Rural projects will benefit from €1.2 million worth of funding under the Digital Innovation Programme.

Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys has announced the successful 20 projects, following an application process earlier this summer.

The programme funds local authority-led innovation projects that “provide a public benefit and support regional digital development”.

“The range of projects approved today (Thursday, August 19) showcase the imagination, energy and expertise that exists in rural Ireland,” Minister Humphreys said.

“People who live in rural Ireland are nothing if not innovative. In recent years we have seen drones delivering medicine to our island communities.

“This small scheme is all about giving rural communities the opportunity to trial new technologies which will solve local problems.

“If it works for one community, it can work for others and we can then look at replicating these models in other areas.”

Successful projects

One project that has been awarded funding of €24,000 is ‘Smart Skills for Farming Communities’ in Co. Tipperary.

The purpose of this project is to support the implementation of a new Digital Skills Training Programme.

The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) will be asked to participate and develop this programme.

Meanwhile, in Co. Clare, €44,000 has been awarded to the ‘Hare’s Corner’ project, which aims to create a technical management tool to optimise the management and delivery of ecosystem services by rural stakeholders.

The project will use public and private funding to implement small scale actions for nature – mini woodlands and ponds.

In Co. Donegal, the ‘Climate Change Recording’ project will benefit from €12,800.

This project seeks to develop a digital solution to support the collection of oral and visual accounts of climate changes and impacts at a local level.

The initial focus is on providing the older generation with an opportunity and facility to share their experience of climate change in their locality.