Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

E-government initiatives to cross borders

21.03.2006


A new platform to help small and medium-sized government organisations (SMGOs) implement e-government strategies – with the emphasis on cross-border cooperation – has been created and tested by a pan-European team.



With people, goods, and now services, able to move freely within the Member States of the European Union, it’s perhaps surprising how exchanging information across borders can still present such a barrier. Yet even in border regions, cities geographically close to each other, but belonging to different Member States, can take weeks, or even months, to swap data on companies or individuals. And, as Pim Hengeveld, Project Manager of the IST project eMayor behind the work explains, many municipalities simply lack the resources to develop the kind of e-government services that would make such transfers quick, easy – and, of course, secure.

“Our aim with eMayor was to bring e-government within the reach of smaller government organisations around the world,” says Hengeveld. “Within the European Union the issue of cross-border exchanges is becoming increasingly important.” This calls for solutions for interoperable and secure services which take into account the organisational features and the requirements of small governmental organisations such as municipalities.


Since its beginnings in 2004, eMayor has developed a prototype platform, and had completed testing by the end of 2005. The test phase, involving 100 testers, from city administrators to citizens, underlined the cooperation between universities, companies, and municipalities that is key to eMayor’s success. Now the project management team at Deloitte in The Netherlands is preparing for a large-scale field trial that will target cities in border regions of Germany, Poland, Italy and France.

“We had a dream team of developers from the beginning,” says Hengeveld. These developers were based in a number of countries: Greece, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland and The Netherlands. While this could have been a logistical nightmare, the eMayor teams made it work: “We had a 24-hour closed working environment based on Skype,” says Hengeveld. “Basically, the teams used continuous telephone conferencing – sometimes with video too.”

This way, the partners put together a platform based on open standards. “We’ve based everything on the universally accepted, tried-and-tested standards of the W3C: so, XML, WSDL, XACML, plus PKI, and also XForms – local government organisations naturally need to use a lot of forms,” explains Hengeveld. “We wanted the eMayor platform to be as simple as possible: simple to implement, simple to connect to, simple to implement security technologies such as digital identity cards, and above all, simple to use. Our overall architecture allows for all the known e-government applications of the future, and is designed to be easy to use by a wide range of potential users.” The interface is therefore deliberately simple, and at the moment four languages are enabled: English, German, Italian and Spanish.

Furthermore, eMayor has already been tested in five European countries, and in December, successful trials were finalised involving the cities Aachen, Seville, Sienna and Bolzano. End-to-end security was also a major issue: “From passwords up to smartcards, we have ensured communication will be citizen to civil servant – not only computer to computer,” says Hengeveld.

One area that still requires development concerns the legal framework: “The issue is not privacy, but ownership,” he explains. “This varies in different countries – in Germany, data on citizens is owned by the municipality; in Belgium, however, it belongs to the King. So then the question is, on what basis can Belgium and Germany exchange this data?” But eMayor is already tackling the problem. “We are approaching university experts in law, to come up with a white paper to identify the issues and hurdles that need solving to make cross-border e-government a reality,” says Hengeveld.

“The eMayor platform is easy to use, easy to adapt to different municipalities, and it does what it set out to do,” he adds. “Now the coming field trials will show eMayor’s business viability.” The business model is not in licensing the software, since eMayor is based on Open Source, but in developing services that use the platform. “The business challenge is to get eMayor services running in different municipality departments,” says Hengeveld.

The prospects for developing such services look promising.

Other areas where eMayor can be used include preventing fraud (a problem in border areas), and cross-border policing – where there is already a legal basis for exchanging information. Another important area for the future looks to be e-procurement; this offers great savings, but will need safeguards in the form of access to all available legal information about companies. Again, eMayor can provide the answers. “On an individual level, it will also make life easier for people moving cities within the European Union,” adds Hengeveld. “In general, eMayor will enhance mobility in Europe.”

Tara Morris | alfa
Further information:
http://istresults.cordis.europa.eu.int/index.cfm/section/news/tpl/article/BrowsingType/Features/ID/81132

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht The TU Ilmenau develops tomorrow’s chip technology today
27.04.2017 | Technische Universität Ilmenau

nachricht Five developments for improved data exploitation
19.04.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>