Concept
of the X International IT Forum with the participation of BRICS and the SCO countries

General Provisions

Global economy is changing and becoming digital. New technologies come to the industries and facilitate their high growth rates. At the same time, transformation of traditional industries under the influence of digital technologies develops mutual ties between business, the state and citizens.

As the digitalization processes accelerate, national economies and billions of citizens of the BRICS countries become increasingly dependent on the operation of basic digital platforms, and the strength of the established monopolies will multiply as the digital transformation processes of traditional sectors of economy accelerate, as noticed by Russian Ministry of Communications. Therefore, we need joint support for the design of alternative digital platforms.

Declaration of the third meeting of BRICS countries' communication ministers, held on July 27, 2017 in Hangzhou, China, is focused on the following priorities for the development of information and communication technologies (ICT):

 

To assess the readiness of states to move to a digital economy, the World Economic Forum (WEF) proposes to use the international network readiness index, the latest version of which was published in 2016. The index estimates use of digital technologies by countries and the factors that influence digital economy development.

Russia ranks 41. Among the BRICS and SCO countries present in the index, only Kazakhstan is higher (39th place).

Networked Readiness Index

Country

Position in the Index

Value

Kazakhstan

39.

4.6

Russia

41.

4.5

China

59.

4.2

South Africa

65

4.2

Brazil

72.

4.0

India

91.

3.8

Kyrgyzstan

95.

3.7

Pakistan

110

3.4

Tadjikistan

114

3.3

Uzbekistan

n/a

n/a


Unfortunately, the gap between our countries and the leaders of the index is still significant. The top five are Singapore, Finland, Sweden, Norway and the USA — have indicators of 5.8-6.0. The reason of this gap, among other things, is a weak regulatory and legal framework.

Russia dropped to 45th place despite the improvement in its index value in the rating of the development of information and communication technologies ICT Development Index 2017 (IDI 2017), which is issued by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The IDI value is the arithmetic mean of the three sub-indices. The first characterizes the population's access to ICT, the second — its use, the third — practical skills of working with ICT.

The index of Russia is 7.07, while the indices of the leading countries: Iceland, Korea, Switzerland, Denmark and Great Britain are from 8.98 to 8.65. As for BRICS and the SCO countries, their indicators are lower than Russian ones.

ICT Development Index

Country

Position in the Index

Value

Russia

45.

7.07

Kazakhstan

52.

6.79

Brazil

66.

6.12

China

80.

5.6

South Africa

92.

4.96

Uzbekistan

95.

4.9

Kyrgyzstan

109.

4.37

India

134.

3.03

Pakistan

148

2.42

Tadjikistan

n/a

n/a


However, the index does not take into account geographic and demographic characteristics of countries that impede ICT development.

Thus, in order to achieve new results, the BRICS and SCO countries need to work on overcoming the digital divide, increasing investment for infrastructure development and improving the quality of services so that advanced information and communication technologies become available to all people.

For example, the United Kingdom,one of the leaders of the IDI index, plans to launch a national project to provide Internet access at speeds of 10 Mbit / s. It is expected that by 2020, households and businesses across the country will have a legal right to a high-speed broadband network. In which case, Internet providers are legally required to provide a high-speed network to anyone who asks for it, regardless of location. 

The European Union (EU) plans to launch at least 5 thousand free Wi-Fi access points by 2020. The corresponding program was adopted by the European Parliament in September 2017. The project is estimated at € 120 million. According to representatives of the Ministry of Economy of Germany, open and free Internet is needed for the successful development of digital society.

In Russia, according to the key indicators of the "Digital Economy" program in 2024, 97% of households should have broadband Internet access at a speed of at least 100 Mbps. 

 

At the same time, importance of advanced technologies in the transformation of social, economic and sectoral areas and in building up the national potential of ICT requires joint efforts for their development. Cooperation in innovative projects in such areas as Internet of things, artificial intelligence, block chain, biometrics, augmented reality, robotization and others, as well as accelerated development of basic technologies, can give an additional impetus to the digital transformation of the economies of the BRICS and SCO countries.

