Source : Rhein-Neckar-Kreis, Dorothea Burkhardt

© Rhein-Neckar-Kreis, Dorothea Burkhardt

In future, residents of the Rhine-Neckar region will be able to order their groceries via an app and to have their neighbours pick the groceries up for them. In doing so, they will also help strengthen the local retail trade. The app is the outcome of the partner projects CrowdMyRegion - funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) - and Intelligente Marktplätze [Intelligent Markets] - funded by the state of Baden-Württemberg. The app’s application software was officially launched yesterday by Mr Thomas Bareiß, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, and Peter Hauk, Baden-Württemberg’s Minister for Rural Affairs and Consumer Protection.

“The CrowdMyRegion project and show how digital platforms, not least by using articifical intelligence, can help improve local supply and establish equal standards of living across the whole of Germany. CrowdMyRegion is an example of how digitisation can successfully be implemented in practice and of how it allows citizens and companies to equally benefit from it. This is why we are supporting CrowdMyRegion and 37 other innovative projects run within the scope of the Smart Service Welten [Smart Service Worlds] technology programmes,” Thomas Bareiß said. is creating a social grocery delivery network. It enables people to order food from local shops, pay online and have their neighbours deliver the purchased items to them. In this way, people who do not have a car or are restricted in their mobility for other reasons are better connected to the local shopping facilities.

The network strengthens supply in rural areas in particular. At the same time, it benefits the regional retail trade. The app offers small companies such as bakers or butchers a platform that is tailored to their needs. They can set up their own online shop and thus increase their reach.

Details about and CrowdMyRegion has been tested and been extremely successful in Spechbach and Schönbrunn in Baden-Württemberg since the beginning of 2019. As part of today’s kick-off event, the profiles of additional providers were activated on the platform and opened up for use by all consumers right across the region.

The two municipalities are serving as model communities for testing the innovative logistics solution which delivers to central “pick-up stations”. Numerous citizens are already participating in the trial of the app, thus providing valuable tips on how it can be further developed. Many local and regional companies, such as bakeries, village shops, butchers’ shops, green grocers’, a brewery and a mobile farmers’ market, have been involved in the project right from the start. At today’s kick-off event, further product suppliers were activated on the platform, which means a larger local supply for people living in rural areas.

A key component of are self-learning forecasting algorithms that contact potential suppliers in order to pool product deliveries. This reduces the number of logistics routes and helps protect the environment. was developed based on an initiative of the University of Mannheim (project partner of CrowdMyRegion) in cooperation with the Office for Economic Development in the Rhine-Neckar district council office (project management of Intelligente Marktplätze). CrowdMyRegion is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy as part of the technology programme Smart Service Welt II [Smart Service World] (in German), while Intelligente Marktplätze is funded by the Ministry for Rural Affairs and Consumer Protection of the state of Baden-Württemberg within the scope of the Lokaler Online-Marktplatz [Local Online Marketplace] competition for ideas.