Digitalisation connecting rural entrepreneurs, services and workforce (Joint Action 2.4.2

A mobile application for connecting rural entrepreneurs, services and workforce will be developed and tested in Central Finland in Saarijärvi area. The application with a location-based map feature will be piloted with a local farmer group (Farmer association of Koskenkylä) in 2019-2020 with different service and worker needs. The pilot case involves design of the mobile application with iterative testing with the farmer group on real-life needs.

In Saarijärvi area the farmer group is currently co-operating in procurement of products and materials. They have a digital tool for listing their joint procurement needs and delivering a joint invitation to bid for sellers. The opportunity to buy in bulk and coordinate logistics has decreased costs of operations for the farms. Because there are challenges to get temporary and skilled workforce for farms, the farmer group has identified a need for a system allowing coordination of services, seasonal help and temporary workers to the farms.

The idea is that the application will also reduce costs of logistics for farms, service providers and workforce in the rural area where the distances are long. Furthermore the application will be a digital channel for information sharing e.g. information about local events and new knowhow in the area. The app will widen the scope of talent available and co-operation between farmers will give more opportunities to invest in new knowhow with pooling of limited resources.

If you are interested in this development work, please stay tuned what happens in the pilot project and follow this topic on BioBord.

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The development company of Saarijärvi city, SSYP Kehitys Oy, arranged a workshop for local SMEs and the pilot project stakeholders such as cooperatives and other interested partners in Bioeconomy Campus on Thursday 5th of September. The workshop was part of an event, which was arranged for SMEs on entrepreneur’s day. The workshop included RDI2CluB project presentation and presentation of mobile app project and also group works, where all participants could join the development work by giving ideas and feedback. The results of the workshop will be analyzed together with the software company responsible for the coding work. The next step in this pilot project will be in October, when the application will be available for uploading and ready for testing.

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Mobile application has been named ‘Waakku’. To assess transnational appeal of the brand name, we would like to hear from our international (and Finnish) partners, what comes to your mind when you hear the name ‘Waakku’. Please respond with 3 emojis (words are also welcome).

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:duck::droplet::sound:

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:duck::duck::duck: kwaak kwaak :rofl:

Seriously, Finns will be pronounsing this “Vaakku” as it’s written, but how about other languages/nationalities? I listened English pronouncing in Google Translator’s style and it slightly reminded me about some swearword if it’s pronounced quickly…

Oh no, I really hope you are wrong @marianne . What do you think @RDI2CluB members? Do you agree with Marianne?
Any other comments or emojis about the name “Waakku”? :slight_smile:

Something to do with the indigenous people of New Zealand or African countries. :slight_smile: or Shakira’s song - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRpeEdMmmQ0. But definitely nothing with bad connotation!

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:zero::wc::footprints:

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I hope that’s only my dirty imagination speaking and others don’t get images like that… :joy:

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I am really happy to announce that the piloting of Waakku has now started. Two kick off events were organized in beginning of November for test users of the application. More than 60 people had a chance to hear about the new tool which will connect work and people in rural area. Now the app has already 40 registered users and the first piloting phase can start. We really hope (and work for it) that farmers will adopt this new way of finding workforce in rural area.


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It is truly interesting to hear about this pilot and entrepreneurs’ experiences later on. As we are bringing in more digital tools to rural development, every pilot and documentation of those pilots are helpful.

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I totally agree with you @susannalahnamaki. I really hope (and believe) that you are willing to support us to boost the piloting project by sharing the information about this piloting possibility to your networks.