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  • The University of Alicante creates a portal for efficient and open data management

The University of Alicante creates a portal for efficient and open data management promotes transparency in governance and entrepreneurship through the development of automated information applications.

In the picture, from left to right, Francisco Maciá, Manuel Palomar and Andrés Fuster during the presentation of 

Alicante 9 April 2014

The University of Alicante has opened up its data portal ( this morning, whose main objective is to increase the level of transparency and accountability to society. The ceremony was chaired by the UA President, Manuel Palomar, accompanied by the Vice President for Information Technology, Francisco Maciá and the Director of the counterpart office, Andrés Fuster. One of the values of the new portal, apart from making the data available for the public is to provide easy accessible rationalised automated information through customised IT applications.

The University President explained that the new portal is part of the technology policy developed within the Strategic Plan of the University of Alicante. According to Palomar "We are committed to developing several actions on information transparency, information reuse and participation of the university community and civil society, in which technology is related to governance”. In this sense, the University President has stressed on the relevance of the "alignment of the entire university community with this strategic working area to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of resources”.


Creating assets and employment

During the presentation, they have all agreed that one of the main values of is that "it allows the possibility of opening a new business market from the talent of infomediaries who, with very little investment and from a multidisciplinary approach, can build applications that create assets and make open data more useful and accessible” so that “the scope of use of this information -they  insist- reaches the whole society”.

Francisco Maciá stated that "opening data to society reflects a great commitment which implies greater participation of both the university community and society at large". Meanwhile, Andrés Fuster has been conducting  the browsing of the new portal, which starts with a growth-oriented data catalogue, depending on the demands generated”, he said. Among the first data included in the catalogue of the new portal, Palomar highlighted the public exposure of the budget settlement, something completely new to this date. The information displays economic, registration academic performance and administrative data, among others.

In order to speed up this process, a series of actions will be implemented from the month of May, which will start with the announcement of a contest on ideas for the development of applications. Andrés Fuster insisted on the open and multidisciplinary nature of this contest, as "having bright ideas does not require a technology-oriented training but a need" and he gave the example of the applications of cheap gas stations generated from the publication of public prices by the Government of Spain. In this regard, Francisco Maciá  explained that another asset %u200B%u200Bof the new website is that it is in line with the national policies on open data, in agreement with European guidelines as well as with  the existing line of the Spanish University Presidents Conference (CRUE), from its sectoral committee for new technologies, which increase the reuse of information significantly.

The second action, scheduled for September, is a competition for application developers from the previous ideas. In this sense, Fuster gave us as example: one of the applications on rental housing offers, which has been developed by the Computing Service and allows even to see them on a map, with distances, prices and availability.

Finally, in November, a conference on Open Data will be held, where the evolution of this Portal will be analysed.

The Research Group WAKE , Web and Knowledge, from the Department of Computing Languages %u200B%u200Band Systems is behind the Portal research group and responsible for the scientific direction of the project. In this sense, the University President highlighted the relevance of the transfer of knowledge and participation of the university community in implementing the strategic plan through its research groups.

The Vice President for Information Technology explained the various lines that make up the the UA strategic plan, where the implementation of open data portal is included. According to Macia, these actions go through the application of technology in all areas of the university, from the design of a new website more focused on society to the implementation of an eGovernment strategy, going through its application to the teaching activity or the creation of a UA Cloud , the first one in a Spanish university.



Sound bites by Manuel Palomar, Francisco Maciá and Andrés Fuster 



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