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Issue 4

• Editorial

Editorial Dear reader:

• The FORESTA Conference in Colombia. • Foresta, plays an

Thank you for reading this newsletter.

important role in

This edition focuses on the FORESTA conference in Colombia. We are presenting the main aspects of this event: participants, speakers, the development of the Conference, the discussion topics, main conclusions and recommendations, among others. This Conference was considered as a space to foster policy dialogue. It was held in the framework of the 25th edition of the International ICT Congress ANDICOM, an event organized by CINTEL from during October 2729 in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia.

• The FORESTA Policy

Colombia. Dialogue Council • Contact us

The aim of the Conference was to gather the Colombian research community around ICT research topics prioritized by Colombian Information Society. Additionally, this issue presents an interview with the Director of Technological Development and Innovation at COLCIENCIAS, the National Department of Science, Technology and Innovation, who gives his opinion on research collaboration between EU and Latin America, and the role of the FORESTA project in Colombia. Finally, you can find information about the FORESTA Policy Dialogue Council, an independent Council of experts incorporated into the FORESTA project with the objective of harmonizing Latin American ICT research policies and instruments with special attention to the EU-Latin American cooperation practices. Enjoy this edition! MARIO A. CASTAÑO GONZÁLEZ Chief Technical Officer - CINTEL

FORESTA is a project funded by the Information and Communication Technologies Programme of the Seventh Research Framework Programme www.forestaproject.eu │ www.lac-ictgateway.eu


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The FORESTA conference in Colombia

A

FORESTA conference was held in Colombia in October 2010. The aim of this event was to gather Colombia’s research community around ICT research topics prioritized by Colombian Information Society. This conference provided an opportunity to integrate research communities from academic circles, research centres, and industry as well as other stakeholders involved in the design or implementation of ICT policies.

Name

TESEO/ Managing Director

Roberto Minerva

TELECOM ITALIA/ Manager

Gérard Madec

TELECOM BRETAGNE/ Professor of the Department of Image and Information Processing

Marlon Nuñez

UNIVERSIDAD DE MÁLAGA / Associate Professor

Roberto Saracco

TELECOM ITALIA / Director of the Future Center in Venice

The venue The FORESTA conference was held ias part of ANDICOM 2010, the 25th edition of the annual International ICT Congress organized by CINTEL in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. This was considered the appropriate setting to achieve the objectives of FORESTA due to the participation of policy makers and representatives of national and international cooperation agencies as well as its prominence in the region as an ICT sector event.

Selection of ANDICOM for a FORESTA Conference . • • • •

The congress was organized by CINTEL (Centro de Investigación de las Telecomunicaciones), the Colombian partner of FORESTA project. It was well-attended.. Participation by policy makers and representatives of national and international cooperation was assured. It was a high profile event which presented the most recent trends in the ICT sector and in which national authorities also announced important decisions about ICT.

Kevin Flynn

ITESM / Director of Graduate Studies in Computer Science

Oswaldo Castillo Navetty

Colombian School of Engineering / Professor - Researcher Systems Engineering Programme

Harold Enrique Castro Barrera

UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES / Professor of the Systems and Computer Engineering Department

Henry Castillo

Martha Luz Echeverri

Sonia Prieto Zarta

Speakers The national and international speakers were selected of using the following criteria:: • •

Experience with topics pertaining to the FORESTA project. Representatives of stakeholder institutions.

3GPP / Director of Marketing and Communications

Miguel Gonzalez Mendoza

Participants The conference participants were experts from industry, government and academic sectors who met with the aim of discussing the needs of the ICT sector and identifying relevant solutions.

Entity/Position

Mauro Bianchi

Juan Sebastián Rodríguez

ACCION SOCIAL/ Advisor of the Direction of International Cooperation ERICSSON / Vice-president Human Resources, Region Latin America SENA / Assistant Manager, Electrical Center and Electronics Independent consultant

Conference Development The FORESTA conference was developed in two stages: the first included presentations by national and international stakeholders while the second stage consisted of panels dealing with different topics related directly to the FORESTA project and according to the needs of the country.

FORESTA is a project funded by the Information and Communication Technologies Programme of the Seventh Research Framework Programme www.forestaproject.eu │ www.lac-ictgateway.eu


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Main results

The event was held on October 27 - 28, 2010. •

First presentations

Welcome speeches were given by Mr. Manuel Martinez Niño, Executive Director of CINTEL and Mr. Mauro Bianchi, Managing Director of TESEO (Belgium), Coordinator of the FORESTA Project. The aim of these speeches was to provide the audience with information about the project context and objectives and to describe the methodology of the conference sessions..

