The Civic Informatics Laboratory
The Civic Informatics Laboratory (LIC) within the Department of Informatics is active since May 1994 to perform action research on the social implications of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and develop suitable software applications.
The LIC promoted the Milan Community Network which has registered since September 1994 more than 20,000 citizens. It also promoted in partnership with the Lombardy Regional Government, the Association for Informatics and Civic Networking of Lombardy (A.I.Re.C.) which grouped the Community Networks in the Lombardy Region. More specific projects addressed the needs of schools, non for profit associations, small and medium enterprise. In all these projects the goal is enhancing people active participation in the Information Society.
The LIC has been coordinator of the demonstration phase of the European project TruE-vote and has been charged by the Italian Ministry for Innovation and Technology of the a study of technologies for e-democracy. Recently, it has conceived and coordinated the project UniverCity for improving communication between the researchers of the Science Faculty of the University of Milan and the enterprises, media and professionals.
Carrying on such projects, the LIC has developed, or cooperated to develop, several software solutions, including:
- openDCN, an open-source e-participation platform - where DCN stands for Deliberative Community Networks – which provides online dedicated tools for supporting online participation and deliberation;
- Virtuose, (VIRTual commUnities Open Source Engine), a comprehensive open-source tool for managing virtual communities and community networks;
- JLI!, an open-source learning management system, now used in several courses of the Informatics degrees;
- TruE-vote, an e-voting software based on PKI (in cooperation with the LASER).