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AURORAL: Connecting Academia and Communities with SMARTMATCH

SMARTMATCH: Proactive Matchmaking Between Academia and Smart Communities in the AURORAL Project

As Europe's future hinges on the ability of both urban and rural areas to innovate and adapt, rural regions, characterized by lower population density, insufficient investment, connectivity gaps, and a lack of digital skills, often lag in the adoption of innovative solutions. This gap hinders the development of competitive private businesses and efficient public services.

The AURORAL project (Architecture for Unified Regional and Open Digital Ecosystems for Smart Communities and Wider Rural Areas Large scale application) seeks to address these challenges by focusing on the digital transformation of rural areas.

One of the key initiatives within the AURORAL project involves the SMARTMATCH proposal by ScoutinScience. SMARTMATCH, which stands for Smart Communities Matchmaking and Research Tool, is a six-month project aimed at leveraging AI to facilitate proactive matchmaking between academia and smart communities. This article will delve into the objectives, methodologies, and anticipated impacts of the SMARTMATCH project, highlighting how ScoutinScience is leveraging its expertise to foster innovation in rural communities.


AURORAL is an ambitious project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme (grant agreement N° 101016854). Its primary objective is to bridge the digital gap between urban and rural areas, ensuring that rural regions can keep pace with technological advancements and contribute to Europe's economic growth and societal well-being. AURORAL's digital environment is built on a robust, interoperable IoT architecture that not only facilitates the integration of diverse services and platforms but also enables information sharing and fosters partnerships among AURORAL members.

The project is demonstrated through eight pilot regions, each focusing on one or more of the following domains: • Smart Health: Improving healthcare services through digital solutions. • Smart Energy: Enhancing energy efficiency and sustainability. • Smart Mobility: Developing innovative transportation solutions. • Smart Farming: Advancing agricultural practices with smart technologies. • Smart Tourism: Promoting tourism through digital innovations.

By addressing these areas, AURORAL aims to foster economic growth, enhance public services, and improve the quality of life in rural areas.

Introducing ScoutinScience’s SMARTMATCH

ScoutinScience is playing a crucial role in the AURORAL project through its SMARTMATCH solution. SMARTMATCH aims to bridge the gap between academia and smart communities by leveraging advanced AI tools to scout for innovations and facilitate proactive matchmaking.

Key Features of SMARTMATCH

Innovation Scouting: SMARTMATCH leverages ScoutinScience’s AI-driven platform to scout for technological innovations and talents within the scientific literature. The platform uses machine learning algorithms to identify promising technologies, innovations, and patents, particularly within AURORAL’s main domains. Matchmaking: The platform facilitates matchmaking between research outputs and industry needs, enabling proactive collaborations and accelerating innovation. By aligning academic research with industry requirements, SMARTMATCH helps bridge the gap between academic research and practical applications. Data Integration: SMARTMATCH is seamlessly integrated into the AURORAL middleware, providing a robust and interoperable digital environment. This integration ensures that data flows smoothly between different platforms and stakeholders, enhancing the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the ecosystem. Business Potential Scoring: Publications and research outputs are ranked based on their business potential using proprietary algorithms. This scoring system helps stakeholders identify high-impact research that is most likely to lead to successful tech transfers and commercial applications. Stakeholder Engagement: SMARTMATCH actively engages with local authorities, industry players, and research institutions. This engagement is crucial for ensuring that the innovations identified are effectively translated into practical applications that benefit the wider community.

Expected Impacts of SMARTMATCH

Economic Growth: By enhancing tech transfer from academic research to industry, SMARTMATCH is expected to drive economic growth in rural areas. This growth will be fueled by the commercialization of innovative technologies and the creation of new business opportunities. Innovation Acceleration: SMARTMATCH’s proactive matchmaking capabilities will accelerate the pace of innovation by facilitating collaborations between academia and industry. This will help bring cutting-edge technologies to market more quickly and efficiently. Enhanced Public Services: The integration of innovative solutions in areas such as health, energy, mobility, farming, and tourism will enhance public services in rural areas, improving the quality of life for residents. Sustainable Development: By promoting innovations that align with sustainable development goals, SMARTMATCH will contribute to the creation of more sustainable and resilient communities. Stakeholder Engagement: Increased engagement with local authorities, industry players, and research institutions will foster a more collaborative and inclusive ecosystem. This engagement is crucial for the long-term success and sustainability of the project.


The SMARTMATCH initiative represents a significant step towards bridging the digital divide between urban and rural areas in Europe. By leveraging advanced AI tools to scout for innovations and facilitate proactive matchmaking, ScoutinScience is helping to create a more connected, innovative, and sustainable future for rural communities.

As the project progresses, ScoutinScience will continue to engage with stakeholders, integrate new data sources, and refine its algorithms to maximize the impact of SMARTMATCH. This proactive approach will ensure that the benefits of the AURORAL project are realized, driving economic growth, enhancing public services, and fostering sustainable development in rural areas.

For more information about SMARTMATCH and ScoutinScience’s contributions to the AURORAL project, visit the official project website and stay updated with the latest news and developments.

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