Thursday, February 21, 2013

Euroalert iCal: Public holidays in the EU and in the European institutions for free on your mobile phone

In 2012, Euroalert published for the first time the information on the public holidays in the EU member states. This information is based on the national holidays calendar published annually in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) with data provided by the countries themselves.

This time Euroalert goes further by adding more data to this calendar, and by offering the possibility to get also for free the calendar with the public holidays in European institutions. This information is published in the OJEU in a format (PDF format) that is not useful either for businesses or citizens. For example, a SME that wants to expand its market to other European Union country will be interested to know in a fast and simple way, the public holidays in each EU country. On the other hand, European citizens that organize a vacation travel within the EU would also be interested in knowing in advance if their scheduled days coincide with a public holiday.

These are the reasons for the launching one year more an iCalendar format with the public holidays with an added bonus on this edition. The calendar containing the national holidays EU member states, it has been added the public holidays from the countries that also belong to the European Economic Area (EEA) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), namely Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. You can add as an iCalendar format, a format that is available for example from Google Calendar or from many other calendar applications developed for SmartPhones, tablets or computers, the public holiday's calendar of the European institutions. This calendar contains the days that the EU institutions (Council, Commission, European Parliament, European Central Bank, etc..) are closed to the public in 2013 and in 2014.

In order to enjoy this calendar of public holidays in the EU, you only have to download it from Euroalert and, if you have any further question, you can contact us by email or via our Twitter profile and through the Euroalert Facebook page.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Beware, one train can hide another (or the importance of choosing the right CPV)

One of the things we do at Euroalert is making sure that the Competitive Intelligence products and services based on public procurement that we provide for our subscribers are of the highest quality. Much beyond than enhancing their technical features or aggregating new sources of data, Euroalert Team works with our clients to ensure that they get the information about public contracts that really affects their businesses.

One of the most important ingredients to achieve that is to make a good tender profile and choose the right CPV codes which are used in public procurement in the EU. If the codes are accurately identified, then the public procurement widgets implemented by our subscribers in their websites will show the contracts in the sectors and countries that really interest their users. In the same way, choosing the right CPV codes when building up a profile to set an alert on public procurement and government contracts in 10ders Alerts, is really important so that the subscriber gets the right alerts in the mail-box.

It seems easy, but this process can sometimes be a tricky one. Not only the CPV code list contains more than 9 000 codes and turns the process of choosing the right one into a digging experience, but one can also be tempted in some occasions by the first results of the search which are maybe not the right ones. It may happen like in the old railway road-crossings where “one train can hide another”, and a title of a contract which is apparently irrelevant for a business really “hides” one which is really interesting.

It also happens that sometimes the names of the CPV can be somehow misleading. Not leaving the railway environment, we recently found a funny example when solving a query from one of our subscribers. Why does a tender about “disposable non-chemical medical consumables and haematological consumables” in Poland appears in a search about rail transport? Easy, it seems that in publishing the tender someone may have mixed the code for “sleepers” with the one for “sleeping pills”.

With Euroalert you can always rely on the advice of our Team to solve these details and build up the profile which better fits into your needs. This will help you to get the most out of the widgets to publish tenders, the alerts on public procurement, the successful bidders lists or the product reports on public procurement.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Euroalert participated at the Open Government Conference 'Committed to the future', and wishes you Merry Christmas

