***The ICC, Birmingham, 22 June 2004***

A conference examining the future horizon for community information and e-Government/e-citizen interaction will take place on 22 June at the ICC, Birmingham. Designed for those with an interest in citizen’s information in an e-government context – particularly e-Government officers or e-Government champions, the event is being organised by seamlessUK, the service which provides easy access to the best in local and national community information.

Key speakers include: Julian Bowrey (ODPM), Mary Rowlatt (Essex County Council), Professor John Domingue (Open University Knowledge Media Institute) and Gunnar Urtegaard (Norway).

Community information is emerging as a priority area for e-Government[1]. There is a growing emphasis on the role which community information can play in implementing e-Government targets across a range of initiatives in order to save resources and improve delivery of new services, matched by an increase in spending in the area.

seamlessUK, a project funded under the NOF-Digitisation programme, was set up to enable the delivery of integrated community information services, delivered by local and regional partnerships, connected to a national infrastructure. Since its inception, seamlessUK has been at the forefront of developments in community information. A key building block for community information developments, seamlessUK already has 13 council and borough members and integrates information from local council community information services and other local resources alongside high profile national information provider partners such as BBC, LearnDirect, AdviceGuide from Citizens Advice and nhs.uk. Recent enhancements to the service include GIS search facilities.

The conference marks the culmination of the NOF-funded project and the start of a self-sustaining seamlessUK service. Continued development of community information post 2005 is a key theme of both seamlessUK and the conference, to ensure that services continue to improve in the long-term. Conference sessions will outline a provisional ‘roadmap’ for research, development and innovation in community information.

The day-long conference will cover:

*e-innovation and community information,

*Seamless discovery of community information including an overview of the seamlessUK project

*Joining up community information components including data sources and location-based technology

*The learning community: tailoring services to allow individual citizens and community groups to acquire the knowledge they need

*The cultural community: cultural heritage online

*The multilingual community

*The semantic web in community information

*The ambient community 2010 – a technical futurist’s viewpoint

*The standards horizon – looking ahead

Book your place now, from fay.bartlett@essexcc.gov.uk Refreshments are provided and there is no charge to attend but places are limited, so book soon.

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seamlessUK is the development of a national structure of community information portals – a locally branded citizen’s gateway for each council partner. seamlessUK is nationally scaleable and hospitable to all major content (information and services) providers and standards. The project software enables multilingual users and visually impaired citizens to access sources of information and complies with e-GIF and e-GMS standards. seamlessUK partners include: Bexley, Brighton and Hove, Bromley, Croydon, East Sussex, Essex, Greenwich, Kent, Lambeth, London Borough of Lewisham, Medway, North Lincolnshire and the London Borough of Southwark. The latest service introduction is a GIS-based geographic and regional search service.



Catherine Dhanjal, TheAnswer Ltd
Tel: 0208 655 0953/0794 166 9925

Published on: 12:00AM on 29th April 2004