Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Digital Agenda went local to Norway. What happened?

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Posted by Fred-Arne Odegaard, Going Local Team for Norway

Some highlights:

Meeting with the Minister responsible for ICT, Ms Rigmor Aasrud:
  • Bringing technology into the care for the elderly – warm hands vs. robots- is a tricky political issue. ICT is not about pushing technology into society, it is about using research and technology to solve society's problems.
  • A new Norwegian DAE is expected to be finished January 2012. What new topics should be emphasized? Concrete broadband commitment is a very political issue. NO uses a market based approach, but some government money may be needed to fill the gap.
  • Future ICT strategies to be focused on people. Robert Madelin on future focus: Cyber psychology, how do people react to and use technology, will be an interesting perspective. Cyber security will be a mega theme next year.
Mini seminar on broadband coverage, privacy and digital content (see below for more):
  • Broadband coverage:
    • 6850 households in Norway are now without internet coverage.
    • The real economic challenge in building a fibre network is the specification of ducts. (Deep, wide ducts are 10x cost of simpler solutions.)
  • Privacy protection – new social media: Norwegian study of Facebook and privacy, letter with questions to Facebook and answer from Facebook:
    • Facebook confirms that what the user writes on the wall is used to target advertising.
    • Facebook do not disclose personal information to other companies, beyond what the user accept by installing so-called third party applications; the same applies to photography and video.
    • IP addresses are stored for up to 90 days, but only for use by management and security, not for marketing purposes.
    • Facebook confirms that they consider themselves to be subject to European privacy laws because they have their European headquarters in Ireland.
  • Digital content:
    • The Norwegian Government has appointed a group to write a white book on digital content and value creation.
    • Norwegian music industry is now (2011) having its best year ever. Why? People are willing to pay for content when legal solutions for downloading and streaming with simple payment mechanisms are offered
Visiting Simula ICT research centre:
  • Dependable services: Software is everywhere and dealing with software failures is becoming increasingly important. Direct costs of software failure estimated to 22 bn USD pr year. A centre of excellence, Certus Software Verification and Validation Centre is established to work on this. More that 50% women scientists at this centre.
  • Internet infrastructure of failure: Research on increasing future dependence of internet and lack of robustness on internet. Proposing permanent monitoring infrastructure.
  • WIMP – the future of music: Wimp is a Norwegian service for streaming, mainly music but also TV. Only paid subscriptions. "Best music distribution in the world." 3G or WiFi. 25% of all Norwegians using streaming services also pay for it. 50% of all Swedes and Norwegian have access to a streaming service, 80% of all Norwegians under 30.
  • ICT research towards Horizon 2020: On ICT research and education at the University of Oslo. About creating the workforce of tomorrow, to get beyond research based education, using new media to introduce young people to research.
Visit to Seniornett: Network of clubs (130+) to introduce elderly to ICT.

Visit to Norwegian Library for Talking books and Braille: Making talking books, magazines and newspapers available for blind, visually impaired and dyslectics. Material available through CDs, streaming and downloading.

Key note address at NOKIOS, Trondheim, Norwegian Conference on IT solutions for government. Recording of Robert Madelin's presentation here.

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