South East Europe improved virtual accessibility through joint initiatives facilitating the rollout of broadband networks
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  • PEDDM - Regional Association of Local Governments of Western Macedonia, Greece
    • PEDDM is a recently renamed and re-established legal institution following the latest administrative reform in Greece in 2011. PEDDM represents 12 municipalities of the Western Macedonia Region covering a population of approximately 303.000 inhabitants. PEDDM's mission is to support and represent the municipalities of the Region for local & regional organization, coordination, management and exploitation of their resources. More precisely, PEDDM takes actions for: the promotion of collaboration & networking among the local governments within the Region of Western Macedonia; the conduction of research for regional & local development purposes; the implementation of Information Society projects; the coordination of cooperation projects among the municipalities for social cohesion; the implementation of training programmes; the legislative and institutional support; the launching of various initiatives towards the improvement of citizens' living standards; implementation of actions for environmental sustainability.

      Role in the project
      PEDDM will contribute to the mapping of existing physical telecommunication infrastructures in South East Europe and the analysis on benefits of sharing of existing infrastructures. PEDDM is expected to formulate common methodologies, policy recommendations & consensus-building approaches for a pilot operator of a common inventory of physical infrastructures covering selected SEE areas. Also, PEDDM will formulate common policy processes and measures with the purpose of facilitating the sharing of physical infrastructures for network deployment in South East Europe.
  • MOLISE - Molise Regione, Italy
    • Molise Region is a Centre-South region on the east coast of Italy with access to the Adriatic sea. The Region has a population of more than 300,000 people and it is the most recent Italian region, established as a regional entity in 1970. The Region includes two provinces, Campobasso & Isernia and counts 136 municipalities. Molise Region is responsible for the planning and implementation of the regional development strategy and the respective actions. It provides services to citizens, businesses and on public administration issues and covers a range of thematic areas such as: innovation and research, financial planning and control, environment and protection, international relationships, etc.

      Role in the project
      The institutional role and network of Molise will enable the analysis of broadband penetration and digital public services offered in SEE regions. Molise will also contribute to the investigation and evaluation of the quality of citizens' experience on virtual accessibility in SEE territories. Molise Region is expected to formulate common methodologies, policy recommendations and consensus-building approaches towards a common inventory of physical infrastructures covering selected SEE areas. Apart from the dissemination activities foreseen, part of Molise's tasks will be the exchange of experience on aggregating trans-regional policy approaches regarding spectrum management and the digital dividend.
  • RAK - Regional Authority Kyustendil, Bulgaria
    • The Regional Authority of Kyustendil (RAK) is a legal entity, established in 1999. RAK is the 2nd biggest region in Bulgaria located in the center of the country including a population of 146.000 inhabitants. RAK provides advice, assistance and services to regional and local administrations, enterprises and citizens in sustainability of resources and rural development.

      Role in the project
      RAK will contribute to analysing the current situation concerning digital public services in selected SEE regions, identifying and exploiting good practices and investment strategies on broadband infrastructures, applying a pilot operation framework for the project's developed methodologies, tools and systems, and suggesting ways to integrate project results in partners' and external interested stakeholders' processes, plans and practices.
  • BM - Burgas Municipality, Bulgaria
    • The Municipality of Burgas (BM) in Bulgaria is the 4th biggest city in Bulgaria with approximately 200.000 inhabitants, located in the south-east part of the country with access to the Black sea. Burgas has a strategic location in the country; its port is the biggest in Bulgaria and one of the biggest in the Black sea. In addition, the city hosts an international airport of large capacity, including a European transport corridor. Burgas Municipality is active in a range of policy areas and activities, such as mobility, ICT, innovation, urban development, environment, education, culture, public and international relations, European Programmes, volunteerism, regional policy, & various administrative issues.

      Role in the project
      Burgas will contribute to raising awareness on ICT opportunities and the benefits of broadband technologies. Burgas Municipality is expected to contribute to exchanging experience towards the absorption of funds and formulating common approaches for public private partnerships, in order to promote investments on virtual accessibility. Also, Burgas Municipality role in SIVA is to apply a pilot operation framework for the project's developed methodologies, tools and systems, and to capitalise on the project's results and ensure their long lasting effects.
  • DAC - Decentralized Administration of Crete, Greece
    • Crete is the largest island in Greece with a population of about 620.000 inhabitants, 5% of the country's population. The Decentralized Administration of Crete (DAC) was recently established under the new law for the Greek administrative reform and includes the old Prefecture of Crete and the respective municipalities (24). Also, two of the biggest cities in Greece are in Crete, along with big international harbors that serve transportation and industrial needs. Crete hosts a Polytechnic University, Universities and Technical Educational Institutions public bodies with more than 20.000 students, several museums, historic sites and cultural resources. Crete's location in the Mediterranean Sea and its natural environment and resources create a favorable environment for economic development. DAC is the decentralised state public body responsible along with its partners for the plan and implementation of all activities of the Regional and Municipal bodies. DAC provides services to citizens and business in areas of public administration, civil protection, infrastructures improvement, natural and historical preservation, forest and agricultural issues.

