report Inspirations for Administration
for an effective
E-health, electronic contact
points, cloud computing,
An overview of inspirations,
trends and tools that help
public institutions to manage
Public administration currently provides more public services than ever before with rather
scarce resources. How could technologies help solve this dilemma?
At Microsoft, we see information and communications Microsoft Hohm is another example of a free cloud-based
technology (ICT) as a key enabler in addressing the daunting application. At a time where we see increasing efforts to update
energy and climate challenges the world faces. Smart 2020*, the energy grid and implement smart meters, Hohm offers
an inﬂuential report by The Climate Group, found that consumers today personalized recommendations on how
the use of ICT could help society reduce its CO2 emissions to manage energy use at home and in their garage. Indeed,
by approximately 7.8 gigatons in 2020. This would be the Microsoft and Ford recently extended their partnership with
equivalent of 15% of global emissions, an amount greater than the 2011 aim of connecting an electric Ford Focus to Microsoft
the current total emissions from the United States. Hohm, enabling remote recharging. Available today in the
U.S., Hohm will be expanding to Europe in the near future.
The emergence of cloud computing, providing individuals
and organizations with hosted computing services over the To help build out our cloud offerings in Europe, we recently
Internet, can play a major role in contributing to environmental opened an innovative data center in Dublin which consumes
sustainability. First, cloud computing enables reductions in cost 50% less energy than a traditional data center of comparable
and energy consumption by moving computing from on- output. It was recently recognized as best practice by the
premise servers to data centers optimized for energy efﬁciency. European Commission Sustainable Energy Europe Campaign.
It also reduces barriers to develop innovative environmental
solutions by allowing organizations ﬂexibility to scale up their Microsoft is committed to continuing to invest in the
needs based on what they require without investing in additional development of a range of business and consumer solutions &
IT infrastructure. Perhaps most importantly, the cloud allows services that contribute to solving energy and climate issues.
government agencies, environmental organizations, utilities We welcome the chance to work together on these solutions
and other business to focus on ways to reduce environmental with our partners, customers, suppliers, policymakers and
impacts without worrying about maintaining the servers and other key stakeholders.
IT infrastructure to accomplish that.
Eye On Earth (www.eyeonearth.eu) is an example of the For more information:
potential of cloud computing providing key environmental www.microsoft.eu
data to European citizens through an easy-to-understand free
web application. Eye On Earth was created in collaboration by
the European Environment Agency and Microsoft to support
governments in not only tracking and monitoring real-time air
and water quality across Europe but also enabling feedback
from citizens across 32 European countries, in 24 languages.
*Smart 2020 is a report done by The Climate Group on behalf of the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) with independent analysis by McKinsey & Company.
3137_M_envir_265x200.indd 1 26/05/10 13:34
of the State
Regions, cities and municipalities are facing today the challenge of providing
top quality public services in an increasingly greater scope and scale.
They have to deal with budget constraints, at the same time skillfully
supporting entrepreneurs and local communities. Smartly used information
and communication technology (ITC) can help solve those dilemmas.
How to use it and where to look for inspirations how to use it optimally?
Here are some thoughts on where public administration managers
should look for ideas.
This special reportis published by THINKTANK Magazine
in cooperation with Microsoft. www.thinktankmagazine.pl
contents 00004 _ _ _ _ The pillars of innovative state: knowledge and technology: Waldemar Pawlak, Deputy Prime Minister of Poland
00006 _ _ _ _ Technology: effective management, not a mere administrative tool: Jacek Murawski, DG Microsoft Polska
00012 _ _ _ _ New technologies, new public services: better solutions for administration: Sławomir Kosieliński
00020 _ _ _ _ Digital Poland: 5 inspirations for an e-state
00022 _ _ _ _ The Ideas Behind The Imagine Cup
00030 _ _ _ _ Info: Contact details
of innovative state:
knowledge and technology
Waldemar Pawlak: An innovative state today is the one governed consistently, with clear
strategic vision and knowledge how to capitalize on the potential of new technologies.
Its institutions consciously implement the policy of innovation – explains Waldemar Pawlak
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy in an interview with THINKTANK.
__THINKTANK:_ Today_ public_ institutions_ face_ :: Developing knowledge-based economy and
challenges_ of_ providing_ public_ services_ more_ making the most of new technologies is one of
efficiently_and_at_lower_cost._To_meet_them,_the_ the priorities of Europe 2020 strategy presented
state_must_get_modernized._What_does_this_mean_ by the European Commission. This document also
today? assumes an increase of spending on research and
development, raising professional qualifications
__WALDEMAR PAWLAK: An innovative state to- and fighting poverty. Poland is among the coun-
day is one that is governed consistently with a tries that implement this strategy and our natio-
clearly defined vision and a strategy. Among the nal innovative policy goals have been laid down
most effective tools that can make the admi- in Strategy for innovativeness and effectiveness of
nistration at the state level more efficient is the the economy draft document.
implementation of e-administration with its e- The main challenge specified in the document
services, as well as simplification of procedures is to build a competitive and effective economy
and shortening of the response time in a citizen- based on knowledge and new technologies. An
administration relations. So, e-administration is innovative economy tends to be more resistant
a means to boost the effectiveness of government to crisis, more stable in terms of employment and
agencies in providing their services to citizens. boosts the overall image of the country in inter-
It also allows for gathering in one place in the national arena.
cyber-space of all matters that involve different
government agencies. The mission of Ministry of _
_Government_ agencies_ are_ becoming_ more_
Economy in this respect is to provide the most fa- innovative_through_implementation_of_speci-
vorable environment for businesses to operate in. fic_programs_both_in_the_field_of_optimization_
:: The Ministry of Economy is deeply involved in many
projects supporting innovativeness. Let me mention one
of the tangible examples: the Central Commercial Activity
Register. The idea behind creating the Register is prima-
rily to introduce standardized procedure for opening a
business and cutting the costs of such an operation. The Waldemar Pawlak:
existence of the Register will also contribute to generally Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economy.
understood trade safety. Actively promotes the use of technologies
The modern state also supports the idea of single Electronic for development of government agencies.
He can be contacted via his blog:
Contact Point. It will not only provide the information and
operational functionality, but will also provide assistance to ci-
tizens, entrepreneurs and administration on procedures related
:: The Ministry of Economy is open to
to running one’s own business. The Contact Point will also se-
cooperation with business in the field of
rve as electronic mail box for submitting applications and other
sustainable development and environment
documents required in the process of setting up a business. The
Polish Contact Point belongs to the network of Contact Points
set up throughout EU under the provisions of the Directive The Minister of Economy presides over
the chapter of the Polish Register of Cleaner
on services in the internal market (the Bolkestein Directive).
Innovative entrepreneurs may also benefit from our sup-Production and Responsible Business (Polski
port under the operational programs co-financed from the Rejestr Czystszej Produkcji i Odpowiedzialnej
EU Structural Funds, for example the Innovative Economy Przedsiębiorczości) maintained by the Polish
Cleaner Production Movement Association.
Operational Program, with the main objective to develop the
Ministerial delegates are also involved in the
Polish economy based on modern companies. Other incentives
Pure Business (Czysty Biznes) competition
to implement new technologies in business are the instruments
held by the Partnership for the Environment
listed in the Act on Certain Forms of Support of Innovation
Foundation. Additionally, as a part of the Po-
Activities, such as a know-how loan or granting the status of a
lish Product of the Future competition held
research & development centre. I should also mention a pilot
program called the Innovation Voucher (Bon na innowacje),by the Polish Agency of Enterprise Develop-
ment (PARP) since 1997, as of 2008 the Mi-
designed to encourage micro and small businesses to collabo-
rate with the scientific community. nister of Economy set up the Special Award
called ‘eCO2 Innovation’ for the product with
Additionally, foreign investors carrying out new investments
highest potential for greenhouse gas emissions
in Poland are eligible for assistance under the System of sup-
porting investments of key importance to Polish economy. The
Poland also participates in the Sustainable
system applies to such branches of national economy as the au-
Production through Innovation in Small and
tomotive, electronics, and aviation industries as well as research
& development activities. Medium sized Enterprises in the Baltic Sea
Region (SPIN) project. This project is in Po-
_Innovativeness_of_the_state_does_not_only_mean_sup- land run by the Central Mining Institute and
porting_new_technologies,_but_also_manifests_itself_in_ the Partnership for the Environment Founda-
investing_in_long-lasting_effects_–_such_as_environment_ tion. The objective of the project is to support
protection_and_sustainable_development._Can_you_point_ innovativeness in small and medium sized
out_some_sources_of_inspiration_of_this_kind_in_Poland? enterprises in the Baltic Sea region.
not a mere
Information technology has contributed enormously towards more effective management
and better communication in business environment. The time has come for the
public sector to follow this road in order to cater to the needs of citizens more efficiently.
