About the project

Our marketplace provides you with valuable services

Why dRural?

“dRural is needed because we believe opportunities should be the same everywhere and for everyone, with people running a business from home in rural areas. Access to basic digital services as buying and selling; an adequate transport combination; education centres for children and adults; easy access to healthcare (homecare and hospitals) and to community services. ”

– Josefina Farinos, IDI Eikon

“Because dRural platform will become the most powerful public-private collaboration tool in the region and it will serve as a meeting point for public administrations, companies and citizens, bringing all kinds of services to rural areas in Europe.”

– Luis González Sánchez, Cámara de Comercio de Cáceres

“The dRural project is very important for a rural area like ours, for the local population and the Metković Health Center. It provides a unique opportunity to directly connect producers and buyers of agricultural products through a digital platform, and improve the quality of health services. We believe that the project will reduce the emigration of the population to other EU countries, which is a significant problem in the Dubrovnik-Neretva region and Croatia.”

– Vjekoslav Čuvalo, Metković Health Center

“Project dRural is extremely important for the Dubrovnik-Neretva rural region and especially, the City of Metković as a rural center. The digital solution developed by dRural will integrate local service providers, enhance the local ecosystem, help create opportunities for small entrepreneurs to promote new market openings. The project contribution will make an impact to the possibilities of employing local people and improving their quality of life. ”

– Niko Bojbasa, Grad Metković

“Because we need to better connect services (both public and private) and users in rural areas, fostering digital literacy and businesses. These areas can become more prosperous by diversifying economic activities to new sectors with positive effects on employment, and improving the value-added of local communities, avoiding population loss and isolation. ”

– Jonathan Gómez-Raja, FundeSalud

“Through bolstering engagement between actors of all kinds in emerging ecosystems, the wellbeing of citizens and the landscape for professionals can be significantly enhanced.”

– Yasin Sahhar, University of Twente

“dRural sets the stage for the democratisation of progress by reducing the gap between urban and rural citizens in terms of equal access to resources, services and digital products. The more users will engage on the platform the more it will exhibit network effects, which are critical to bring even more customised offerings and services to each user.”

– Andrea Valeri, Boundaryless

“Through open calls for third parties, Foodscale Hub aims to stimulate both the development and the uptake of cross-cutting applications and services. By helping rural communities overcome the challenges of insufficient infrastructural support, dRural will eventually boost economic growth and increase the overall quality of life.”

– Dušan Pevac, Foodscale Hub


Predominantly, rural areas make up half of Europe and represent around 20 % of the population. However, most of them are also among the least favored regions in the EU, with a GDP per head significantly below the European average.

Lower incomes and less opportunities, a shrinking and older population, poor access to healthcare and education: this is the stereotypical picture of the European rural areas.

In this context, dRural injects new chances for the development of European rural areas and communities. The project co-developed and rolled up a digital marketplace of services for people living in those areas, while creating jobs and opportunities for economic growth and quality of life improvement


Our ambition: to become the principal service marketplace for all European Rural Areas

In order to reach this objective, we’ve devised a series of activities aimed to:

  • Engage a critical mass of rural citizens, businesses and key stakeholders to build an ecosystem of users and service providers;
  • Co-develop a user-friendly digital marketplace, which will be iteratively developed, tested, improved and validated together with the ecosystem of end users and service providers, ensuring full engagement of all relevant actors;
  • Support sustainable post-project exploitation of the marketplace in dRural regions as well as its further uptake and replication in rural regions from across Europe.

Expected impacts

To improve the quality of life in rural areas through the digital transformation in the service delivery

The attain to this impact through the following action:

  • Validate the services marketplace by an increase of cross-cutting applications and services
  • Demonstrate the benefits of data sharing across platforms from different sectors
  • Demonstrate and show-case sectorial platforms interoperability
  • Explore and validate new industry and business processes and innovative business models in the pilots
  • Overcome the digital divide between rural and urban areas by developing the potential offered by connectivity and digitalisation of rural areas

Fellow initiatives

dRural has established strong cooperation through knowledge sharing and clustering activities with fellow projects and attuned initiatives

European Network for Rural Development

The European Network for Rural Development (ENRD) serves as a hub for exchange of information on how Rural Development policy, programmes, projects and other initiatives are working in practice and how they can be improved to achieve more.

Commitee of Regions

The EU’s Assembly of Regional and Local Representatives


The AURORAL project (Architecture for Unified Regional and Open digital ecosystems for smart communities and wider Rural Areas Large scale application) focuses on the rural areas and their digital transformation. It aims to increase connectivity and digitalisation of countryside regions by delivering a digital environment of interoperable service platforms.

Smart Rural Project

The Smart Rural project is a two and a half-year project supported by the European Commission (DG AGRI) with the overall aim to promote and inspire villages to develop and implement smart village approaches and strategies across Europe, and to draw conclusions and support future policy interventions on smart villages.


LIVERUR aims to support businesses, projects and initiatives in designing innovative business models in rural areas, moving towards a Circular Economy and including all important stakeholders by following the Living Lab approach.


Digital solutions are broad and include approaches to smart urban mobility, energy efficiency, sustainable housing, digital public services, and civic-led governance. Large-scale uptake and upscale of these solutions are crucial to help our cities and communities meet their climate targets and reduce their environmental footprint, while fostering citizen participation and bringing prosperity to all types of business, including SMEs and start-ups.


The digital transformation strategy of the European Union has, among others, a particular priority: the creation of common data platforms based on a unified architecture and an established standard. As part of the Horizon 2020 programme, the OPEN DEI project focuses on “Platforms and Pilots” to support the implementation of next generation digital platforms in four basic industrial domains.

The main assets of our project

Download the press kit to have access to our brandbook and logo.

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Advisory Board

Meet the dRural Advisory Board

The dRural Advisory Board (AB) is constituted as an external advisory body to boost the technical and impact aspects of the project, by providing an external expert view.

Alan Whiteside

Innovation Consultant
StonnInnovation Ltd.


Bart Nieuwenhuis

Professor at Department of High-Tech Business and Entrepreneurship
University of Twente


Paula Peiró

H2020-AURORAL Project Executive Coordinator
Alentejo EU office


Ivan del Caz de Diego

Coordinator Rural Citizen 2030


Tobias Brandt

Professor of Digital Innovation and Entrepreneur
University of Münster; Geospin


Ariana Need

Prof.dr. at the Department of Public Administration
University of Twente