Espace Régional Internet Citoyen (ERIC)

Published on: 20/12/2007
The main objective of ERIC program is to help people in region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur to became users (and actors) of the Internet and Information Technology. 150 local spaces offer free or cheap web access. ERIC also offers many services for the people who manage ERIC: training, meeting, regional conferences. The ambition of Region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur is to help ERIC to become real local resources centres in Information Technology for people, firms and others local authority.

Policy Context

On 28 of June, Region Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur has adopted a new strategic policy for its actions in information technology, called “Schéma Régional pour le Développement de la Société de l’Information”.

Description of target users and groups

Anyone of PACA can benefit from the services of ERIC. The animations, training, accompaniments are usually open to all and all those who feel the need to be trained in the use of information technology. In addition, the Region has adopted in June 2007 a new support ERIC intended to make them work together with the Associations of integration and support for people facing difficulties in their personal or professional lives. ERIC should therefore apply specifically to these people by giving them better access to information technology.

Description of the way to implement the initiative

Today the Region wants to continue the momentum initiated in the framework of the regional resources for development of digital territories. ERIC the program is innovative by its size (150 places labeled) and the tools and functions assigned to the regional platform, both resource center and networking ERIC structure and support development projects ICT, in particular projects Territory (Country, Towns…). The regional appears to be the right level to offer support to EPN for reinforcement of their human capabilities and their position as a level for the development of local ICT uses. It seeks a partnership with all development actors of the territories and as such seems transferable in the context of territorial policies in France.

Main results, benefits and impacts

Nearly 150 ERIC worn by communities and associations mesh territory and deliver local services to the population and local actors. In addition to the awareness and literacy in the uses of basic ICT, ERIC involved in the development of services and uses on topics as varied as the integration and employment, and e-administration utilities, artistic and cultural creation, engineering Formation of the Open and Distance (ODL), and citizen participation. The social utility of ERIC proven: the volume and diversity of the public who come to testify, but also the multiplicity of projects carried in various fields (public services, employment, socio animation…). In two years (2004-2006), the Fund for Support for Innovative Initiatives (direct aid operation and / or investment) has helped to support the achievement of forty projects carried by ERIC on topics such as 'inclusion and employment, e-administration and public services,multimedia design, citizen participation, and so on. These methods of intervention were complemented by the creation of posts of responsibility for digital development within ERIC, as part of the Regional Plan for Employment voted in October 2004. In addition, since 2004 more than a thousand papers were published on the website dedicated to the network of ERIC (online platform), which has hosted nearly 300 000 unique visitors.

Return on investment

Return on investment: Not applicable / Not available

Track record of sharing

About ten regions are active now in the field of the public access to Internet. The ERIC program is innovative by its dimension (150 certified places) and by the double function attributed to the regional platform, at the same moment center of resources and networking of ERIC and the structure of support for the projects of development of the ICT, notably from the projects of territory (Countries, Towns, …). The Region appears to be the right level to develop such a program, particularly as regards its platform of animation and services.

Lessons learnt

Lesson 1 - Whatever the dynamism of ERIC, recognition at the local level of their role, notably in the framework of contracts territories, remains limited, only a minority of ERIC involved so strong in the animation of the platform. Lesson 2 - This shows that the networking of person / structures is a long and continuous process that requires support asserted over several years on the part of public and private actors. Scope: Regional (sub-national)