It is expected that by 2020, 60% of enterprises will develop strategies for transition to a digital economy, which will be implemented. By 2019, 40% of digital transformation projects will involve artificial intelligence (AI) services, and by 2021 the AI ​​elements will be used in 75% of commercial applications for enterprises.

At least a quarter of the companies in the Global 2000 ranking will extensively use block chain services by 2021 in order to increase confidence in digital technologies. By 2020, 25% of the world's leading banks, almost 30% of manufacturers and retailers and 20% of medical organizations will use blok chain in their activities.

Distributed Ledger Technologies are applied in a wide variety of industries For example, existing centralized multi-level energy systems are complex and expensive, while a block chain could simplify interaction, linking directly producers and consumers of energy (primarily electricity). This is especially important for power systems in which so-called requesters operate, serving both consumers and energy producers.

An example is the Brooklyn Microgrid project of the American company TransActiveGrid. The essence of it is as follows. Micro network, equipped with a battery storage system, allows households, both using and not using solar panels, to trade electricity with their neighbors. The first electricity purchase and sale transactions in Brooklyn Microgrid took place in April 2016. A similar project was launched in the Netherlands by Oneup.

According to Indigo Advisory, the total number of cases of using block chain technologies in the energy sector has already exceeded 100. Most of them are in Europe, and more specifically - in Germany. In 2017, RWE and E.ON, together with other European concerns, organized the Enerchain block chain project on online trading in the wholesale electricity and gas market in Europe.

Trade could also get advantages out of the use of block chain. Manufacturers of food products and household goods, including Unilever, Mars, Valio and Reckitt Benckiser, agreed with INS company about the launch of pilot sales through a new digital block chain platform. It is expected that this will allow buyers to order products directly from manufacturers, which in the end will save up to 30% of the value of goods.

Russian company Doctor Smart found an application of block chain in medicine.  It presented a platform of remote consultations in the field of healthcare, which uses the technology of block chain and artificial intelligence. Developers have implemented an automated system for checking the prescribed medicines and recommendations of specialists, built with the use of artificial intelligence technologies. The system allows to monitor correct interpretation of the results of analyzes, diagnosis and recommendations to users of the service. In the opinion of the solution designers, the block chain will allow customers to be confident in the quality of a service they receive.

New technologies are coming to public healthcare. For example, the Russian Ministry of Healthcare proposes to create a system to support medical decisions using elements of artificial intelligence. Such a system could help to make a more accurate diagnosis. The first tests are expected in 2018. It is planned to start the project with oncology and neonatology.

One of the main tasks for digital transformation and development of digital economy in general for any state is training of competent personnel.  Undoubtedly, an increase in investments in human development is required, serious changes in the training of specialists are needed.

At the same time, skills of working with digital technologies shall be taught since childhood. Digital School project will be launched for this purpose in Russia. It will be aimed at development of skills of students in the digital world, training in processing and analysis of data, programming elements and ability to design digital projects for the future profession.

A system of retraining is needed for people who already have competences in order to work in the digital economy. This area, in particular, will be developed in Russia. The state is willing to invest in retraining the population. It is expected that more than a million people will have an opportunity to get free access to online programs of the second higher education each year.

Taking into account the described tendencies, in the course of preparation work of the X International IT-Forum with the participation of the BRICS and SCO countries it is planned to pay attention to the following conclusions:

Targets and objectives of the Forum

The targets of the Forum, taking into account the international experience of application of information technologies in society and public administration, are as follows:

Priority tracks of the Forum

1.      Digitalization is an impetus to the development of business cooperation between the BRICS and the SCO countries.

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2.      System development and management of changes in the digital economy

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3.      Formation and promotion of joint project initiatives in the space of the BRICS and SCO 

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4.      Digital Government

5.      Information infrastructure of digital economy

6.      Information security

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7.      Information technologies in medicine

8.      Digital Education as a Basis of Digital Economy

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9.      IT in cultural sphere

10.  Legal problems of the formation of Russian digital economy ecosystem

11. IT of oil and gas production: Digital deposit: the present and the future.

12. Information environment in the information society (under the auspices of UNESCO)