      Role in the project
      DAC, according to its competences, is planned to contribute to SIVA in activities such as the dissemination of results through the organisation of a conference, assessment of dissemination tasks, identification of views on the needs and the current situation of the broadband penetration, accomplishment of project impact beyond its completion, promotion of a contemporary approach for policies that influence various governance levels on broadband accessibility. Furthermore, it will set up testbeds for the project's developed methodologies, tools and systems.
  • TECLA – Association for the Transregional, Local and European Cooperation, Italy
    • Founded in 1993, TECLA is an association of Italian local authorities with offices in Rome and Brussels, supporting the development of territories and their resources, through the dissemination and use of European opportunities. TECLA’s methodology aims on one hand at valorising the specific characteristics and experiences of the territories, connecting them with the Association’s competences and know how; on the other hand, at promoting the dissemination of experiences at national and transnational level and the exchange and sharing of information and best practices among European territories, thanks to the wide international network that TECLA has been developing over the years. The experience gathered by TECLA so far, has provided the Association with the ability to plan and manage transnational actions in various field (energy, ICT, environment, civil protection, territorial cooperation, etc…). Since 1994, TECLA has been involved, as project leader or partner, in more than 80 transnational projects with about 600 partners from Europe, Middle East and Northern Africa, with strong competences and experience in projects on several issues. Furthermore, TECLA provides technical assistance in EU policies to the Union of Italian Provinces (UPI) and works, through the Brussels-based office, for the promotion and representation of the system of Italian Provinces within the EU through communication, partnership, networking and training activities.

      Role in the project
      Within the SIVA project, TECLA will contribute to the analysis of the current situation concerning virtual accessibility and the availability of common infrastructures in selected SEE areas. Also, TECLA is expected to contribute to the exchange of experience and the formulation of administrative and policy measures to improve the virtual accessibility of SEE areas through case studies and the promotion of best practices.
  • TUV-AT - Vienna University of Technology, Austria
    • Technical University of Vienna (TUV) is one of the largest Universities in Austria, holding a key role in higher technical education in a plethora of research fields. It currently has about 26.200 students, 8 faculties, 1.800 academics from about 4.000 staff members. The Department of Geoinformation and Cartography of TUV (TUV-AT) is dedicated to advancing research and education in Spatial Information Theory and Geographic Information Science. TUV-AT is currently focused on:

      - accuracy and precision of geographic data,
      - spatial optimization problems,
      - ontology and semantics of geographic space,
      - category theory and its implication to spatial data processing, and
      - computational models of time-dependent geographic phenomena.

      TUV-AT's collaboration approach is to work in interdisciplinary teams, jointly with computer science, geography, mathematics, cognitive science, linguistics, and environmental psychology. The interdisciplinary approach has enabled to bridge the gap often observed between theoretical results and the usage by industry and leads in producing applicable solutions.

      Role in the project
      TUV-AT's has a mainly operational role in SIVA. TUV-AT will review of technical approaches for SEE broadband networks and contribute to the identification of gaps and convergence fields in improving the virtual accessibility of SEE. TUV-AT will contribute to the pilot operation of the common inventory of existing physical infrastructures. Also, its role in SIVA is participate in drafting methodologies, setting the specifications and managing the pilot operation of the online tool depicting geophysical and technical evidence for the deployment of optimal technologies and network infrastructures. Last, TUV-AT is expected to provide recommendations for the valorisation of the online tool. Apart from its technical role, TUV-AT has established collaboration links with territorial stakeholders in promoting successful policies and best practices. TUV-AT will pursue a broader territorial impact of project results through its collaboration with Austrian project observers IT Cluster / Vienna Business Agency and Research Centre for Telecommunications Vienna (FTW). Also, TUV’s connections with the OpenGIS Consortium, the U.S. National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis and a plethora of research centers and academic institutions facilitate the sustainability of project results and create impetus for further research in the field.
  • UL - University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
    • The University of Ljubljana (UL), well known for the quality of study courses in several fields, is the oldest and largest university in Slovenia consisting of 23 faculties and hosting more than 63.000 undergraduate & postgraduate students. The Department of Electrical Engineering & Laboratory for Telecommunications (LTFE/UL) includes 287 researchers and 31 technical staff working in 26 research groups. LTFE/UL focuses on the following research fields: robotics & telecommunications, automation and cybernetics, electronics, microelectronics, bio-cybernetics and biomedicine, measuring systems.

