PROJECT INTERNET CATALONIA (PIC)
Project Internet Catalonia (PIC): An Overview
The Project Internet Catalonia is an interdisciplinary research programme on the information society in Catalonia that has been conducted by faculty and researchers at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya's (UOC, Open University of Catalonia) Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3), in collaboration with a number of different organizations and individuals in the tasks of data collection and survey field work.
It is a basic research project without any kind of commercial applications or policy recommendations. The results of the research have been made public and distributed over the Internet, via the UOC's portal, as well as published in books, articles in scientific journals and papers at academic meetings and professional seminars.
Project Internet Catalonia began in September 2001 and ended in July 2007. It has been financed and supported throughout by the Catalan government, the Generalitat of Catalonia, through a number of different governmental departments. It was fully supported by the three Presidents that were at the head of the Catalan Government during the six years of the Project: the Honorables Jordi Pujol, Pasqual Maragall and Jose Montilla.
The first study focused on the transition to the network society in Catalonia, and it took place between 2001 and 2003, on the basis of a survey of 3,005 people, a representative sample of the population of Catalonia. Between 2002 and 2007 six additional studies were carried out. One of these projects analysed the effects of information and communication technology on the competitiveness and productivity of business firms, based on a survey of 2,038 companies, a representative sample of the companies operating in Catalonia. Another study analysed the use of the Internet and computers in primary and secondary schools in Catalonia, with interviews of teachers, administrators and students, on the basis of a representative sample of Catalan schools. The use of information and communication technology in the Catalan university system was the focus for another research programme, based, first, on an in-depth study of Tarragona's Rovira i Virgili University, and then on an Internet survey of students and professors of all Catalan public universities. Another subject analysed was e-governance, with one case study of the Generalitat's Open Administration programme, another focusing on the use of the Internet in Barcelona City Government, and a third one studying citizen consultation and e-governance in the whole of the public administration of the Catalan Autonomous Government. Another study focused on the interaction between Internet and Television in Catalonia, using focused groups and in-depth interviews with 700 hundred users of Internet and new media. A final study investigated the uses of Internet in the health system of Catalonia, analyzing the health webs, the health related uses of Internet among patients associations, the population at large, and health professionals, the experimental programs of the Catalan Government for electronically sharing the clinical history of patients, and the interaction between organizational change and information systems in the hospitals and health care centers of Catalonia. Overall, 55,600 interviews were conducted, of which 15,000 face to face, and the rest by questionnaires over the Internet.
Project Internet Catalonia, was co-directed by professors Manuel Castells and Imma Tubella. Anna Sánchez-Juárez was in charge of its general coordination and Isabel Carol provided administrative support. Over 40 researchers participated in the research program. Their names and responsabilities are published in the description of each one of the studies.
The directors of this research program, Manuel Castells and Imma Tubella, would like to publicly express their gratitude to the former Catalan President Jordi Pujol, who personally backed the project from the start, as, without this support, PIC would not have been possible. Likewise, they would like to express their sincere thanks for the generous support received in the period from 2004 to 2007 from the former President Pasqual Maragall and the current President José Montilla. They would also like to thank the Generalitat as a whole and the institutions and foundations that have contributed in the period from 2001 to 2007, as detailed in the presentation of each research project. Finally, they would like to highlight the fact that the research has been carried out throughout with complete independence and freedom, as it is customary in academic research, including full publicity of its findings.