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The main vision of the Collaborative Working Environments Unit of the EC, DG INFSO (defined through multiple and diversified works, such as the Rural@Work family of AMI communities) on the ICT application to rural settings is: “to develop Information Society in rural areas, to foster European development and integration, to increase competitiveness of European companies, to stem rural depopulation and to diversify income and employment opportunities in rural areas”.

“Rural” in Europe counts for 80% of European area and 22% of European inhabitants. Rural development is not only about a competitive European agriculture, but each day it is focusing more on meeting the expectations of citizens in rural areas, aiming to a deeper integration into today’s society and promoting economic development.

The large opportunities that technological progress is offering to address key societal challenges still require significant progress of state of the art technologies for its application to rural areas and its transformation into products and services that address their specific situation.

The C@R challenge is to achieve 5 main goals that can be stated here below (and detailed in the following sections):

Goal 1: C@R will provide a collaborative platform for rural communities, defined in cooperation with other Collaborative Working Environment communities;

Goal 2: C@R will demonstrate the use of the same platform integrating various tools for various rural user communities;

Goal 3: C@R will promote the user centric Open Collaborative Architecture (OCA) in the industrial, new business opporutinty and emerging rural sectors, demonstrating its affordability and usability;

Goal 4: C@R will develop a common methodology for Rural Living Lab developments and assessing benefits of results;

Goal 5: C@R will support Policy Makers addressing which EU Policies are needed for Innovation and Rural Development in 2010.

C@R Collaboration at Rural