The Government of Catalonia has officially presented “Smart Strategy of Catalonia” (smartCAT), the recently approved strategy to extend the smart city concept to a level the European Commission calls “smart region” and develop a programme to include coordinated local and supra-local initiatives. The strategy will also offer support to businesses and promote ‘smart’ initiatives at a national level. The presentation of the smartCAT strategy was held at the Barcelona Gran Via Trade Fair during this year’s Smart City Expo World Congress, inaugurated last Wednesday by the Minister of Business and Labour, Felip Puig.
The smartCAT strategy is designed to make Catalonia an international smart region benchmark, taking advantage of digital technology and information to encourage innovation in public services, foster economic growth and promote a more intelligent, sustainable and integrative society. With this strategy the Government of Catalonia aims to improve the services aimed at citizens, with a more efficient use of resources and a more intelligent performance by handling the maximum amount of available information in real-time.
Areas of Action
· Smart City. Collaboration between the Administration and the private sector will be fostered to promote the development of smart city projects in Catalonia. Within this area, route maps will be established for smaller sized town and city councils while the exchange of local initiatives, experiences, data and service sharing will be actively promoted.
· Smart Land. Collaboration will be fostered between agents to provide Catalonia with a technological environment that favours the development of smart regions: telecommunications networks, data processing centres, supercomputing services, etc. The aim is to develop smart initiatives within the Generalitat’s competency areas in territory and in supra-local programmes.
· Smart Economy. In order to strengthen the competitiveness of the sectors in which Catalonia wishes to focus its industrial growth, emphasis will be placed on developing sectorial actions and promoting business opportunities in the areas of tourism, commerce, education, health and social services. A commitment will also be made to the emerging Big Data technology sector to encourage a new data industry.
· Smart Government. The Open Government strategy will be stepped up with bidirectional communications channels between the administration and citizens, transparency and participation web portals and an easier access to public information through open data.
· Smart Citizen. To develop an intelligent territory, the need for “intelligent” citizens capable of deciding what kind of city, territory and country they want. To this end the Government will develop digital training, involvement and participation initiatives in order to motivate citizens to participate in decision-making, improve public services and to cooperate in information collection through “citizen sensor” projects.