Sigma Orionis forced to cease its activities

April 28, 2016

EndA tragic story on EU research and innovation…

Founded in 1984, Sigma Orionis has imagined, designed, often coordinated and always successfully completed a large number of ambitious projects, namely in the area of Information and Communication Technologies and in the one of S&T cooperation with Africa and Asia.

Through these projects, the company has striven to improve the perspectives and impact of European research, to promote Europe’s image around the world, to modestly contribute shaping a better world.

We have built a team of skilled, passionate and hard-working women and men, sharing true personal and professional values, less motivated by money than by project success. We have, year after year, followed the strictest principles in staff and financial management.

We have been the most successful of all European SMEs, ranking (end of 2015) n°1 in terms of successful applications to the highly competitive calls of the H2020 EU research and innovation funding programme (covering the period 2014-2020). Which means, according to the project selection criteria of the European Commission, that Sigma Orionis is the European SME able to submit (and manage) the most innovative, suitably designed, and impactful research and innovation projects.

And what does the European Commission do in recognition of this?

Does it reward this SME with a prize or award, hold it up as an example, suggest it to widely share its expertise and best practices all over Europe? No. OLAF investigators are missioned to find out whether the European funding had been put to good use. Why not…

After an investigation of nearly 2 years, no embezzlement, no bogus employment contracts, no fictional invoices, no extravagant expenditure, no personal gain, have been found. Nothing. The company is irreproachable in its management, as its auditor confirms it year after year, describing the company as ‘crystal-clear’.

The projects it rolled out using European funding were also flawlessly executed: their cost statements were deemed acceptable by independent experts appointed by the European Commission (the so-called “reviewers”), who often extolled the performance and quality of the work carried out by the company.

So what is the issue then? OLAF has in fact focused its work on the tool used by the company to monitor the amount of time spent on each project by each employee, and prepared a senseless report based on “hypotheses” and “extrapolations”, a report which the French justice system declared “illegally established”.

The European Commission has however decided to make a profoundly unjust decision (based on this report established in violation of articles of the EU Treaty!), suspending all “present and future” payments to the company, forcing it to cease its activities and fire all its employees (Sigma Orionis should have counted 28 staff members to date).

Is it what can be called “responsible governance”?

The European Commission deplores the lack of SMEs involved in its research and innovation programmes but deliberately sets out to brutally destroy those that succeed. The Commission claims to support the development of the European economy, but blithely slashes jobs.

Having heard one of my presentations, the Chief Scientific Officer of the European Commission quoted me in one of her tweets: “EU not just delivering peace and prosperity, also research and innovation, the EU brings us together”.

I must admit that my faith in Europe, its values and its future has now been shaken…

Roger Torrenti

Founder of Sigma Orionis

EU SMEs involved in Horizon 2020 projects: Sigma Orionis ranks n°1 to date

January 12, 2016

News_Sigma-Orionis_n1_H2020The European Commission regularly updates the list of projects and organizations funded under its Horizon 2020 funding programme for research and innovation (covering the 2014-2020 period) and makes it publicly available through the European Union open data portal.

Sigma Orionis is very proud to announce that the latest available list (as of Aug. 20, 2015) reveals that Sigma Orionis is the most successful European SME (of a “Private for profit” nature) when considering the number of Horizon 2020 projects in which the company is involved (10 end of Aug. 2015, 15 today).

Given its ‘research-innovation-markets’ positioning and its mission to operate internationally, Sigma Orionis has logically become, over the years, increasingly involved in these programmes and remains determined to fully contribute to these EU efforts for the benefit of the EU economy and of the EU society.

Successful final reviews of 4 of our EU-funded FP7 projects

January 11, 2016

Four final reviews of FP7 projects led by Sigma Orionis (CAPS2020 or CATALYST) or in which Sigma Orionis is involved (ECIAO and FI-CONTENT2) recently and successfully took place. Sigma Orionis is very proud of these achievements.

4-reviewed-FP7-projects-sigma-orionis

CAPS2020, a flagship EC initiative on Collective Awareness Platforms for Sustainability and Social Innovation!

