The Digital Agenda for Europe states that ICT are “critical to help Europe face future challenges such as supporting an ageing society, climate change, reducing energy consumption, improving transportation efficiency and mobility, empowering patients and ensuring the inclusion of persons with disabilities”.
CT solutions are seen as key to enabling smart, sustainable and inclusive development, as defined in the European Union’s strategic vision Europe 2020.
The Smart Specialisation Strategy for the Emilia Romagna Region, in line with Europe 2020, indicates sustainable development and strengthening the information and communication society as priority measures (Priority C).
The role and potential of digital technologies for sustainable development are also at the centre of the Digital Agenda for Emilia Romagna. The Agenda, recently perfected thanks to a stakeholder consultation, aims to create a 100% digital region; a digital ecosystem for all with "zero difference" between places, citizens, businesses and cities.
European and regional policy have created a framework to support the ICT sector in moving towards an environmentally and socially sustainable model for development. Opportunities arise both from funding schemes and public-private partnerships and from methodologies to manage the innovation process in order to interpret the market for solutions to environmental and social challenges.
The R-ICT Final Event that took place in Bologna last 25th February 2016 focused on the opportunities for sustainable ICT enterprises arising from the previously mentioned policies and programmes. The line-up of speakers was impressive: Benedetto Zacchiroli, Local Councillor for Economic and Social Development, Labour Policies, Simplification and International Relations, Metropolitan City of Bologna; Sándor Szalai, Policy Officer, EU Commission, DG CONNECT, Unit D4; Dimitri Tartars, Coordinator Digital Agenda for Emilia-Romagna; Fabrizio Boccola, Director Communication Systems and E-government, Metropolitan City of Bologna; Lucia Mazzoni and Daniele Sangiorgi, ICT Platform, Emilia-Romagna High Technology Network.
Practical hints on how to participate in EU programmes focused on ICT and sustainability were also illustrated to the participants by Paolo Frosini, from Resolvo srl.
We were particularly happy to have four enterprises talking about their own experience. Adalberto Casalboni from VM Sistemi SpA, Francesco Zingales from greenApes srl, Fabio Poli from Antreem srl and Walter Nunziati from Magenta srl shared their view, approach and achievements with reference to sustainability as a business model.
Click here for the presentations.