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 Executive Summary 

On July 16th 2010, the Council of Ministers approved the 2011-2015 Strategy for Plan Avanza 2. This second stage gives continuity to Plan Avanza’s course of action. It includes projects already in progress and updates initial objectives to adapt them to the new challenges of the network society.

In 2004, the Government was aware of the importance of spreading the use and impact of new technologies on the economy and society. Thus, the need of establishing a “Plan to achieve convergence in the field of Information Society, both with the most progressive European countries and among our autonomous regions” came up.

Plan Avanza, which was approved by the Council of Ministers on 4th November 2005, has enabled a critical mass to be reached in our country, both in terms of market and users, as well as in terms of ICT acceptance and global coverage of services. This will help to achieve a substantial progress in coming years.

As international organizations such as the OECD, ITU and European Commission have pointed out, ICT plays an increasingly essential role in our country’s economy. Since 2004, Spain has devoted significant efforts and resources to the Information Society. As a result, progress has been remarkable since then.OECD’s Information Society Reviews also recognise this improvement. In its document "Good Governance for Digital Policies: How to Get the Most out of ICT.

The Case of Spain’s Plan Avanza”, the OECD points out that “the Plan” is the most ambitious policy that the Government of Spain has ever launched for the advancement of the Information Society, since the strategy has overcome serious challenges to exploit the potential of ICT. Moreover, the OECD’s Review establishes that Plan Avanza has an important role to play in the current economic context. In the short term, the Plan is especially important in terms of contributing to Spain’s economic recovery and, in the long term, it has much to contribute in promoting sustainable economic growth.

Now that most of the objectives set have been achieved and being aware of the need to move towards a Knowledge Society, a new phase starts consisting of 5 action areas: Infrastructures, Trust and Security, Technological Training, Digital Content and Services, and ICT Sector Development.

One of the main objectives of Plan Avanza 2 is contributing to an economic model change in our country through ICT, since spreading the use of ICT allows for an increase in competitiveness and productivity, and favours equal opportunities, boosting the economy and consolidating a sustainable model of economic growth.

The first stage of Plan Avanza aimed at catching up with de European Union average, especially regarding coverage and connectivity. The 2011-2015 Strategy of Plan Avanza 2 seeks placing Spain on a leading position in terms of development and use of advanced ICT products and services.

Once that Plan Avanza 2 has been presented and its structure has been defined, the next step is the approval of the Strategy Implementation Plan for 2011-2015. The Strategy is not specifically linked to any budgeting procedure, but it sets the priorities under the Government budgetary framework.

Additionally, the consensus of all the political forces in the Strategy elaboration process is worthy of mention. More specifically, on 21st November 2009, the Senate unanimously approved a report containing proposals, which have been all incorporated to the “Plan Avanza 2 - 2011-2015 Strategy”.

In addition, aiming to achieve as much efficiency and effectiveness as possible from measures identified, the private sector as well as other social, political and institutional stakeholders have collaborated in the Strategy’s elaboration process. The Government considers the development of such a Plan a priority that involves the Spanish society as a whole.

Furthermore, the Strategy is included within the framework of the different European initiatives that are being developed. On 19th May 2010, the European Commission adopted a Communication on the “European Digital Agenda” with the objective of promoting Information Society and ICT development to contribute to the economic recovery and job creation in the EU by 2015, taking over the i2010 initiative.

Taking the Plan Avanza approved in 2005 and the European framework in which this kind of measures are included as the starting point, 34 key challenges have been defined in the field of ICT, which Spain has to face. Under the current framework, “Plan Avanza 2 - 2011-2015 Strategy” will focus on achieving the following 10 objectives, which will contribute to overcoming the challenges identified:

  1. Promoting innovative ICT processes in the Public Administration.
  2. Spreading ICT in healthcare and for the welfare.
  3. Modernizing the education and training model through the use of ICT.
  4. Spreading telecommunication networks and increasing their capacity.
  5. Spreading trustworthy ICT among citizens and enterprises.
  6. Increasing the advanced use of ICT solutions among citizens.
  7. Spreading the use of ICT business solutions in enterprises.
  8. Developing technological skills in the ICT sector.
  9. Strengthening the digital content sector and intellectual property rights in the current technological context and within the Spanish and European legal framework.
  10. Developing green ICT.

In order to achieve these objectives, more than 100 measures have been proposed for adoption, as well as performance indicators to measure results.

Additionally, some legal changes have been identified, which are necessary to narrow the existing differences in the spread and usage of ICT, and to guarantee the rights of citizens in the Information Society.

Likewise, the collaborative model with Autonomous Regions, local entities, public and private institutions and enterprises, which was initially used in Plan Avanza, is to be continued.

“Plan Avanza 2 - 2011-2015 Strategy” is made up of an initial text, which includes the following: the role of ICT for the economy and growth, Plan Avanza’s achievements during its first stage, the European Framework as defined in the “2010-2015 European Digital Agenda” which was approved during the Spanish Presidency of the EU, Information Society’s main future goals, definition of 10 objectives to be achieved, and an appendix with 100 measures to be implemented.

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