Collective Awareness Platforms for Sustainability and Social Innovation (CAPS) are ICT systems leveraging the emerging “network effect” by combining open online social media, distributed knowledge creation and data from real environments (Internet of Things) in order to create awareness of problems and possible solutions requesting collective efforts, enabling new forms of social innovation. Over the period 2013-2015 the EC supported a number of CAPS-related research projects, coordination actions and studies. CAPS2020 core mission was to organise the first two annual editions of the CAPS conference, a key gathering for any stakeholders active in the field. This objective came along with disseminating CAPS results and facilitating synergies between projects.

The project, driven by Sigma Orionis, was reviewed in Nov. 2015 and assessed as ‘excellent’ by the review panel team: “The CAP2020 project has not only contributed to the widespread of the CAPS initiatives and results but also supported the work carried out by other stakeholders (not part of the CAPS community) or from other EC Units. From this point of view the CAP2020 project should be considered a flagship experience, as an initiative which has not only successfully disseminated the results coming from EU-funded projects in this area, but also largely contributed to knowledge sharing, effective transfer of the know-how, and to the wider awareness of EC initiatives and policies, in the overall ICT domain. The inspiring principles (participation, interaction, openness), the processes used (e.g.: reviewing previous experiences to better perform the new ones, using creative processes to optimise results minimising cost/effort), and the type of activities performed (e.g.: interactive conferences, sprint book, etc.) have a high potential and could be transferred to other frameworks in which a coordination action is needed”.

More at: caps2020.eu // caps-conference.eu

Follow: @CAPS2020eu

CATALYST, online debates will never be the same!

The CATALYST project (2013-2015) focused on developing open source tools facilitating online debates and interaction, starting from the assumption that online communities have been playing an increasingly important role in driving grassroots initiatives in the area of social innovation and sustainability. As such platforms develop, it is more and more difficult for community managers to ensure efficient debates among participants and to ensure progress towards collective ideation, decision and action.

The CATALYST project was coordinated by Sigma Orionis and implemented together with key technology and community partners: Imagination for People, Purpose, Wikitalia, the Open University, the University of Zurich in partnership with the MIT, and the Collaborative Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production. The project final review took place in Dec. 2015 and the final review report is still under elaboration by the review panel team. What was immediately clear at the meeting is that reviewers were impressed by the agile methodology followed by partners to develop the tools, which implied a continue dialogue with communities and led to effective tools, progresses in Collective Intelligence research and impactful debates. The value of the developed tools is demonstrated by the number of new stakeholders who are going to use them in the future, including the World Economic Forum and the City of Paris. Connect on the CATALYST website to discover the open source tools and use them!

More at: catalyst-fp7.eu

Follow: @CATALYST_FP7

ECIAO, for a strengthened EU-China collaboration in Future Internet Research and Experimentation (FIRE)

Independent experts from the EC evaluated the results of the EU-China FIRE (ECIAO) FP7 project on the occasion of the final Review Meeting that took place in Brussels on in Sept. 2015 and concluded that the project was a “complete success”.

Despite the ambitious nature of the project designed to strengthen EU-China collaboration in the field of FIRE while supporting IPv6 deployment, the three experts highlighted the “good quality of work” conducted by the consortium from August 2013 to July 2015, and praised the whole team for the “high level of partners’ engagement”.

Sigma Orionis, both responsible for developing the ECIAO cooperation platform for European and Chinese researchers to exchange experiences on FIRE and for leading the project dissemination activities, was congratulated. According to the reviewers: “Project activities have been disseminated well and the attention paid to promoting the outputs of the project is much appreciated”.

The EU-China FIRE initiative generated significant achievements and the reviewers acknowledged that “documentation and public outputs are to a high quality”. According to the assessment panel appointed by the EC, “these achievements clearly demonstrate that the EU-China FIRE project has been carried out by a very good consortium with well performing partners”. Overall, it was agreed that the project delivered social, political, scientific and technical impact way above and beyond expectations. To learn more on the EU-China FIRE project’s achievements, visit www.euchina-fire.eu.

More at: www.euchina-fire.eu/

Follow: @EUChinaICT

FI-Content 2, driving innovation at the crossroads of content, media, networks, and creativity

The FI-CONTENT 2 FP7 project, part of the Future Internet Public-Private Partnership (FI-PPP), ended in October 2015 after a 31-month collaboration between 28 partners (including – to name a few – Sigma Orionis, Technicolor, Walt Disney, Orange, and BBC).

