The aim of the European Commission’s Sharing and Reuse Awards Contest is to raise awareness about the benefits of sharing and reuse of IT solutions in the public sector. A total of €100 000 has been awarded to public administrations that have realised benefits from sharing IT solutions and whose solutions have a potential for wider reuse in Europe.
The public announcement of the winners took place during the Awards Ceremony at the Sharing & Reuse Conference on 29 March in Lisbon, Portugal. First and second prizes of €15,000 and €10,000 respectively have been awarded to the winning teams in each category. Solutions in third and fourth places received a certificate of excellence.
All the public administrations whose solutions were shortlisted were given an opportunity to present them at the conference. The presentations will be made available soon.
In total, 118 applications were received, out of which 96 fulfilled the eligibility criteria. The Evaluation Committee (consisting of four subcommittees) shortlisted 17 best solutions.
How did the contest work?
The Sharing and Reuse Awards Contest was open for submissions between 8 July and 28 October 2016. All submitted solutions were screened against the eligibility criteria between November 2016 and January 2017 by the Evaluation Committee consisting of staff members working for the European Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament.
Solutions were competing in the following four categories:
- Successful case of collaboration to develop and provide common IT solutions across borders;
- Successful case of collaboration to develop and provide common IT solutions at the national level;
- Successful case of collaboration to develop and provide common IT solutions at the regional level;
- Successful case of collaboration to develop and provide common IT solutions at the local level.
An Evaluation Committee assessed submitted solutions against these criteria:
- Solution design: What technologies is it based on? What is the architecture of the solution? Is it scalable, extendable? Does it reuse other services / software solutions or standards / open specifications? What license model is used?
- Solution governance: Which organisations, institutions and countries are involved in the solution’s governance process? How is the solution’s development and provision financed?
- Impact/results: How does your solution help public administrations? What benefits does your solution bring to its stakeholders, users? What is the cost / benefit?
- Extent of reuse: How many administrations haven been using this solution and what is the extent of their use? Are there concrete plans for future reuse? How easily could your solution be implemented in a context different from the one in which it was initially developed?
- Sustainability: How is the sustainability of your solution guaranteed? Can continuous support be provided? Will the solution be further maintained.
Why is it important to share and reuse IT solutions in the public sector?
Reusing high-quality, modern and tested solutions allows public administrations to provide to citizens and businesses in Europe better and more cost-efficient services. At the same time, collaborating on common solutions facilitates knowledge-sharing and the exchange of good practice among public administrations.
By developing common standards, common ways of exchanging information and by reusing each other’s IT solutions, public administrations also contribute to better interoperability. That is, they increase their ability to exchange information with each other and understand the exchanged data.
Finally, the sharing and reuse of solutions can increase competition – it enables more enterprises to provide IT services to public administrations.