COMPENDIUM CULTURAL POLICIES AND TRENDS IN EUROPE
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Georgia/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.11 New technologies and digitalisation in the arts and culture

The general state of ICTD in Georgia may be described as "spontaneous computerisation", without any single strategy for development of the sector. The information space in Georgia, though experiencing some progress, is at a transitional stage towards democracy and requires reforms for free access and distribution, reliability of information etc.

Table 5:  Internet retail subscribers, 2010-2013

 

1st   Quarter
  2010

1st   Quarter
  2011

1st   Quarter
  2012

1st Quarter
  2013

DSL   technology

137 036

174 542

206 379

213 045

Fiber-Optic   technology

66 120

93 638

136 955

197 524

EVDO&CDMA   technology

33 334

55 812

61 674

51 567

Wi-Fi   technology

405

1 867

9 108

21 018

Source:  National Communications Committee

Table 6:  Statistical data on mobile phones, 2010-2013

Year

2010

2011

2012

1st Quarter 2013

Total number of mobiles

--

70 813

51 014

125 253

Source:  National Communications Committee

Internet : Subscribers (individuals) according to the companies

 

2013

2014

2015

2016

October 2017

Silknet

202,627

218,915

229,955

252,697

262,857

Caucasus Online

141,068

155,126

151,126

 

 

Magticom

7,857

8,377

5,071

168,690

258,483

New Net

35,058

39,277

41,232

40,268

35,490

CGC

22,397

24,729

25,087

25,590

20,197

Total

409,007

446,424

452,443

487,245

577,027

Source:  National Communications Committee

Internet: subscriber according to technologies (all)

 

Dec   2014

Dec   2015

Dec   2016

October 2017

Fiber

292,915

334,319

392,850

490,534

xDSL

203,233

173,653

145,657

114,039

Wi-Fi

63,403

76,

24

88,049

79,749

CDMA

8,581

5,188

18,245

11,649

LTE

154

11,332

21,614

22,885

Total

568,286

600,516

666,415

718,856

Source: National Communications Committee https://analytics.gncc.ge/ka/statistics/?c=internet&sid=435551&f=subscribers& exp=companies

Increase in the number of Internet users (2016 data)

In 2016, 40% of the population daily used the internet. This data exceeds the 2015 figure by 5%. The number of people who did not use the internet in 2015 (46%) decreased by 3%. The number of people who did not know what the internet is, is 1% of the total number. From 49% of respondents, or those who use the internet at least once a month, 78% use the internet to enter social networks. About 51% of the respondents search the for information on the internet. Out of the same 49%, 28% use the internet for sending and receiving letters, 10% of them are familiar with blogs, 7% play online games, 4% use chat programmes, 3% use forums and 2% use the internet for online purchases and other purposes. Of the 49% of the population, 86% are using Facebook, 42% ​​Odnoklassniki, 13% VKontakte and 5% - Twitter.

Source: Transparency International Georgia: the study was conducted by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers in March, 2016, total 2032 citizens were surveyed. **http://www.cipdd.org                   

National top level domain.ge

With the initiative and support of the Georgian National Communications Commission, Georgia was granted the national top-level domain “.ge” by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). In 2015 the preparatory works were completed for registration of the Internet domain names in the .ge-zone. With the introduction of the .ge-domain it is possible to register full internet domain names with the Georgian “mkhedruli” alphabet.´ Source: http://www.gncc.ge/uploads/other/2/2034.pdf ; https://analytics.gncc.ge/%60%60

Adoption of the Law on Telecommunications (2005) and Law on Independent Regulatory Committees (2005) initiated favourable circumstances for the development of new media.

The Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia intends to use modern technologies for the creation of a full national database of cultural heritage, although this is a project for the future. A similar programme of upgrading museums is under development, although not many museums have websites. In the library sphere the situation is more than critical. The university system also suffers from a lack of development in the ICT sector. Most of the traditional cultural institutions still cannot meet the requirements of the information society.

The Information Systems in Cultural Heritage Management

The first project in Georgia drawing on the European experience of applying GIS for the inventory of cultural heritage was the Tbilisi Pilot Project implemented in 1999-2000, in the scope of the joint programme of the World Bank and the Georgian government implemented with the assistance of the Council of Europe. The methodology elaborated within this project enabled the development of large scale GIS projects for the inventory of urban heritage in Tbilisi, Batumi and Abastumani in 2005-2008. The elaboration of the Historical-Cultural Reference Plans of these historic cities was made possible thanks to the immense data processing and analytical capacity offered by the GIS.

In the scope of Tbilisi and Batumi projects, a special computer programme has been created to manage and process information in digital format. The programme allows integration of attribute and graphical data and is equipped with a comprehensive search tool and a tool for generating different thematic maps.

This GIS based programme has set the model for elaboration of Historical-Cultural Reference Plans in other historic towns and settlements. Moreover, GIS has been increasingly used in the inventory of immovable objects and for creation of cultural heritage protection zones all over the country (e.g. Mtskheta, Kutaisi, Signaghi, Telavi, etc).

As the experience and volume of the digitalised information has been steadily growing in recent years, the need to systematise the information and create an integrated information system for data storage, processing and updating became evident. In 2005-2007, thanks to financial assistance from the Development and Reform Fund of Georgia and UNDP, the MoC launched a project for creation of a unified information system in the field of cultural heritage. The model of the system was elaborated, integrating the different information on cultural heritage (protected zones, immovable and movable listed properties, museum-reserves, etc) and allowing external links to similar systems of different related institutions, e.g. the State Customs Office. The integrated information system represents one of the key instruments for management and planning in the field of cultural heritage. Currently it is being tested and revised to make it efficient in practice.