Over this period, the consortium has produced a series of FIWARE enablers to foster European innovative web SMEs in the areas of Social Connected TV, Smart City Services and Pervasive Games. “All the developments have been nice and good” said the reviewers in Brussels yesterday, emphasizing the “very good” dissemination of the project as well as the quality and number of experimentations across Europe.

Some of the project developments have already found their way to the market through products and service offers, or has led to the emergence of standards (for instance in HbbTV). Besides the 36 scientific publications and 11 patents generated through the project, several results are also open source and already serve the European developers community.

More at: mediafi.org // lab.mediafi.org

Follow: @FIcontent

Highlights from Lisbon: Sigma Orionis at ICT2015

October 29, 2015

Sigma Orionis is currently involved in key areas of the European R&D Agenda, such as Responsible Research and Innovation, International Cooperation and Creative Industries-led innovation. By reason of its implication in pacesetting projects and initiatives, the company was strongly represented at ICT2015, Europe’s most visible forum for ICT research and innovation. The event took place on October 20-22, in Lisbon, Portugal, and gathered more than 5740 visitors.

Supporting international scientific and technological cooperation

The CHOICE booth at the INCO village was a huge success for the International Cooperation Unit, considering also the special attention given by the European Commission on EU-China cooperation in ICT during this year’s ICT event.

Meanwhile, in the Transform exhibition area the FIRE projects, led by SmartFIRE, organised the FIRE QUIZ –contest: all event participants had a chance to win a tablet by visiting the FIRE demo booths to find correct answers for the quiz and learn more about Future Internet Research and Experimentation. The prize was awarded by Per Blixt, Head of the Experimental Platforms E4 Unit of the European Commission.

The e-Infrastructure related projects, Sci-GaIA and TANDEM (EU-Africa scientific and technological cooperation) joined forces with MAGIC to have a strong presence at the event, with a booth and a networking session on the theme of Global ICT Infrastructures for International Scientific Collaboration for 2020 and beyond. The networking session was opened by Aniyan Varghese from the e-Infrastructures Unit of DG CONNECT who stressed the importance of international scientific cooperation in this field. It ended with vivid debates on the deployment of research infrastructures at a global scale for 2020 and beyond. The booth registered high attendance and visitors have been engaged in live demos of open science platforms and repositories. Journalists of different international media among which the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera were present onsite and interviewed the projects’ delegation.

Check the full photo gallery on TANDEM website.

Enabling a Responsible European ICT Research and Innovation in Horizon 2020

Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) is an inclusive approach to Research and Innovation (R&I) to ensure that societal actors work together during the whole R&I process. It aims to better align both the process and outcomes of R&I, with the values, needs and expectations of the society.

The RRI-ICT Forum partnership, coordinated by Sigma Orionis and representing the “hub” for RRI and SSH in ICT-related H2020 projects, enjoyed a high visibility at the ICT2015 event while holding an exhibition booth, organising and participating in networking sessions on RRI, SSH and societal impacts of ICT research.

The exhibition booth on RRI in ICT, located in the EC village, represented the main information place for visitors to learn about RRI and SSH. It provided visitors with information about the RRI approach, its importance in ICT and the role of the RRI-ICT Forum project. Visitors could as well get their copy of the good RRI practices in ICT research guide, published by the RRI-ICT Forum project, providing practical examples of RRI practices and applications in different projects and ICT domains (smart cities, Internet of Things, e-agriculture, e-health, robotics and e-Infrastructure).

The networking session ‘Towards responsible R&I in ICT in H2020’ took place on October 21, 2015 and aimed at promoting the use of an RRI approach and the involvement of SSH in Horizon 2020 ICT-related projects and proposals.

 

Paving the way to a more effective ICT value chain from research to markets

The Creative and Civic Innovation Unit documents and elaborates novel ways to make technology transfer fast and effective, creative and impactful on society. The ICT2015 event saw the launch of the STARTS (Science, Technology and the Arts) which leverages in large part the legacy of the ICT & Art Connect project, coordinated by Sigma Orionis in 2013-2014.