      Role in the project
      LTFE/UL's role in SIVA is contribute in analyzing virtual accessibility policies regarding radio spectrum management implemented in SEE areas. LTFE/UL will design, develop, test and assess a common transnational benchmarking system to evaluate the quality of virtual accessibility experience among citizens in SEE areas. Subsequently, LTFE/UL will provide recommendations on improving virtual accessibility experience. Where applicable, it will also contribute to test-bedding data from the following Slovenian territories: Koroška, Gorenjska and Ljubljana.
  • UoP - University of Patras, Greece
    • The University of Patras (UoP) is the 3rd largest University in Greece in terms of student capacity, faculty members, administrative personnel, number of departments, and accredited titles. UoP includes 22 Departments, involving a great range of disciplines, operating 112 laboratories and 14 fully equipped clinics. It has approximately 25,000 undergraduate & postgraduate students, and it enumerates 754 faculty members, 238 teaching staff and 481 administrative personnel.

      Role in the project
      UoP will contribute to the analysis of the current situation and the elicitation of information for broadband networks in selected SEE areas, and to the comparative surveying, mapping and listing of existing telecommunication networks and infrastructures. UoP will assess needs and formulate priorities & strategies for virtual accessibility and public infrastructures. Also, UoP will analyse requirements, set organisational specifications and carry out pilot activities for the development of a common benchmarking system for the assessment of virtual accessibility experience. Pilot operation and assessment of a common cost reduction assessment tool is also foreseen within UoP tasks, as well as activities related to sustainability & capitalisation of the project's results. Lastly, UoP will participate in the preparation of public-private investments on virtual accessibility solutions. and Ljubljana.
  • YES Foundation - Youth Entrepreneurial Service Foundation, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
    • Youth Entrepreneurial Service Foundation (YES), established in 2005 and located in Skopje city, is an organisation for fostering entrepreneurship, especially among young citizens of Macedonia. YES's mission is to stimulate creation of new business, strengthen their competencies and promote innovation, aiming to contribute to the development of the national economy. The organisation's day-to-day work includes business pre-incubation and incubation, organization of training seminars and courses, familiarisation of foreign investors with the economy and its various characteristics, and support for the development of international partnerships. YES is also part of the EuroOffice (EOS) Network promotes dynamic networking opportunities between regions, especially for innovative start-ups.

      Role in the project
      YES, besides the communication and dissemination activities that will participate in, will take further actions to raise awareness on the benefits of broadband networks for businesses and citizens. YES will also contribute to the collection of views and opinions of stakeholders for the broadband penetration in SEE areas. In addition, YES will participate to the analysis of policies regarding radio spectrum management and the digital dividend, and will promote the project's innovative services for pilot-testing by its own target groups.
  • BSC Bar - Business Start-up Center Bar, Montenegro
    • Business Start-Up Centre-Bar (BSC Bar) is a non-profit foundation located in Bar, the sea gate of Montenegro with access to the Adriatic Sea. BSC Bar aims at facilitating innovation and ICT-based growth through training and education, technical support and international collaboration. Members of BSC-Bar are the Municipality of Bar, the National Employment Agency, the Directory of Tourism, the Montenegro Business Alliance, the Association of employers of Bar, and the Cultural Center of Bar. Among its key fields of activity are:

      - entrepreneurship training,
      - decision making and policy implementation support,
      - business incubation, consultancy and mentoring, and
      - strengthening the capacity of local public institutions through the development of innovative, tailor-made IT management solutions.

      Role in the project
      As a 10% project partner BSC BAR will: a) actively participate in project events to be hosted by project partners and will benefit from the trasnational policy debate and experience exchange, b) disseminate, through its stakeholder networks, project results and consider their integration in current strategies and policies at a local/regional or national level in Montenegro, c) provide, where applicable, national evidence on broadband accessibility in Montenegro, and d) contribute through input and dialogue to the project’s overall goal of improving virtual acessibility and investing in broadband penetration in Southeast Europe.