WRITTEN BY> Jacek Murawski
When I was plooking service from public service providers. More-
at some works of this year’s Imagine Cup com- over, digital natives have been successful in
petition finalists the first thing that impressed convincing their parents and grandparents to
me was their innovativeness. Strolling along share these expectations.
the spacious foyer of Teatr Wielki in Warsaw,
where these were exhibited, I had a chance The potential of new technologies has
to look at modern software designs prepared already been noticed by the business sector.
by the brightest IT students from around the Companies carried out research and adjust-
world. These students have tried hard to ad- ed their offers to the needs of modern soci-
dress and solve challenges that are facing our ety. Government institutions are now going
societies today. The winners’ works were also through a similar transformation, reorient- Jacek Murawski:
noticeably practical. Talking to the finalists, I ing their ways of functioning to the chang- Micrcosoft Poland General
could not help the feeling that they were the ing needs and expectations of their citizens. Manager. Contact him
ones who best understood the perspective and Research shows that over 90 per cent of local through his website:
the potential of modern technology in solv- government agencies are planning to imple-
ing urgent social problems and its role in the ment IT solutions, which are generally per-
general functioning of societies. ceived as catering to the needs of the informa-
The term ‘information society’ was first There is more to it than just mere words.
used in a document commonly known as the In rural areas, access to new technologies
Bangemann Report, presented to the Council means a quicker access to geodetic maps and
of Europe more than 16 years ago. Since then EU agricultural subsidies. In urban institu-
an entire new generation has been born. A tions, new technologies mean shorter queues
generation of young people, for whom using and lower service costs. Subsequently, at the
modern information technology for commu- regional level, a more efficient system of in-
nication and access to various services is just formation management translates into direct
natural. This generation of ‘digital natives’ has investments in the region, and finally at the
become used to satisfying their needs through national level this new approach means effi-
technology, and consequently expect quality cacy and innovation.
This illustrates that new IT potential is perceived as sim-
ply buying new hardware, rather than modifying the ap-
proach and methods to make better use of such solutions.
Thus, the answer to changing the needs of government
administration lies in comprehensive IT solutions, in con-
trast to the approach described above. Systems that enable
the state administration to go through the entire process
of customer service: beginning with identification of their
needs, to implementation of appropriate services, to pro-
viding these and finally gathering feedback. Needless to
say that ‘customers’ in this case means ‘the citizens’– that
It should also be noted that new tech- is all of us. Systems of this nature function in modern state
nologies can be successfully employed for administrations all over the world. Thanks to our global
social development, social activation and experience in cooperation with the public sector, at Mi-
building social capital. Digital technology crosoft we understand the profound nature of this change
is also a field for intensive growth, creating and are observing it closely. From my point of view, which
new jobs and promoting entrepreneurship. is based on the experience in the organization I represent
It is important, however, that the qualifi- and on my own personal analysis that there are five areas
cations of the people professionally active to be discussed here. Or, to be more precise, five starting
should meet the challenges of this new in- points of discussion on the use of new technologies for the
formation job market. efficiency of state administration.
Public institutions are among the most
important and most sensitive elements of
a society. This alone is a good reason for
maximising the social and economic gains
– cloud computing
offered by the use of advanced technolo-
gies and new solutions. The condition is TTechnologies have always been an accelerating enabler in
of Polish communes plan that they themselves should be able to take modernization of the public sector. Today, if they are properly
to introduce electronic advantage of the opportunities in the first and fully used, we can observe a hyper-acceleration. One of the
workflows in their offices.
Source: Local dimension place. The change is also stimulated by most interesting concepts having a high potential to boost the
of the information society evolving relations between local govern- effectiveness of government administration is cloud computing.
development. Conditions, ments, their clients and all other stakehold- This new model of using advanced technologies opens new op-
plans and expectations for ers. These redefined relationships require portunities in the field of optimisation of internal processes as
the years 2009-2013 research
by the Miasta w Internecie far more jobs and tasks to be processed by well as the improvement of customer service. Cloud computing
Foundation. the administration than in the past. is based on the assumption that the end-user is provided with
IT virtual services on the client-server basis. Consequently,
At the same time, according to Micro- this means that the IT tools and applications are delivered on
soft research, only one in seven local in- subscription basis by specialised providers, replacing costly in-
stitutions (at the county level, either ur- frastructure, need for expertise and maintenance. Cloud com-
ban or rural) invested in new technology puting allows for building modern and sophisticated back-office
projects. Regrettably, these investments structures without heavy investments. Today, some administra-
exclusively consisted of purchase of new tion agencies have given up buying data back-up servers and are
computers and office productivity software. exploring opportunities of cloud computing in this area.
Are there any tangible profits for the Polish society? Let us IdeA IN brIef
imagine that citizens are able to vote in general elections via the
Internet, as in Estonia. I firmly believe that in such a case, the _ 1 Information technology has contributed
voter turnout could even reach 90 per cent. At the same time, enormously towards more effective management
this solution would help cut costs of elections. and better communication in business
environment. Public sector can follow this road.
One may say: pure futurology. A dozen or so years ago the
same was said about the conclusions contained in Bangemann _ 2 Implementation of new technologies allows
Report. But the surrounding reality is changing faster than we faster, more efficient and cheaper dealings
expected. Not so long ago we were deliberating about the con- with citizens’ affairs.
cept of a comprehensive citizen service system functioning at _ 3 Today, new technologies are used not only
the regional level of state administration. Both reliable and af- for pure digitalisation of administrative processes,
fordable. The idea then seemed totally unrealistic. but for fostering economic and social growth
Today, however, we have such a system. It is called Mi- in cities and regions.
crosoft Citizen Service Platform (CSP) and enables local
government officials and civil servants to provide services
to citizens and businesses. It is a cluster of integrated com-
munication applications including an e-mail client, a calendar
manager, and instant communicator. Plus a website with inter-
active forms for the citizens, information about land develop-
ment – for map projection data and map queries. Finally, the
CSP provides a multi-channel access to the administration unit,
such as the telephone, the Internet, e-mail or instant messaging. And, if it turns out that apart from paying
Of course, all the channels are fully integrated into the system local taxes or parking tickets by the click of a
of processing citizens’ requests and complaints. The system has mouse, citizens can also apply for a building
been implemented, among others, in Istanbul, one of the big- permit or register a new business, then the
gest cities in Europe. overall costs of doing business are bound to
[ ] 2 Inspiration
This is not all. In the area of education, for
example, tools that boost the process of learn-
Stimulating and supporting ing and knowledge management can also be
excellent to support business – government
One of the key functions, perhaps the very first of all, of a cooperation. E-learning platforms appear to
local government at the commune level is stimulating and sup- be ideal in this respect, as they allow for an
porting local entrepreneurship. Challenges faced by the state increase in the intellectual and social capital
administration in this area fall into the top priority category. at the regional level. In the long run, this will
Institutions which succeed in creating the most favourable en- result in considerably improving the local job
vironment for cooperation with businesses will develop faster. market, i.e. local employability, defined as an
This is the moment where technology comes into play: when ability of an individual to find and keep a job.
used appropriately and skilfully (e.g. virtual customer service And creating new jobs is good for both busi-
point), it will elevate local business – local government coop- nesses and institutions. This statement does
eration to a new, higher level. not require any further elaboration.
New technologies can be successfully utilized
for social development, social activation
and building social capital.
On one hand, it is for the government in- or joint public procurement. Video conferences instead of
stitutions to ensure that qualifications of pro- costly trips, electronic workflow rather than paper documents
fessionally active citizens suit the present day circulation have already been introduced in numerous Euro-
requirements or be ahead of them. The more pean towns and cities and brought about considerable savings.
skilled IT users we are, the greater the chance
of us using modern technology for economic An innovative institution is not one with the largest
development. On the other hand, state insti- number of servers. It is an institution where the bureaucratic
tutions should promote entrepreneurship as red-tape is kept at the lowest possible level. Civil servants and
early as at the school level and support entre- office workers do not duplicate each other’s work. There is no
preneurial activities. In carrying out these du- reason whatsoever, why government institutions should be
ties modern IT systems seem inevitable. prevented from becoming well-managed and effective organi-
of all school and university zations and the people who work there from carrying out their
students have a computer
at home. Source: Social
Diagnosis 2009 research.
[ ]3 Inspiration
respective responsibilities supported by modern IT solutions.
New technologies have potential to lighten their workload,
Better resource allocation
79 per cent enjoy too often a result of poor work organization.
broadband access and performance optimization
This is why we should take into consideration particular so-
to the Internet.
This generation will Today state institutions are satisfying more lutions like queue management systems and supporting com-
welcome a chance to social needs than ever before. At the same munication, especially instant communicators. The main ben-
‘knock on’ virtual doors of time they have less money at their disposal. eficiaries of these systems will be citizens who save one of the
a virtual office rather than
walk into a real building.
All local administration officers, from may- most precious commodities nowadays – their time. Indeed,
ors in both rural and urban areas, through introducing new technology solutions at the municipal office
governors, to the prime minister at the na- in Bydgoszcz resulted in substantial work efficiency improve-
tional level are aware of scarcity of resources. ment. Some meetings have been replaced by audio or video
The economic crisis has only contributed to teleconferences, mobile appliances have been synchronised
a common conviction that the pressure on with office computers. All these innovations lead to shorten-
effectiveness is a fact of life today. Public ad- ing of the decision-making process.
ministration is no exception to the rule of
omnipresent cost-cutting process. Why don’t
we then boost efficiency by means of imple- [ ]
menting new technologies right at the start? can be made easier
According to research done by the ‘Cities on
the Internet’ (Miasta w Internecie) Founda- The potential of new technologies is most clearly visible in
tion entitled Local dimension of the informa- the field of communication, both internal and external. Mod-
tion society development. Conditions, plans ern platforms make the workflow (memos, decisions, no-
and expectations for the years 2009-2013, tices, etc.) smooth, which is vital for government institutions,
62 per cent of Polish gminas (communes) where correspondence management significantly influences
plan to introduce electronic work-flows. the overall performance. These platforms also allow for effec-
Sounds good. But what about the remain- tive external information management. Additionally, through
ing one-third? Chances for cost reduction a well-thought system, local institutions keep in touch with
in government administration should be citizens, communicate with them on a daily basis using, for in-
perceived in a broader perspective than stance, social network services, gather feedback and respond to
just tighter budgeting, joint service centres their needs. This, however, means including the citizens in the
Thanks to technologies state institutions are able to
govern and make better decisions, instead of wasting
time only on the arduous task of administering.
report 10 _ 11
of local government agencies are planning implementations
which are generally perceived as catering to the needs
of the information society. Source: Local dimension
of the information society development. Conditions,
plans and expectations for the years 2009-2013 research.
to the conclusion that this tendency cannot
be overlooked in building the relationship
between citizens and the government.
decision-making process. Interestingly enough, 59 per cent of The city of Waterloo in Belgium offers its
all communes declare their willingness to introduce electronic citizens e-mail addresses in the municipal
systems and applications that would facilitate citizen access to domain. They put questions to their ‘e-con-
their services. Nearly half of the communes declare such an sultants’ and obtain up-to-date information
attitude towards businesses. For the Małopolska Voivodship about local news and events through the local
(region) a project of this category came into being as a web por- web service. These solutions draw upon in-
tal called Wrota Małopolski (“The Gateway to Małopolska”). It dividual citizen’s experience in using modern
is one of the first comprehensive solutions at the regional level, technologies at home.
whose objective is to both promote the region as a whole as
well as facilitate access to digital data and sort out things in the Thanks to the solutions described above
e-office. Administrative data from the whole region is gathered it becomes possible for government institu-
and processed in one place, allowing for electronic workflow tions to focus on the substance, rather than
between the government agencies involved. the form. In other words, they are able to
govern and make decisions instead of wast-
ing time on mundane administering. And
[ ] 5 Inspiration new technologies are there to help.
Let us find stimulation
in innovativeness of citizens Public institutions in Poland are in a privi-
Government agencies which plan to meet the growing de- leged position. We do not have to go through
mand for easier access to their services and seek to invest in all the phases of digitalisation that govern-
new technologies, are faced with a fundamental question: Who ment agencies in the world had to strug-
will benefit from the changes? Let me answer: We all will! Ac- gle with. By capitalising on other countries’
cording to the Social Diagnosis 2009 research 94.1 per cent experience and general willingness of the
of all school and university students have computers at home. society, it is possible to skip some stages. It
79 per cent enjoy broadband access to the Internet. This gen- is worth mentioning that the readiness and
eration will welcome a chance to ‘knock on’ virtual doors of a eagerness to use new technologies character-
virtual office rather than walk into a real building. ises the whole generation and to some extent
The citizens’ pressure on government services meeting their the whole society. Consequently, government
expectations is growing. This is due to the fact that in our administration employees will soon become
households we have been using new technologies for some competent in terms of using digital technolo-
time now. The rapid process of adopting personal IT solutions gies as well as become more aware of the citi-
is here to stay. Proof can be found in the sky-rocketing market zens’ needs. The term ‘e-administration’ has
for electronic banking in Poland. In the years 2007 and 2008, ceased to be a myth and is becoming a reality,
our country was the fastest-growing IT market in Europe, with even in Poland. What we need now is constant
the highest personal computer sales figures. Managers of gov- development. Technologies that will help al-
ernment administration who analyse this data will soon come ready exist. Simply reach out and grab.
new public services
report 12 _ 13
Innovation is not only the domain of businesses – public administration also employs
better and less expensive solutions. Public offices will be using so many technologies
in the next few years that this may lead to a significant breakthrough for citizens regarding
the quality and way that their needs are met.
WRITTEN BY> Sławomir Kosieliński
In search of a more administration domain. However, they require ma- Sławomir Kosieliński:
effective state as well as more efficient institutions, nagers to take a systemic and broad approach. Not President of the Mikromakro
many solutions are currently being discussed. separately to the required technologies, not just to Institute Foundation, publicist,
Some of them, such as an integrated system for historian. Co-founder of the
the specifics of a public office, and not only to the
“National Foresight Poland
crisis communications and ePUAP (a Public Ad- needs of citizens, but to all these elements working 2020 Programme", contributes
ministration Services Platform), have been talked together. to the "Krakow – Małopolska
about for many years. Several solutions in areas Here are a few directions, in which taking such an 2020 Technology Perspective”,
crucial for citizens, such as an smartcard IDs and approach can bring excellent results to public ad- foresight programme.
passports or finally the possibility of filing a perso- ministration institutions and improve their quality
nal income tax return on-line are already in place. and efficiency.
Others, dedicated to business, such as on-line Na-
tional Companies’ Register or the Communica-
tions Platform of the Ministry of Treasury allow
for more efficient operation of businesses.
There are a dozen or so of these silo implementa-
tions that include a single project, ministry or area,
A more effective
Today, creating information management systems
not counting the smaller projects independently im- isn't a problem – with current advanced technolo-
plemented by cities or regions. However, due to their gies and with the solutions available, we can create a
isolation, citizens do not see them as one complete platform that fulfils even the most sophisticated ne-
system and they haven’t led to any leapfrog changes eds of citizens. ePUAP (the electronic Public Admi-
in the quality of work of public offices work or cu- nistration Services Platform) is an example of such
stomer services they provide. a project. It will help public institutions develop and
However, such a change might soon take place. then provide e-services for businesses, individuals as
Institutions have so many new solutions and the de- well as other public institutions.
sire to implement them is so high that it won't take The platform will offer such diverse services
much to achieve considerable benefits in key areas; that now are dealt with in different places, as re-
and there are at least several of them in the public gistering a private business, inscription into the
registry of hotels, obtaining permission for Code of Administrative Procedure (see below). This is such
cutting down trees or agreeing on the time an obvious move that it can be implemented right away – it
of a pilgrimage march. Currently the portal uses the existing information system of the Ministry of Justice
offers 65 of 100 promised services. To be able and doesn’t require any expenses. The same could be done
to use them, a citizen still needs a secure elec- with administrative procedures dealing with geodesy, land
tronic signature which is verified by a valid, management or the process of granting mortgage loans.
so-called qualified certificate, but it will soon
be possible to have a ‘trusted profile’, which WHAT A PUBLIC SERVANT MUST KNOW
will replace the qualified signatures (a login Amendments to Article 220 of the Code of Administrative
and password will be assigned to users by a Procedure (as a consequence of amendment of the
public office). Computerisation Act of June 17, 2010) mean that an
For ePUAP to work, local governments administrative body cannot request a certificate to confirm facts
should enable citizens to take care of issues or legal status, if these are known to this administrative authority
of the 100 planned
services are currently
through this system. What will be challeng- or possible to be determined on the basis of its records, registers
available on e-PUAP, ing for such cities as Poznań or Szczecin (and or other data available or public records of other public bodies.
designed as a platform for also for some regions, i.e. Małopolska), which
e-communication between have already invested in their own interactive
citizens and the state. DIRECTION
services, is integrating their platforms with
ePUAP. For smaller government agencies Better management
and institutions, such as county offices or local
construction supervision authorities, ePUAP Due to rising energy costs, saving electricity and other reso-
is an opportunity to minimise costs and fulfil urces attracts growing attention. A strategic plan for sustaina-
statutory duties. However, to-date experience ble urban development may involve various issues: reducing
of e-offices shows that the platform itself isn't carbon dioxide emissions, increasing the energy efficiency of
enough. The real battle for buildings, developing ecological urban transport (electric and
effectiveness doesn't take place at a system gas-powered buses), improving water, air and land manage-
design stage, but at the time of its implemen- ment quality or waste recycling.
tation. Only few countries have succeeded Cities are looking for savings in these areas, while increasingly
in combining the practicality of IT systems aware citizens demand that environmental standards be intro-
with the simplicity and transparency of ad- duced – and this trend will only become stronger. Amsterdam’s
ministrative procedures, integrating existing municipal authorities introduced a programme which helped
resources into a system that works. to design an environment-friendly city that is also comfortable
Let's take a look at an example: in Poland, for residents. The intelligent city project was launched two years
opening a corporate bank account or ob- ago – thanks to its implementation, the CO2 emissions in Am-
taining a certificate of no arrears from the sterdam are to fall by 40% in comparison to 1990.
Social Security (ZUS) requires presenting a Here, once again, collaboration was the key – this time betwe-
current hardcopy record from the National en citizens and the city. Using modern communications plat-
Companies’ Register (NCR) to public offi- forms connected to systems which monitor energy consump-
cials, which means a trip there. Meanwhile, tion, authorities are carrying out a series of projects enabling
the details which the public servants need are residents to better plan their electricity consumption, use means
already available, therefore there is nothing of transport more consciously and more economically utilise
stopping them from verifying details in the common appliances – also at work, including public offices. The
NCR search engine (krs.ms.gov.pl). city has installed the first 500 smart electricity meters that allow
We already have the technology and the on-line tracking of energy savings and, for example, launching
solution, however, in order to change the a competition between neighbours over who will save more.
way of doing things, we should change the Local governments in Poland are also trying to implement such
procedures according to the recently revised projects, however, these are still pilots rather than mass roll-outs.
report 14 _ 15
IdeA IN brIef
_ 1 Innovation is not only a domain of businesses
– innovative solutions also create value
in the public administration sector.
_ 2 Today, their use in the public administration domain
is particularly meaningful, especially in such areas as:
more efficient public service offered to citizens, saving
resources, improving health care, regional transport
and logistics as well as crisis communications.
_ 3 It is in this area that, with little effort, rapid improvement
in quality and efficiency can be achieved.
Currently, Bielsko-Biała, a city in southern Poland, is the was 16th, however, in the CO2 emissions area
most advanced in the country with its plan to save energy by it ranked 20th. An energy management sys-
monitoring primary schools. Authorities created a database tem for the capital could set a good example
containing information from the monitoring of schools and for other cities. So far, Warsaw has signed the
other urban buildings and discovered that the use of energy in Covenant of Mayors Initiative, a Climate Pack
similar facilities can be very different. They also examined how of the European Commission dated January
thermo-modernisation influenced cost reduction of thermal 2008, which calls on mayors to commence
energy. The result showed that only by switching off lights in actions aimed at reducing carbon dioxide
buildings where they were not needed at the time, the city saved emissions by at least 20%. However, the other
7 thousand PLN a day. cities that are taking part in the initiative have
The authorities are taking it a step further – an IT system much higher ambitions – many of them want
integrated with metering equipment will allow modernising to achieve 30% and understand that having
the energy network. Management will be possible through a the reputation of a green city attracts the bri-
radio and broadband network; today, the city monitors and ghtest and most creative.
analyses energy consumption in 140 municipal buildings. In
future data will be collected through remote meters connected
to a network, while the database will be linked to a numeric
map of the city. ECO-SAVINGS
For a local government such a solution is quite a costly up- The example of schools shows that energy cost in public
front investment. However, imagine the scale of savings if it buildings can be reduced by up to 45%. An average Polish
was implemented nationwide. In Poland, an area for develop- school, not including summer and winter holidays, and other
ment in this field is only just opening. Between 1990 and 2007, days off, runs for 40 weeks a year. Weekly, it is open 12 hours
Warsaw increased its greenhouse gas emissions by 18.49%. In a day and 8 hours on Saturdays, which is equal to 2720 hours
the European Green City Index (EGCI), a study prepared by of work annually. As there are 8760 hours in a year, the building
the Economist Intelligence Unit in collaboration with Siemens, is used less than one third of time, but the lights stay are
which includes measurements and a ranking of ecological para- switched on! Consuming 1kW of energy in a school at night
meters of the top 30 European cities from 30 countries, Warsaw and on weekends amounts to 2,7 thousand PLN per year.
The healthcare system is one of the many
crucial areas of state activity and one of the
as details about surgeries, in which various specialists parti-
cipated on-line, allowing for better consultations regarding
The health care system requires complex changes – applying
more interesting ones in terms of using tech- new technologies is only one aspect.
nology to improve efficiency. The relation be- E-health solutions should be taken into account, as they
tween medicine and technology is obvious, can allow for a slightly different planning of system solutions,
however, the main question today is how to such as investing in one larger hospital in the region, instead
create integrated information systems with of several, and in parallel managing dozens of smaller centres,
patient data which would allow for more ef-
fective medical treatment and to provide some
of the less complicated services online. AN ECG ON THE WAY TO HOSPITAL
Telemedicine, constantly developing, ena- ICT solutions allow equipping paramedics with tele-ECG
bles studying, monitoring and managing data machines that have a touch screen and a built-in GSM/
about patients, educating them as well as the GPRS modem. The patient’s heart and condition
staff regardless of the physical location of the can be monitored during his transport and voice
patient and the information available about communication is possible with the monitoring centre.
him; it also makes it possible for a team of Thanks to this solution, cardiologists do not need to be
doctors to cooperate. Its practical applications on the ambulance teams, while the high speed real time
include systems for monitoring patients who transmission makes it possible for a single doctor
require regular supervision, but don’t have to to oversee a number of medical examinations sent
be admitted to a hospital (such screening tests to the monitoring centre. Before a patient reaches the
for people who are chronically ill with diabe- appropriate medical unit, the availability of detailed
tes or heart disease, Holter monitoring, etc.). information about his health will allow preparation of
Telemedicine also allows creating integrated necessary medical equipment and facilities for his arrival.
databases containing complete patient infor-
mation (vital for a correct diagnosis) as well INNOVATIONS IN E-HEALTH
This area is growing very rapidly – this is visible not only
through the solutions offered by corporations.
During the 2009 Imagine Cup, a contest organised
by Microsoft for the best innovative students, Polish
students from the Adam Mickiewicz University in
Poznań, the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and the
Poznań University of Medical Sciences, presented
a project called ISIS. It aimed at decreasing the mortality
rate of newborns by enabling early detection of
pathologies of a pregnancy. It is a modern medical
system which can be deployed on a standard PC
at the home of the pregnant patient, replacing
expensive, stationary diagnostic equipment.
report 16 _ 17
Innovation in providing public service is not a race for
gadgets. These are profound changes in the approach
towards the role and responsibilities of public institutions.
where patients can go and have a remote ECG done, a diagnosis As of this year, each new car registered in
and a teleconference with their doctor. The development of tele- the EU must be equipped with an alarm sys-
medicine will change certain ways of doing things, for example tem called eCall. In the event of an accident
ECG descriptions can be centralised at the monitoring centre. or other emergency, it will transmit vehicle’s
Another aspect is greater safety and convenience for patients exact position, determined with a satellite na-
with chronic illnesses, for example, who do not have to show vigation system, to the emergency response
up in person at the clinic. A comprehensive patient monitoring centre. The alarm can be activated manually
system may also include locating them through GPS, which by vehicle occupants or sent automatically by
allows for a rapid response of emergency services in case of sensors located in the vehicle, which detect
an incident. collisions, for example. The system commu-
Major telemedicine centres in Poland, such as the Cracow- nicates over the 112 emergency telephone
based John Paul II Hospital, the hospital of cardiology in Anin number with the accident response centre,
near Warsaw or the Military Medical Institute are examples of relaying information such as time and loca-
how telemedicine can change the work of doctors. The latter tion of the accident as well as the identification
facility remotely delivers healthcare services to Polish missions of the vehicle involved.
abroad, in Afghanistan for example. Doctors in Poland help This is another area where innovative e-
specialists in military bases to identify difficult cases, classify services can be offered. The research carried
them and determine the best treatment. out among European drivers show that while
driving a car, they would most like to obtain
More efficient transportation
Big cities have more and more traffic ‘bottlenecks’, while the
ways of getting rid of them are dwindling: there is no place for
information about having made a wrong turn;
then about an accident which occurred on the
road that they have planned to take; and final-
ly about traffic restrictions and speed limits.
creating new routes and detours in city centres. For now, the They would be happy to pay for such services
problem mostly concerns large urban areas, however, given the as route supervision, accident notifications or
current trends of growth of mobility and the increasing number an automatic update of maps in navigation
of cars, smaller cities will soon be facing it as well. Improving devices. Local governments can cooperate
traffic conditions is an increasingly important part of managing with the private sector in this regard, creating
a state as well as regions and agglomerations. systemic solutions.
However, using city's information resources not only allows
managing traffic just to limit congestions, but also to increase
the city's revenues. Authorities achieve two objectives this way:
reduce the traffic of private cars in the most congested urban FASTER IN CITY CENTRES
areas and improve the traffic flow. Available solutions, inclu- Stockholm, residents massively use public transport. Only about
ding automated route modification through a radio system, will 7% of individuals use private cars, resulting in three quarters
work as long as the conditions of roads and public transport of traffic being operated by public transport at rush hours.
are improved. The local government implemented a city traffic analysing system.
Such projects are strongly supported by the European Union. ‘Trafik Stockholm’ collects data about the traffic conditions in the city,
It provides funding for solutions that prevent accidents, provide then sends information to drivers, helping them choose the right
continuously updated information on traffic and road works routes and controlling traffic lights as well as variable-message signs
(which allows avoiding bottlenecks) or optimise engine per- in such a way as to reduce traffic congestions. There are high
formance which helps improve a vehicle's energy efficiency. congestion fees charged for driving into the city centre.
A MOderN STATe: HOW brITAIN dId IT
The British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, decided to implement the idea of a modern state, which optimises
its efforts, reduces costs and tries to use all available technologies to improve serving its citizens.
The British decided to face the task of changing the state's institutions systemically.
As a result, Sir Peter Gershon's report was developed. It shows areas where it is possible to rationalise
the way institutions work and it points to resources in the UK public sector that are being wasted.
The Gershon Efficiency Review was published in 2003 and became a roadmap of reforms that
should be implemented by the administration.
A team of analysts pointed out a need to ‘release’ resources from the public sector. Analysis showed that
most of these resources were being involved in purely administrative activities, which did not create
added value for the customer (the citizen). Reallocating these resources and moving them to public
ventures which directly create value, were the foundation of the administration reform in the UK.
Gershon saw a significant part of the savings and optimisation sources in the application
of new technologies and integration with the existing activities of the administration.
SeLeCTed VeNTUreS: THe fOUr PILLArS ON WHICH THe brITISH
bASed THe OPTIMISATION Of THe STATe'S INSTITUTIONS:
) 1. 2. 3.
