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E015 Digital Ecosystem: the results and a development as well as governance pact

Region promotes environment that has produced apps and interconnections between different bodies

redazione open innovation

redazione open innovation

Regione Lombardia

More than 100 applications available to the public, 470 digital interconnections created between different bodies, simplification of data exchange between public administrations, adoption also outside Lombardy, international recognition including that of NIST -National Institute of Standards and Technology- USA.
These are some of the numbers and data that testify to the success of E015, the Digital Ecosystem implemented by the Lombardy Region, and that accompany the approval of the new Convention framework for the development and governance of this innovative digital environment.

The new convention framework  

The go-ahead for the document was given by the Regional Council at its meeting on 12 July 2021, at the proposal of the Councillor for Education, Universities, Research, Innovation and Simplification, Fabrizio Sala (see attached resolution).
The new convention framework indicates the future development of the E015 project, a digital ecosystem launched in 2013 in anticipation of Expo 2015 through an agreement between Confindustria, Camera di Commercio di Milano Monza Brianza Lodi, Confcommercio Imprese per l'Italia, Assolombarda, Confcommercio Milano Lodi Monza Brianza with technical and scientific coordination by CEFRIEL - Politecnico di Milano. The Lombardy Region joined the project and became the implementing body.

How it works: E015 API and the new value of data

As CEFRIEL recalls in the document presenting the results of the project, E015 was "the first active and functioning example of a Digital Ecosystem, which makes it possible to promote and govern the exchange of data between different subjects, public and private, within a regulated environment.
From a technical point of view, information sharing takes place through the publication of "E015 APIs": i.e. streams of data and functionality shared within the E015 Ecosystem, which can be requested by other participants to build 'digital relationships' and create new digital 'products' such as Apps or websites, information totems and monitoring dashboards for internal use.
The peculiarity of the Digital Ecosystem created thereby gives new value to the data owned by the participating parties. Those who share an "E015 API" do not lose control of their data but, thanks to E015, an organisation or company has the opportunity to unlock value from their databases, making them a useful bargaining chip for building business relationships.

Blockchain integration also simplifies processes and facilitates citizen interaction with the public administration.

The adoption of the E015 Digital Ecosystem model makes it possible to directly link the databases of the various Public Administrations, automating data checks: citizens are no longer required to manually enter the information already held by the PA several times.

E015 in numbers

To date, the E015 Ecosystem - also used by other territories: in Veneto, Turin and Florence - is a digital environment to which more than 680 subjects have adhered (through the signing of a specific free contract, 59% of which are private individuals), which have produced more than 170 information flows (E015 APIs), more than 100 applications available to the public and about 470 application interconnections (E015 digital relations) to convey content in a whole series of areas through E015 applications.
More than half of the digital reports in the E015 Ecosystem or 52% relate to Mobility and Transport, followed by Culture and Tourism - a growing sector with over 200 digital reports - but there are also applications for Environment, Health and Safety.
In particular, the Lombardy Region, exploiting the potential of the digital environment E015 has created 22 E015 API flows shared and integrated within different solutions of the territory, as well as several initiatives based on E015 such as Blockchain trials applied to the Food Chain and Free Nurseries, the Emergency Dashboard, the Digital Ecosystem of Tourism, the mapping of charging infrastructure for Electric Mobility, Info Aria, Sport in the Mountains.

The strengths

The value of E015 has been acknowledged in studies such as the NIST - National Institute of Standards and Technology - USA, which mentioned E015 as one of the six successful working cases in the definition of a Framework for Smart Cities and the JRC - Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, which evaluated E015 as the main best practice at national and European level in the document Application Programming Interfaces in Government.

The Convention that initiated the E015 project had already been extended, the previous one expiring this year.

With this in mind, the choice of the participants in the previous Convention was to continue to enhance the innovative experience of the E015 Digital Ecosystem and to give continuity to the organisational, technological and cooperation system that distinguishes it, in line with the trends of the API economy.
The new Convention framework, in continuity with the previous one, renews the agreement for the promotion of the Digital Ecosystem until 30 April 2023. The Lombardy Region, which continues to be the implementing party, is committed to coordinating the overall development of the Ecosystem, allocating a total of €300,000 (€100,000 for 2021, €150,000 for 2022 and €50,000 for 2023).

An evolving project

This continues the experience of E015, the approach of which is still considered innovative today. Among other things, the E015 Digital Ecosystem enables a 'Digital First' approach, requiring a 'digital return' (i.e. the sharing of an E015 API) from those who receive concessions, participate in calls for tenders, obtain public funding, generating a virtuous circle in service innovation, the birth of start-ups and the valuable use of innovative technologies of Augmented Reality, Machine Learning and the Internet of Things.
Thanks to the E015 Digital Ecosystem, the Lombardy Region is an enabler and promoter of technology transfer in the innovation of products and services.
The model is also constantly evolving to meet new needs and seize the opportunities offered by new technologies. In particular, future objectives are to further develop digital relations with a specific governance for vertical sectors or supply chains, which stimulates participation in the underlying general enabling ecosystem, according to a 'communicating vessels' model; and to launch pilot projects to stimulate their use in new sectors.
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