Publish on: 2018-03-01

DigitalAgora envisions a future European society that can harness the digital transformation for sustainability, inclusiveness, and prosperity while preserving values like democracy, equality and pluralism. This requires not only new ways of using information and communication technologies (ICT), but a new kind of ICT, where networks become more flexible, robust and resilient, data collection and analysis is privacy preserving, secure and transparent, and tools for collective awareness and scenario exploration are available. Urban areas are ideal to develop such an ICT, since they are a prime example of largescale complex socio-technical systems. Focusing on the scale of European urban areas, DigitalAgora will develop a novel ICT-architecture, combining the elements of networked infrastructure, trustworthy soft- and hardware, data governance, as well as analysis and scenarios. This architecture will be implemented in “urban intelligence ecosystems” that help citizens and decision makers to cooperate in addressing challenges of their urban areas all over Europe.

As demonstrated in the GeSI SMARTer2030 report, the adoption of ICT-based solutions can deliver a number of so-called “holistic sustainability” benefits in a number of sectors from agriculture to manufacturing, from transport to healthcare and education. These include:

  • “Environmental” sustainability benefits: for instance, improved air quality and reduced CO2 emissions deriving from the adoption of digital technologies to optimize traffic, or to reduce or eliminate commuting;
  • “Social” sustainability benefits: for instance, those deriving from the adoption of digital solutions to monitor one’s health more effectively, or from the improvement in quality of life deriving from cutting down on commuting time thanks to the adoption of remote working (shopping, banking…) solutions;
  • “Economic” sustainability benefits: these derive both from the new business models enabled by ICT (e.g. ecommerce or the sharing economy) and from the enhanced efficiency and hence improved competitiveness

While differences still exist between European regions and between large and smaller companies when it comes to digitalization, the time is ripe for a scale-up of the adoption of digital technologies by industry. The fast pace of ICT-enabled transformation and its cross-sector impact make digital technologies a key feature of the fourth industrial revolution, and it will be essential for the competitiveness of European industry that such opportunities are not lost. Digital Agora will involve industrial partners from the early stages of the project, and we expect the impact of our activities to reach beyond the immediate consortium.

GeSI is looking forward for this new partnership.

Join our Newsletter

Receive your dose of sustainable news
signing up for our newsletter

   Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) c/o Scotland House Rond Point Schuman 6 B-1040 Brussels Belgium,

   +32 2 282 84 42