Monday, 22 April 2013

The EU details it actions in using ICT to address societal challenges

imageThe European Commission has published a booklet providing information on the many European Union initiatives which address societal challenges through digital innovation. It illustrates the role ICT plays and how ICT research and innovation result in practical applications in areas such as healthcare, delivering effective public services, energy saving, smart transport and the preservation of cultural heritage.

imageThe 68-page document – ICT for Societal Change - is split into five sections:

  • Living healthy, ageing well

  • Efficient use of resources

  • Smart, green transport

  • Innovative online public services in an inclusive and reflective society

  • Living in a secure society

Each section gives an outline of the issues and brief details of the various projects, funding and research being provided by the EU.

For example, in the ‘Efficient Use of Resources’ section there are details of (among others):

  • BeAware - which has developed new information tools and services to help turn citizens into active energy-saving players.

  • The SmartHouse/SmartGrid project – tests how houses with automatic systems for lighting, heating and other functions can become more energy efficiency by connecting them into a digital network.

  • @qua – a project to promote the uptake of ICT solutions to address the efficiency problems in water management.

  • The FIT4GREEN project – achieves ICT power optimisation by spreading load across multiple data centres.

Similarly, the ‘Smart, green transport’ section includes, for example, projects to help reduce energy use by road vehicles through better route planning, improved driving performance and more efficient traffic management, as well as systems that make it easier to manage the charging of electric vehicles.

The European Commission’s involvement comes through two programmes. The Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE) focuses on the importance of quantifying the ICT industry’s own energy performance and carbon footprint as well as its potential to make other sectors, such as buildings and energy generation and distribution, more energy efficient. The other is the EU's new Research and Innovation programme, Horizon 2020, running from 2014 to 2020 with an €80bn budget. It will support ICT policy initiatives and invest in R&D around digitally-based solutions to issues affecting EU citizens and communities.


Review:  This report details more than just green ICT initiatives, it’s as much about the overall quality of life in Europe and how technology can be used to improve it. But it’s an interesting catalogue of ways that ICT can contribute to sustainability with some good examples of the principle of greening by ICT.

It’s also quite reassuring that the EU is promoting the ability of ICT to help society become more sustainable, a view that is not being widely promoted by governments across the world. The SMARTer 2020 report was produced just to make that point and released during the climate change talks in Doha.

© The Green IT Review

No comments:

Post a Comment