José Luis Marín, Euroalert's CEO, attended as speaker to the Conference on Open Government "Committed to the future", organized by the Club of Innovation in collaboration with the Spanish Ministry of Finance and Public Administration, and held on 18 December. During the event, we had the opportunity to show how important is for companies the 'Open Government', and especially, the opening of data by governments to carry out projects like Euroalert. Also, we presented our experience in this field and specifically focused in the use of open data in public procurement to generate products and services that provide an added value to SMEs and other organisations.
The Conference also was a networking event which brought together companies which re-use the information, associations and foundations working on transparency and open government, universities and governments. They all shared experiences and best practices, especially, among all types of public administrations (local and regional governments, including the Spanish Congress of Deputies) to implement in practice the 'Open Government'. Guzmán Garmendia, expert and responsible of the Open Government legislation from the Government of Navarra, stressed that "citizen participation can not be confused with social networks" and advised the governments "to believe on it first to build the Open Government from the bottom to up".
Rafa Rubio, professor at the Complutense University of Madrid, reminded to the governments that they may count on experts from the universities to launch Open Government projects. At the Conference, we could see examples of regional and local governments that have created portals to improve transparency. First we had the opportunity to listen to Marta Lopez Cuesta, who explained how the new Open Government portal of the Castilla y León Region was build and which consists of, and then, several representatives of the Basque Government presented Irekia, the Basque Government portal, which it is a model to follow for many of the other Spanish public administrations.
There was also time to listen to associations and foundations, including the Fundación CIVIO and Access Info Europe, who explained the importance of the 'Open Government' to improve transparency and citizen participation, and also the importance of open data for the "data journalism" for, as Mar Cabra explained at her presentation, “to convert the opened data into fundamental news to get better informed citizens".
We want to enjoy this occasion to wish all of you happy holidays and propose you to think about the importance of the 'Open Government' for citizens and companies during the Christmas period. Euroalert's team wishes you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Euroalert shows in MATELEC how to find new business opportunities thanks to commercial intelligence and public procurement

A few days ago our colleague Mai Rodríguez attended the International Trade Fair for the Electrical and Electronics Industry MATELEC. The event gathered in Madrid more than 40.000 professionals of the sector coming from more than 80 different countries.

In this occasion, in addition to meeting some Euroalert partners ans clients, we also took part in the fair celebrating a technical seminar where we showed how it is possible to exploit the information included in public contracts in order to access new business opportunities. For that reason we entitled the seminar “How to created more business opportunities?” Lear to use competitive intelligence tools and techniques in public procurement”.

Whenever we have the opportunity to share these kind of seminars with companies of any size or coming from whatever sector, participants' reactions are quite the same: “is it really possible to extract that information?”, “tracking all that amount of data and putting all of them in order would take hours... days!”. These are the reactions brought by Euroalert commercial tools.

Some of the possibilities that Commercial Intelligence tools in public procurement can bring are, e.g., having tender alerting services which really adapt to one's needs and allow personal management of the profile or getting lists with companies that have been awarded public contracts to get new customers of find new partners. These are some of the features that are worth exploring in order to enhance a commercial strategy or give support to internationalization resources.

You can find here the presentation Mai used in the seminar about how to explore new business opportunities thanks to public procurement information. If you were not in Matelec or could not attend the seminar, or if you wish to have the information in English, you can e-mail us to or contact us through Euroalert Twitter profile or in Facebook and we will give you all the information you need.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Euroalert makes up a very special services package for Europe Direct info points

Despite being in Agust it may seem that everybody is on holidays or just coming back from them, activity never stops.

A few weeks ago Euroalert published in its website the Call for proposals to select the host structures of the Europe Direct information centres for the period 2013-2017. These centres are without any doubt key players in the task of bringing the EU closer to citizens and providing information about the EU which is directly related to practical aspects of everyday life.

As you will certainly know, in addition to providing services that allow to track information with customized EU Newsletters or tender alerting services, Euroalert also provides a range of services that enable organizations of all types to disseminate EU contents tailored to the interests of their users. Especially considering the needs of the Europe Direct centres, we have put together a service package to help Europe Directs to disseminate News and European grants in an easy and automatic way.

The Euroalert package for Europe Directs includes the One Web Full Content widgets to display EU News and Grants which are very easy to implement and once installed are automatically updated with no need for further management. The contents can be adapted to any web layout, filtered by area and displayed in the best way for users. They can also be shared social media completing the on-line communications activities.

If you belong to a Europe Direct centre or to an institution willing to take part in the call to host a centre in the coming years, you can download here the brochure of the Euroalert package for Europe Direct and check some Euroalert experiences with Europe Direct centres in our portfolio. The package is especially designed to give the best results at minimum cost.

To know more about the Euroalert special package for Europe Direct you can call us at +32 2 318 03 01 or reach through any of these contacts. And, of course... all Euroalert Team wishes you many luck with your proposals!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Euroalert takes part at the UIMP Summer School as a company active in re-using public information

Over June 21st and 22nd we had the occasion to take part in one of the round tables of the Course on Open government and transparency in the knowledge society organized by Fundación Telefónica as part of the Summer School that the Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo holds every year in Santander. This was with any doubt a unique venue to discuss about one of the issues we are really passionate about and to share all the challenges faced by Euroalert as an 'open data company' which uses public sector data in order to create value services for SMEs in all Europe.

