World Wide Web Consortium Launches Spanish Office
W3C strengthens its presence in the Spanish speaking world
http://www.w3.org/ -- 20 October 2003 -- The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) today launches the W3C Spanish Office, based at the Fundación para el Fomento de la Investigación Científica y la Tecnología (FICYT) in Oviedo, Spain. Although the primary goal of this Office is to be dedicated to outreach in Spain, this is also the first W3C Office with active contacts with Spanish-speakers worldwide. It joins the complement of W3C European Offices in The Benelux Countries, Finland, Germany & Austria; Greece; Hungary, Italy; Sweden; and the United Kingdom and Ireland.
The opening ceremony is a public event, with presentations from the W3C Team including:
- Sr. D. Vicente Alvarez-Areces, President of the Principality of Asturias, "Welcome to all attendees"
- Sr. D. Luis Iturrioz-Viñuela, President of the FICYT, "The role and expectations of FICYT as host of the W3C Spanish Office"
- Dr. Daniel Dardailler, W3C Associate Chairman for Europe, "World Wide Web Consortium"
- Dr. Marie-Claire Forgue, W3C European Communications Officer, "The W3C Process"
- Dr. Ivan Herman, W3C Head of Offices, "W3C Network of Offices"
Spain's IT Industry Exhibiting New Growth
The Spanish information technology (IT) sector is currently experiencing strong growth. In parallel with the development of the Information Society, the use of mobile phones has reached 65% of the population, with 94% of the schools and 31% of homes having direct access to Internet. Spain is second in Europe in broadband penetration in homes, with a rate of 18%. In a promising sign for industrial growth, expenditures in information and communication technologies (ICT) have grown by 50% from 1995 to 2001, shifting from 3.7% of the gross domestic product (GDP) to 5.1% by 2001, according to the the Spanish Ministry of Science of Technology.
Recently, the Spanish government has also launched the España.es program. The aim of the program is to improve the use of the Web in administration, education, and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Complementary España.es measures are focused on territorial cohesion, citizen access, development of new content for the Web, and communication strategies to foster the use of the Web in general. The España.es program has an expected investment of over 1M€ for the years 2004-2005.
Until recently, and in contrast to the importance of the Spanish economy in Europe, W3C had only three Spanish Members. However, this is rapidly changing. The W3C Office in Spain has already brought in nine new Members, and the Spanish community is gaining a better representation. By opening this new Office, W3C hopes to increase its presence in this important area, and benefit from the results of Spanish industry and academia in its own work.
FICYT Provides W3C Connection and Outreach to Spain and Latin America
FICYT carries out and disseminates applied research in information technologies, both self-financed and on behalf of the private and public sectors. It is a non-profit institution whose goal is to co-operate with industry on important areas of research and development. FICYT's activities include:
- Undertaking and supporting research and development projects
- Awarding individual grants to researchers and scientists
- Promoting and disseminating technology transfer and collaboration among the scientific, education and research communities and the private and public sectors
- Contributing to the development of the Information Society.
Furthermore, FICYT has an important network of contacts in Latin America. The new W3C Spanish Office will be of help in coordinating with Latin American communities by also disseminating information in Latin America, encouraging and co-ordinating new translations to Spanish, build up press contacts, etc.
As a vendor-neutral Member of W3C, and with an extensive contact network and shared objectives for Web development, FICYT meets the criteria for W3C Office selection.
About W3C Offices
As its Members work to realize the full potential of the Web, W3C partners with regional organizations wishing to further W3C's mission. The W3C Offices assist with promotion efforts in local languages, help broaden W3C's geographical base, and encourage international participation in W3C Activities. W3C currently has 14 Offices in Australia, the Benelux countries, Germany and Austria, Finland, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Korea, Morocco, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom and Ireland.
About the World Wide Web Consortium [W3C]
The W3C was created to lead the Web to its full potential by developing common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability. It is an international industry consortium jointly run by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT CSAIL) in the USA, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered in France and Keio University in Japan. Services provided by the Consortium include: a repository of information about the World Wide Web for developers and users, and various prototype and sample applications to demonstrate use of new technology. To date, nearly 400 organizations are Members of the Consortium. For more information see http://www.w3.org/