Much of the Unit knowledge is currently applied in the framework of the #MusicBricks Innovation Action, which on the 20th October was presented on the main stage of the Innovate area by Sigma Orionis and the Innovation coordinator Stromatolite. Unexpected industries of application, new bricks added on the run to the tools suite, a high interest from industry players, new indicators complementing the TRL scale: #MusicBricks outcomes and methodologies can pave the way to further innovation ecosystems. #MusicBricks was also presented during the STARTS session (21/10), the offsite Music Creativity workshop (21/10) and the ‘Empowering Game-changer communities’ networking session. During the latter, inspired by CAPSinputs and best practices for working with innovative communities and players (such as SMEs, creative people, civic society organisations) were presented by Sigma Orionis along with Dyne, T6 Ecosystems, Stromatolite and The Young Foundation.

Finally the unit organised on behalf of the CRe-AM consortium the overcrowded networking session ‘Creative Industries and ICT: towards a future roadmap’, convening at the discussion representatives of the most important ongoing initiatives bridging ICT and creative industries, such as NEM, TISP, STARTS and Europeana Space.

Kymberli Stewart and Dr Alan Redmond join Sigma Orionis

October 1, 2015

shutterstock_149241191We are happy to announce that Kymberli Stewart and Dr Alan Redmond have been joining Sigma Orionis’ team this month, as Project managers, to strengthen respectively the International cooperation Unit and the Energy & Environment Unit.

Kymberli Stewart is American and holds a Global MBA in Finance from EDHEC, a French ‘grande école’ specialising in business and management. She also holds a BA in International Relations from New York University in the United States. Kymberli is a Project Manager with over 10 years in project management in the private sector specializing in Business Development and Strategy. Prior to joining Sigma Orionis Kymberli worked for multinational corporations including Viacom International and Sony International. She also spent 4 years in China as strategy consultant. Having a passion for civic engagement Kymberli has spent time serving on non profit boards including Miracle Corners of the World and Intercultural Dialogues. She was twice chosen as guest Moderator for United Nations. Throughout the years Kymberli has coordinated volunteer missions to Tanzania, Kenya, China and the Netherlands focused on peace building, cultural understanding and economic empowerment. She works to bridge the divide between corporate institutions, government and non-profit organizations. Within Sigma Orionis, Kymberli is a Project Manager in the International Collaboration (INCO) unit. She is a native English speaker and is beginner in French and Spanish with knowledge of Chinese.

Dr Alan Martin Redmond is Irish and received his PhD in late 2013 from the School of Real Estate & Construction Economics and Management, at Dublin Institute of Technology. He also undertook a post-graduate position at University of California, Irvine studying System Engineering to better model environmental and sustainable building dynamics. Dr Redmond has several years of teaching experience at the graduate and undergraduate levels in the area of construction design and construction management. Dr Redmond has published over 20 international papers and collaborated with institutes and organizations such as the University of Salford (UK) and CSTB (France) especially in the framework of FP7 projects addressing ‘ICT for energy positive neighbourhoods’ and ‘Open Dynamics System for Saving Energy in Urban Spaces’. In 2014, Dr Redmond was employed at University of Toronto as a project co-ordinator and technical architect for the “Green 2.0 Project”. Alan is a native English speaker and is beginner in French.

Strong presence of Sigma Orionis at ICT 2015- Lisbon, Portugal / October 20-22, 2015

September 29, 2015

ICT 2015, organised by European Commission’s DG Connect together with the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, will take place in Lisbon, Portugal, on 20-22 October 2015, on the theme ‘Innovate, Connect, Transform’. The biggest ICT event in Europe is a great opportunity to network, follow interesting debates in the conference and hear the latest news on the European Commission’s policies and initiatives.

Our team will have a strong presence in the event and will participate in the exhibition booths and networking sessions related to the FP7 and H2020 projects and initiatives that Sigma Orionis coordinates or is involved in: Sci-GaIA, TANDEM, SmartFIRE, CHOICE, EuDEco, RRI, CRe-AM, MusicBricks etc.

