Title: DIGITAL CITIES: A network for rapid and sustainable ICT regional adoption
Type of intervention
Type of intervention: 1: Regional Initiative Project
Total budget: €1,616,500.00
e-Trikala Municipality's S.A.
Stratigou Sarafi 44 Str.
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Contact Person: Odisseas Raptis
The main objective of the Digital Cities (DC) project is to tackle the very low rate of ICT (Information Communication Technologies) penetration at local level by providing the organizational structures, strategies/policies and tools (called altogether DC model) for enabling the rapid and sustainable adoption of ICT at local level and the development of digital cities in a broad European level. The general objectives of the DC project include the development and evaluation of the DC Model and the establishment of an open, sustainable cooperation/coordination Network for sharing knowledge, exchanging best practices/experiences and developing synergies among local authorities. The final outcome of the project is aimed to be a new organizational structure that will manage and evolve the project results, making them widely available through information services and providing consultation and training programs, all through a feasible and viable business model.
The initiating point is a varietyof best practices identified within a number of cities and organisations involved within the Consortium. The starting discussions have been made within the INEC community (International Network of E-Communities). The core group of partners have been selected from INEC and then the consortium expanded to include regions of low ICT adoption that have shown potentials for development and are geographically spread around Europe. The main activities envisaged are the development of a DC holistic framework based on ICT trends that will come out of a joint study. For the regions involved the constraints to be taken into consideration will be highlighted. The project will select 6 practices amongst the most progressed partners for which best transfer specific guidelines will be drawn. The project will intitiate training sessions and study visits focusing on these practices. A series of thematic Workshops and an International Conference will be established.
The project will emphasise on communication and dissemination activities though its website, thematic Forums, newsletters, press conferences and press releases. A knowledge portal that will incorporate all project generated knowledge and which will provide easy guidelines for local or regional authorities to adopt the DC framework will be created and crash-tested in pilots. DC will emphasise on policy guidelines that will be communicated in regulatory bodies. For the project sustainability a business plan will be created and business models will be applied. The major result of the project will be a model (organisational, structural, administrative, strategic) that will allow the increase in local ICT adoption. This will be illustrated through the transfer of 6 winning practices through a training/communication/brainstorming process. The project expects to grow and provide space for experience sharing amongst European local and regional authorities.
The Digital Cities project team has been hard working in successfully implementing the DC project, while all partners equally contributed towards this direction. Two expert technical partners had been working with other seven across Europe, some from technologically mature and some from technologically emerging environments. They all have been getting hands on with the successful finalization of DC project and the transfer of best practices. General benefits from this process are already tangible. The project has successfully developed and implemented a strategic communications strategy, which builds on the needs identified during discussions with project partners. The exchange of practices is ensured and credited by the conduction of ICT strategic plans which have been accepted and applied by the receiving Municipalities. Moreover, feasibility studies ensure this process by providing solutions on the way to practically transfer best practices amongst sites. In total 93 practices have
been identified, from which 6 have been qualified and successfully transferred as best practices, each with a corresponding accompanying recommendation policy. The project has been variously disseminated; 6 steering committees monitored the internal progress, 7 press releases and 11 newsletters were issued in regular time intervals and published significant progress, 3 brochures were created which were approximately disseminated to 6,600 individuals. Moreover, the project participated in 17 events (including seminars, workshops, conferences) where the scope of the project had been examined engaging a grand total of 882 participants, and in an equal number of events in which interregional meetings (study visits, workshops) occurred for the exchange of experience, summing up to 214 participants. The project had in general 89 article appearances in press and media, one meeting had been conducted with INEC leading to new membership of the DC Municipalities to the network and one new
project emerged during the lifetime of the DC project. It is estimated that around 26 staff members increased their capacity from exchanging experience. The website www.digital-cities.eu appears as number one in the Google search results for Digital Cities with 117 average monthly hits, where one can find information on the project, presentations of the last conducted conferences, general informational material and finally have the opportunity to use the DC portal toolkit, providing specific input/metrics and taking output/suggestions on the sectors to improve. Information on how to initiate fibre initiatives, developing digital communities and successfully integrating online with customer facing services are also available through the DC Portal (www.dc-portal.org) which formalises the process on ICT strategic planning and attempts to generalise on the knowledge transfer mechanisms. Based on the requirements a beta version of the portal was developed. The ontology based on the DC
framework produced within the project was incorporated in the DC portal. The DC produced knowledge was used to populate the content of the portal, developing technical mechanisms for content tagging, search and retrieval. The portal sums up to 70 users, 46 external participants, enumerates 2412 hits in its public page and 2 papers have been presented in international conferences. A forum mechanism was incorporated to facilitate communication and a registration mechanism was applied to moderate users. The first official and complete version of the DC portal was released for partners' evaluation, while the final completed version is open to any party willing to log in. 10 thematic fora have been integrated in the portal where 5 pilot cases have been presented. A business plan has been issued offering in-depth overview of the DC goals/objectives including SWOT analyses and the recommended sustainability strategy focusing on the future of DC and DC Planner Toolkit after the funding ends.
|Institution, Town||Country||Region||Contact details|
|e-Trikala Municipality's S.A., TRIKALA||GREECE||Thessalia||302431022899
|Almere Knowledge City Foundation, Almere||NETHERLANDS||Flevoland||31 36 5238050
|University Transilvania of Brasov, Brasov||ROMANIA||Centru||40 268 418 967
|Institute of Communication and Computer Systems, Athens||GREECE||Attiki||302107722398
|Municipality of Xanthi, Xanthi||GREECE||Anatoliki Makedonia, Thraki||302541023641
|Manchester Digital Development Agency (MDDA) – Manchester City Council (MCC), MANCHESTER||UNITED KINGDOM||Greater Manchester||441612558111
|PARALIMNI MUNICIPALITY, PARALIMNI||CYPRUS||Kypros / Kibris||35723819300
|Malta Government Technology Investments Ltd.(MGTIL), Valletta||MALTA||Malta||356 25573151
|town Jesenik, Jeseník||CZECH REPUBLIC||Stredni Morava||420584498111
|town Skalica, Skalica||SLOVAKIA||Zapadne Slovensko||421346903209
|Municipality of Trikala, TRIKALA||GREECE||Thessalia||302431022899
|MUNICIPALITY OF BRASOV, BRASOV||ROMANIA||Centru||40 268 41 09 08