Innovation at the University of Münster, and Entrepreneur at Geospin, talks about his expertise and his point of view on dRural as Advisory Board member
What is your field of expertise?
TB: My field of expertise lies primarily in the realm of designing and evaluating data-driven services intended for smart city applications. I have extensively researched and worked on various key sectors, including energy, mobility, crime prevention, and tourism. A common thread through all these areas is the innovative use of data, technologies, and design methodologies to develop services that enhance the quality of urban life and promote sustainable development. While the primary focus has been on urban environments, my studies and experiences have also given me insights into how these concepts can be extended to and adapted for rural contexts.
How could your experience contribute to the project’s success?
TB: With my background in data-driven smart city services, I can offer perspectives that also help overcome the challenges faced by rural areas. These areas often grapple with density-related issues that limit the widespread adoption of smart services. However, they also exhibit unique characteristics, such as tight-knit communities, which can be harnessed to create innovative solutions. My expertise could be helpful in developing an ecosystem of digitally enabled services specifically tailored to these rural areas. Furthermore, my understanding of the risks and opportunities of digital services will be valuable in devising strategies to prevent the further manifestation of the digital divide between rural and urban areas.
How do you think dRural can contribute to creating and developing smart communities in rural areas?
TB: I believe that dRural’s pivotal role will be its ability to scale and connect rural communities across vast regions, while also ensuring the customization of services to meet specific local needs. Its digital platform can empower these communities, foster socio-economic development, and enhance their resilience. By leveraging digital technology, dRural could facilitate shared knowledge, improve access to critical services, and help rural communities prosper in the digital age. The blend of scalability and local customization provided by dRural makes it a potent solution for the creation of smart, connected, and thriving rural communities.