Communications Networks, Content and Technology



Software & Services, Cloud (Unit E.2)

To boost software quality and productivity in order to improve competitiveness across all sectors of industry.


Promote and facilitate research and innovation on software methods, tools and programming models to reduce the cost of software while increasing software quality in complex, highly distributed, data-intensive and interconnected systems such as clouds. Promote through H2020 a strategic platform for Open Source Software (OSS) and for making licencing of interoperability information easier in Europe. Reinforce, jointly with academia and industry, software quality assurance, verification and certification processes & systems for business and mission critical software.


Software forms the DNA of major industries such as banking, media and the Internet. The amount of software code in most consumer products and systems is doubling every two years. Consequently, software developers are scrambling to meet ever-increasing demands for software of higher quality, superior performance and adaptability to varying external conditions. Recent technological developments (e.g. Cloud Computing, High performance computing, Internet of Things, Big Data, cyber-physical systems) push further the need for more flexible, reliable, secure and efficient software. In addition, the world is faced with a set of new threats which are testing to the limit the reliability, security and the performance of the new interconnected systems.However, advances in hardware and networking are following an exponential growth whereas software progresses linearly therefore there is a need to close the growing gap by enhancing software development.In this technological landscape, Europe’s position is weak compared to other countries such as the USA. US software industry is far bigger than in Europe. Among the world's Top 20 software vendors, 14 are US-based and account for more than 37 % of the worldwide market, while there are only 3 European companies, with only 5% of the market. The latest surveys indicate that the revenues of a single US software vendor (Microsoft) exceed the accumulated revenues of the 100 biggest European software vendors (Truffle 100).

Council Decision of 3 December 2013 (2013/743/EU) establishing the Industrial Leadership (LEIT) Specific Programme of Horizon 2020. The text of the workprogramme 2014-2015 also includes topic ICT-7 “Tools and methods for software development” The Information Society Technologies Advisory Group (ISTAG) report “Software Technologies: The Missing Key Enabling Technology” recommended a strategic agenda on software as the prime industrial differentiator and basis for innovation.


Full-Time Equivalent: 
6.50 full-time equivalent (FTE)
Collaboration with other DGs or agencies:
H2020 LEIT ICT WP2014-2015 topic ICT9: €25m

Stakeholders: NESSI ETP (Network Software and Services European Technology Platform), Digital Europe and others (industry, academia, research centres).


Mechanisms for disseminating OSS

Support the development of mechanisms for disseminating OSS in Europe such as an open governance arrangement for OSS foundations, a common repository for open source software and support for software reusability. Special attention should be given to the software outcomes of the research and innovation EU funded project and their availability as reusable OSS for potential exploitation of the research community.

Timeframe: 2015-2017



Set of concrete policy proposals to improve the use of OSS in Europe

Appropriate soft measures to ensure the sharing of interoperability information (DAE 25)

• Development of a model licence contract with different options, alternative provisions or variation points for the release of interoperability information model licence and its manual (Output of the study “Methods for estimating the value of interoperability information”).• Development of guidance for assessing the value of ICT interoperability information in the context of negotiating licences for using such information in interoperable ICT products or services. (Output of the study “Model contracts for licencing interoperability information”)

Timeframe: 2014



Publication of guidelines for valuating interoperability information

Publication of a model contract for licensing interoperability information

FP7 and Horizon 2020 Project Portfolio

Implement the research and innovation instruments of FP7 call 8 and call 10 and H2020 call 1.

Timeframe: 2014-2017



SME incidence in projects (% of EU total funding in related topics/strategic objectives)

Target 17% (2015)
Baseline 15% (data from ICT StReAM 2011) (2011)

H2020 Indicator

Private commercial organisations in projects (% of EU total funding in related topics/strategic objectives). (lead indicator)

Target 51% (2015)
Baseline 43% (data from ICT StReAM 2013) (2013)

Horizon 2020 indicator obtained e.g. from the StReAM yearly reports for the year x-1.


Innovation and growth in the EU software

Increased innovation and growth in the EU software sector through creating better structural conditions for startups and breakthrough for software businesses.



Share of participating SMEs introducing innovations new to the company or the market (covering the period of the project plus 3 years).

Baseline N/A

H2020 Indicator

Share of participating firms introducing innovations new to the company or the market (covering the period of the project plus 3 years).

Baseline N/A

H2020 Indicator

Link to DG CONNECT's Top Level Targets

  • Europe 2020 - 3% of the EU's GDP should be invested in R&D, complemented by a future EU 2020 Headline Innovation Indicator
  • H2020 - By 2020, one third of all Europe's ICT business investment in ICT R&D in the EU should come from companies created within the last two decades