National Digital Coalition will promote wider use of modern technologies

08 November 2013, Last updated at, 12:14 EET
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Today, during the ICT 2013: Create, Connect, Grow conference in Vilnius, which was organized by the European Commission, the Ministry of Transport and Communications, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a memorandum of cooperation regarding the creation of the National Digital Coalition in Lithuania was signed. The memorandum was also signed by Neelie Kroes, the Vice-President of the EC.

The institutions which coordinate the creation of knowledge-based society in Lithuania, develop society's digital skills, and train IT specialists agreed to cooperate for a common goal – greater employment of citizens and more effective use of digital opportunities.

“In December 2012, the EC announced the Grand Coalition on Digital Skills and Jobs initiative and proposed that the EU countries solve these issues with specific and coordinated actions. Since the same problems are of crucial importance in Lithuania as well, the association “Langas į ateitį“ (Window to the Future) initiated the creation of the National Digital Coalition. 3 ministries, 2 universities, and 6 NGOs agreed to contribute their experience and join activities to quicken the solution of today's topicality – the development of the skills required for the labour market and decreasing the lack of IT specialists,” said Loreta Križinauskienė, Director-General of "Langas į ateitį", the association which will coordinate the activities of the new coalition.

The National Digital Coalition was founded by 11 Lithuanian institutions to promote digital skills in Lithuania: the association “Langas į ateitį”, the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, the Ministry of Education and Science, the association Infobalt, Vilnius University, Kaunas University of Technology, the National Association of Distance Education (NADE), the Lithuanian Computer Society, ECDL Lithuania, the Lithuanian County Public Libraries Association, and the Lithuanian IT Teachers' Association (LInMA).

“Looking at the future of digital technology, we have to search for innovative solutions today by joining the forces of public and private sectors. I’m sure that the creation of the National Digital Coalition is a prerequisite for future practical activities to improve the digital skills of Lithuanians and encourage our youth to choose IT studies. I believe that this coalition’s future is bright because Lithuania has what it takes to succeed in the field of IT,” said Rimantas Sinkevičius, Minister of Transport and Communications.

According to the Minister, the coalition's aims are fully in line with the goals of the EU Digital Agenda. Thus the Ministry of Transport and Communications, being responsible for the implementation of the coalition, became a partner of said coalition in Lithuania in order to reach the following goals with experienced governmental, educational, and non-governmental organizations faster – to substantially decrease the shortage of IT specialists, improve working conditions in various sectors, and help the citizens obtain and constantly improve the IT skills needed for employment.
The coalition stressed that it wanted to attract as many young people as possible to choose information and communications technologies and other studies and professions in science studies. What is more, students of other study programmes should also obtain IT skills. The partners think that the constant information of society about the importance of digital skills and their availability through modern IT is a crucial goal as well.

The National Coalition’s partners obligate to cooperate when organizing the documents of information society expansion, initiatives, and projects which demonstrate the benefits of IT and promote citizens to use IT services. The partners will invite other businesses, educational, public administration, non-governmental, and social companies, institutions, and organizations with similar goals to join their cause.

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