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From Smart City to Digital Province – The 5Cs of Collaborations

18 Apr 2019 | Tay Kok-Chin, Chairman, Smart Cities Network

After heading the Jakarta Smart City Office for four years and winning many accolades, Setiaji, Head of ICT, West Java Digital Province, Indonesia, recently took on the role as Head of the ICT Department of West Java. The Department is tasked to transform the region of almost 50 million with the vision of its Governor, Ridwan Kamil, into a Digital Province. It would be a monumental task, and he plans to do it with the ‘5Cs of Collaborations’.

Based on research jointly conducted by AlphaBeta, the Hinrich Foundation and the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) titled “The Digital Komodo Dragon: How Indonesia can capture digital trade opportunity at home and abroad”, the Jakarta Post recently reported that digital trade is expected to be the biggest support for the country’s economy by 2030, by helping commodities and manufacturing goods as well as services gain greater online market access. Digital trade could create opportunity worth USD172B for the domestic economy alone by 2030, equivalent to 9 per cent of Indonesia’s projected GDP.

The West Java provincial government, with its recently elected visionary Governor, Ridwan Kamil, established the West Java Digital Province team to spearhead such digital transformation for the region. Recruited to lead this effort is Setiaji, who had led the establishment and development of the Jakarta Smart City office for four years, and had won many accolades doing so.

It would be a monumental task. With an increasingly globalised and digitalised world, Setiaji recognised that the only way to do so is to collaborate with others to co-create the West Java Digital Province.

West Java – A Region with Many Challenges and Opportunities

West Java is the largest region in Indonesia with a population of 48 million, projected to increase to 50 million by 2021, which is almost the size of South Korea at 51 million. While the region has great challenges, it also offers tremendous opportunities.

1. Challenges – with unemployment rate of 8.17 per cent, it is the 2nd highest in Indonesia (at 5.34 per cent). The region has 3.54 million people in poverty in a country of almost 26 million still in poverty, the highest in ASEAN.

2. Opportunities – over 60 per cent of manufacturing industries in Indonesia are based in the region where in 2018, economic growth was 5.64 per cent, tourism growth was 7.09 per cent (for international arrivals) and industrial growth from 2017 to 2018 was 6.86 per cent.

The West Java Digital Province team was formed by the provincial government to spearhead the Digital transformation of the region. Together with Setiaji we have had several discussions following his presentation in Singapore and below are the 5Cs of collaboration to co-create the West Java Digital District.

The 5Cs of Collaboration

1. Commitment – the formation of the West Java Digital Province team to be led by Setiaji, who had led the Jakarta Smart City Office for four years, demonstrated the commitment of the Provincial government. Ecosystem partners, from investors to solution providers, are encouraged to demonstrate commitment to West Java as they seek to collaborate with the team.

2. Connectivity and Contents – to become a Digital Province, infrastructure has to be developed. This means the physical connectivity of the 27 cities and regencies with each other and the outside world via the Internet. Digital contents of goods and services should be made available to enable digital trade.

3. Confidence and Courage – for the team to achieve their goals with outcomes, the population at large should have the confidence and courage to be part of the transformation journey.

4. Creativity – it would be necessary for the West Java Digital Province team and ecosystem partners to think creatively and develop “out-of-the-box” solutions and business models.

5. Co-Creation – with such a large region, the co-creation approach provides a scalable model on a sustainable basis as there will be ownership to the solutions deployed. This would be a win-win partnership.

An Invitation to Collaborate

West Java Digital Province is a participating member of the Digitally Twin Smart Cities Initiative. The top priority for the development of the region is to establish the Digital Infrastructure as shown above in the framework for Digitally Twinned Smart Cities. The design of key Government and Integration Services are currently being developed. Up to five cities have been identified for the initial phase of implementation.

The West Java Digital Province team and Smart Cities Network would like to invite interested ecosystem partner to co-create and co-develop the region in the spirit of collaboration as outlined in this article.

Kok-Chin will be moderating the Future Cities Panel – Building the Foundations of Smart Cities and Beyond, on Day 1 of ConnecTechAsia Summit, 18 June 2019. In this session, leaders and subject experts will discuss pertinent challenges facing the amalgamation of smart cities, as well as infrastructure and regulatory issues in driving digitalisation, citizen inclusiveness and sustainability of future cities. Register here to attend!

Additionally, Smart Cities Network will host a half-day workshop at ConnecTechAsia on Day 2, 19 June 2019. Representatives of Smart Cities in ASEAN (including the Philippines) will be invited to share on potential projects with interested business investors and partners. Setiaji will be participating in this Workshop and share potential projects for the West Java Digital Province. More details to follow soon.

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