Significant shifts in the development of new technologies started in 2014; the Georgian Innovation and Technology Agency was established at the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia. www.gita.gov.ge

The mission of the Georgian Innovation and Technology Agency is to create an ecosystem required for the development of innovations and technologies in Georgia; to promote the knowledge and innovation commercialization; to encourage the use of innovations and technologies in all fields of the economy; to create the environment for the growth of innovations and high-tech products export and to develop high-speed internet nationwide.

Agency’s priorities:

  • Infrastructure for innovations (research and technology park, industrial innovations laboratories, iLab, etc.)
  • Commercialization of innovations and technologies
  • High-speed internet for everyone
  • Funding access (mini-grants, innovation vouchers)
  • Development of competitiveness (ToT, etc.)
  • Legislative framework to develop an innovative ecosystem

The first research and technology park and a network of innovation laboratories were created

In 2014, on the basis of three universities jointly collaborating with the private applicable sector, 3 laboratories were created to conduct in teaching:

  • Programming for mobile platforms
  • Creating computer games
  • Computer graphics and visual effects

All labs were equipped with modern techniques. Laboratory staff has undergone additional training, laboratories will be involved in skills competitions organized by the Agency and in creating start-up companies.

The web and mobile applications innovations laboratory ´Geolab´ was created.

The Agency works both with private and educational sectors to continue the development of innovation laboratories on the basis of other educational institutions.

For the development of competitiveness the following has been planned:

  • ToT - Training of trainers in high-tech areas for practice-oriented teaching
  • Programming/ICT
  • Micro-electronics and robotics
  • Computer graphics, 3D modeling
  • Developing computer games
  • Innovative entrepreneurship
  • Competitiveness of private companies
  • Raising science skills for promoting the commercialization of innovations
  • Development of open access ways of aiding remote learning

The purpose of the formation of applied learning and of ´export-oriented´ programming development centers is to have 40.000 specialists in the ICT, high-tech and innovations spheres by 2020.

Institutional support for innovative ecosystem is provided by:

  • The Board of Research and Innovations of Georgia (founded on 03/02/2015. It represents a consultative body to the Government of Georgia, designed to support the development of science, research and innovations).
  • Strategy “Innovative Georgia 2020”, 2016 https://idfi.ge/public/upload/IDFI/2020/Qashibadze2.pdf
  • Law of Georgia on Innovations, adopted 22nd of June 2016, N5501-IIs (SEE Chapter 5.1.10 Other Areas of General Legislation).

Computerization:

  • To develop the use of internet and computer skills for regional populations, the Agency launches the project “Computer for Everyone”.
  • Providing computers to students and young people in regions at a discounted price.
  • The project is implemented together with the company Intel.

The strategic areas of the Culture Strategy 2025, approved in 2016, include “Cultural Infrastructure and New Technologies”:

“Chapter II: Strategic Goals 

Cultural Infrastructure and New Technologies

Goal: The infrastructure of culture is developed, necessary professional environment is provided and the application of new technologies is ensured. 

5.2 Objective: The development and effective application of new technologies, the integration of culture into the digital realm contributes to the strengthening of the cultural sector, intensification of creative processes, creation of innovative products and services.

Tasks:

  • Support the establishment, development and effective application of new technologies and innovation in the cultural sector by using a variety of measures, (e.g. elaboration of appropriate training programmes in digital marketing and audience development, new technologies; also by offering incentive mechanisms, awareness-raising campaigns, etc.);
  • Actively support efforts directed towards the computerisation and internet connectivity of cultural establishments and organisations in order to integrate the sector into the digital world and ensure its development according to the contemporary standards;
  • Support the establishment of the ways for electronic correspondence and exchange of documentation in order to realise effective governance of the cultural sector, mitigate negative impact on the natural environment (e.g. reduce the demand on paper and etc.);
  • In accordance with the principles of e-governance, provide support for public organisations of culture to integrate them into the internet, set-up effective web representation and introduce electronic services in order to improve public access to culture and increase the society’s engagement, ensure that information and knowledge is shared and communication is more efficient;
  • Support the creation of digital products and services (e.g.: programmes, applications, etc.) by the institutions of the cultural sector, which shall in return lead to the development of innovative and user-friendly services;
  • Actively uphold information/knowledge sharing among various sectors concerning the new technologies and innovations, enhance inter-sectoral communication, which shall lead to new opportunities for cultural organisations, raise the administrative efficiency and effectiveness, reduce costs, simplify bureaucratic procedures, etc.;
  • Actively support the digitalisation processes in order to accomplish the tasks of protecting, maintaining and promoting the national culture and of raising the economic potential of the cultural sector;
  • Support specialists of the new technologies in creating new media art (e.g. digital art, video games, computer animation, etc.) and in introducing elements of culture in other types of digital products (e.g. mobile applications, computer software, etc.).´ 

In accordance with the Culture Strategy 2025 priority “Improvement of Cultural Governance” the following was created in 2017:

  • Georgian Cultural Heritage Data Management, Geoinformation System and GIS Portal http://memkvidreoba.gov.ge/
  • Information system of Georgian museums collections www.egmc.gov.ge

Chapter published: 13-02-2019

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