Following a proposal from the Minister of the Presidency, Francesc Homs, and the Minister for Business and Labour, Felip Puig, the Catalan Government approved Catalonia's Smart Strategy (SmartCATalonia), which will extend the concept of 'smart city' to a larger scale, one which the European Commission refers to as a 'smart region', in order to implement programmes that integrate and coordinate local and supralocal projects, provide support to businesses and promote smart initiatives throughout the region.
The aim of SmartCATalonia, which is aligned with the European Commission's Europe 2020 strategy, is to transform Catalonia into a smart region as an international benchmark, and one that uses technology and digital information to innovate in the provision of public services, boost economic growth and promote a more intelligent, sustainable and cohesive society. Furthermore, SmartCATalonia meets the objectives and follows the policies set out in the Digital Agenda for Catalonia (idigital) and Catalonia's Research and Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation (RIS3CAT).
The territorial strategy will involve the implementation of smart projects and initiatives, whether in areas that fall under the authority of the Government of Catalonia or as part of sector-oriented supralocal programmes for the provision of services in the fields of education, tourism, trade and health, among others.
Among the programmes that are to be carried out within the framework of the SmartCATalonia strategy, other related projects include:
· the optimisation of education and school management through ICT
· the start-up of interactive information points
· the introduction of new forms of e-commerce payment
· new telemedicine systems and the use of health cards on mobile phones.
Public citizens will play a key role in the smart region strategy
Citizens will take an active part in deciding what they want Catalonia to be, based on how they use the information offered by the smart initiatives and the ability to process it, strengthening the two-way conduit provided by the communication tools and Administration channels.
The Government has also approved that the Ministry of Business and Labour lead the development of the signed Agreement through its Directorate-General for Telecommunications and the Information Society (DGTSI), appointing it as the coordinating unit of Catalonia's smart region strategy.
-For more information on the SmartCATalonia Strategy click here