After the opening conference which highlighted the decisive changes prompted by technology on the capacity citizens have nowadays to take active part in the activities carried out by public sector, the first panel of the course focused on a revision of the concepts of transparency and open government. Panellists reviewed the current situation of the proposal for a Spanish Law on Transparency, Access to Public Information and Good Governance, its virtues and weaknesses, and forecasted that this law should probably be approved by the beginning of year 2013. It was also underlined how transparency in public sector's activity is crucial to support the credibility and confidence required in order to boost economic growth, as well as the importance of citizens' involvement in generating such process of transparency.

The last session left the floor to the discussion about the potential wealth creation lying on the re-use of public sector data. This panel where Euroalert had the pleasure to take part, highlighted the role played by the analysis of data related to public sector activity as a tool to improve its own efficiency and policy assessment. As an open data company, Euroalert had the opportunity to present its own case as a company using data held by public administrations and bodies in order to create services such as alerts of government contracts published by public administrations in all the EU, lists of successful bidders in EU public procurement or market reports based of public procurement data which help companies of all types to access new business opportunities and make their businesses grow.

By closing the first day of the course, Euroalert acted as a link for a second day which was more focused on the technical aspects of Open Data. The need to open up as many sources of data as possible, the challenge to aggregate data in projects such as the one carried out by Euroalert to create the first pan-European public procurement platform, the importance of data contextualization and the difficulties lying in their management, storage and linkage, were some of the issues pointed out during this session which are all faced by Euroalert every day in order to bring you better and better services to help you in your activities and businesses.

The course ended up by setting a roadmap for open government and by highlighting the fact that, whilst the success of  this process for openness will strongly depend on the willingness of all those who are involved in it, it is with no doubt an opportunity for improvement and growth especially in difficult times.

You can download here the programme of the Course on open government and transparency in the knowledge society. We also share here the presentation we used in the Course (Spanish version only).

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Euroalert brings you the latest European funding opportunities

The European Union regularly publishes grants through its institutions, bodies and agencies addressed to all audiences and stakeholders such as NGOs, SMEs, universities or government agencies. You only need to find them... on time!

Euroalert makes easy this task by publishing grants, i.e., the calls for proposals to apply for funding opportunities that count with European funds, and offers a personalized service to filter to get only what you are looking for. We can already say that you will find gathered in Euroalert these grants in all topics before than anywhere else.

The task may seem simple, but it is not. Not all EU grants are published in the Official Journal of the EU (OJEU). Nor all the information is published in more than one language, even the most basic information. For free, Euroalert provides grants that are published in the OJEU and whose most basic information is usually published in all 23 official EU languages. You can directly access to the latest grants published in OJEU through the Euroalert's calls for proposals website, to subscribe to the free weekly newsletter or to install the free widget onto websites and blogs, all for free and without further obligation.

But as we said, not all EU grants are published in the OJEU. Euroalert customizes the search by offering even more, both in number of grants by topic and in ways to access information that may interest you the most. An example of a grant which has not been published in OJEU, which is by the way very interesting nowadays, is "Erasmus for young entrepreneurs". The European Commission through its Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme annually publishes this grant that can help many entrepreneurs. Euroalert provides key information relating to this call in English. To keep track of this opportunity and many others not published in the OJEU, you can try for ten days, with no-obligation, the Customized Newsletter on EU information. This newsletter sends you directly to your e-mail only the most relevant information and by applying the delivery options, only when you need it.

Of course, Euroalert also proposes to provide this service in the form of “payment widget”, so you can use more advanced content as already do many institutions and companies. You can customize it to your needs and those of your users and customers in order to allow them to get information on grant opportunities in the most useful way possible. If you want to learn more about this service and the ones referred above, or any other offered by Euroalert, you can call +32 2 318 03 01 or use any of these forms of contact. As you see, Euroalert makes easier to find the funding opportunities that best fit your needs.