In general terms, the conference achieved the objectives established by the FORESTA project. 5 European experts (form industry and academia)

59 participants

The first plenary session was devoted to a review topics closely related to the FORESTA project:

S&T&I Colombian policy (COLCIENCIASColombia)

FORESTA´s main components and the 7FP (TESEOBelgium)

3GPP Mobile technology development standards (3GPP - France)

The successful experience of ICT R&D agreements with the EU (ITESM Mexico)

Discussion topics

The second part of the Conference consisted of four different panels, each specifically aligned with the project, seeking participation by representatives from government, academia, industry and the European experts: Panel

Title

Objective

1

Colombia: Enhancing International Cooperation

To identify, analyze and discuss current Colombian initiatives toward the development of the international cooperation and Colombia’s expectations from participation within the international context specifically in S&T&I..

2

Successful FORESTA Conference

Developing Human Resources for R&D&I

To identify, analyze and discuss the required global qualifications of Human Resources for undertaking R&D&I international projects.

3

Trends in ICT Research Topics EU-LATAM

To identify, analyze and discuss the current trends regarding ICT research topics between Europe and Latin America.

4

Encouraging Corporate R&D&I international corporate level

To identify, analyze and discuss the current benefits, concerns and opportunities for undertaking R&D&I international projects at the corporate level.

The Conference attained the expected impact, emphasizing the importance of international cooperation. One of the main concerns of the Colombian scientific community is turning investments in R&D into products and services. In addition, the national government represented by COLCIENCIAS wants to promote a model for the development of joint projects which comprises University-Industry-State-Society. Therefore, COLCIENCIAS is redesigning its funding policies and creating a financial assistance program for patenting, even if these patents are not necessarily part of a complete research project.

Main Conclusions 1. In Colombia, the scientific community is enthusiastic and interested in understanding calls for proposals, their contents,, structure and the procedures for submitting them under the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), but much wider dissemination and support is necessary. 2. Participation in projects under European Framework Programmes is difficult for entities from Latin American. Countries of the Latin American region are not used to participating in proposals and project processes which are rigid and designed for European markets which have already had many years of experience in developing and adhering to

FORESTA is a project funded by the Information and Communication Technologies Programme of the Seventh Research Framework Programme www.forestaproject.eu │ www.lac-ictgateway.eu


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these processes 3. Competition for funding under EU programmes is severe and only the best projects can be funded. 4. Both the visibility of research and the possibility for finance opportunities are low in Colombia. Universities are becoming “islands of research” and do not have enough contact with industry.Colombia does not have a strategic plan for research able to identify national priorities and specific goals, as well as a timetable and the means through which strategies could be implemented to achieve them. 5. Colombia does not have a strategic plan for research able to identify national priorities and specific goals, or a timetable and the means through which strategies could be implemented. 6. In order to participate in international R&D&I projects, Colombian professionals have to improve their cooperation and develop professional, business and human skills. 7. Currently there is no representation of Colombia in PEOPLE projects under FP7. 8. Events such as the FORESTA Conference are opportunities for interaction and dialogue among different stakeholders and allow for the identification and discussion of institutional weaknesses and areas of opportunity. Therefore, as the conclusions above and recommendations below show, they are very useful as a means of providing thoughtful input for the development of government R&D&I policy.

Main Recommendations 1. In the short term, the Colombian government, and COLCIENCIAS in particular, need to make a decisive effort to structure and improve research activities in Colombia. This must be carried out in a practical manner and follow clear procedures. The FORESTA mission could help Colombia to achieve the necessary changes, but it is necessary for other institutions and actors to get involved in the research area and to act now in conjunction with official authorities.

2. Colombia needs to develop and implement a strategic plan for research which identifies national priorities and specific goals, as well as a timetable and the means which will be implemented to achieve them. 3. Colombia should set an agenda of priorities and establish contact points in strategic areas through COLCIENCIAS and its Focal Point in order to have more dynamic participation in future FP7 calls for proposals. 4. Colombian companies should participate in as many national and international R&D&I events as possible so they can be able to identify and build up a network of potential partners in order to participate in projects and to improve their knowledge on the possibilities of research finance opportunities. 5. The Colombian government should also become closely involved in supporting and sustaining the policy dialogue that began at the FORESTA conference, but in a hands-off manner in order to guarantee the independence of the dialogue discussions and of the conclusions and recommendation emerging from them.

Continuing the political dialogue Due to the recent change in Colombia’s government and consequent changes in its public administration, the majority of executives from the Colombian government as well as various institutions identified as key stakeholders in the FORESTA project have changed. However, CINTEL has been maintaining contact with other staff in the targeted institutions in order to keep them informed about the FORESTA project and thus try to ensure continuity of the policy dialogue. For example, CINTEL held a meeting with the new leader of the international group of COLCIENCIAS, María Victoria Whittingham, in order to provide her with all the information regarding FORESTA and ask for her collaboration in the coming activities.

