eNorway - Action Plan

Publisert under: Regjeringen Stoltenberg I

Utgiver: Nærings- og handelsdepartementet


eNorway Action Plan


The eMinister's introduction

The world is changing. The Internet and globalisation are changing both our society and our perception of reality. Society's cornerstones – the institutions themselves – are under pressure. If Norway is to keep up, we have no time to waste. The world is not going to wait for us. We have to learn to live with change. The task of politicians will therefore be not to resist changes, but to help people through them.

We are now facing the transition from the industrial and oil age to a knowledge society. Norway will be dependent on new value creation to maintain its welfare state at its present high level. We must grasp the opportunities the new technology provides for future employment, growth and welfare. eNorway is going to help us do this.

The Government's objective with the eNorway plan is to influence and accelerate the development of a knowledge society, so that we can use technology to make use of the whole country and its entire population to increase our value creation and safeguard our welfare level. We must encourage innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. Norway must be an attractive society that has a high quality of life and is beneficial to industry. We must have an adaptable industry working under good framework conditions.

The eNorway plan is a process document, and it is important to get started immediately. The Government cannot develop an ICT policy alone. That is why we are inviting industry and organisations to cooperate with us, to identify new measures and to take part in the implementation of the plan.

eNorway is an operative plan that describes where we are, what has to be done, who is responsible and when the actions are to be implemented. It is to be revised every six months, and the Government's eEnvoy will report to the Prime Minister every month.

The Government's aim is to lead the transition to the knowledge society. We want to build the bridge that carries everyone over the knowledge gap and into the new economy – the new society. Norway is a large country with a small population. Everyone must join in. We need each other.

Oslo, 29 June 2000


Grete Knudsen

Minister of Trade and Industry

A description of the situation

Rapid technological development and globalisation are changing society. No sector remains untouched. Knowledge and qualifications are becoming a more and more important factor in the economy. Norway has a good point of departure, with its generally high level of education and the high penetration of PCs and mobile telephones. However, we have not managed properly to utilise this to create new industries.

We also have an extra challenge in Norway. In a few years’ time, our revenues from the petroleum sector will decrease. In order to maintain our welfare state at its current high level, we are dependent on new value creation and the formation of new companies. E-commerce and globalisation provide us with an extra challenge, but they also give Norwegian industry new opportunities that we intend to utilise.

A society characterised by a high quality of life is an important prerequisite for innovation and value creation. Such a society is also a competitive advantage in the international struggle to capture knowledge – the cleverest people. That is why our future industrial policy also has to be developed in co-ordination with our welfare and culture policies.

Electronic commerce, 24-hour public sector online and other Internet services mean that we do not have to think about opening hours and waiting times. We will have more opportunity to plan our own time, but this means that we have to have active control over our everyday lives. Without control, technology may just as easily steal time from us.

ICT can help more disabled people to enter in to the workplace and more elderly people to live at home for longer periods. ICT may also result in fresh gains in Norway's National Health Service and it may help to create new jobs in the regions, as well as maintaining existing ones.

Our joint challenge will be to use the new technology to develop a more environment-friendly society – a green knowledge economy. Knowledge grows when it is shared and developed, and information technology can help us to manage and develop processes and systems that promote a society in ecological balance. An environment-friendly and sustainable Norway with an economy that is attractive to industry, based on a partnership between the public sector and industry regarding education, research and innovation.

Relevant statistics are important in order to make us aware of the trends in Norway's knowledge society so that measures can be taken in necessary areas. These statistics may include such things as indicators showing attitudes to the quality of the education system, to the cooperation between the public and private sectors, to starting up one's own company and to electronic commerce/business management. We currently lack satisfactory ICT statistics, and our work will initially concentrate on developing indicators and gathering data.

The rapid developments and the increase in international competition necessitate precise methods for finding out whether our policies and measures are working. The Government has chosen benchmarking as the method to compare our results in education, industry and the public sector etc, with what has been achieved by other countries. Norway has asked to be included in the benchmarking activities that the EU is to carry out in connection with the implementation of the eEurope 2002 Action-plan.

One important purpose of the eNorway plan is to ensure that Norway has at least the same ambitious objectives as those formulated by the EU in the eEurope plan. We will follow up all the initiatives that will be undertaken on the basis of eEurope. That is why the most important objectives and actions in " eEurope 2002 – Action Plan" are covered in the eNorway plan. In addition it contains measures that are based on our special challenges.

If we are to reach our objective of an information and knowledge society for everyone, three basic prerequisites must be taken care of: access – knowledge – confidence.

