H2020 DESIRA project achievements

Main Achievements

Desira is an H2020 project that aims to improve the capacity of society to respond to the challenges and opportunities of digitalisation in rural areas. During this year the project managed to complete the operation of its 20 Living Labs, operated through Europe.

Living Labs Highlights

The ATHENA RC team is responsible for the operation of 2 Living Labs in Greece. The first LL deals with the sustainable water management in the area of Trikala, while the second one deals with digital services and infrastructures for the farmers in North Greece.

The 4 digital stories can be found at the following links:

Trikala LL:

Northern Greece LL:

“Gnomee” Knowledge Base tool

An online web application allowing the exploration and identification of Digital Tools relevant to rural areas, agriculture and forestry has been released. Currently consists of around 630 digital tools and allows the user to search and filter them based on a set of criteria to identify the most suitable solution for him.

Checkout Gnomee! https://www.gnomee.eu

The application has been designed and developed by the ATHENA RC Desira team.


Living Labs and Multi-Actor Platforms in rural areas workshop

A 2-day workshop, jointly organised by the DESIRA, MOVING and SHERPA projects in Pisa (Italy), was an opportunity to share experiences in this field and to reflect on how to consolidate methods and concepts around this approach. Interesting discussions took place. The 2 Greek Living Labs have been represented by our colleagues from the ATHENA RC.


Workshops and Conference participation

  • The Use Case workshop in Goumenissa, Greece.

The workshop was co-organised and co-hosted from both ATHENA Research Centre and the American Farming School (LL’s facilitator) and took place in a historic renovated winery, located in the village of Goumenissa in Northern Greece.

The meeting was attended by 32 well known local grape and wine producers that operate in the region as well as, the regional agency of rural economy and planning together with regional and ministerial representatives. The greek Minister of Rural Development and Food has attended the workshop.

The workshop revolved around a) understanding the structure of local wine production around the area of ​​Goumenissa, b) examining of peculiarities, needs and future goals of the wine producers, as well as the investigation of economic-political-technical-geographical factors that may influence the adoption of digital tools in local wine production process. c) Defining the goals and breakdown to spescific tasks for the formulation of the use case that aims to contribute in strengthening the supply chain and value chain of the local wine production through digital solutions.

  • ESEE 2022 conference
    • ESEE 2022 International Conference of the European Society for Ecological Economics took place in Pisa from the 14th to 17th of June. Ms Eleni Toli, from ATHENA RC presented the accepted abstract titled: “A Living Lab perspective of participatory practices: Exploring Digital transition and resilience aspects in rural communities”, highlighting the co-designed, co-creation methodology adopted in the 2 Greek Living Labs, operated in the context of the Desira project, and the steps to be followed towards a recipe of success.
  • ERSA 2022
    • The 61st ERSA 2022 congress ‘’Disparities in a Digitalising (Post-Covid) world –Networks, Entrepreneurship and Regional Development’’ took place from 22nd to 26th of August allowing more than 800 participants to attend both remotely (virtual) and onsite (Pecs, Hungary). Representing the ATHENA RC Desira team, Christos Marinos-Kouris presented part of the Living Lab’s (LL) work under the abstract titled ‘’Barriers and Impacts of digital transformation actions in the agricultural setting of Trilofos village in Pieria‘’. The aim of the presentation was to highlight the impact of agricultural digital tools and services on the agricultural activities of a selected group of farmers and identify the key drivers as well as existing barriers towards a broader agricultural digital transition in the region where they operate. Additionally, focus was also given in pinpointing prevalent policy gaps that hinder digital transition and subsequently facilitating a conversation among participants revolving around recommended goals and actions that aim to improve the policymaking efficacy.
  • Science Agora “Proof of Concept”
    • The “Proof of Concept” program organized by Science Agora (https://scienceagora.eu/) aims to support new businesses and research groups in the form of funding (PoC Grants), consulting and networking with the market. The program started an open call for submitting new proposals that will offer solutions to the following “challenges” or will respond to topics relevant to the environment and energy. The ATHENA RC team, participated in the 3 first stages of the program with an application, currently under design and development, that aims to support research organisations and others towards the successful operation of a Living Lab, by adding value to its activities, streamline and rationalize processes, assess impact of activities and contribute to the build-up of resources and knowledge.


Upcoming work

We are currently working on the design and development of a web tool that will facilitate the creation and management of Living Labs, offering advanced visualizations, online views of the available information and impact assessment based on the available data. The “Living Lab Modeler” tool is currently under heavy development and its first release is expected in December 2022!

Read the Press Release here


Yannis Ioannidis, Phoebe Koundouri

Eleni Toli, Christos Marinos-Kouris, Panagiota Koltsida, Ebun Akinsete, Michalis Dorgiakis, Michalis Vargiamis

share to social

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin