Staff Reporter
THE Balearic government and the Council of Majorca have signed an agreement for a four-year pilot scheme which aims to set up a “Digital City” computer networking project in the municipalities of Calvia and Formentera.

During the term of office of the present government, the programme will be extended to all localities on the Island.
Penning their names to the accord yesterday were regional minister for Economy, Tax and Innovation, Lluís Ramis de Ayreflor; and the president of the Council of Majorca, Maria Antonia Munar. Munar stressed how important the project would be in terms of boosting quality of life and in sharpening the competitive edge of Majorcan companies.

The scheme, which will mean an investment of 5'100'000 euros, focusses on the configuration of computer programmes to support the fields of education, tourism, and digital administration.

Within the sphere of tourism, the platform will promote debate between agencies in the sector in order to boost innovation; new ideas for sustainability (development which respects the environment); and the presence of local tourist companies marketing on the Internet.

Similarly, the networking project will allow access to a wide gamut of information on the culture of each locality and the development of a guide of “where to stay”, and a reservation system.

The educational field aims to provide infrastructure at primary and secondary schools, and the introduction of a digital programme entitled “Networking in Schools”. One of the by-products of this scheme will be to bring schools closer to the family.

The services which the new electronic infrastructure can provide will include school administration; teacher training through a shared experience strategy; and improved communication between families and tutors.

A “Citizen Network” is also on the agenda which is designed to contribute to the cultural enrichment of users, encouraging them to take part in activities and broaden their horizons. “Digital City” also embraces the development of communications infrastructure, favouring the inclusion of “broad band” servers in all localities of the Islands and giving more elbow to people's access to the Internet.

The overall aim of the computer link-up is to consolidate economic, social and territorial cohesion, and to provide individuals with equal ability to access local and regional government.

Both the Balearic government and the Council of Majorca aspire to build a technology platform, capable of adapting to changes and to design a data registration system which avoids duplication.

The development stages of the “Digital City” programme actually began two years ago as part of a European electronic link-up initiative.

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