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HRH Princess Leonor presented the Princess of Asturias Award for Exemplary Village to the parishes of Arroes, Peón and Candanal this morning, in a ceremony also attended by Their Majesties King Felipe and Queen Letizia and HRH Princess Sofía. The visit included a tour of the CTIC RuralTech facilities, which has contributed to boosting the area with its technological and social development projects, including a local energy community, an intergenerational classroom for the digitisation of heritage and an ambitious project to sensor the valley to prevent fires and improve the productivity of agri-food producers.

The Princess of Asturias Award for Exemplary Town 2023 was presented today to the residents of the parishes of Arroes, Peón and Candanal. During the ceremony, which was attended by nearly 3,000 people, Their Majesties took a tour of the characteristic places in the area, such as the neighbourhood associations, and met with representatives of the different groups that make up the community.

The event included a visit to CTIC RuralTech, where they were able to learn about some of the projects that the Centre is developing in the region.

Exemplary Town Award

In its report, the Jury highlighted the capacity of these three parishes to maintain a diversified economy based on local resources and to achieve the rejuvenation of their population and their demographic growth in recent years. Likewise, the technological innovation that CTIC brings to the Valley -from its work centre in Peón, CTIC RuralTech-, has deserved the mention of the Jury, which values the potential of this project to become a "valid model to be replicated in other places". The Jury also highlights the fact that this technological innovation arises from the territory and is based on tradition, with the involvement of the neighbours.

The Valley's Living Lab, unique in Spain The innovation projects being developed in the Valley are just a sample of what technology can bring to the rural environment. Energy self-consumption, fire alerts, traceability of agri-food products... The aim is to create a model of village adapted to the needs of the 21st century: a sustainable, connected village that offers quality of life to its inhabitants, without losing the essence of the rural environment.

The main ingredient for the success of the project has been the involvement of the neighbours of the area, who have contributed by lending their spaces, contributing their knowledge and actively participating in this living lab, which is currently unique in Spain.

Some of the technological and social innovation projects being developed in the Valley include the following:

  • Aula Intergeneracional - Andecha Astur: A Territorial Intelligence Project aimed at identifying, cataloguing and digitising the most important elements that build the memory of the territory. People of different ages meet periodically in the Intergenerational Classroom, located in the CTIC Ruraltech facilities, to share knowledge and create a participatory digital catalogue. In this way, community ties are strengthened and the spirit of "andecha" (collaborative work for the common good) is fostered. You can find more information on this link .
  • Sensorics – LoRa Network: A network of sensors has been set up at different points in the valley, enabling local residents to receive information on multiple variables on their mobile devices. In this way, they can anticipate fire risk situations, know the status of their farms and optimise the resources at their disposal. Find out more in this video.
  • Local energy community: Photovoltaic installation with 88 solar panels and a peak power of 35kW, which serves several homes in the Valley, the local school and the Technology Centre itself. It is a pilot project, aimed at designing a model of collective, sustainable, autonomous consumption that can be replicated in other rural areas.
  • Traceability - Blockchain: A food traceability system based on blockchain technology that allows consumers to know, from a QR code, the origin and production process of various agri-food products, such as cider or cheese. It is a guarantee of quality, especially for foods with Protected Designation of Origin (PDO).
  • Climate simulator: A unique facility for experimenting with crops that are typical of the Valley, such as faba beans, and their adaptation to situations of climatic stress. In a context of climate change, it makes it possible to anticipate different scenarios and design solutions that enable the continuity of native crops in the coming years.

If you want to know more about the projects we develop at CTIC RuralTech you can see it at