  • Observer Partners
    Observer partners in the SIVA project will: a) actively participate in project events, b) benefit from the trasnational policy debate and experience exchange, c) disseminate, through their stakeholder networks, project results and promote their integration in existing policies at national level, d) contribute, where applicable, through input and dialogue to the project’s overall goal of improving broadband penetration and virtual acessibility in Southeast Europe.

  • APEK - Post and Electronic Communications Agency of the Republic of Slovenia, Slovenia
    • The Post and Electronic Communications Agency of the Republic of Slovenia (APEK) is an independent body that regulates and supervises the electronic communications market, manages and supervises the radio frequency spectrum in the Republic of Slovenia, performs tasks in the field of radio and television broadcasting, and regulates and supervises the postal and railway service markets. The Agency’s mission is to promote competition, to ensure equal conditions for the operation of electronic communication network operators and service providers, as well as providers of postal and railway services, to manage the radio frequency spectrum and numbering space, to monitor radio and television programming content, and to protect consumer rights in the Republic of Slovenia as well as the European Union. The Agency's goals are to create conditions or providing services tailored to users' needs, a regulated and common European market, equal rights for all European Union citizens, and to promote cultural, linguistic, and contentual diversity of radio and television programs and other audiovisual media services.
  • EEKT - Greek Mobile Operators Association, Greece
    • The Greek Mobile Operators Association (EEKT) established in 2008, represents the biggest mobile operators in Greece. It participates with an advisory role in regulatory processes for telecommunications; it is involved in decision making and technical committees both at national and European level, and has established international collaboration with several stakeholders and associations in the field of mobile communications.
  • FTW - Research Center for Telecommunications Vienna, Austria
    • FTW is a nationally leading and internationally acclaimed centre for research and development of technologies for future communication systems. FTW was established in December 1998 and it is funded as a Competence Center supported by the Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT), the Federal Ministry of Economy, Family and Youth (BMWFJ) and the City of Vienna. FTW closely cooperates with partners in both academia and industry. FTW enables people and companies in Europe to achieve their innovation potential inherent in new technologies for communication.
  • GRNET - Greek Research & Technology Network S.A., Greece
    • GRNET runs the Greek Research & Technology Network, operating both at a national and international level and connecting more than 90 institutions, including all universities, technical and research institutes, as well as the public Greek School Network, supporting more than 500.000 users throughout the country. In addition, it provides local interconnection services to the main Greek Internet providers, through the Greek Internet Exchange/GR-IX ( GR-IX, operating since 2008, provides interconnection at Nx10 Gbps, enhancing the quality of internet service and infrastructure nation-wide. The objective of GRNET S.A. concerns the provision of advanced internet services to academic and research institutions and organizations of similar activities, along with the wider promotion of innovative Internet applications with the participation of relevant national and communal projects.
  • MTITC - Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications, Bulgaria
    • The Bulgarian Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications (MTITC) is the national regulative authority for electronic communication networks. Through its Executive Agency for Electronic Communication Networks and Information Systems and the National Radio Frequency Spectrum Council it oversees the deployment of telecommunication networks and manages the radio frequency spectrum in Bulgaria.
  • IT – VBA - Vienna Business Agency, Austria
    • The Vienna Business Agency was founded in 1982 as a Viennese support fund, by the city of Vienna, the Viennese Chamber of Commerce, Unicredit Bank Austria AG as well as the first bank of the Austrian savings banks AG. The IT Cluster of the Vienna Business Agency is a network of the Vienna IT industry. It maintains a consulting role in helping IT companies reinforce their innovation potential and targeted consultations. By bringing together IT companies, research institutions, companies and funding agencies, it supports innovative projects and implements initiatives on current technology trends.
  • KtPAE- Information Society SA, Greece
    • Information Society SA (KTPAE) is a state-owned firm offering project management expertise to the greek public sector in the fields of IT projects and of re-engineering public administration processes. The firm currently runs information technology and telecommunications projects co-funded by the European Union and national funds throughout Greece. It promotes access to digital public services to businesses and citizens through advanced e-government projects with the aim of eliminating bureaucracy, boosting competitveness and improving the efficiency of public administration.
  • PROMI - Province of Milan, Italy
    • The Province of Milan, representing 134 towns and municipalities, administers the largest metropolitan area in Italy with a strong ICT industry and a leading profile in ICT-based growth and innovation.
  • TI - Telecom Italia S.p.a., Italy
    • Being the largest Telecommunications company in Italy it offers technological infrastructures, platforms, advanced telecommunications services and media solutions nation-wide.

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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