Sigma Orionis thematic units will participate at the event as follows:

International Collaboration Unit

CHOICE – Booth IV.3a, INCO Village

SmartFIRE – Booth T21, Transform Area

Sci-GaIA – GIIISC Booth IV.8a, INCO Village / Networking session, 22/10 at 14:00, Room 11

TANDEM – GIIISC Booth IV.8a, INCO Village / Networking session, 22/10 at 14:00, Room 11

Societal Challenges Unit

RRI – Booth EV.3b, EC Village / Networking session, 22/10 at 14:00, Room 5C

EuDEcoNetworking session , 21/10 at 9:50, Room 7

Creative & Civic Innovation Unit

CRe-AMNetworking session, 20/10 at 16:50, Room 8 /Networking session ‘Empowering game-changer communities’, 21/10 at 9:50, Room 9

MusicBricks – STARTS Booth i01, Innovate Area / Presentation of the project,  20/10 at 15:30, Innovate Area main stage / ‘Understanding Human Creativity in Music’ workshop, 21/10 at 11:00, Pestana Palace Hotel Lisboa (600 m from the congress centre)

Emerging Technologies & Media Unit

NEMNetworking session , 21/10 at 9:50, Room 5C

Save the dates and visit the project websites to find out their interesting agendas during ICT 2015!

We look forward to meeting you in Portugal!

For further information and registration, visit the official ICT 2015 event page.

Sigma Orionis’ team signs two new papers

September 6, 2015

The paper ‘Technology, Citizens and Social Change in the Framework of European Research and Innovation Programmes: Towards a Paradigm Shift’ will be presented at the GOODTECHS conference 2015 (Rome, 26th October) by our Creative and Civic Innovation Unit manager Marta Arniani. By leveraging Sigma Orionis long-standing experience in Europe funded projects, the paper presents the paradigm shift occurred in recent years in the approach to technology development within the European Commission funded Research and Innovation frameworks. A new approach attentive to social good, societal challenges and bottom-up users and stakeholders, but which presents at the same time some limitations. By highlighting the current trends, challenges and best practices, the paper identifies some avenues for making this approach even more impactful in the coming years. The paper will be published by Springer in the conference proceedings.

On another page, Sigma Orionis representatives are featured also among the contributors to the paper titled ’Quantum Information Processes in Protein Microtubules of Brain Neurons’, presented at the 3rd International Conference on Nanotechnologies and Biomedical Engineering and published by Springer in the proceedings. The paper focus on biologically ‘orchestrated’ coherent quantum processes in collections of protein microtubules of brain neurons, which correlate with, and regulate, neuronal synaptic and membrane activity.

Sigma Orionis key facts and figures

September 5, 2015

We are glad to share an infographic introducing the main facts and figures characterizing Sigma Orionis to date. Please contact us for any further information you may need!

sigma-infographic092015-1

Get ready for the 3rd edition of the FET Conference and Exhibition

September 1, 2015

Officially launched today, the FET-Event project is coordinated by Sigma Orionis and mainly consists in the organisation of the next edition of the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) event.

The 3rd edition of the FET conference and exhibition, to be held in autumn 2016, is eagerly-awaited since the previous one was held in 2011 (visit the FET11 event website) and in the meantime FET has reached a new dimension: a new mandate going beyond ICT, newly launched large-scale initiatives, and a much larger budget.

Over 1200 attendees are expected alongside with 30 exhibiting organisations to reach the highest impact among targeted stakeholders (researchers, policy and decision makers, innovators and entrepreneurs, educators and schools, press and media, general public).

The event aims at fostering the dialogue on future and emerging technologies, showcasing FET progresses, seeding new ideas across disciplines and involving high-potential actors that can reshape the future.

Sigma Orionis is proud to coordinate this large-scale project alongside with the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM), coordinator of the previous edition of the event.

Stay tuned!

Successful closure and evaluation of the Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument (READI, 2011-2015)

August 11, 2015

The Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument (READI) was the first-ever policy dialogue facility between the two most integrated regions in the world, the European Union (EU) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). READI was designed to facilitate EU support to ASEAN’s ambitious integration agenda towards the establishment of an ASEAN Community and to support exchange of experiences, policies and good practices between the two organisations and their Member States. READI ran for four years (Sept. 2011 – Aug. 2015) and proved tremendously successful that two follow-up READI projects are in the making as this READI closes down!

