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Catalonia Presents its Smart Strategy to Become a ‘Smart Region’
The Government of Catalonia presented the SmartCATalonia Strategy in Brussels (Belgium), during a working session organised by the Directorate General of Communication and Information Society.
The project aims to transform Catalonia into a Smart Region that uses technology and digital data to innovate in the field of public services, to boost economic growth and to promote a more sustainable, inclusive and cohesive society.
Moreover, SmartCATalonia, in line with the European Commission’s ‘Europe 2020’ strategy, will also implement programmes to coordinate local projects, to provide support to companies and to promote the implementation of smart projects over the region.
The session was conducted by Amadeu Altafaj, Permanent Representative of the Government of Catalonia to the EU, who stated that “in times of growing euro-scepticism, Catalonia’s commitment to European integration and values should be treasured”.
In the same line, Jordi Puigneró, Director General of Telecommunications and Information Society, pointed out that it is necessary to go beyond urban policies to solve Smart Cities challenges. He also highlighted the importance of infrastructures as the base of a Smart Region and the need of “not being just mere consumers from USA’s or China’s products, but being active producers”.
The President of the Committee of the Regions, Markku Markkula, explained the role of different actors to enhance public smart strategies and said that “specialisation is an opportunity to transform the EU economic agenda”. He also put the spotlight on the need of “pioneering cities and regions that innovate in this field to develop a stable EU model”.
Furthermore, Svetoslav Mihaylov, Representative of the Directorate General of Communications, Networks, Content and Technology of the European Commission, tackled from an EU perspective the challenges that Smart Regions have. He stated that ICT should be used “as a tool in meeting the EU climate and energy targets” and also encouraged everyone to participate in the survey that Integrated Infrastructures and Processes sub-cluster Urban Platforms launched recently.
Since January 2015 Catalonia holds the Presidency of the Four Motors for Europe initiative, the association of interregional cooperation integrated by Lombardy (Italy), Baden-Württemberg (Germany), Rhône-Alpes (France) and Catalonia (Spain). Its main objective is to increase the economic, cultural and social potential of these regions.
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