South East Europe improved virtual accessibility through joint initiatives facilitating the rollout of broadband networks
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Transnational experience exchange workshop on national and regional strategies for virtual accessibility services and infrastructures in SEE Europe

The workshop was held on the 9th October 2013 in Cultural centre “Sea Casino”, located in Burgas, Bulgaria. Responsible for the organisation of the workshop was PP3 Burgas Municipality.

Participants included representatives from most SIVA project partners:


  • Regional Association of Local Governments of Western Macedonia
  • Molise Region
  • Regional Authority Kyustendil
  • Burgas Municipality
  • Vienna University of Technology
  • University of Ljubljana
  • University of Patras
  • Youth Entrepreneurial Service Foundation


Also present were representatives of:  


  • Ministry of Transport, Information Technologies and Communications
  • Local Universities
  • Local Businesses
  • Other stakeholders and citizens


The event was opened by Mr. Atanas Sirekov from Burgas Municipality, who welcomed the participants, stated the importance of the project and innovative technologies. He also provided an example of such developments by informing of 10 zones of free internet access, located in the city of Burgas. After that he gave the world to the project coordinator – Dr. Lefteris Topaloglou.


Dr. Topaloglou thanked for the hospitality and then presented an overview of the SIVA project and its expected results and outcomes. He then answered questions regarding the project.


After that, Marko Papic from the University of Ljubljana made a presentation about the Benchmarking system assessing the quality of experience in digital accessibility to be executed as an activity in the context of Work Package 4 of the project. He then demonstrated the capabilities of this benchmarking system in its draft version. A few questions were raised – mostly about the confidentiality of location, which were discussed.


The third presentation’s topic was “Broadband: Current Status and potential impact on competitiveness, employment and growth” presented by Dr. Vasileios Kokkinos from the University of Patras. It was related to the already implemented studies from Work Package 3 from the project. Some very interesting findings were presented, including the possible broadband's negative impact on employment in Bulgaria and Greece without the simultaneous encouragement and support in innovation, which raised another discussion.


The forth presenter was Markus Mayr from the Technical Universty of Vienna. He presented "A tool for improving the Virtual Accessibility of SEE areas". The aspect was put on cost-effectiveness, Graphical User Interface, Data standards and software.


Anna Luna Galia presented her organisation – TECLA and their experience in implementing innovative projects. She informed the participants about a variety of good practices implemented in the context of the projects MO.DI (INTERREG III C programme), IM.MO.DI (INTERREG IV C programme) and SECOVIA (SEE programme), and Basilicata Region strategy: No Digital Divide.


The first one was presented by Eli Kaneva from the Ministry of Transport, Informational Technology and Communication. She informed the public about the National strategy for deployment of broadband accessibility in Bulgaria, presenting European and Bulgarian policies for broadband access and NGA plan, as well as indicators for fulfilling the strategy.


Secondly, Ruska Boyadjieva from Burgas Municipality made an intriguing presentation named “Local strategies for virtual accessibility - the role of local authorities”, which compared the similarities and showed the links between intelligent transport systems and virtual accessibility from the point of view of the innovative ”Integrated Urban Transport Project of Burgas”.


The last good practice that was presented was the South East Europe SECOVIA project. Deyan Shalev from Regional Authority Kyustendil informed the public on its activities, expected results and outcomes, and its similarity to the SIVA project.

Updated: 21-11-2013 00:56


The SIVA project is being funded under Priority Axis 3 – Improvement of the Accessibility of the South East Europe Programme, achieving the corresponding objectives through the Area of Intervention (AoI) 3.2 – Develop strategies to tackle the 'digital divide'.

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