READI started off supporting ASEAN action plans and EU-ASEAN dialogues in four policy areas: Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Energy, Science & Technology (S&T) and Disaster Management. During its lifetime it expanded its scope – thanks to READI’s promotional activities – to include Education, Climate Change, Capacity Building, Maritime Cooperation, Election Observation, and Human Rights, bringing the total number of READI components to 10. This wide range made READI unique among ASEAN’s dialogue partner initiatives in that it covered all three ASEAN Communities (Political-Security, Economic and Socio-Cultural), as well as unique among EU-ASEAN programmes in that the main focus was, for the first time, on the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community.

The READI Technical Assistance Team (TAT) was headed by Stefan Hell as Team Leader. Stefan Hell was in charge of READI’s general management and coordination and was supported by four Key Experts assigned to the initial four policy areas: Karine Valin for ICT, Thierry Lefèvre for Energy, Alexander Degelsegger for Science and Technology, and Philip Buckle for Disaster Management.

In order to ensure relevance of activities and results, READI regularly consulted ASEAN including concerned ASEAN secretariat (ASEC) divisions, ASEAN sectoral bodies and CPR, and the EU including relevant EC Directorate Generals and other EU institutions in Brussels as well as with all 9 EU delegations in the ASEAN region. Focal point for READI on the ASEAN side was the ASEAN Secretariat’s Strategic Planning and Coordination Division (SPCD), on the EU side the Operations Section of the EU Delegation to Indonesia, ASEAN and Brunei Darussalam. Both are located in Jakarta, Indonesia, allowing for quick and effective communication and coordination.

READI achieved several tangible outcomes during its implementation period. 11 action plans and agreements for ASEAN integration were supported through 72 experience exchanges between EU and ASEAN. 790 stakeholders participated in these EU-ASEAN events and benefitted from using knowledge from READI activities. See the READI

READI_Infographics_2011-2015

In the field of ICT, READI (represented by Karine Valin, READI/ICT Key Expert & a pool of Senior Short-Term Experts in specific thematic areas) supported – among other things – the launch and operation of the ASEAN Spectrum Policy Forum (ASPF) as an institutional mechanism to coordinate spectrum management across ASEAN (Success Story). This led to a number of agreements and recommendations to address opportu­nities and challenges in next generation networks. These covered regional spectrum management and transition to DTT, a common approach to the digital dividend and BWB, a coordinated regional strategy for the 2G band re-farming (800/900/1800MHz) and support for the introduction of an “.asean” top-level domain. READI also identified the need for a regional approach to broadband roll-out that would support connection of rural areas and under-privileged social groups. READI also established dialogue to review policy that would lead to decreased mobile data and voice roaming costs for ASEAN consumers.

“The READI/ICT Facility succeeded in achieving its main objectives effectively, efficiently and timely and delivered significant outcomes. The impact that has been achieved so far in Southeast Asia through this EU-funded activities is a testament to the fruitfulness of a true partnership between the ASEAN and the EU. Both sides embraced the benefits of such cooperation. We should certainly intensify this cooperation by exchanging lessons learned and by mobilising the European expertise to support the ASEAN efforts and I’m glad that the upcoming E-READI Facility will allow to keep the momentum on such important issues”. Karine Valin, READI Key Expert (KE) for ICT (2012-2015) and Project Director & Steering Board Member of Sigma Orionis, France – June 2015

READI’s greatest success is that it has stimulated demand far exceeding its own capabilities. By setting up flexible and efficient governance, management and communication structures, by building trust among key interlocutors from ASEAN and the EU, and by delivering consistently good results, READI has become the model for two new READI facilities: a targeted READI project designed exclusively to continue the work initiated in the area of Human Rights cooperation and a much larger general READI facility (E-READI, Enhanced READI) to carry on READI’s work across the board as well as in new policy areas. It took the collaborative effort of all the aforementioned individuals to achieve this outstanding success.

The READI website will continue to remain active in the coming years and provide detailed information, downloads and photographs on the over 70 READI activities.