¬ joint initiatives of the ¬ using IT systems ¬ electronic auctions ¬ e-Service for
administration which to provide and shared citizens: solutions
facilitate providing integrated services purchasing as well that allow
citizen services to business entities: as joint coordinated communicating
(for example automation and initiatives with a public office
a common call centre computerisation concerning large without the need for
for public institutions) helped reduce public procurement physical presence.
as well as creating business costs orders enabled Development of
shared service centres as well as the considerable integrated customer
for administrative number of paper reduction of costs support platforms at
activities; documents; of public institutions; government offices.
THe reSULTS Of IMPLeMeNTING THe MeTHOdOLOGY frOM GerSHON'S
effICIeNCY reVIeW IN brITISH AdMINISTrATION
The report streamlined British administration’s approach to optimisation. As a result of the corrective actions
(implementing IT technology, creating shared service centres, introducing "a single point of contact"),
municipalities and regions saved 20 billion GBP between 2007 and 2008.
All administrative agencies in the UK created their restructuring plans under the guidelines of the report.
Today, the British government is constantly expanding the reforms with further requirements,
such as zero-emission of its operations or the new needs of local communities and minorities, etc.
report 18 _ 19
Recent crisis situations due to floods and other effects of
unexpected weather phenomena underline the importance of
emergency communications systems. In Poland, there is a lot of Swedes travel
of room for innovations in this respect. An emergency com- by car in downtown
Stockholm. The others
munications system is composed of hundreds of voice radio use public transport.
networks built over the years to support diverse uniformed,
emergency, municipal and transportation services. Difficulties
in communication between these services result in financial
losses in such situations as a flood or other disasters.
A new communications system for the police, fire brigades
and ambulance rescue is a must; it is also clear how it should
work. Meanwhile, for almost a decade it has received no more
than just lip service. European countries have standardised on
TETRA system, a network which allows coordinating the ope-
rations and collaboration of public safety and rescue services. Towards new
TETRA is growing and changing together with the public
sector. Today, the system is limited to voice communication, We are accustomed to associating the
however, there are plans to introduce more advanced data word ‘innovation’ with business and a
transmission, which will open up completely new opportuni- market race to offer better products and
ties, for example the possibility of sending maps or images from services. However, it also applies to the
the disaster scenes. public domain. Here, it is also possible
Special integrated communications system should cover the to implement new solutions, allowing
whole country right away, thus making it cheaper and more for more efficient and less expensive
effective, as long as the network is not only provided to public operations. However, innovation in
administration and uniformed services, but also to business providing public services is not just a
administrators of critical infrastructure, such as refineries or race for new gadgets, but these are pro-
telecom operators. Poland's neighbours and allies have decided found changes in the approach to the
on TETRA's standards; therefore, they expect that Poles will role and responsibilities of public insti-
make a similar choice, especially since the concept of building tutions as well as reaching for solutions
one pan-European emergency communications system is more which weren't previously available, but
and more often discussed at the European Commission. are commonly used today.
Public institutions are interested in
SPECIAL COMMUNICATIONS BY SWEDES whatever that can improve their work.
In Sweden, MSB, a government agency for crisis management, They also adopt the principles of the
is responsible for developing and supporting a digital special New Public Management approach,
communications system called Rakel. Today, it is used by which treats citizens like customers and
25 thousand users: policemen, border guards, government provides New Public Services. This, in
officials, fire-fighters as well as ambulance stations, local turn, inevitably signifies reaching out
governments and private utility companies, including energy for technology. A modern state is not
companies. In three years, it is assumed that a total one where computers are just put on
of 50 thousand to 70 thousand people will be using this system. desks. It is a state which, together with
The business model is based on the assumption that the agency citizens, business suppliers and stake-
does not get profit, but charges a subscription fee to keep the holders, seeks and finds – in technology
system working. For example: the annual cost for user from the – the answers to questions about how
public sector is 900 EUR, while for commercial user – 1250 EUR. to develop better.
5 digital Poland:
for an e-state
The use of innovative technology by the public sector can provide a stimulus to
the development of the state, but, most importantly, can improve the quality
of public service delivery to citizens. Implementing changes requires a systemic approach.
WRITTEN BY> THINKTANK
is the estimated amount that
starting to approach their state institutions as clients, not
a town or city can save by
as mere supplicants. They are less interested in what IT including its municipal institutions
solutions are used in, for example, the vehicle registration into an energy management system.
process, but they can appreciate and praise an official who
Lower energy consumption is an economic and political
can help them go through the process quickly, efficiently
necessity: UE member states are required to reduce their
and with a smile.
CO2 emissions. Energy costs can be reduced with the use
What the client of a modern state needs today is lower
of technology: an IT system integrated with energy
costs of public services, easy access to public services,
metering devices can change the way energy is managed.
efficient communication, and security. To be able to re-
The experience of Polish city of Bielsko-Biała
spond to these needs, Polish institutions need to make
shows that by controlling electricity consumption
use of technology. They can look for inspiration in a set of
in primary schools, a city can save 7 thousand PLN a day.
five directions which, from the perspective of a modern
state, are important for the delivery of public services to
citizens, businesses and institutions.
effICIeNT CLIeNT SerVICe
_1 efficient_citizen_service: all the measures needed to
deliver public services efficiently with the use of inte-
grated solutions, among others, IT solutions;
65 out of the 100 services planned for the
e-PUAP platform are already available.
Improving efficiency in this area of government
working to reduce CO2 emissions, to improve the con- activities is not only about implementing new
dition of the environment, but also to reduce costs; technology and supporting well-known processes
_3 e-health: delivering high-quality medical services to (e.g. the single point of contact concept). Rather, it is
all those who need such services, while working to also about changing the existing procedures, rules
reduce costs; and regulations so as to make use of what technology
_4 efficient_transport: designing transport solutions that offers. Before we can make full use of the five main
help to reduce traffic congestions, thus reducing the services offered by the e-PUAP system (security,
costs of transport; communications, front-end, payment support and
_5 crisis_communication: working to develop an efficient service directory), the existing regulations must
and reliable communication system that allows re- be adapted to the potential offered
sponding to crisis situations. by information technology.
report 20 _ 21
USD is the amount that the government
of a hypothetical state with around
20 million citizens and e-health solutions in place can save
by 2020, a study by the consulting firm Booz&Company shows.
A modern healthcare sector means full, secure and quick access is the percentage of rush-hour
to patients’ medical records and details of the treatments used of traffic in Stockholm, Sweden,
carried by means of public transportation.
each patient. Technology helps to develop telemedicine systems:
online consultations help to save money, as fewer hospitals are IT systems help to manage road traffic in cities:
needed and access to top-quality medical services is wider. no congestions on the roads mean not only citizens
who are more satisfied with their government
and their towns and cities, but it also help to reduce
business costs and, as a result, to make regions
more competitive. The use of IT systems that help to
3. manage road traffic is not only a way to reduce traffic
jams, but it is also a potential source of revenues
for the local government, e.g. from ‘congestion fees’.
PLN is the estimated
amount of losses
caused by the floods in Poland last May.
For a communication system to be modern
and reliable, it must use IT solutions. A crisis
communication system that covers the entire
area of a country helps to efficiently deliver
public security services. But not only – it’s also
a system which, if it works efficiently, helps to
directly reduce the bill for losses caused by
natural disasters. In Poland, the flood in May
2010 resulted in losses of around 10 billion PLN.
GBP is the amount saved by
the British administration in
2007-2008 by implementing
in Gershon’s report.
Technology helps to manage, not only to administrate.
The idea behind the Imagine Cup:
Inspiration for Administration
Public sector managers, who reform state institutions, can get inspired to make
a change by looking at the works of the Imagine Cup competition’s finalists.
The ideas of these young programmers help solve dilemmas of state institutions. Below is
an overview of the winning works from the global finale, which took place in Warsaw this July.
WRITTEN BY> THINKTANK
More than 325 thousand students
from over 100 countries are actively addressing the challenges of a
contemporary world and want to solve such problems as a polluted
environment and achieving primary education for everyone. “It’s
amazing! You are our future!”, Michelle Obama said in her speech
addressed to several hundred top IT students from all over the world
who were present in Warsaw.
Over 400 top young IT specialists, authors of games, software and
breakthrough solutions responded to this declaration with applause.
Last year, the best computer science students competed in Cairo and
this year the Imagine Cup gala took place in Warsaw. Along the way,
they had to win local editions of the contest – 325 thousand students
from 113 countries applied. Next year, the competition will be held in
the United States.
report 22 _ 23
Let’s adopt such solutions from these young programmers,
which will support state institutions! The ideas created
as a result of the Imagine Cup competition are almost
turnkey solutions for public administration managers.
We can already make use of the systems designed by
Serbian and Polish students allowing communicating
with the deaf. The idea presented by the Brazilian team
for cheap, automatic trash recycling can also
be implemented. Let’s make use of these today!
Jacek Murawski: General Manager of Microsoft Poland
WHAT IS THe
It is the world’s premier student technology
competition. The contest develops imagination,
creativity and passion for learning and using new
technologies. The goal of this initiative is also to
inspire young people to use new technologies to
solve important problems of the present day.
The key theme of next year’s Imagine Cup is
the same as this year’s: Imagine a world where
technology helps solve the toughest problems.
