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Enhancing ‘Next Generation Access’ Growth in Europe (ENGAGE)
Date du début: 31 déc. 2011, Date de fin: 30 déc. 2014 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

CONTEXT : ICT play an increasing and crucial role in the European socio-economic environment. The adoption and use of ICT are among the most significant factors determining productivity growth, accounting of 40% of Europe's productivity growth and 25% of EU GDP growth”. ICT could be a key factor to help developing rural areas in Europe but there is still a real rural-urban gap in broadband coverage. NIVERLAN Joint Authority (JA) decided to address the related issues through the exchange of good practices and their preparation for subsequent implementation in several regions in Europe. PARTNERSHIP:It is made up of 12 partners from 10 countries (FR, ES, IE, PT, RO, SI, UK, DE, FI, PL), among them 3 are new MS (PL, RO and SI).Breakdown per area: West (3 countries); South (2 countries); East (3 countries) and North (2 countries).Mix of national/regional/local authorities (6 partners), agencies with delegation of ICT competencies from their public authorities and universities (6).OVERALL OBJECTIVES : To help rural regions across Europe to better understand and address the issue of “How to build a high speed broadband (HSB) network at efficient cost in rural areas” in order to make sure that the requisite are fulfilled for the maintenance or even strengthening of local populations and economic activities. ENGAGE will help the participating regions to fasten the setting up and the implementation of HSB policies, considering the significance & strategic importance of the next generation access networks. APPROACH in 3 steps: 1/ Initial identification of good practices; 2/ Better knowledge of good practices in other territories, based on 6 interregional thematic workshops, study visits and staff exchange; 3/ Commitment to implement achievements of strong interest after the end of the project.MAIN ACTIVITIES&OUTPUTS: ► 32 interregional events; ► 36 good practices selected ; ► Creation of a European high speed broadband experts team.►10 implementation plansdesigned (1 per country and among which 5 are from Convergence Objective regions) according to common guidelines and with the support of the European experts team; ► 1 policy recommendation paperMAIN EXPECTED RESULTS : ► 30 staff members with increased capacity via staff exchange/ ► 780 participants expected in joints events (seminars, workshops, study visits, info days...) / ► At least 20 external regions involved in joint dissemination events; ► 10 policies/instruments improved in the field of ICT. INNOVATIVE CHARACTER:Results achieved in particular in projects such as B3Regions, DE-LAN and PIKE will be taken on board in a capitalisation perspective. ERNACT, Lead partner of PIKE, will play a crucial role as co-responsible for Component 3 on methodological aspects for the implementation plans design and for the coordination of the European experts team at the service of the partner regions in ENGAGE project, and also after the end of its implementation for the outside. Achievements: During the first semester the ENGAGE project built on the preparation phase to develop the structures necessary for the successful operation of a IVC project relating to content, actions and partnership. Within two months the LP had assembled a project management team (Coordinator; Project Officer and Communications Manager) which, with nominated coordinators of the Component 2&3 leads has created a dynamic and flexible management group. This group was able to undertake all planned activities, reach all planned objectives including the first steps towards the establishment of a European High Speed Broadband Experts’ Team with the attendance of three leading European HSB experts at the Bremen Thematic Workshop; and take on new challenges such as a common response to the Public Consultation on an EU Initiative to Reduce the Cost of Rolling Out High Speed Communication Infrastructure in Europe and begin the process of creating an ENGAGE political platform. These actions were planned to ensure that the project’s activities, policy recommendations and white paper will be appropriate, relevant and ‘ready to use’ by Engage PARTNERS and European rural public authorities. Importantly too the partnership collectively choose our project corporate image and agreed on a project slogan ‘High Speed Broadband for Rural Europe’ which would immediately communicate the key objective of our project to all stakeholders, whether experts or not. Early partnership issues such as the withdrawal of PP5 were resolved by seeking advice both from partners and the JTS and rapid response from the LP to ensure minimum impact on the operation of the project partnership. The active involvement of the new Portuguese partner in activities including the contribution of three good practices to the ENGAGE good practice pool is a demonstration of the success of the change. All relevant partners obtained the necessary FLC approbation and were fully instructed in Project financial management both collectively (partnership meeting) and individually and through the production of a Project Management Guide and PP presentation. The single partnership event in Bremen, with a busy but stimulating two day agenda, themed on defining relevant regional plans For HSB Connections including cooperation scheme between civil engineering bodies & infrastructures mapping consisted of study visit, thematic workshop, partnership and steering committee meetings. Positive and constructive feedback from partners demonstrated the success of the content and structure but also the need to dedicate more time to partner exchange and interaction and develop additional activities that would give the partnership greater coherence, the EU consultation and planned KO political meeting were the first evidence of this. All but one partner contributed to the good practice collection and subsequently to the selection of ‘very’ best practice for a future publication. The collection is also forming the base of the planned staff exchange programme starting in semester three, allowing project partners from an early stage to begin the selection of preferred exchange partners and identifying key local needs. One of the last actions of the semester was to put the web-site on line with registration for the Kick Off conference (for the next report) and to take the decision to create a database of Workshop Presentation films. Above all the project is developing into a true partnership between European regions.



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