  • The Government will contribute to greater accessibility so that everyone has access to the new technology.
  • The Government will increase the population's knowledge in and understanding of the use of ICT, so that individuals will be able to use ICT as a tool based on their own needs and desires.
  • The Government will implement measures, laws and regulations that increase people's confidence in the technology. The Internet must be secure and available to everyone – irrespective of his or her level of expertise.

As users of goods and services, we assume different roles with varying needs - as individuals, citizens, students, employees, company managers or public-service customers. That is why the eNorway plan is based on the users when it is divided into five main areas:

  • Individuals, culture and the environment
  • Life-long learning
  • Industry
  • Workforce
  • The public sector

The eNorway plan has been prepared by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (NHD) in cooperation with the Ministries of Labour and Government Administration (AAD); Finance (FIN); Education, Research and Church Affairs (KUF); Transport and Communications (SD); Foreign Affairs (UD); Health and Social Affairs (SHD); the Environment (MD); Local Government and Regional Development (KRD); and the Ministry of Cultural Affairs (KD). Thirty companies and organisations have also contributed to it.

1.The individual, culture and the environment

We must lay the foundation of an information and knowledge society for everyone.

  • Public arenas must be utilised so that everyone has access to information and communication technology irrespective of where they live, their age, economy or level of education.
  • ICT will be utilised to facilitate access to the knowledge and experience resources administered by our cultural institutions and mass media.
  • A uniform policy for a sustainable knowledge society will be prepared, based on environmental information, an increased use of telecommunications to replace transport, a green product policy and green public-sector procurements.

More and more services are becoming available digitally. In order for as many people as possible to be able to utilise the technology, we must ensure that skills are available in the local environment and we must influence the development of new products so that they are simple and user-friendly. We must avoid creating new social gaps between those who have and those who do not have access to the technology.

The Internet provides new opportunities for insight into matters being processed by the public administration, and it will increase people's ability to be involved. It may also increase the opportunities for openness and participation in political decision-making processes.

The dominance of the English language threatens our own language. There must be co-ordinated efforts to safeguard the Norwegian languages. The Norwegian mass media must be capable of facing the cultural and financial demands created by the information society, and there must still be room for programs that is not interesting only to large, wealthy groups. We must make a commitment to the production of stable, high-quality materials with a Norwegian-language content.

ICT may result in a better utilisation of resources and decrease the damage to the environment. At the same time, there are significant environmental problems related to the production, use and waste disposal of computer equipment, and it is not certain that the overall environmental accounts will be positive. A deliberate policy of developing a sustainable knowledge society is required. The Internet can provide improved access to environmental information, develop arenas for dialogue, increase insight and make local environmental initiatives visible.

However, digitalisation will require special measures to prevent stored materials from becoming inaccessible due to changes in software or hardware.

Actions - individual

Actor

Deadline

1.1

Make conditions suitable for schools to be open during the evenings, thus making computers available to more people.

KUF

ongoing

1.2

Encourage the creation of Internet-based projects in order to impart local information.

NHD

1.3

Initiate pilot projects with municipalities that want to make an extra commitment to ICT (such as Modalen local authority).

NHD

continuous

1.4

Ensure access by establishing Internet cafés in public arenas (shopping centres, libraries, etc)

NHD industry, others

1.5

Create confidence by combating illegal and harmful contents on the Internet through participating in EU programmes, etc.

KD

2000/

2001

1.6

Assess how ICT can be used as a tool to promote a democratic dialogue and representative government.

AAD

KRD

2001

1.7

Provide a new mandate and contents for the Technology Council's ( Teknologirådet's) work.

NHD

July 2000

- culture

1.8

Prepare a language-policy plan of action for the Norwegian language and ICT.

KD

2000

1.9

Prepare a plan for finding archive information that is worth keeping and storing it in electronic registers and databases.

KD

2000/

2001

1.10

Evaluate Cultural Network Norway (Kulturnett Norge) and clarify the basis for continuing it.

KD

beginning of

2001

1.11

Prepare a status report on the digitalisation of cultural heritage material and the planning of the road ahead.

KD

1.12

Ensure framework conditions for public broadcasting companies so that they can develop their programmes and provide new services.

KD

ongoing

- environment

1.13

Further develop Internet-based solutions providing environmental information and a dialogue with a wide-ranging public.

MD

end of 2000

1.14

Gather databases with cultural-heritage and cultural-environmental information in a main cultural heritage database.

MD

end of 2003

1.15

Make available information on the use of products, procurement, accident handling, chemicals and waste.

