Regional development of the
An effective transition to an Information Society (IS), needs a
strategy, a clear set of objectives and information on progress towards reaching these
objectives. A strategic framework can then be evolved, detailing how the outstanding
objectives can be reached, and a series of action plans prepared showing how the strategy
will be put into effect. This, broadly, is the approach that the Regional Information
Society Initiative (RISI) has been developing.
It is also the background to ERIS@, a European umbrella association for 32 regions in
Europe. Some of ERIS@'s challenges are to:
- Disseminate knowledge on how to address strategically at a regional level the renovation
of traditional industrial clusters with IS investments.
- Offer a one-stop-shop for commercial applications, and promote the concepts which were
successful in mainstreaming the IS in the Single Programming Documents and the Operational
Programmes at regional level.
- Show that the RISI process and ERIS@ members act as a model for other European regions
which have not yet developed IS strategy and action plans. The benefits of social
awareness and economic development and revival are applicable within the regions
themselves and as an added value on an inter-regional basis.
Visitors to the ERIS@ stand receive an in-depth demonstration of the need to link
research and development projects to regional development policies. A series of
good-practice examples shows both concrete project content and the political dimension of
the RISI initiative. The importance and value of inter-regional co-operation is
emphasised. This pan-European dimension is crucial to many of the successful projects
being launched by the regions.