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Initiatives Régionales, Innovations et Stratégies (IRIS-Europe)
Start date: Jun 30, 2005, End date: Dec 30, 2007 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The overall objective of IRIS-Europe is to improve the decision-making processes of local and regional authorities by applying efficient use of ICT systems to regional development policies. French regions have already carried out a similar project successfully under the IRIS initiative. As these challenges are increasingly Europe-wide in nature and scope, IRIS-Europe is extending this approach to other European regions. Achievements: Achievements so far IRIS-Europe project relies on a fruitful cooperation between six partners coming from 4 different European regions who joined to share good practices & collaborate on one main issue: the development of the Information society in the European regions. The overall objective of IRIS-Europe is to aid & accelerate the decision making process of local and regional authorities as far as regional development policies & efficient use of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are concerned with a view to eventually foster a sustainable regional development. The project focuses on the sharing of experience by means of a practical, case study based, approach but also through the implementation of regional and sectorial analyses & the creation of a transfer tool (SAT) completing & adding value to the different studies conducted throughout the project. The IRIS-Europe project, implemented within the INTERREG IIIc program, has been in operation from July 2005 to December 2007. The strategy to reach IRIS-Europe general objective has been to base work on common methodologies, themselves an output of the project, creating the necessary conditions for an efficient collaborative work & for exchanging. For 2 years, partners have implemented activities to bring to fruition their common goal. They can be divided into 5: case studies, regional & sectorial analyses, the SAT & dissemination & communication. A bilingual website dedicated to the project has been created. Beyond the general information it provides, it hosts the IRIS-Europe database including all ICT projects - 410 identifications among which 97 case studies. 4 regional analyses (Ile-de-France, Madeira, Malopolska, Crete) & 7 sectorial ones have been produced. The SAT has been developed, tested on real cases & improved. Its first finality has evolved & partners decided to go further by developing a tool not only made for assessment but also for project transfer, key issue of IS regional development. In order to disseminate the projects results & outputs several events have been organized – e.g. 2 international events were held respectively in Paris in Oct. 2006 & in Brussels in Nov. 2007. Besides, partners took part in other events related to ICT to present IRIS-Europe & disseminate their experience & knowledge at large scale. Some communication tools were created too among which a final report that will be handed out soon. IRIS-Europe has also given to partners the opportunity to go & see in other regions how ICT affect regional development through, among others, 4 different programs of visits in the 4 involved regions. Such approach highlights the important involvement & the real will of sharing good practices from partners. All of them have become more familiar with the European 'state-of-the-art' regarding innovative ICT projects. The parallel comparison of each ones case studies has enabled them to become aware of what other European regions implement regarding this issue.
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