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Krakow-Malopolska Collaborates with Cisco on Transforming Poland’s 2nd-Largest Region into a Competitive Knowledge Economy


86 Percent of Polish Citizens Would Like More Local Government Services to Be Available over the Internet

KRAKOW, Poland.- Cisco today announced its intent to collaborate with the city of Krakow and the Malopolska region on a number of initiatives to strengthen the region’s economic competitiveness through the strategic adoption of information and communications technologies (ICTs). Potential initiatives under discussion include support for building a knowledge economy, increasing entrepreneurial capacity and technical skills, and introducing second-generation e-government services using the broadband network as a platform.

The collaboration furthers the local government strategy of using the potential of information and communication networks to accelerate social and economic growth. According to a study by Illuminas Global, Polish cities can increase their competitiveness and improve their social cohesiveness by taking advantage of such networks. Even citizens with limited or no experience with the Internet expect to be using online services in the future. The study found that 74 percent of the business respondents and 86 percent of citizens said they want local governments to provide more information and services online, citing the areas of taxation and employee services, permits and licenses, as well as healthcare and education.

“We want to take advantage of this opportunity to strengthen our region and transform it into a dynamic and sustainable environment for business innovation and cultural expansion with an enhanced standard of living. One of our main priorities to this end is to use ICT to drive productivity and competitiveness in close cooperation with technology leaders like Cisco. We want to be able to take advantage of worldwide technology expertise and best-practice sharing to map the most suitable e-transformation initiatives for our citizens and businesses,” said Marek Nawara, marshal of the Malopolska region.

Cisco plans to work closely with Krakow and the Malopolska region to identify ways in which it can support the region in the further development of e-government services and help map out a portfolio for second-generation e-services to address the needs of government employees, citizens and businesses. The three parties also intend to work together on initiatives related to economic development, with a specific focus on accelerating Krakow’s ambition to become a European services center.

The cooperation also aims to focus on the development of entrepreneurial capacity and networking skills to turn the region’s well-educated youth into a competitive workforce able to take advantage of rapid market and technology transitions. To this end, Cisco will work with Krakow’s leading universities -- AGH University of Science and Technology, Krakow University of Technology, Jagellonian University, and the University of Economics -- to build on two Cisco programs for the region, the Cisco Entrepreneur Institute and Cisco Networking Academy®.

The Cisco Entrepreneur Institute is aimed at building entrepreneurial capacity for small and medium-sized businesses and helping them to connect with experienced business leaders locally and internationally. The Networking Academy is no stranger to the region, as the first one was opened in 2000 in Krakow. Almost 1,000 students have since graduated from the 11 academies operating in Malopolska region, trained in Cisco certified networking and technical skills. The cooperation will determine how best to expand the program in order to address the ICT skills gap in the region.

“Krakow and Malopolska are obviously leading the way in accelerating the creation of a longer-term competitive economy. Building further on initiatives such as the Malopolska Gateway and the ’digital office’ citizens’ portal, the local governments of Krakow and Malopolska are already thinking beyond facilitation of Internet access and e-services to build a productive workforce and to stimulate innovation using the Internet. Cisco is proud to reinforce its commitment and participate in taking the region to the next level of a sustainable knowledge economy,” said Kaan Terzioglu, vice president for Central and Eastern Europe at Cisco.


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