Projects may be inspired, for example, by the UN’s
The Imagine Cup allows young people to let their imagina- eight Millennium Development Goals. Participants
tions soar and deal with specific problems by designing new are invited to help in solving major global issues
IT and technology solutions. This year, the best amongst through creating software, for instance. The
thematic scope includes such subjects as: extreme
the best struggled with a global subject: the most pressing
poverty, hunger, universal primary education,
social and economic global issues. disease control, medical care, environmental
The Millennium Development Goals were the inspiration sustainability, and other relevant issues of our
and frame for the projects. These are part of a declaration contemporary world. The finals of the Imagine Cup
signed in the year 2000 by all 192 United Nations member 2011 will be held in New York.
states and at least 23 international organizations, which You can register by completing a form at:
agreed to achieve the following goals by 2015: eradicate http://imaginecup.com/register.
extreme poverty and hunger among over a billion people, If you have any questions concerning the Polish
reduce child mortality rate, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, edition of the Imagine Cup, please write to:
and other diseases, help the disabled in becoming a part of
society. The Millennium Development Goals clearly define
The Imagine Cup allows young people to let their
imaginations soar and deal with specific problems
by designing new IT and technology solutions.
areas of existing social problems. Students suggest- Through the use of several technologies, i.e.
ed ways of solving these problems as well as those speech and face expression recognition as well as
concerning environmental sustainability, gender converting text into sign language, they made it
equality and achieving universal primary education. possible to converse with the hearing impaired.
The competition rewards the most creative
approach to solving a given problem, which The ‘fteams’ team from Lodz, which was repre-
means that the primary assessment factor is senting Poland in the same category, but failed
how innovative is a solution rather than wheth- to get into the finals, developed a similar, though
er it is technologically advanced. A bonus was less advanced project of a sign language translator.
granted to those projects which best met the Young people, who think outside the box, use their
real problems and were easy enough to be im- imagination and are result and not profit- oriented
plemented even in Third World countries. have a chance to accomplish great things. During
The solutions used by the innovators may be a the award ceremony in Warsaw, Jon Perera, Educa-
barometer of the trends and changes in the tech- tion Strategy Director at Microsoft, said: “At this
nology market: one-third of the projects in the moment, hundreds of people in Redmond are
competition used Windows Azure, an increasingly thinking how you managed to do this. Do not stop
popular platform based on the concept of cloud dreaming, let the Imagine Cup be your starting
computing. point to something very special”. Here are the most
interesting and inspiring examples of innovative
Which global problems did they mostly try to solutions presented by the teams that strived for
solve? the coveted prize.
The Thai team, SKeeK, won the most prestigious
competition (Software Design) with their eyeFeel
project. The students presented a new way of com-
municating with the hearing-impaired.
Works presented at the Imagine Cup finals often overcame the limits
of imagination, and so I believe that creating room for cooperation may
actually help in solving social problems. Polish university professors doubt
that we were capable of coming up with breakthrough technologies. I disagree.
Close cooperation between science and business as well as exploring creative
potential, like at the Imagine Cup, is the road to breakthrough solutions.
Barbara Kudrycka, Minister of Science and Higher Education
report 24 _ 25
278million people have a hearing problem or
are completely deaf, according to
the World Health Organization.
8 out of 10 of them live in
underdeveloped or developing
countries, where medical care
is expensive and not easily
accessible. Cheap technology
to communicate with the
outside world would make
life a lot easier for them.
Idea > . . . . . . . . A NEW WAY OF COMMUNICATING WITH THE HEARING-IMPAIRED
Categor y > . . . . . . . . SOFTWARE DESIGN
Team > . . . . . . . . SKeeK, Thailand
Software design is the competition’s most prestigious category. Three students
from Thailand, under the banner of SKeeK, bagged the first position thanks to their
eyeFeel project. Their innovative solution helps people with no hearing disabilities
but who don’t know the sign language, to communicate better with the hearing-
impaired in real time.
It is a program which uses cameras and a number of technologies, including speech and
face expression recognition systems as well as a text-to-sign language translator to trans-
late sign language, thus facilitating real time conversation with people with hearing loss.
Innovators from SKeeK called their project ‘augmented reality’. The software actually
recognizes facial and mouth movements, translates them into text and then places it in
virtual conversation text balloons, just like in comic books. But everything happens on
a computer screen. “We started thinking about communication with the deaf by ask-
ing ourselves: what are the components of communication? What does the process of
communicating with a deaf person look like and what are its limitations? When looking
for answers to these questions, we already know that our goal would be to incorporate
as many different ways of transmitting information as possible: from gestures, mouth
movements, to body language” says Pichai Sodsai, one the creators of the idea and the
team leader. For now, the program works in English, but the winners are already think-
ing about using this solution in their native Thailand. “In our country, the deaf are often
excluded from society. Our project could help them to engage in everyday life. And that
is why it is so important. I hope that it will help all over the world”, says Sodsai.
Idea > . . . . . . . . INTERNET WITHOUT A NETWORK? YES, YOU SIMPLY NEED
TO HAVE AN OLD RADIO
115million children around the world do
not go to school – they usually
work and the only possibility of
education is through distance
learning, thanks to materials
sent to them by teachers.
Internet via radio could help
solve some of the issues related
to universal access to learning.
Categor y > . . . . . . . . SOFTWARE DESIGN
Team > . . . . . . . . OneBeep, New Zealand
Fourth year computer science students from Auckland, New Zealand, created an innovative
technology of transferring information by using radio waves.
"The product may prove revolutionary for the future of education in Africa, as it allows data transfer
to places where there are no internet services, phone lines, or GSM cellular network antennas,”
explains Chanyeol Yoo, the lead developer of the project. The essence of the innovative solution is
its low-cost nature – it works independently of the infrastructure. All the student needs to have is
a simple laptop with an audio output, a cable and a regular radio. The software converts a data file
into audio and sends it via FM or AM radio waves. The laptop, which receives this data, must also be
connected to a radio with an antenna and an audio cable. “This is what we call internet without a
network”, says Chanyeol Yoo. Currently, this solution allows sending text files, spreadsheets or small
pictures. The idea that the Kiwi students presented perfectly complements a program, which has
been carried out for the past five years by the One Laptop Per Child organization. Children from
countries such as Ghana, Uruguay, Peru and Colombia have already received 1.2 million low-cost
computers and will now also be able to get new versions of educational materials via radio waves.
The product will soon be patented, but the authors do not want to earn profit from it. They want to
make the software available as an open source, so that it can be translated into national languages
and help educate as many children in developing countries as possible. “This project has a chance
to change the reality of education in the poorest countries in the world”, say the programmers from
New Zealand. There is a plan to improve the technology to enable sending films and programs.
Similar solutions could be used for communication by seamen and communities where access to
the outside world is difficult. The solution could also be applied when spreading knowledge about
improving the quality of life, for e.g. about methods of preventing AIDS or malaria, and may also
be invaluable in emergency situations. The project will greatly contribute to the second objective
of the eight Millennium Development Goals – achieving universal primary education.
report 26 _ 27
Idea > . . . . . . . . AN ELECTRONIC STOCK EXCHANGE WITH HUMANITARIAN AID
Categor y > . . . . . . . . INTEROPERABILITY AWARD
First prize > . . . . . . . . Xormis, Jamaica
The Jamaican solution is innovative because it collects a variety of information in real time
from a place where a natural disaster occurred – from mobile phones, emails, photos, videos,
and helps connect them to form a map of needs that arise after a disaster. It is a kind of
Emergency Operations Center, but available only to specialized agencies on the Internet and
importantly – free of charge. Even the UN hasn’t had a solution like this.
“We tried to imagine what is most important when a hurricane or earthquake strikes, what plays a
crucial role in providing aid. This way of thinking helped us design a solution,” says Derron Brown,
one of the five Jamaican student programmers in the team, which came up with an idea how to
integrate the efforts of providers of humanitarian aid with the efforts of rescue coordinators in
specific regions affected by a disaster. They designed Xormis, a so-called eXtensible Opportunity
and Resource Information Matching System. “It works a bit like an ‘Internet humanitarian stock
exchange’, where you can find necessary resources and direct them to places where they are
most needed”, explains Derron.
“We hope to implement Xormis on a larger scale, of course, in a version tailored to the needs of
humanitarian organizations”, he adds. Xormis won the Special Category award for interoper-
ability; in this category, those projects were awarded which, in an unconventional way, used
Microsoft’s technologies and combined them with other technologies to ensure connectivity
between people, free data transfer or cooperation with other systems. The team of four friends
from the North Caribbean University did not fall apart after winning – they have decided to start
a company in the near future, which would deal efficiently with allocating resources in difficult
circumstances. They are making Xormis available for free. After all, effective humanitarian aid
(after natural disasters) and development aid (which supports long-term economic and social
growth) are priorities of aid agencies operating worldwide.
10billionUSd each year is allocated to aid
under the auspices of the UN’s
Office for the Coordination of
Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
It is just a fraction of the money
sent to areas affected with
natural disasters. Due to bad
conditions and logistic problems,
a large part of this aid is wasted.
A system, which would manage
humanitarian aid, could help
solve this problem.
