Homokháti Rural Living Laboratory

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Information doc: 

Tibor Torok, +36 20 484 4101, tibor.torok@h-lab.eu

H-Lab, Hungary

Effective member: 

The Homokháti Rural Living Lab is situated in the Homokhát Micro Region in the South Great Plain of Hungary. The LL was established by the University of Szeged within the framework of C@R, Collaboration at Rural FP6 Integrated Project, and joined the European Network of Living Labs in the first wave. The most important objective of the Homokháti RLL is to provide the local inhabitants of the region with novel ICT solutions.

Description of Concept

The researchers of the Department of Software Engineering, University of Szeged, dedicated themselves to establish the Living Lab in order to solve the problems of the Homokhát residents with ICT-based technologies, thus enhancing regional development. During the development process, special emphasis has been put on user involvement. After discovering the special needs of the local stakeholders and the characteristics of the region, three main domains – health, tourism and agriculture – were identified as the pillars of the Homokháti RLL. As a first step, the researchers of the University deployed an efficient and cheap communication infrastructure, a wireless mesh network, on which fixed and mobile applications could be built. The wireless mesh network enables users to access Internet by computers, handheld devices and mobile phones, furthermore Voice over IP.


Currently, the researchers of the University are developing an integrated, standardizable system which is supported by innovative, modern measurement and info-communication technologies with the aim of offering a personalized monitoring system for home care, monitoring and prevention mainly for the elderly who live on scattered farms with long distances from the village centres and each other.


In the domain of tourism, an integrated system for collaborative tourism product design, creation and validation is being developed. With the help of the atomic services provided by the SMEs and the local residents in different regions and domains, we can build a special knowledge base about the best combination of atomic services.


So far, two main agricultural frameworks have been developed. The offer and order framework can function as a virtual marketplace enabling the commerce of fresh products by SMS or via the Internet. The collaborative data collection and prediction framework elaborates methods and tools to compare and predict yields, thus making regional agriculture more effective and predictable.

References and track record

The Homokháti Rural Living Lab plays the role of a knowledge and technology hub interconnecting stakeholders from different areas. Thus, it creates a common framework for the cooperation of local people and institutional partners in order to satisfy the needs of the regional – current or potential – end-users. Among the numerous organizations connected to our LL, you can find regional (Homokháti Micro Region) and local authorities (Municipality of Mórahalom), IT-companies (Nap.Net, Chrome Ltd.), enterprises specialized in the main domains of the LL (Erzsébet SPA, Mórakert Cooperative, etc.) and also regional knowledge bases (University of Szeged). The Homokháti RLL offers an excellent testing environment for the research activities conducted by the University of Szeged. The Living Lab is involved in several R&D projects conducted by the University both on national and international levels. In the Alpha project, which is funded by the Hungarian National Technology Program, assisted living patterns are being developed for the improvement of home care. The similar research domain is targeted by the Pannon industrial project and the PECES, Pervasive Computing in Embedded Systems, FP7 STREP project as well. The University of Szeged also participates in C@R, Collaboration at Rural FP6 Integrated Project and two CIP- ICT-PSP-2007 projects, CO-LLABS, Thematic Network for Community based Living Labs to Enhance SMEs Innovation and DEN4DEK, Digital Ecosystems Network of Regions for Dissemination and Knowledge Deployment.

Additionally, the University of Szeged in close collaboration with the Homokháti RLL takes the role of a technology transfer centre in the Software Industry Innovation Pole Cluster of the South Great Plain Region. The Cluster embraces 36 members (SMEs, multinational companies, universities, research institutes, NGOs), and it is one of the twelve Hungarian clusters that could successfully pass the cluster accreditation procedure of the Hungarian government and fulfill the requirements of its stringent criteria system.