Brussels, Belgium―June 2nd, 2020―The Toyota Mobility Foundation, the Rhineland-Palatinate Eifel district of Bitburg-Prüm and the Cologne-based Digital Innovation Lab Erlkoenig.io have joined forces to enhance people’s lives and improve the competitiveness of industry in rural areas through digital solutions.
This initiative sets out to ensure the provision of basic services to the community, especially for older people and those with limited mobility. It aims to facilitate the supply to the regional economy of available labour, and to meet these goals, the TOYOTA MOBILITY FOUNDATION and its partners are developing a digital platform for networking the various players.
With 234 municipalities and towns, in a rural environment, the Eifel region of Bitburg-Prüm faces an ever-increasing challenge to ensure the comprehensive provision of basic services for the population. The Eifelregion is representative of many rural regions in Germany and Europe that want to maintain good living conditions for their citizens and provide the framework for the further development of the local economy. This digital platform enables the region to play a pioneering role with the support of the TOYOTA MOBILITY FOUNDATION, and at the same time ensure that learnings and developments can also be shared with other regions.
This joint undertaking with Bitburg-Prüm is the first stage in building a holistic Smart Village Platform (EifelkreisVerbindet.de) to serve the district. The platform, as envisaged by the partners, will integrate e-government, health services, utilities, and other regional functions up to innovative mobility solutions. While the initiative predates the COVID-19 outbreak, it meshes with current government efforts worldwide to lend assistance to individuals and businesses that are especially vulnerable and find it difficult to cope with the crisis. Following the launch, the project partners will evaluate the potential for extending their approach in Bitburg-Prüm to other regions to ease the COVID-19 crisis but also maintaining the support after the pandemic.