MD

end of 2000

2.Life-long learning

We must invest in education and research so that Norway strengthens its position in the global information and knowledge society.

  • ICT must become an integral part of all education. Pupils and students must have equal opportunities to access ICT.
  • The capacity of universities, colleges and high schools to teach ICT subjects must be increased in order to cope with society's need for skills.
  • The opportunities available through information technology to develop new network-based education services must be utilised.

The concept of education is changing, and learning today takes place not only in educational institutions. ICT is creating new methods of learning that must be utilised. Network-based learning and distance education provide opportunities to use the workplace and the home as classrooms. This makes demands on the educational institutions, while also providing new opportunities for growth industries in the e-learning sector. Learning must take place throughout the individual's lifetime and must be offered to everyone.

It is important to strengthen the dialogue concerning an efficient, user-adapted education system that is taking place between research institutions, the education sector and industry. Such cooperation will help to identify the need for new skills and ensure flexible educational choices.

Learning and skills are the keys to grasping the growth opportunities and challenges we are facing.

Action

Actor

Deadline

2.1

A national learning network for the education sector will be established.

KUF

2001

2.2

Conditions must be made suitable for the further development of flexible, network-based educational program at all levels.

KUF

2001

2.3

Reward schemes for good ICT schools in Norway are to be arranged.

KUF

2001

2.4

Arrangements must be made for all educational institutions to be connected to the Internet.

KUF

2001

2.5

Network for Environmental Learning ( Nettverk for miljølære) an Internet-based tool for teaching about the environment, is to be further developed.

MD

end of

2001

2.6

A model for the practice-based development of ICT teachers' skills is to be developed and implemented.

KUF

end of

2002

2.7

A scheme using an educational data card, to improve the ICT expertise of the teachers, is to be assessed.

KUF

from

2001

2.8

All students at teachers’ colleges must carry out activities that provide them with skills and experience in the development and use of ICT.

KUF

2.9

Partnership schemes between industry and the educational system are to be developed.

NHO

NHD, KUF

2.10

Norway's ICT education system is to be reviewed in order to strengthen industry's access to skills.

KUF

2001

1.1.1.1 Industry

In order to ensure industry's competitive ability, we must increase our commitment to innovation, upgrading skills and R&D. Norway must be at the forefront in the development of e-commerce and business management.

  • The level of knowledge regarding the use of ICT and e-commerce must be increased in industry, the public sector and among people in general.
  • The regulatory conditions must be made suitable for effective competition for high-capacity services at a reasonable price, which will contribute to investments and safeguard the interests of the consumer.
  • Electronic communication must be just as safe and be regarded as equal to paper-based communication.
  • An environment must be created in which technical solutions and skills are developed quickly. Norway must become an interesting test country and place to locate in for international companies.

The rapid technological developments, globalisation and increased international competition provide industry with major challenges. Industry itself must accept these challenges and grasp the opportunities presented by the new technology. However, the authorities must contribute to this by establishing good framework conditions and further developing the research sector to an international level. The further development of our national R&D capabilities is important to achieve innovation-driven development and to attract foreign investment to Norway. The Government's objective is to strengthen the Norwegian R&D efforts to the average OECD level by the end of a five-year period, and to increase the efforts in the private sector.

Through the eNorway plan, the Government will also help to further develop the ICT industry as an independent, growth industry. The necessity of internationalisation and the need for skilled labour is particularly pressing in this sector.

The players in the market are responsible for investing in digitalisation and broadband facilities. However, the authorities would like to make conditions suitable so that we can achieve a nationwide system of broadband communication. This is why the competition in the market must be strengthened and public demand stimulated. Special government measures must be considered to ensure access in areas where the market players cannot establish a system at acceptable cost for the desired deadline.

The Government's goal is that all primary and secondary schools, libraries, hospitals and municipal authorities will be offered broadband connections by the end of 2002.

Technological developments, increased competition and the convergence of the telecommunications, media and IT sectors make a constant review of the regulations necessary in order to adapt them. It is important for Norway to have a world class telecommunications infrastructure, which can form a basis for the profitable running of businesses and the development of new products and services. It is important for the communications networks to be secure and for people to have confidence in them.

Action - infrastructure

actor

deadline

3.1

Make conditions suitable for the award of licences to build a nationwide, digital ground network for television, with capacity for public broadcasting companies.

KD

2001

3.2

Prepare an action plan for broadband communication in Norway.

NHD

2000

3.3

Consider establishing a global network which improve the links in the diplomatic service.

