With the aim of providing better services to the citizens and visitors of the islands, which due to their geographical location are often dependent on the rest of the mainland, Amazon Web Services has started to create digital applications concerning the daily life of local societies with the island of Naxos as the "pilot' .
Naxos the first "smart island" in the world
The Naxos Smart Island initiative was announced last Autumn on the island by a senior AWS executive in the presence of top government ministers.
The company, through digital applications, is expected to test innovative technological solutions, on the specific island, in order to support entities such as public administration, local government, ports, businesses so that they in turn provide a better quality of life and service to the local community, to citizens and visitors.
As the Secretary General of the Aegean and Island Policy, Manolis Koutoulakis, explains to state news agency AMNA, the creation of digital solutions is linked to serving the social needs that multiply on an island due to objective or inherent difficulties due to isolation.
He mentioned that the General Secretariat of the Aegean is the one that coordinates the local agencies in order to complete what is the need of the local societies and then connects it with Amazon Web Services and with specific providers companies that develop these applications.
He pointed out that Amazon's action is not an investment but a corporate social responsibility initiative that will use Greek insularity as an example of applications for other remote island regions worldwide.
It is noted that Greece was chosen by AWS, mainly for its friendly business environment for the development of innovative approaches, but also because of the challenges of Greek insularity.
The choice of Naxos
The choice of Naxos was also based on the size, coexistence and function of smaller satellite islands of the central - large island, due to its geographical diversity and its interconnectivity with other islands.
The Naxos Smart Island pilot program is structured around 4 pillars, under which digital solutions and applications are developed:
a) Sustainable and sustainable development,
c) quality of life and recreation and
d) citizens' digital literacy and skills.
For the Amazon Web Services program, there is already close cooperation between the General Secretariat of the Aegean and Island Policy with the Chamber of Cyclades and the president Mr. Yannis Roussos as well as with the Mayor of Naxos Mr. Dimitris Lianos.
As an example of such digital solutions by Amazon are the transportation of blood samples and medicines via drone to and from smaller islands of the Cyclades, as well as telemedicine systems that will connect patients with specialist doctors who are not on the island.
It is noted that on the occasion of the collaboration with amazon, a parallel discussion was triggered with the company Golden Cargo, which innovates in the field of shipping supplies, and a tripartite agreement is expected to be signed soon.
Digital platforms will also be developed that will be related to infrastructure such as digital and remote monitoring of the water management sector.
"From the computer we will know at any time the state of the water flow networks and the reserves in the reservoirs, as the General Secretariat invests significant resources every year in the water supply of the islands", stated the General Secretary of the Aegean Manolis Koutoulakis.
Management of ships
He also taleds about the digitization of passenger ship traffic management as Naxos is one of the most important hubs of coastal shipping with over 40 arrivals and departures daily in the summer season.
"The population and visitors will be informed about the exact time of departure, arrival and itinerary modification, while applications for pleasure boats will be implemented electronically, which will enable someone to know in advance which position and which provided service they are requesting", he pointed out.
As part of the implementation of other digital applications by amazon, platforms for "smart" lighting that lead to energy savings, weather stations, fire detection systems, payment systems for taxis, automated parking systems, electric chargers for cars and two-wheelers will also be implemented.
Also electronic reservation system for museums and other local exhibitions, which can work as well as information points for shop and service opening hours and other useful information, such as for example the nearest pharmacies.
AWS will proceed with the training of civil servants, workers and citizens of the South Aegean in digital skills.
The initiative and program for the planning, implementation and monitoring of digital applications aims to transfer good practices and immediate solutions to other Greek islands, but at the same time to highlight Greek insularity as a living lab for applications in hard-to-reach and remote areas .
The participation of the General Secretariat of the Aegean and Islands Policy is a catalyst for the activation and dissemination of the program, while there is close cooperation with AWS executives in order to have a realistic plan and easy transfer of know-how to the other Greek islands.
- Published in Greece