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Nordic – Slovene eCollaboration
Nordic - Slovene Meeting on Innovative Cross-border eRegion Development in Ljubljana, February the 3rd 2009 - Resumé
The Embassies of the four Nordic Countries, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden invited key persons in key Slovene administrations to a Meeting on Innovative Cross-border eRegion Development on February the 3rd 2009 in the premises of the Nordic Embassies in Ajdovščina 4/8. The aim of the meeting was to serve as a brainstorming event to enhance eCollaboration and the use of technology in administration and map out possibilities and interest areas for future cooperation between the Nordic countries, as a region, and Slovenia. The meeting was chaired by the Ambassador of Finland.
The meeting was attended by governmental officials and researchers from various offices as well as representatives of the Embassies. (The list of Invitees is attached). In the meeting references were made to already existing regional cooperation in the field of eGovernance and to the recently created and fast growing web of Living Laboratories around the world. The importance of collaboration and participation of the European Commission was also underlined. It was noted that Sweden has listed cross border cooperation in the Baltic region as one priority in the EU-presidency program during the fall 2009. Sweden will also organize a FIREweek & LivingLabs event in Luleĺ from June 29 to July 3, 2009 (http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/ict/fire/fireweek_en.html).
It was generally agreed that whatever process or cooperation will be initiated, it has to be result oriented and well focused, mutually beneficial and informal. Various ideas were aired and many participants expressed interest in cooperating and learn from the Nordic experiences. The subjects proposed covered a wide range of sectors in the society. A few examples: ICT related business networks, eHealth, eInclusion, spatial data and services, transport, eInvoicing, availability of disaster data, disaster cooperation, and development of eCall. The question was also asked whether a Slovene institute could join a Nordic project as observer or "distant member". As an example was mentioned the interreg collaboration that exists between two border towns, i.e. the Finnish Tornio and the Swedish Haparanda in Lapland.
The meeting suggested exploring the possibilities to establish a web-based network in Slovenia for institutions, business, universities and other possibly interested instances where updated information of the cooperation would be available. The Slovenia Living laboratory could host the web-site. Prof. Janez Bešter, University of Ljubljana, prof. Jože Gričar, University of Maribor and director general Matjaž Janša, Ministry of Economy, volunteered to form a steering group for the initiative.
The meeting did not make specific binding conclusions but agreed to further explore ways to continue the discussion involving also experts from the Nordic countries. One possibility would be to organize a Nordic - Slovene meeting at the margin of some other event, for instance the Bled Conference (http://BledConference.org) in June or the FIRE-event in Luleĺ.
It was decided that the résumé of the meeting would be distributed in the Nordic countries to relevant authorities by the Embassies. It was also noted that the current year is the year of Innovation and Creativity in EU and the actual Nordic-Slovene explorative initiative is fitting well in this frame. It was left to the organizers of the meeting to propose possible next steps after having consulted relevant authorities in their respective countries as well as the intergovernmental Nordic Council of Ministers.
Ljubljana, February the 10th 2009
The Nordic Embassies in Ljubljana: