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The role of the Information Society in regional development - Call for pilot actions

The European Commission, DG XVI, has published a call for proposals for pilot actions aimed at integrating the concept of the Information Society into regional development policies of less favoured regions (LFRs). One of the priority areas for pilot actions for the 1995-1999 ...

The European Commission, DG XVI, has published a call for proposals for pilot actions aimed at integrating the concept of the Information Society into regional development policies of less favoured regions (LFRs). One of the priority areas for pilot actions for the 1995-1999 period is the translation of the Information Society concept into real life applications in the regions. This may be done through the demonstration of innovative applications and services, a high stimulation of users' involvement and the diffusion of best practice. The final objective of this pilot scheme, worth approximately ECU 20 million, is to help integrate the Information Society concept into regional development policies of less favoured regions. There are two alternative fields of action within this call for proposals. These are: - Developing partnerships among key regional actors for the elaboration of a regional information society strategy and action plan; - Preparation and launching of pilot applications for demonstrating best practice in the regional deployment of the Information Society. The "Regional Information Society Strategy and Action Plan" should provide a sound and consistent framework for optimizing policy decisions regarding future investments in this field at the regional level. Submissions can be made by the regional authority responsible for economic development in the region concerned, demonstrating commitment to participation by key regional actors. The Community will finance up to 50% of the total costs of the elaboration of the "Information Society Regional Strategy and Action Plan" up to a maximum of ECU 250,000 per region. With regard to the preparation and launching of pilot applications, the Commission is looking for key user applications which, through the use of information and communication technologies, can contribute to regional development and employment creation in less-favoured regions. Proposals in this area should clearly integrate the purpose of the pilot application within a regional development strategy element. Information Society applications related to regional development objectives could be classified under the following fields: - Business needs and competitiveness; - Employment creation and human resources; - Environment and quality of life; - Reduction of peripherality; - Improving the delivery of services to citizens and the development of personal services. An indicative list of possible areas for pilot applications is given in the information package. Proposals submitted to this open call should justify their direct coherence with the above-mentioned regional development objectives. Submissions can be made by any local or regional authority demonstrating commitment to participation by key regional actors from several different regions. Proposals should be based on inter-regional cooperation and they must have at least two participating bodies from two regions from different countries. Priority will be given to pluri-regional proposals involving three to six regions from at least three countries. At least a third of the participating regions and of the requested financial contribution should be from objective 1 and/or, possibly, objective 6 areas. Detailed information about this call for proposals, including an application form, information package and work programme, procedures and eligibility criteria for the submission of proposals and the principles governing the Community contribution can be obtained by contacting: European Commission DG XVI - Regional Policy and Cohesion Unit A-2 Information Society Projects 200 rue de la Loi (CSM1 7/43) B-1049 Brussels Fax +32-2-2950138/39/40