UD

- telecommunications services

3.4

Examine whether several measures can be taken use of to provide access to dominant players' networks.

SD

2000/

2003

3.5

Award licences for third-generation mobile systems.

SD

autumn

2000

3.6

Publish regular reports on the prices and competitive situations in various market sectors.

SD

2000/

2001

3.7

Develop a national strategy for telecommunications safety and a telecommunications standby system

SD

- vulnerability

3.8

Prepare a strategy to increase society's ability to resist computer attacks and failures in ICT systems.

NHD

October

2000

3.9

Establish a body to strengthen information security and help create a more robust infrastructure.

NHD

2001

- electronic commerce and communication

3.10

Establish cooperation with industry and organisations regarding the development of such things as infrastructure and self-regulating mechanisms.

NHD

2000

3.11

Propose changes in regulations that unnecessarily favour paper-based instead of electronic communication.

JD, AAD

NHD

2000

3.12

Establish a portal for national e-commerce activities and an arena for a dialogue between industry and the authorities.

NHD

2000

3.13

Carry out pre-projects regarding the implementation of a national e-commerce programme, with particular focus on SMBs.

NHD

august 2000

3.14

Try to reduce the transaction costs of e-commerce involving postal deliveries from abroad.

NHD SD, FIN

2000/

2001

3.15

Conduct an information campaign on the use of e-signatures, marketing and trade on the Internet.

NHD

2000

/2001

3.16

Examine the environmental consequences that increased e-commerce will have on transport amounts, the transport pattern and the location of trade in goods.

MD

3.17

Present a bill to Storting (the Norwegian parliament) regarding electronic signatures.

NHD

autumn

2000

3.18

Ensure the rapid implementation of EU Directives related to the knowledge society.

NHD m/fl.

2000

/2001

Action – research

actor

deadline

3.19

Follow up the priority given by the Research White Paper to ICT as one of four areas of commitment.

NHD and KUF

2001/

2005

3.20

Ensure that grants for R&D work contain requirements that the recipient must take into account the greatest possible degree of universal design.

NHD

end of

2000

3.21

Appoint a technology and innovation forum.

NHD

August 2000

- policy system

3.22

Review the policy system so that it helps to adapt industry to the new economy.

NHD

KRD

2001

- the internationalisation of industry

3.23

Prepare a strategy for exporting and internationalising the Norwegian ICT industry.

industry and NHD

by the end of 2000

3.24

Establish an ICT portal in order to ensure increased international demand for destinations in Norway and Norwegian travel products.

NHD

2000-2003

3.25

Enter into bilateral ICT agreements.

NHD

continuous

- equal opportunities

3.26

Establish incubator schemes that particularly target women.

NHD

3.27

Consider whether to establish a database of skilled women.

NHD

4.Workforce

We must ensure that all groups have the same right to work in the knowledge economy and employees must be ensured the right and opportunity to update their knowledge in line with the new requirements.

  • The Lifelong Learning reform must take care of the new knowledge requirements that are necessary in the rapidly changing working life.

Information and communication technology brings new ways of organising work, and it makes greater demands on our knowledge. In the new economy, a company's most important capital will be its employees' skills. The Lifelong Learning reform is therefore an important tool for making employees as suited as possible to face these developments.

In the current tight labour market, the need for more employees with ICT skills cannot be solved simply by establishing more student places or by importing labour.

There will be a need for measures that provide experience of how ICT expertise can be developed in working life. The new technology also makes it possible for new groups to participate in working life. New technology can drastically improve disabled people's chances of gaining paid employment.

Action

actor

deadline

4.1

Implement measures for the disabled and other groups that require conditions to be made suitable for them.

KUF, AAD,

NHD

2001

4.2

Have a dialogue with organisations in order to ensure good post-educational and higher-educational schemes.

KUF, NHD, AAD

ongoing

4.3

Examine the consequences of the new digital economy on the way companies are organised and on labour conditions.

KRD, NHD, LO, NHO, HSH

2000

4.4

Consider implementing a scheme, within the current statutory framework, for importing foreign labour to ensure access to ICT expertise.

JD

from 2001

4.5

Implement a skills development programme focusing on the workplace as a learning arena.

KUF

2000/

2003

4.6

Assess the need for changes to the Working Environment Act.

KRD, AAD, NHD

2000

5.Public sector

With the help of ICT, rapid, individually adapted, cost-effective services are to be developed. Solutions must be developed that integrate the entire administrative value chain and which provide good results for all sectors and administrative levels.

