Areas of interest

BMI have started their activities towards better understanding of significance of ICT for Public Administrations and modern Democracy from the year 1998, when has initiated the first national conference on Internet for Public Administration and first high level political Round Table On the Way to Information Society. In the year 2000 BMI launched a pilot project “Send e-mail to your parliament representative” in order to support direct democracy and citizens engagement.
We share the view, that e-Government is more likely a technologically mediated innovation in political and administrative practice, transforming the way governments interact with their citizens. According to the last eGovernment ministerial conference in Italian Como in July 2003, the citizens’ involvement is still at the very beginning and need to be widely promoted in order to improve European eDemocracy. The use of eGovernment promises to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of government and radically alter its relationship with the public, that´s why most countries have now set targets for the implementation of e-government and a wide variety of projects have been tested and established. During late 90s, most Administrations in OECD countries have released their e-government strategies. Each e-government strategy is supported by its own framework policies.
The key stakeholders here, above Public Administrations, are also Citizens and Business: Citizens aims at accessing e-government services which provide device independence, which is a challenge for the integration of different user interface technologies. Businesses expect that every relevant service delivery to companies will be conducted by electronic mean. One of such policies is the interoperability framework, strongly supported by European Commission in order to inspire partners not only from Europe to share interoperable solutions, applications and systemsl
In order to promote the best solutions BMI has joined the E-FORUM IST project, which is analyzing the implementation of the listed e-Government Services in the European context and PRELUDE IST project, dealing with different aspects of e-Government.
This topic is going to become one of the key issues in the forthcoming period, as Europe is transforming into the Information Society for All, without any Digital Divide, as it is announced in eEurope strategic documents.
BMI is working from 2000 at the topic of Internet use by persons with special needs including disabled. We tried to find common problems in ICT use for different groups of disadvantaged people, common barriers and possible opportunities, inspite of the fact, that communication with those people is very hard for those, who has no similar troubles in their life. After a period of some misunderstanding, when BMI was mapping the real situation on this field in the Czech Republic, we managed to start a dialog and co-operation with a range of units and organizations of disabled and working with disabled. Association of Information Systems for persons with special needs was set and a draft project of a comprehensive portal HELPNET for persons with special needs was prepared by a group of partners under coordination of BMI.
Five professional meetings and events (INSPO annual Conference) were organized in Prague Congress Centre in order to exchange views and experiences, and with an objective to create a platform for lobbing and communication with National Public Administration.
There is a lot of examples in the Czech Republic, that Internet really gives a chance to work and communicate for a wide scale of persons with special needs, and that in the Czech Republic those persons are very active and advanced in the use of Internet and would like to be involved not only in every day life, but also in decision making process with the use of all kind of e-Services in a modern democracy.
The topic of e-Inclusion is wider, of cause, and there are other groups of citizens, who has specific barriers in the use of all advantages of Information Society and ICT, as citizens in isolated mountain areas, seniors and women, especially mothers of small children.
In order to look deeper into the specific pull of problems of female part of society, a new proposal is under preparation with a working name Women in eGovernment.
BMI will be glad to find some active partner for future projects on e-Inclusion and activities towards mentioned groups of citizens.

Supporting and promoting of the better use of the internet for the development of companies is one of the main directions of BMI activities from the year 1998.

We share the common approach, that Internet electronic commerce or e-business includes electronic trading of physical goods and of intangibles such as information. This includes all the trading steps such as online marketing, ordering, payment, and support for delivery. Electronic commerce includes the electronic provision of services, such as after-sales support or online legal advice. Internet electronic commerce also includes electronic support for collaboration between companies, such as collaborative on-line design and engineering, or virtual business consultancy teams. Electronic commerce can be between businesses and consumers (B2C), business-to-business (B2B), business-to-administrations (B2A, or B2G business to governments) and consumer-to-consumer (C2C).
The wide range of forms of e-commerce or e-business illustrates that it makes little sense to come up with a restrictive definition of electronic commerce but also that there is likely not to be a single unique definition. In this context we will work with a broad understanding of what the information economy or electronic commerce is about, namely "doing business electronically"(Paul Timmers, E - DG INFSO, Viena Lectures, 2000)
Researches from BMI, who were in contact with small and medium sized companies, were quite interested, how SMEs will managed to deal with e-Business phenomena. Participating in a range of events, organised by European Commission in frame of eEUROPE Go Digital initiative, BMI had realized a 2 years national project E-Business Roadshow.
Results of the research at more, than 900 Czech SMEs from the year 2002 present unique data on e-business development at SMEs with less, than 100 employees.
In February and May 2002 there were several Go Digital events, organised by Commission, in order to highlight an important issues regarding the status of e-business within European SMEs and the implications for support activities. There are some conclusions and next steps:
1) The distance between the e-laggards and the e-pioneers is widening and there are signs that this capability gap is beginning to constrain the whole integration process. Helping these reluctant users up the first rungs of the e-adoption ladder should therefore be one of the main policy priorities.

2) The key issue in implementing e-business is not technology but cultural change: SMEs have to be motivated by commercial drivers and be able to make informed investment decisions. They are looking for business cases that allow them to make practical, incremental steps with realistic financial returns.

3) In recognition of this, national and regional initiatives have extended beyond general awareness into offering more customised and in-depth support. This has required major investments in marketing and advisory skills.

4) Existing IST take-up projects are already making a substantial contribution to the GoDigital initiative. Leveraging their results further will require careful attention to the packaging of business cases and a more professional approach to dissemination and marketing. Projects' best route to market is likely to be through local/regional partners (catalysts) who already have strong relationships with local SMEs.