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Four Motors for Europe regional association looks to develop ICT as

Lombardy, Baden-Württemberg, Rhône-Alpes and Catalonia will work together to develop strategies to foster the Information and Communication Technology sector in both their own territories and at European level, in order to make the continent hold a leading position in this sector at world level. This has been the main conclusion of the main event of the current presidency of the Four Motors for Europe, which is a regional association formed in 1988 by the aforementioned 4 territories in order to develop common projects and lobby at European level. Catalonia currently holds the association's rotating presidency and has made the development of the ICT sector its main objective, particularly focusing on smart city and 4.0 technologies. Lombardy, Baden-Württemberg, Rhône-Alpes and Catalonia signed on Wednesday in Barcelona a shared declaration strengthening their commitment in this field.

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10 June 2015 09:51 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- Lombardy, Baden-Württemberg, Rhône-Alpes and Catalonia will work together to develop strategies to foster the Information and Communication Technology sector in both their own territories and at European level, in order to make the continent hold a leading position in this sector at world level. This has been the main conclusion of the main event of the current presidency of the Four Motors for Europe, which is a regional association formed in 1988 by the aforementioned 4 territories in order to develop common projects and lobby at European level. Catalonia currently holds the rotating presidency of the association and has made the development of the ICT sector its main objective, particularly focusing on smart city and 4.0 technologies. Lombardy, Baden-Württemberg, Rhône-Alpes and Catalonia signed on Wednesday in Barcelona a shared declaration strengthening their commitment in this field and their support for the European Digital Agenda.


During his address, the Catalan Deputy Minister for External Affairs, Roger Albinyana highlighted the importance of Catalonia prioritising in a firm and "ambitious" way digital technologies and the related economic sectors. Albinyana also warned about the high level of competition in this field and the importance of continuing to invest in it, in order to avoid other territories overtaking Catalonia. He also stressed that Catalonia has already "profited from this sector for a long run", since "in Catalonia alone, [this sector] employs around 100,000 people and therefore generates many jobs, which are quality positions". In addition, he highlighted that this sector has a "great potential for further growth".

A shared Declaration has been signed

Therefore, recognising the strategic importance of this sector, the Four Motors of Europe have signed a shared declaration on Information and Communication Technologies. "Through this Declaration, the four territories also combine efforts to develop shared strategies in order to present projects at European level", emphasised Albinyana.

The Declaration mentions the importance of Catalonia in this field, since Barcelona hosts each year the Mobile World Congress, which is the world's main event of the mobile phone industry and related technologies. In addition, Barcelona has also been awarded the title of Mobile World Capital for hosting this event and for creating a positive environment for these technologies, fostering the setting up of multinational offices, the testing of new applications and the creation of standardisation bodies. As well as this, the Catalan capital also hosts the world's most important congress on Smart Cities and has already hosted many projects in this field.

The Four Motors have to lead

Besides this, Pere Torres, Catalan Deputy Minister for Business and Competitiveness, stated that now, more than ever before, "the 4 Motors of Europe have to act as motors of Europe" in the field of Information and Communication Technologies. "And we understand that, out of the cooperation we want to promote in the areas of smart cities, 4.0 industries and ICT in general, we can create a strategy that should help us, first, as European regions, but also to push Europe to hold a leading position in these fields at world level", Torres added.

Torres stressed how Catalonia is developing smart specialisation strategies, such as the SmartCAT and the RIS3CAT, to boost convergence between the industrial sector and IC technologies. "Smart industries, logistics and tourism are the three pillars of Catalonia's economy". Torres recalled the role of public institutions in promoting economic activities that are then "led by the private sector". He also stressed that public bodies have to make sure that such activities can reach the whole of society and that the entire territory is included.

Besides Catalonia, which currently holds the rotating presidency, the other 3 Motors for Europe were represented by Peter Friedrich, Baden-Württemberg's Minister for Federal, European and International Affairs; Ugo Parolo, Deputy Secretary of Lombardy's President for Relations with the Regional Council; and Bernard Soulage, Rhône-Alpes's Vice President for European Affairs and International Relations.

These three other territories that form the association besides Catalonia also presented some of their main projects in the ICT field, as well as other essential projects for growth. In addition, they thanked the Catalan presidency for having focused this year on Information and Communication Technologies. They all stressed the importance of the cooperation in order to develop their own projects and sectors, as well as to get funds from European programmes in the 2014-2020 period, and also insisted on the importance of boosting these sectors at European level in order to make sure that a leading position at world level is secured.

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