Trasimeno is among the twelve pilot rural areas in which to apply the experience of “living labs“, regional and circular business models, in which local actors cooperate according to common principles. The Union of Municipalities, partner of a European Horizon 2020 Research Project called LIVERUR, presented at an online press conference, “Trasimeno Rural Living Lab” aimed at improving the rural economy and increasing the tourist presence in the territory.

I The project to which the Union adheres involves 23 subjects from institutions, companies, associations, European and non-European university research centres from 13 countries (Austria, France, Italy, Germany, Greece, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey). The project aims to spread the adoption of the concept of Living Lab (LL) in rural areas, and the territory of Trasimeno, as mentioned, has been chosen as one of the 12 pilot areas in which to experiment with this model.

The Living Labs, as explained this morning by the President of the Union Giulio Cherubini, and by the technicians Louis Montagnoli (Uct) and Rose Ortolani (Dsign Agency Sogesca Srl), represent an important tool for applying the innovation model based on the involvement of users with whom to experiment. It is a co-creation with real users and in everyday life environments. End users, together with researchers, companies and public institutions, jointly explore, design and validate new and innovative products, services, solutions and business models, providing important feedback for their development and subsequent marketing.

The strategic objective will be to network. We will start with the issues of sustainable development and the circular economy, together with those of technological innovation and social inclusion, because these are the objectives to be set and the reason why the European Commission has decided to finance the LIVERUR project for a total amount of EUR 4 million.

As anticipated, among the chosen topics on which the discussion has already begun is that of water in its various forms, starting from the problems of the lake and its peculiarities, its strengths and weaknesses, also addressing the issues of fisheries and the problems of the use of water for irrigation purposes to agricultural services. Another theme of comparison is that of the redevelopment of the disused area of Pietrafitta and the definition of a proposal for enhancement because it is considered strategic for the people of Valnestore. Issues related to the theme of experiential tourism, slow tourism, food and wine tourism in support of territorial tourism policies are also considered a central theme and particular attention will be paid to the need for the presence of a person who knows how to make tourist incoming and who knows how to qualify the tourist product in Trasimeno.

The enhancement of typical production chains will be another priority theme, with a focus on olive growing. Finally, attention to the creation of products and services to support businesses in the tourism and agriculture sector.

Regional councillors Simona Meloni and Andrea Fora also took part in the presentation. For Meloni it is a “project to be looked at with great interest and strongly supported“. “Trasimeno – he said – has the strength to bring its experiences as a reference model”. “Umbria and Valnestore, in particular, are perfect for building new practices and new development models,” said Fora.

The project “Trasimeno Rural Living Lab” has started in recent months during which interviews have been carried out, meetings have been organized, chosen topics on which to raise awareness and involve some stakeholders. Now we move on to the phase of the enlargement of the audience through the activation from below of this comparison. Four online workshops have already been planned for this purpose, which will take place between January and February.