The Metropolitan Region of Amsterdam (MRA) comprises of 32 municipalities and two provinces (North Holland and Flevoland). Around 2.5 million people, approximately 14% of the Dutch population, live within the MRA. The MRA is an important economic motor and home to a wide diversity of businesses, good infrastructure by land, air and water, and excellent digital connectivity. The MRA strives to be an internationally competitive region, with compact cities, a landscape that is attractive, as well as a well-functioning infrastructural network that interconnects the residential cores and connects them with the countryside and the rest of the world.
Within the MRA, there is a focus on collaboration between governmental authorities, the business community, social organisations, knowledge institutions, social entrepreneurs and residents. Amsterdam Economic Board (the Board) is a key organisation that facilitates innovation with a focus on “triple helix” collaboration between companies, knowledge institutions and governments to create a green, smart and healthy metropolitan area. Amsterdam Smart City (ASC) is a programme residing under the Board which facilitates bottom-up innovation in the region through a public-private partnership and an open international community of change makers.
The Board aims to position the MRA as one of the most important places in Europe for data-driven innovation by 2025. The region wants to be an international leader in terms of the digital infrastructure available, the ability to build innovative data-driven applications on it, and confidence in the digital society. The MRA (and the Netherlands) is already a global leader in the digitisation of the economy and society. The MRA aims to specialise in 'bottom-up' driven digital trust, through empowerment of residents.
Some recent and ongoing projects and policies related to digitalisation in Amsterdam and the region include:
- Amsterdam Digital City Agenda – the City of Amsterdam has drawn an agenda to keep a grip on digitization, with a focus on achieving a free, inclusive and creative digital city.
- Tada Manifesto -- professionals from the Amsterdam region wrote a manifesto entitled “Tada – data disclosed” articulating their ambitions to shape a responsible digital city.
- AMDEX (Amsterdam Data Exchange) -- aims to create neutral (infrastructure and rules) facilities, operating in the background and allowing for controlled, trusted and secure data transactions
- LEAP (Lower Energy Acceleration Program) -- exploits the energy-saving potential of ICT within data centers and thus accelerates the pace towards the sustainable digital economy
- Openresearch.amsterdam – a digital platform for research, knowledge and innovation about Amsterdam and the Metropolitan Region. The purpose of the platform is to share knowledge, make relationships visible and collaborate on research. Projects and policies related do digitalisation can be found under “Digital” dossier.