FORESTA plays an important role in Colombia.

A

n interview with Dr. Jorge Alonso Cano Restrepo, Director of Technological Development and Innovation at COLCIENCIAS, Colombia. Dr. Cano gave his opinion on research collaboration between Latin America and the European Union with regard to science, technology, innovation, and ICTs. He also spoke about the importance of the FORESTA project in his country. Interviewer: In Colombia, in the past few years, the telecommunications

sector has experienced important changes as it has converted to an ICT sector. This has led to the definition of a regulatory and political framework that promotes the use and appropriation of information and communication technologies in the country. Taking into account the previously described panorama and the ICT policy that the new national government is generating, the LIVE DIGITALLY PLAN, what role

FORESTA is a project funded by the Information and Communication Technologies Programme of the Seventh Research Framework Programme www.forestaproject.eu │ www.lac-ictgateway.eu


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do you see for research in science, technology, innovation, and ICT? Which topics should be strengthened? What do you see as the principal research opportunities? Jorge Cano: Without doubt, with the LIVE DIGITALLY PLAN and with the ICT situation in the country, the ICT Ministry has placed emphasis on coverage and penetration of services and applications. This has led to three principal challenges: • Production of mobile applications. Support is being given to research and development of new applications in specific topics joining industry and ICTs. The objective is to develop applications which can be executed via mobile terminals in order to exploit this sector and take advantage of the high level of penetration of mobile service in the country, as is the international tendency. According to data from the Information Society, penetration of mobile broad band has shown exponential growth, while in the case of fixed access, growth has been linear. The development of mobile applications is not limited only to high level terminals or Smartphones, but also has an impact on telephones of lower level due to their accessibility to the population segment with medium to low income. • The second challenge is under construction between the ICT Ministry and COLCIENCIAS. Its goal is to develop programs which promote the development of specific applications which encourage massive use of ICTs in small and medium-sized enterprises. These programs are aligned with the policies of the ICT Ministry and are meant to widen the impact of specific programs such as “My Digital Small Enterprise.” • The third challenge is to develop content for Digital TV. The strategic plan of the National Electronic, Telecommunications, and Information Program currently under construction includes among its new topics the development of Digital Land-based Television within the country. Included in this topic is the development of content in accordance with the general policies established by the ICT Ministry. It is important to note that the ICT Ministry, as head of the sector, has the final responsibility for defining development policies. I:One of the main areas of joint research between the European Union and Colombia is ICT for social inclusion, accessibility, and connectivity. How do you consider that this area of research will help the sector in general and how can this improve the current standing of ICT in Colombia? JC: At a World Bank event in which I participated, the topic “Inclusive and Including Innovation” was discussed. This consists of developing innovative applications which result in social equality. The large investments are made through the private sector, not the State. There are lots of possibilities and opportunities for generating added value through mobile phones and by facilitating access to Internet through mobile networks, rather than through land lines.

On the other hand, in the United Nations, specifically within the context of Science and Technology, there has been a lot of emphasis on the development of ICTs, particularly in coverage, penetration of services, and access to information. I: What is your opinion on research collaboration between the European Union and Latin America? What do you see as Colombia’s main strengths and weaknesses for participating in this type of projects? JC:Traditionally, cooperative projects and activities between the European Union and Latin America have been carried out. The development of collaborative projects between both parties is a significant advance which naturally requires a greater and more profound level of project preparation, corresponding to the wider scope and impact of the projects. The level of funding required is greater than that for projects at the national level. These projects are similar in scope to national strategic innovation programs. The greatest problem to be faced is synchronization between partners in three principal aspects: time, methods, and decisions. Very often projects are approved by one country but not by the other. Then just one of the countries receives the necessary resources and as a result, the project cannot be carried out as originally planned. Because of this, it is necessary to reconcile and find proposals that can be agreed on to provide continuity for the projects. I: What measures should be taken to improve collaborative research between the European Union and Latin America? JC: In addition to the need for streamlining the processes of project selection, there is an additional difficulty in Colombia. Priority lines of research are being defined, but these are still not clear. They are being developed simultaneously with the development of projects such as FORESTA, parallel to the formulation of a Strategic Plan.

