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Smart Work Centres in Non-Metropolitan areas (Micropol)
Date du début: 31 déc. 2011, Date de fin: 30 déc. 2014 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

The MICROPOL project brings together partners from non-metropolitan regions that face the EU-wide challenge of loss of human capital due to increasing unemployment. The common pattern is that qualified people move to the big cities in search for job opportunities in the knowledge economy which leaves formerly thriving communities far from metropolitan centres with problems of depopulation and little possibility for development and growth. The aim of the MICROPOL partnership is to take advantage of new developments within knowledge-based business, work culture and ICT to meet this challenge. More specifically the objective of MICROPOL is to exchange experience and good practices concerning implementation and management of so-called Smart Work Centres (SWCs) in the context of non-metropolitan areas.SWCs are facility centres placed in rural or suburban areas offering shared flexible office spaces, state of the art ICT facilities like fibre network and videoconferencing and other resources supporting telework and flexible work forms. By stimulating entrepreneurship and allowing more people to work efficiently and physically independent of their customers and business headquarters SWCs thus facilitate settlement and growth in rural areas. Among the main benefits are reduced commuting time and following strain on environment, improved work/life balance, better access to an international market of knowledge-based telework and the possibility of living in rural areas while retaining challenging jobs in the knowledge economy traditionally linked to metropolitan areas. The concept of SWCs or telework centres has existed in more than 20 years but has until recently remained relatively unsuccessful due to technological immaturity, hesitant SMEs and lacking policies.This situation is now changing and the MICROPOL partnership will join efforts to improve the effectiveness of policies that support the implementation of SWCs in non-metropolitan areas. Through a series of thematic seminars as well as a survey and study visits to successful SWCs the partners will improve knowledge, skills and strategies for the use of SWCs in rural development and employment policies. The output will be a case study collection, a good practice guide, an implementation plan for self-sustainable SWCs and a policy recommendation document for internal and external dissemination. Based on these tools the partners as well as policy makers all over EU will be in a better positions to create Micropols which are dynamic non-metropolitan communities that combine the qualities and low costs of rural life with challenging job opportunities in the knowledge economy. Achievements: The project has had a Kick Off meeting in Denmark focusing on each partners overall policies and practices in terms of Smart Work Centres and rural development. The information provided at the Kick Off meeting will serve as a point of reference for the rest of the project period. Besides this, there was an external speaker on 'The future labor market' and how ICT will affect the way we do our work in the future. A presentation of the feasibility study that founded Micropol were performed and finally a presentation on rural development in North Denmark Region. An interregional partner meeting was held in Tallinn which was concentrated on the theme telework and modern workforms. In connection with the seminar a study trip was performed to 2 telework centres in Estonia as well as to e-Estonia where we saw the government system and ICT solutions in the country. Based on these 2 interregional meetings, the following outputs have been produced; 1 capture from the Kick off meeting, 1 survey, 1 thematic report, 1 case description and 1 good practice has been identified. In terms of the communication and dissemination activities, there has been a number of press releases as well as 1 press conference. Besides the project has been published at a Microsoft event in Latvia as well as there have been several meetings with local key decision makers in all the partner countries. One of the final outputs will be a documentary movey on the good practices as well as the benefits for local areas implementing Smart Work Centres. This documentary has been started in Estonia and content will be added at each partner event in order to have a full picture of the project activities and outputs in the end. The project has been mentioned in a number of articles, which can all be found on the project website. In total these are the following outputs in terms of communication and dissemination; 11 Communication Plan, 1 logo/design, 3 press releases, 2 dissemination events organised (1 press conference and 1 national KO in Hungary), 29 meetings with local key decision makers, 24 appearances in the press and media, 25 participants in events organised and 1 other event participated in (Mixrosoft event)



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