Idea > . . . . . . . . A GAME SHOWS WHY WORKING TOGETHER
CAN HELP DEVELOPMENT
Categor y > . . . . . . . . SOFTWARE DESIGN
Team > . . . . . . . . By Implication, Philippines
Games are one of the most popular categories of software design, but who said that
they can only be used for fun? The Wildfire game was acknowledged as the most
ingenious, promising, and well-designed application in the Game Design Category
at the Imagine Cup.
It is based on a popular scenario: the world is in danger and only the bravest of heroes
can save it. However, to fulfill the mission, the player must first spread the news to
other people... and cooperate. The opponents, with whom the players have to fight,
are real: rampant poverty, gender inequality, inadequate education and environmen-
tal degradation. They can be defeated through social interaction and volunteerism.
Therefore, players of the game walk around the city with their avatar and convince
others to help raise awareness about hunger in the world, for example. In order to
achieve this, they have to learn what the Millennium Development Goals are so that
they can encourage others to share their ideas. The aim is to convince as many people
as possible. “I think that cooperation between people is one of the most important
conditions for such a project as achieving Millennium Goals to be successful. Getting
Around the world, 70% of
deaths among children under support and persuading people is one of the most difficult tasks. It is for this reason that
the age of five could have we designed a game which shows how difficult it is to gather volunteers and how you
been avoided if they had been should take care of them”, says one of the three game developers from the University
given appropriate medication
(for example for a common of Philippines. The project has begun to live its own life – you can download the game
cold) and if they were better for free from By Implication’s website and the Ministry of Education in the Philippines
nourished. Only 5% of the is thinking of treating it as scientific aid, which teaches cooperation. Wildfire is not only
global public is aware of this.
fun, but it encourages to engage in social actions and shows that we can achieve more
An action which helps to
understand the importance together than alone. “What inspired us to create the story was the rescue operation in
of social mobilization and the Philippines after the Ketsana typhoon struck in September 2009. It was then that
how difficult it is to gather we understood that financial support isn’t enough if there aren’t any volunteers around
volunteers would greatly
contribute in this regard. and no cooperation,” says the young Filipino, who designed the game. “I hope that this
Source: ONZ inspiration will give birth to more than just a video game”.
report 28 _ 29
I hope that the ideas
of the young people who
participated in the Imagine
Cup contest, with their
unique character, will be
implemented and used
to help solve social problems.
Henryka Bochniarz, President MILLeNIUM
of PKPP Lewiatan d e V e LO P M e N T G O A L S
Millennium Development Goals are eight
international development goals that the UN
member states have agreed to achieve by the year
2015 to make the world a better place.
_ 1 Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger – halve the
proportion of people living on less than $1 a day; halve
the proportion of people who suffer from hunger
THE IMAGINE CUP – THE BEST WILL MEET _ 2 Achieve universal primary education – all children
AGAIN NEXT YEAR can complete a full course of primary schooling,
both girls and boys
Notwithstanding, only one team could win the grand
prize and a cheque for 25 thousand USD, all other _ 3 Promote gender equality and empower women
participants were among the elite group of talented, – eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary
young innovators. The presence of representatives of education preferably by 2005, and at all levels by 2015
companies investing in innovation, in the halls of the _ 4 Reduce child mortality rate – reduce by two-thirds
Palace of Culture and Science, was proof enough that the under-five mortality rate
many of the solutions shown may soon see light of day
_ 5 Improve maternal health – reduce by three-quarters
and appear on the market as commercial products. the maternal mortality ratio
The Imagine Cup, also known as “the technological
Olympic Games”, has shown that a mixture of diffi- _ 6 Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases – reverse
cult challenges, innovators’ talent and the possibilities the spread of HIV/AIDS and limit the number of new
infections, reverse the incidence of malaria and other
of new technologies helps find solutions to problems
major diseases as well as limit the number of illnesses
that seem impossible to solve. The competition is also
a platform which helps meet professional ambitions. _ 7 Ensure environmental sustainability – integrate the
In 2006, four Polish students from Bialystok won third principles of sustainable development into country
policies and programs; reverse loss of environmental
place in the contest’s national finals in the software de-
resources. Halve the proportion of people without
sign category. Their idea was a so-called ‘GarbWatcher’: sustainable access to safe drinking water.
a program, which through a webcam controls whether By 2020, achieve a significant improvement in
a person working in front of a computer retains the the lives of at least 100 million slum-dwellers
right posture. Creating the program as a team proved
_ 8 Develop a global partnership for development
to be only the beginning: two team members, Arkadi- – further develop an open, rule-based, predictable,
usz Kondratiuk and Marcin Bartoszuk, founded their non-discriminatory trading and financial system.
own company based on experience from the Imagine Includes a commitment to good governance,
Cup competition. As a result, DevCore.net was cre- development, and poverty reduction
ated – it is a company that specializes in the design – both nationally and internationally.
and implementation of advanced information systems Source: www.un.org/millenniumgoals/
Interviews with the participants of the Imagine Cup clearly show that
we have an interesting generation, which is going to create new solutions.
They are active, young people working as volunteers, active in their communities.
During the finals, I met emphatic technology designers. That is why I am
certain that designing various services is becoming our national discipline.
Beata Bochińska, President of the Institute of Industrial Design,
jury of the Imagine Cup’s Polish edition
“The Imagine Cup not only motivates to act This year, 1600 students took part in the
but also opens up new horizons. To have your national edition of the Imagine Cup’s com-
chance at winning, you must not only be up- petition alone. Next year, the best young
to-date with new technologies, but consider software designers will also face global
solutions for your project, which is still un- challenges. Once again they will be support-
der testing. This is what leads to innovation”, ing the implementation of the Millennium
says Marcin Bartoszuk. “Imagine Cup was Goals. The Imagine Cup Finals will be held
also proof of our knowledge; it became our in New York. In accordance with the UN’s
portfolio, which helped in starting our own obligations, there are only five years left to
business”. achieve the MDGs. As the statistics of the
UN’s Development Program show, not all
This year’s winners of the competition’s na- goals can be achieved if the current level
tional edition in the software design category of involvement of member states stays the
were students of the Technical University of same. UNDP experts confirm, however, that
Łódź (with a project of a sign language trans- technology support could significantly ac-
lator): Tomasz Ciejka, Grzegorz Glonek, celerate the implementation of the MDGs.
Magda Jonczyk, Daniel Moliński and Jacek Students who will pursue this task in the Im-
Pintera. The team will still be working to- agine Cup competition, have a real chance
gether – they are starting cooperation with of solving global problems.
the Ministry of Economy. “All the teams that
got to the finals in Poland had to draw one of
five tasks to complete. We will be in charge
students took part in of structuring communication between each
the Polish edition of the
Imagine Cup’s competition.
department of the Ministry, which has allo-
The number of participants cated 25,000 PLN to the project; the deadline
is growing every year. is mid-December”, says Grzegorz Glonek.
More information about effectively using technology to address state issues:
Marek Kosycarz Piotr Marczuk Publisher:
Citizenship Director Government Relations Director THINKTANK Sp. z o.o.
