INTERVIEW : FREDERIC GENTA, Monaco Innovation Minister

The Principality is more than ever on the map for Web3 companies, investors and entrepreneurs, along with and a legislative model. Digital laws, E-embassy, Education and Tech Hub are the first foundations.

At The MEWS – Metaverse World Summit, organized under the High Patronage of S.A.S Prince Albert II of Monaco, Frédéric Genta, Minister of Innovation, explains in details the Principality’s strengths in establishing Monaco as a major destination for new technologies.

LUXSURE: Monaco has approved a new set of Digital Laws. What is this all about ?

FREDERIC GENTA: They are part of the Extended Monaco programme, which aims to turn Monaco into a leader for the digital world. We have armed ourselves with these legislative tools, as they are necessary to get us there. The Principality has long passed Digital Laws; they are quite general and totally transverse. Their benefit lies in covering the entire scope of our country’s legal system. Our laws cover the whole government and include new concepts such as electronic signatures, digital stamps, and recognition of digital evidence, for example. These laws also benefit the Metaverse itself, avatars, blockchains and other Web3 features.

You also have announced the creation of an E-embassy?

Monaco did open an E-embassy. In terms of data protection, the standard is that the servers must be located 120 to 150 kilometres from the city. For quite obvious reasons (editor’s note: the total area of Monaco is 2km2), it was not possible to build it here. We wanted to create a security tool for our data, under the Monegasque flag, with a diplomatic guarantee from the State of Luxembourg. Within this framework, we have built physical security, without altering legal security and national sovereignty. The Principality has thus allied itself with the Duchy of Luxembourg to create its E-Embassy.

What is Monaco’s position within the digital economy?

We are in a balanced position, shall I say. Monaco has brand’s values, security and sovereignty. We also have many talents and know-how. One can absolutely develop its activities in Monaco, we have the brains and the skills required to do so. The whole ecosystem that we are building with the residents, the technical capabilities that we now have with the Sovereign Cloud, fibre and 5G, contribute greatly to it. We also do not have make concessions on safety and on the protection of our people. One comes to Monaco to do qualitative, safe Digital work (Web3 or Web2), with the undeniable protection we are able to offer. Monaco will never be the Wild West, it is a place where, de facto, we make sure to build a digital economy with high-standards people and products.

What are Monaco’s strengths as a technological power?

Monaco is the first country where every student aged 3 to 18 can learn how to code, one hour a week. We will continue to strengthen digital learning, every teacher has access lab, every college and high school student has a tablet. We will keep investing in education, we keep relying on increasingly trained teachers and pedagogy that adapts to its time, including in the public sector. We will continue to develop increasingly interactive courses, as well as increasingly collaborative furniture.

Monaco also innovates in the field of Health, through its hospital and equipment, like its machines, Artificial Intelligence to better treat, better heal and better diagnose.

Finally, for its companies, the Principality has an incubator called Monaco Tech; the Blue Fund, which finances the digital transition; and the sovereign cloud, on which companies can rely.

These three pillars (Education, Health and Business) enable Monaco to develop an increasingly strong digital economy. More and more people who have succeeded in tech are relocating their companies and investment funds here. Monaco therefore has increasing investment capacities. Our Economy, Education and Health will well be the technological innovation’s foundations being built in the Principality.

Digital technology seems to have become a must-have asset for the development of Monaco and its economy.

Yes, of course! In a country of 2km2, the land recently taken over the sea will certainly not be be renewed every year, so we are facing an undeniable land issue. Monaco needs to continue to grow. We do not have any debt and do not wish to have any. Monaco does intend to keep its public finances healthy. This requires economic foundations and structures that generate maximum added-value per square metre. In this context, digital technology and finance must play a leading role. The pillars I described earlier are at the heart of the economic development of the Principality.

Interview run by Shirley Pellicer for TV5 Monde.

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