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A blogpost with Vongrid

How it all started…

Rural Europe’s future in the 21st century will be defined by its ability to engage with digital innovation. Many regional stakeholders have anticipated this and pro-actively initiated ‘smart’ strategies. Yet, these initiatives remain bound to a local level and thus cannot unfold their maximum potential.

That is why we came up with the project Digitrans: Digital transformation hub of rural Europe. Digitrans is an Eramus+ funded project which aims to network rural stakeholders from different European regions on a collaborative online-platform in order co-design, co-develop and co-implement digital innovation, within a previously developed Smart Region Framework.

One of our main goals is to deliver an in-depth analysis of the status-quo as regards to current processes on digital innovation in rural Europe. Also, we wish to identify the main issues and actors involved in these processes, having in mind the aim of establishing a pool of knowledge on rural digital innovation.

We set on this process in the summer of 2022 and after a rigorous and long process, we are now ready to share with you the innovative results across the countries we examined.

We start off with Greece, where we located Vongrid, a Creative Agency dedicated to creating elegant digital experiences, in the city of Patras. Vongrid founded by a 26-year-old aspiring female entrepreneur is working for the last three years in the fields of video games design, animation, and virtual reality, among others.

Why is this company innovative?

Vongrid team brought an element of innovation in a city of less than 250.000 habitants in Greece. Patras was- and still is- an open market for companies of digital innovation, with very few initiatives working on these fields, even in 2022.

Initiatives like Vongrid are prevailing in cities and regions, such as Patras, because they are facing little competition at the national level, while they combine an innate entrepreneurial spirit, previous experience and love for the subject of the work with opportunities to contribute to society (through educational multimedia and games).

What needs are they covering?

As the founder told us in an interview with Digitrans [they]” have contributed to the digitization of public entities and small businesses. Both employees and other business partners seem satisfied with the results as they were given the opportunity to access important information via the internet, which would have been impossible, especially during the period of COVID-19, due to the ban on physical presence in public services and the organizations.”

Which are their biggest achievements and dreams?

In their own words “Contributing to society and promoting inclusion have always been the main drivers of their work”. Designing and developing accessible digital games, especially for people with learning disabilities and complex needs, is one of their biggest dreams that came true through their work on projects like EyeFX (games played only using eye tracking) and Legends of Learning (math and science games). Furthermore, through the development of web portals such as the ones for Thessaloniki and Corfu Prosecutor’s Offices, Vongrid contributed on the digital transformation of the Greek public sector.

What tip(s) do they have for future digital pioneers?

One of the most important parts in succeeding is focusing on your strengths and the factors that set you apart from the competition in your sector of expertise. Also, working on projects of personal and social interest apart from the financial one, increases your commitment and accelerates reaching your aims.

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