FORESTA is a project funded by the Information and Communication Technologies Programme of the Seventh Research Framework Programme www.forestaproject.eu │ www.lac-ictgateway.eu


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Colombia has adopted lines of research from places such as the European Union rather than developing its own. This is because the Strategic Plan is still under construction. I: What results would you expect from international research cooperation? JC: I would expect the development of a network of collaborative research which truly provides Colombian groups and research centers with greater access to different types of resources, not only financial, but also resources which provide benefits such as contacts, information, access to data bases. Resources which allow for future development and contact with European groups who are working on topics similar to those we are interested in. I: According to the results of a study carried out by FORESTA on national funding mechanisms for research, in Colombia there are organizations and agencies which finance initiatives and projects for different sectors. However, specifically for financing research in C&T and ICT, and international cooperation, COLCIENCIAS was identified as the principal source of funds. Taking this into account, what are the main steps to be taken for an idea or a project to be financed by COLCIENCIAS? What plans or strategies are being followed to ensure that more researchers have access to these mechanisms? Do you think it a good idea to centralize all financial resources for research in just one organization? Why? JC: In general, in order to have access to COLCIENCIAS resources, there are different types of calls for projects: fund recuperation, cofinance, obligatory refunding, among others. However, the principal mechanism is “Fund Competition”. The steps are presentation of the project, evaluation by external experts, and selection according to criteria defined by the strategic areas. As I mentioned earlier, it is necessary for us to unify criteria for decision-making and to avoid

duplication of filters. COLCIENCIAS is currently carrying out a Pilot Plan with Chambers of Commerce in order to create a network of technological advisors who would assist in proposing projects of innovation, thus developing a critical mass among businessmen (small and medium-sized businesses) capable of participating and generating a greater number of projects. Another strategy being implemented by COLCIENCIAS are the University-Enterprise-Government Committees in which university researchers obtain more information about the different funding mechanisms and opportunities for participation in international projects. Finally, there is access to resources. At the end of 2008, the offer of funds available from COLCIENCIAS was greater than the demand. In the past few years, this situation has changed. Now demand surpasses available funding. Because of this, new sources of resources for ICT are being sought in order to satisfy the demand. With regard to the centralization of resources, I think that rather than being centralized, resources should be made available from different entities so that they can be put to better use, and be available for projects of wider scope. The ICT System needs to analyze all aspects of this situation. I: The FORESTA Project attempts to promote cooperation in ICT research and political dialogue between the European Union and Latin America. Colombia forms part of this project. How do you believe that this project can contribute to the country? JC: The FORESTA Project must support the development of a Strategic S&T Plan within the Program of Electronics, Telecommunications and Informatics, articulating and adding together resources in order to define long term objectives and helping to decide how these resources should be used. FORESTA has arrived at an important point in this process.

The FORESTA Policy Dialogue Council

Definition and Objective The FORESTA Policy Dialogue Council is an independent Latin America Council of experts, with the objective of harmonizing Latin America Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), research policies and instruments with special attention to the Europe – Latin America cooperation practices. It was conceived as a new institution created and supported by the FORESTA project through the year 2011.

The main aim of the Council is to provide “anticipatory intelligence” to policy makers and to other relevant actors in five target Latin America target countries, as well as “enabling change” to improve the efficiency of ICT research in Latin America.

Members of the Council The Council is composed of members from each of the five target countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico), plus 5 experts belonging to other Latin America countries who act as observers.

FORESTA is a project funded by the Information and Communication Technologies Programme of the Seventh Research Framework Programme www.forestaproject.eu │ www.lac-ictgateway.eu


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The creation of the Council First, each of the five Latin American partners (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico) selected a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 8 experts . Additionally, one high level expert from their organizations was appointed as a member. ALETI also appointed up to 5 experts from other Latin America countries who act as observers. These experts are well-known professionals from industry, industrial associations, government, advisors to government or universities and research centers. Their participation is strictly personal and does not reflect the official position of their respective institutions.

ICT research in a medium-long period, with special attention to cooperation practices inside the new FP8.

Position about International Cooperation in the Common Strategic Framework FORESTA Policy Dialogue Council has the aim of identifying issues and making suggestions about the best way to enhance the dialogue on ICT technologies between Europe and Latin America. In this process, there is a need for clearly identifying views, problems, and the current status of the ICT high tech sector in Latin America.

Main Outcome

The main outcome is a position paper describing a common Latin America cooperation strategy with Europe in the field of

Contact us:

For general information about FORESTA project please visit our web site www.forestaproject.eu or contact the project coordinator Mr. Mauro Bianchi. e-mail: mbianchi@teseo.be TESEO Sprl. Avenue de Tervuren 32-341040 Brussels, Belgium +32(0)2 2301090

FORESTA is a project funded by the Information and Communication Technologies Programme of the Seventh Research Framework Programme www.forestaproject.eu │ www.lac-ictgateway.eu


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