  • The public-administration system must be open 24 hours a day, and users must have access to information and services on their own terms.
  • ICT must be utilised to strengthen the public-administration system's ability to change and reduce costs, including freeing resources to strengthen the production of services.
  • ICT must be used to provide better and more efficient health services.

The public sector must provide services to a more complex, demanding group of users. The Government has implemented a programme for renewing the public sector, in which ICT is one instrument, in parallel with changes to organisations and regulations. The public sector must also be a demanding, skilled customer and help to strengthen Norwegian industry's competitive ability. The public sector must be a driving force in this area by being itself in the forefront.

A modern public-administration system

ICT must improve the quality of the public-administration system's production and provision of services. This must take place within the framework of the protection of personal privacy, the rule of law and documentary requirements. In order to stimulate an active, vital democracy, this technology must be used to provide increased insight into the public-administration system's work. The Government will work towards making public services available over the Internet with the aim of creating a public-administration system that is open 24 hours a day. In order to ensure local participation and efficient public services, it is important to have access to localised information that is updated, reliable and nationwide.

The health sector

The health sector is greatly in need of restructuring. New technology is an important means of improving the services available and can also contribute to increased efficiency through a better exchange of information and improved cooperation. An important area of commitment over the next three years will be to further develop the regional health networks, link these together to form a national health network, provide secure access to the Internet and establish a system of national information services.

The transport sector

ICT provides major opportunities for customers, companies and the authorities as regards more efficient systems for information, ticketing, positioning, planning and communication as well as for gathering data on traffic-management.

The authorities, transport companies and customers have to a great extent the same challenges and requirements when it comes to transport telematics. In order to achieve a more efficient transport of people and goods, data must be co-ordinated, standardised and recycled more effectively.

Action – public administration

actor

deadline

5.1.1

Electronic services must be the main solution in the public-administration system's services to users.

AAD

end of 2003

5.1.2

E-commerce must be the first choice for public procurements.

AAD

end of

2003

5.1.3

Electronic executive processing must be the norm and just as accepted as paper-based solutions.

AAD

5.1.4

Access to localised information must be increased through binding cooperation agreements with local authorities.

MD

2001

- the health sector

5.2.1

Define best practices for security architecture and a safe network access in the health network.

SHD

end of 2000

5.2.2

Hospitals must be offered broadband services providing the opportunity to communicate with the primary health service.

SHD

end of

2002

5.2.3

All health regions must have operational telemedical services.

SHD

end of

2002

5.2.4

Improve telemedical rates, so that they encourage the use of telemedical methods to a greater extent.

SHD

end of 2001

5.2.5

Further develop a national centre for telemedicine as a centre of expertise.

SHD and NHD

5.2.6

Establish rules and standards for the use of electronic case records in health services.

SHD

end of 2001

5.2.7

Implement solutions for electronic referrals between hospitals and doctors' surgeries.

SHD

end of 2001

5.2.8

Develop all the most important standards for exchanging messages in the health sector.

SHD

end of 2002

Action – the health sector

actor

deadline

5.2.9

Establish an Internet portal for public information about the social and health sectors.

SHD

by the end of 2001

5.2.10

Make information on treatment, waiting lists, waiting periods and free choice of hospitals available on the Internet.

SHD

by the end of 2001

5.2.11

Put into operation a network-based model for reporting and imparting such information.

SHD

end of

2001

5.2.12

Make data definitions, codes and classifications that ensure the same registration practice for health services available on the health network.

SHD

end of 2002

- the transport sector

5.3.1

Prepare the basis of an overall ICT strategy for the transport sector.

SD

autumn 2000

5.3.2

Focus on R&D and pilot projects to achieve more knowledge of the utilisation of ICT in the transport sector.

SD

2001

5.3.3

Influence the EU/ESA in shaping the European satellite navigation system, Galileo, in order to ensure that the system covers all of Norway and provides the best basis for new applications in the transport sector.

SD

2000

Abbreviations

AADMinistry of Labour and Government Administration

FINMinistry of Finance

JD Ministry of Justice and the Police

KD Ministry of Cultural Affairs

KRD Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development

KUF Ministry of Education, Research and Church Affairs

MD Ministry of the Environment

NHD Ministry of Trade and Industry

SD Ministry of Transport and Communications

SHDMinistry of Health and Social Affairs

UDMinistry of Foreign Affairs

NHO Confederation of Norwegian Business and Industry

LONorwegian Federation of Trade Unions

HSHFederation of Norwegian Commercial and Service Enterprises

Relevant links