Two co-funded projects of the CEF Telecom program have just been successfully completed, which sees the Region of Sicily at the forefront of digital infrastructures and services development to facilitate trade with other EU countries, encouraging growth and competitiveness.
A press conference called “Sicilian Region: innovations in the digital sector” was held at the headquarters of the Sicilian Region, in Palermo, during which the advantages that some innovative implementations will bring to small and medium-sized enterprises were illustrated, in addition to the progress of European spending in the digital sector in Sicily.
“The goal of the Musumeci Government is the digital transformation of Sicily and this path has already been undertaken by investing European resources in the best possible way and introducing innovative services such as those presented today“- said Gaetano Armao, Vice President of the Region and Councilor for the Economy.
The first project concerns Action 2018-EU-IA-0068 – “Cross-Border Uptake of eInvoicing and Innovation” – which aims to support public administrations in complying with the Directive on electronic invoicing which mandates all public community administrations to receive and process eInvoices compliant with the European standard (EN 16931). The Directive aims to facilitate European trade by reducing the effects of the lack of interoperability between different national formats.
The Region of Sicily has worked to align itself with European standards and policies on digital procurement by integrating eOrders and eInvoices modules into its eProcurement platform and supporting Sicilian SMEs with an eBusiness portal for the receipt of electronic orders and the issuing of eInvoices in the European standard. Both solutions are connected to the regional Peppol Access Point accredited by AGID, the national Peppol Authority.
Peppol was born from a project promoted by the European Commission for interoperability in digital public procurement. Peppol makes it possible to connect companies and public administrations through Access Points that enable the secure and interoperable exchange of standardized electronic documents such as invoices, orders, despatch advices, catalogues, etc. The use of the Peppol network has already been approved in many European countries and also in Australia, Singapore and New Zealand. Japan is undertaking the necessary activities to adopt Peppol for eInvoicing. In Italy, the first region to adhere to Peppol standards was Emilia Romagna. The Sicily Region is the second. At the national level, the use of Peppol is already foreseen for electronic orders (mandatory in the health system).
Celeris Advisory has developed the Peppol Access Point and the eBusiness portal for the Region of Sicily. The role of Celeris was also fundamental in the second successful project which included the Sicilian Region: “Einvoicing4Islands” whose objective is to demonstrate the interoperability of eInvoicing services between Malta, the Region of Sicily and Ireland.
For this action, on behalf of the Region of Sicily, Celeris has developed a private blockchain that integrates with the Peppol Access Point and the eBusiness portal in order to enable automated reconciliation of order and electronic invoice data. This will allow to dynamically view the status of the tender up to the related invoices. The blockchain solution will offer greater security of the information exchanged on the Peppol network.
“The results of the two actions were possible thanks to the teamwork of all the stakeholders involved. The infrastructure and solutions developed connect Sicily to a global network used in countries, such as Norway, also for commercial transactions between companies. We would like to continue adding value to the Sicilian Region for even more ambitious projects“- stated Carmen Ciciriello, CEO, Celeris.
Sicily Region has managed to develop digital skills thanks to the foresight of its Administration and the great contribution of a pool of partners involved in the projects. These include Maggioli SpA – responsible for the integration of the eOrders and eInvoices modules in the eProcurement platform – and Sicilia Digitale, the IT in-house company of the Region which coordinated the interoperability tests and, by the end of 2021, will manage the solutions developed by Celeris as part of the project activities.