This Project supports the INTERREG IVC Programme’s profoundly-important objective of improving the effectiveness of regional development policies for the advancement of the knowledge economy. It will result in enhanced policies for increased regional competitiveness, job creation and growth - both at project partner level and across all EU regions – via the development, deployment and exploitation of emerging, innovative information and communication technologies (ICTs) and eBusiness models such as Digital Business Ecosystems, Living Labs and Digitally-Networked Businesses (hereafter referred to collectively as “digital ecosystems” or “DEs”). This will be achieved by (a) identifying and disseminating both established and newly-emerging good practices and successful initiatives in these fields, and (b) providing an interregional Learning Applications Network which will involve key stakeholders and policy-makers and enable them to exchange experiences, knowledge and good practices.
Although the DE concept is fairly new, each of the 9 Partners involved directly in the project has specific experience of, or expertise in, different aspects of DE development and deployment. The partners, who represent a carefully-selected mix of geographical coverage, experience and networking skills, will analyse good practices both within their region and in other regions where DEs have been developed successfully, and also across a range of chosen sectors/themes, and exchange information and experiences via a planned programme of Interregional Workshops, Peer Review Visits and staff exchanges. All partners will be involved in the preparation and exchange of detailed reports, concluding with a final report summarising the way forward for each region. The Project will also include 8 regional pilot actions to assess the likely benefits of innovative ICTs and new eBusiness approaches, and to evaluate the potential for transferring good practices between sectors/regions.
The DE-LAN project was officially launched in Brussels on 9th June 2010 by the Deputy First Minister for Wales and the European Commission’s Director General for Information Society and Media. Delegates attending the launch event included representatives from European, national & local government, the private sector, academia and non-profit organisations.
Programmed Interregional Workshops continue to be a successful forum for the Regional partners to exchange experiences on Digital Ecosystem (DE) deployment and to identify existing examples of good practice. Interregional Workshops have been held in Brussels, Wales, Toledo, Roma, Torino, Prague, Badajoz and Lithuania.
Outputs achieved to date include the production of a synthesised State of the Art Report. This documents each partners’ experiences and expertise in DEs. Regional Influencers Maps, which identify individuals, organisations and stakeholders engaged in the European digital collaboration agenda have also been produced.
Partners utilised the synthesised State of the Art report to identify good practices and projects that offer scope for deploying DEs more widely across collaborating regions. Discussions on what constitutes good practice in the field of DE helped shape the development of a Good Practice Template. This has been used to capture and store all examples of good practice identified during the lifetime of the DE-LAN project. The information captured to date has been used by the project partners in the preparation of their Regional Good Practice Study Reports and has been used to help identify good practices arising from the Pilot Actions.
Peer Reviews and Staff Exchanges have been undertaken by the partners to allow them to look in more depth at the Good Practices identified in DE-LAN. The results of these activities have helped inform the Pilot Actions.
The 6 month Pilot Action implementation period concluded with partners testing established DE good practice to understand how to transfer these to their own regions and sectors. The results are being used to inform the final outputs of the project including the European Good Practice Guide and DE Implementation Toolkit.
Project partners continue to disseminate information on DEs widely throughout Europe to relevant stakeholders, influencers and SMEs. The first five of six planned regional and overall project newsletters have been published and circulated using the DE-LAN Influencers Map. These newsletters and locally and centrally produced press releases, which have appeared in media throughout Europe, have been posted onto the project website www.delanproject.eu. The project website continues to be developed.
Partners disseminate information on the DE-LAN project at events they attend. In particular DE-LAN had an exhibition stand at the Committee of the Regions Open Days in Brussels in October 2010 which is a major European Conference. DE-LAN was cited by Committee of the Regions Member Cllr Bob Bright in a presentation on ICT for Energy Efficiency. The DE-LAN Mid-Term Conference was held in Brussels in January 2012, presentations from which have been posted to the project website. Local DE-LAN dissemination events continue to be held in the partners’ regions.