A new national Fund will help non-profit projects born to improve Italians' digital skills
To paraphrase a famous quote, now that we're making a digital Italy - or at least that PNRR projects and milestones have been put on track - we need to make digital Italians. And it is not a joke: a general lack of digital skills historically puts Italians in undesiderable positions in many European and international digital rankings. Just to give a significant example, the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) of the European Commission tells us, among other things, that 58% of the Italian population between 16 and 74 years does not have basic digital skills (the average for EU is 42%).
In short, there is a lot to improve. Because this gap prevents some segments of the population from being truly digital citizens like others - that is, from accessing and using PA digital services. And above all because this gap slows Italy's digital development. There is little sense in Digital Transformation, if new technologies and services cannot be used by those who should benefit from them. Citizens as well as businesses.
"PNRR offers many resources for digital infrastructure, such as connectivity and the cloud. But no transformation is a fair one without also investing in people", says Italian Minister for technological innovation and digital transition, Vittorio Colao. That's why Italy created the new Fund for the Digital Republic (Fondo per la Repubblica Digitale): approximately 350 million euros available in the next five years, to be spent for projects aimed specifically at digital training and digital inclusion. These projects will arise from a collaboration among public entities, banking foundations and non-profit organizations.
In the next six months the new Fund will be fully operative and able to publish its tenders, investigate project proposals, select the best ones. An independent scientific committee will monitor and evaluate the effectiveness over time of the funded initiatives.