“The start of the relations between EU and ASEAN dates back to 1972, but it is in the last few years that a step change has taken place with, inter alia, a very large number of high-level visits to the region and the launch of a number of EU-funded initiatives such as the very successful READI Facility. Last year’s EU-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (Brussels, 23 July 2014) welcomed the stepping up of EU-ASEAN relations and expressed the wish to upgrade them to a Strategic Partnership. In the field of ICT this was confirmed during the last ASEAN TELMIN/TELSOM 2015 Meetings (Bangkok, 21-22 January 2015). There is a new momentum in EU-ASEAN relations and both sides have an interest in sustaining it. Hence, among other initiatives, the upcoming launch of the Enhanced-READI (E-READI) Facility”.

“ASEAN is undoubtedly a very important partner for the EU. Over the past years ASEAN has made great strides in regional cooperation covering a number of areas including ICT. We have always regarded it as an honour and a privilege to be able to assist the ASEAN Secretariat and Member States in the ICT field and we will continue to regard it as such. READI and this unique form of cooperation reflects the close ties and complete trust between the ASEAN and the EU”.

“The READI/ICT Facility has been very instrumental in our effort to implement priority projects of the ASEAN ICT Master Plan 2015, namely, the development of transparent, coherent and harmonised ICT regulatory frameworks; in particular, towards improving broadband availability in the region through spectrum management and telecommunication policies”

“The READI initiative played a major role in facilitating the sharing of knowledge and the exchange of best practices between the ASEAN Member States and the European Union in a number of key ICT domains (namely: spectrum management, broadband deployment, and competition policy in the telecom sector) with the main aim of improving the lives of people in Southeast Asia. READI/ICT generated a general environment of cooperation between the ASEAN and the EU whereby they were able to share experience and expertise to support the ASEAN ICT Master Plan 2015 and the subsequent master plan. As a result, READI/ICT helped to launch the ASEAN Spectrum Policy Forum (ASPF), a matter made possible only by READI’s initiative. This main achievement has been built up since the initiation of the project and remains the most important READI/ICT achievement. The ASEAN Secretariat welcomes this extremely fruitful cooperation where both sides gain from the fruitful exchanges of knowledge and interesting discussions. We are looking forward to the next steps in continuing the cooperation.”

“Radio frequency spectrum is becoming an increasingly scarce resource for increased access to communications or ICTs. Telecommunication/ICT is not only facing increased demands for bandwidth, but also facing ever-increasing pressure from other users of the spectrum, who are exercising their rapidly growing requirements for larger spectrum bandwidths. Hence the roles of the government, regulators are the key enablers for an effective management of the radio spectrum. We very much appreciate READI support in facilitating exchange of knowledge and best practices”.

“Thanks to the READI instrument, the ASEAN Spectrum Policy Forum (ASPF) has been launched in 2011. We highly appreciate the ASEAN-EU Cooperation Programme in supporting the ASPF Forum. This Forum is an effective platform for ASEAN Spectrum management Experts to discuss and go ahead towards economy of scale for ASEAN through common views in spectrum management policies. We are continuing our best efforts to cooperate with EU to complete the 2015 blue print of ASPF”.

“ASPF, since its launch in 2012, has become an effective forum for ASEAN spectrum experts to discuss, share knowledge and exchange experiences in spectrum issues internally, as well as with European and industry experts. More importantly, ASFP has become an important platform for ASEAN members to coordinate their views on spectrum management issues. In addition, most of the ASPF meeting recommendations were endorsed by the ASEAN Subgroup on Spectrum Management (SMM) to which ASPF reports and served as basis for SSM’s proposals to be incorporated in ASEAN’s TELMIN Ministerial Statement on spectrum issue. We hope ASPF can be supported in the future so that the EU and ASEAN member states to continue the dialogue on relevant spectrum management issues”.

“The READI/ICT Facility succeeded in achieving its main objectives effectively, efficiently and timely and delivered significant outcomes. The impact that has been achieved so far in Southeast Asia through this EU-funded activities is a testament to the fruitfulness of a true partnership between the ASEAN and the EU. Both sides embraced the benefits of such cooperation. We should certainly intensify this cooperation by exchanging lessons learned and by mobilising the European expertise to support the ASEAN efforts and I’m glad that the upcoming E-READI Facility will allow to keep the momentum on such important issues”.

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