al. Jerozolimskie 195a al. Jerozolimskie 195a Editorial office:
02-222, Warsaw 02-222, Warsaw ul. Mińska 25
03-808, Warsaw, Poland
ph. 0048 22 594 16 01 ph. 0048 22 594 10 00 ph. 0048 22 628 04 10, fax 0048 22 628 04 12
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
WARSAW – THE CAPITAL
Promoting innovation and developing a knowledge-based eco- For the first time in history, the final stage of the competition was
nomy can help Poland to build an information society and to hosted in Poland. For a few days, the country was the world’s capi-
effectively compete with the oraz rozwój gospodarki opar-
Promowanie innowacyjnoœci developed countries of Western raz the latest technology. Poland was konkursu the venue
Potal ofpierwszy miêdzynarodowe fina³yselected as odbêd¹ for
tej na wiedzy daj¹ Polsce mo¿liwoœæ efektywnejglobal mar-
Europe, thus gaining competitive advantage in the budowy w world’s która Imagine Cup in 2010 for a number of reasons,
siêthe Polsce, final ofna kilka dni stanie siê œwiatow¹ stolic¹
spo³eczeñstwa informacyjnego i skutecznego konkurowa- including the great achievements of Poland’s representatives,
najnowoczeœniejszych technologii. Za przyznaniem Polsce who
nia z rozwiniêtymi krajami Europy Zachodniej, a tym have organizacji œwiatowych fina³ów Imagine Cup
prawa taken top places as many as 12 times in the last five rounds
Microsoft appreciates przewagi konkurencyjnej na and
samym uzyskiwaniayoung and talented IT specialists glo- is 2010 competition, and a kilka coalition of m.in. dosko-
w of the roku przemawia³ostrong czynników, Polish partners pro-
considerably contributing to their development. It supports and
balnym rynku. viding support naszych reprezentantów, którzy w piêciu
na³e osi¹gniêcia for the event. The initiative was also supported by
stimulates highly qualified people at the beginning of their pro- well-known scientists and business people as well as government
ostatnich edycjach konkursu stawali na podium a¿ 12 razy
fessional careers, offering them a wide range of educational pro-
Microsoft, doceniaj¹c zdolnych m³odych informatyków circles. koalicja polskich partnerów wspieraj¹cych przed-
oraz silnaPoland is one of the fastest growing EU member states and
ma swój znacz¹cy wk³adexperience placements and training
grammes, attractive work w ten proces. Wspiera i stymu- the key region for Microsoft’s educational projects. Microsoft’s
siêwziêcie. Inicjatywê popar³y tak¿e osobistoœci ze œwiata Po-
luje przygotowanie wysoko wykwalifikowanych a good
courses. Microsoft helps young IT specialists to make kadr lish biznesu oraz been, for many years, supporting the develop-
nauki isubsidiary hasœrodowiska rz¹dowe. Polska jest jednym
start in their field, providing them pracy, oferuj¹c im the latest
wchodz¹cych dopiero na rynek with direct access to szeroki ment of the rozwijaj¹cych siê krajów cz³onkowskich Unii
z dynamiczniejPolish academic community, running a number of
advances in technology and with opportunities to work with
wachlarz programów edukacyjnych, atrakcyjny program programmes addressed to both the academic staff and the
Europejskiej i kluczowym regionem edukacyjnych inwesty- stu-
the best szkoleñ. the marketplace. Imagine Cup, a technology
praktyk iexperts inPomaga m³odym informatykom wystarto- Microsoft. Polski an important international event in Poland is
cji dents. Hosting such oddzia³ firmy od lat wspiera rozwój
competition organised by Microsoft, is a great opportunity for
waæ w zawodzie, umo¿liwia im bezpoœredni dostêp do a unique opportunity for the country to
œrodowiska akademickiego realizuj¹c promote itself and to build
enterprising students to present their innovative ideas to a wide its competitive advantage based on innovation, entrepreneurship
osi¹gniêæ najnowszej myœli technologicznej i wspó³pracê adresowanych zarówno do kadry akademickiej, jak i samych
audience and to receive business support in turning their ideas and creativity. For one week in July, Poland was the centre for the
z najlepszymi ekspertami na rynku. Organizowany przez studentów. Organizacja miêdzynarodowej imprezy tej
into true businesses. exchange of ideas and creative energy, where a large number of
Microsoft konkurs technologiczny Imagine Cup jest dla rangi stanowi dla Polski wyj¹tkow¹ szansê na promocjê i bu-
young and talented people from all parts of the world demonstra-
przedsiêbiorczych studentów doskona³¹ szans¹ na zapre- duje jej przewagê konkurencyjn¹ w oparciu o innowacyj-
The Imagine Cup competition is very popular with technology ted their ideas of how to make use of new technology in solving
zentowanie szerokiemu gronu swoich innowacyjnych noœæ, przedsiêbiorczoœæ i kreatywnoœæ. Przez tydzieñ lipca
students worldwide. Last year’s round attracted around 300 tho- real problems of our civilisation, how to inspire one another and
pomys³ów oraz otrzymanie biznesowego wsparcia w celu 2010 roku Polska bêdzie centrum wymiany pomys³ów
usand students from 100 countries. This year’s round of the com- how to compete to be the best.
ich przekszta³cenia w realny biznes. i twórczej energii, gdzie rzesze m³odych i zdolnych ludzi
petition was the eighth in its history. Over the years, Imagine Cup
has become not only the world’s biggest IT technology student
z ca³ego œwiata poka¿¹ swoje sposoby na to,and it is the respon-
The future lies in the hands of young people,
Konkurs Imagine Cup cieszy siê ogromn¹ popularnoœci¹
competition, but also the world’s centre for the latest technology staæ nowe technologie w rozwi¹zywaniu realnych proble-
sibility of the business world to effectively support and promote
solutions developed by young technicznych
wœród studentów kierunków IT specialists. na ca³ym œwie- the future cywilizacji, inspirowaæ
mów naszej leaders in technology. siê nawzajem i rywali-
cie. Do ubieg³orocznej edycji zg³osi³o siê ok. 300 tys. zowaæ o miano najlepszych.
uczestników ze 100 krajów. Tegoroczna edycja konkursu
bêdzie ósm¹ w jego historii. W tym czasie Imagine Cup To w rêkach m³odych ludzi jest przysz³oœæ, a zadaniem
sta³ siê nie tylko najwiêkszym turniejem informatycznym biznesu jest skuteczne wspieranie i promowanie przysz³ych
dla studentów, ale tak¿e œwiatowym centrum premier tech- liderów bran¿y technologicznej.
nologicznych, których twórcami s¹ m³odzi informatycy.
WHY CLOUD COMPUTING?
WHY CLOUD COMPUTING?
Why now? Going forward, all organisations, and especially entrepreneurial
Innovation in the computing industry continues to enable new
Why now? SMEs, forward, all organisations, and especially entrepreneurial
Going will be interested to tap into computing resources
Innovation in for society, from a “PC continues to enable new
opportunitiesthe computing industryin every home” to “cloud SMEs, will be interested to tap afford in order resources
beyond what they could previouslyinto computingto increase
opportunities for recent, nebulous image refers to the use of
computing.” This society, from a “PC in every home” to “cloud productivity and reach wider markets.
beyond what they could previously afford in order to increase
computing powerrecent, nebulous image and that the use of
computing.” This that you do not own refers to is located productivity and reach wider markets.
elsewhere, in “the cloud” of remote networks. that is located
computing power that you do not own and New Responsibilities
elsewhere, in “the cloud” of remote networks. Before the promise of cloud computing can be realized we
What’s new? This concept is familiar to anyone who uses Before the promise of cloud computing privacy, portability
all need more conﬁdence in the security,can be realized we
What’s new? to concept is familiar to anyone who for
online services This manage and store data, like Hotmailuses and availabilityconﬁdence in the security, privacy, portability
all need more of our data. We need a safe, open and
email or Flickr for photos. On thestore data, like Hotmailand
online services to manage and other hand, businesses for interoperable cloud our data. isWe need a safe, open and
and availability of – one that protected from the efforts of
governments havephotos. On the other hand, businessestheir
email or Flickr for preferred to keep and control data in and interoperable cloud – one that is protected open platform of
thieves and hackers while also serving as anfrom the effortsfor
own IT systems.
governments have preferred to keep and control data in their sharing and hackers while also serving as an around the world.
thieves and storing information for people open platform for
own IT systems. We need connectivity we can depend on. around the world.
sharing and storing information for people
As these organizations look to drive down costs, there is Legitimate questions reﬂect the responsibilities that come with
We need connectivity we can depend on.
As these interest in alternative approaches. Cloud-based
increasing organizations look to drive down costs, there is cloud-based services:reﬂect the responsibilities that come with
increasing interest in powerful approaches. Cloud-based
services are now morealternative and reliable for such users. Are you conﬁdent that your privacy is being protected, that
Large data centresmore economies of scale, providing cheaper
services are now offer powerful and reliable for such users. youryou conﬁdent that your privacy is being protected, that
Are data is secure, that you can reach it when you need? If
Large data power, with economies of scale, only for what you
computingcentres offer the ﬂexibility to payproviding cheaper you live inisone country you can reach it when you need? If
your data secure, that but your data is stored in another,
use. Like electricity, with don’t need to to pay only for what you
computing power, you the ﬂexibility own the generators; whose laws govern, and are the rules consistent? in another,
you live in one country but your data is stored
just plug electricity, youyou go.
use. Like in and pay as don’t need to own the generators; you whose laws govern, and are the rules consistent?
just plug in and pay as you go. Industry and governments can build on solid experience
New Opportunities for Europe Industry and governments The current solid experience
to address such questions. can build on computing trend
By lowering costs, and also lowering barriers to entry for IT
New Opportunities for Europe holds the potential for tremendous cost savings, ﬂexibility,
to address such questions. The current computing trend
By lowering costs, and also offers “the medicine needed IT
developers, cloud computinglowering barriers to entry forfor holds the potential we move to embrace evolving cloud
and growth. Yet as for tremendous cost savings, ﬂexibility,
Europe’s credit-squeezed economy”,“the medicine needed for
developers, cloud computing offers as Commissioner Reding technologies, Yet alsowe move to fundamental expectations
and growth. we as must meet embrace evolving cloud
has stated. Simply put, economy”, as Commissioner can do
Europe’s credit-squeezed both users and developers Reding about the management of your data. Microsoft is working
technologies, we also must meet fundamental expectations
more with less, by accessing greater computing power without
has stated. Simply put, both users and developers can do with customers, partners, of your data. Microsoft is working
about the management and governments on the bold goal
having to invest up front large sumscomputing power without
more with less, by accessing greater for equipment. with customers, partners, and potential.
to help Europe realise its cloudgovernments on the bold goal
having to invest up front large sums for equipment. to help Europe realise its cloud potential.
Innovation ﬂows from these new capabilities. In a program
called BizSpark, aimed these new capabilities. In a program
Innovation ﬂows from at helping early stage start-ups by For more information:
providing them with software and support,stage start-ups by
called BizSpark, aimed at helping early many of the 8,000 www.microsoft.eu
For more information:
participating European companies are already providing cloud-
providing them with software and support, many of the 8,000 www.microsoft.eu
based services. Cloud companiesenable a new company like
participating European resources are already providing cloud-
Lokad in France to deliver sophisticated sales forecasting tools
based services. Cloud resources enable a new company like
for large France to or manufacturers to sales forecasting tools
Lokad in retailers deliver sophisticated optimize inventories.
for upcoming BizSpark European Summit, in Paris, will bring
The large retailers or manufacturers to optimize inventories.
together many BizSpark European Summit, in Paris, delivering
The upcoming more promising start-ups who are will bring
their solutions in the cloud.
together many more promising start-ups who are delivering
their solutions in the cloud.
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