Communications Networks, Content and Technology

Mission and Priorities

Mission and Priorities

DG CONNECT mission statement

The DG helps to harness information & communications technologies in order to create jobs and generate economic growth; to provide better goods and services for all; and to build on the greater empowerment which digital technologies can bring in order to create a better world, now and for future generations.

To help achieve this, we:

  1. Support the kind of high-quality research & innovation which delivers imaginative, practical and value-enhancing results;
  2. Foster creativity through a European data value-chain in which anyone can share knowledge;
  3. Promote greater use of, and public access to, digital goods and digital services, including "cloud" computing, in order to boost the European single market;
  4. Ensure that those goods and services are more secure, that people can trust the rapidly evolving technologies which surround them, and that people have the right skills and confidence to use them as part of everyday life;
  5. Work with partners globally to support an open Internet.

We live our values as a creative, responsible and open European Union public service. We work on the best available evidence, and we cooperate closely with all our stakeholders. Our procedures are fully transparent, and we assume accountability for our actions. We seek value for the taxpayer's money in all we do.

Detailed Priorities


Directorate A: Components & Systems

Unit A1: Photonics

Photonics is a key enabling technology that drives innovation in communications, lighting and manufacturing. It provides solutions to such societal challenges as energy efficiency, sustainable healthcare, safety and security and environment. Our aims are to:

  1. Deploy existing financial instruments for research & innovation in this field.
  2. Draw up the first work programme for photonics and for organic electronics under Horizon 2020.
  3. Set up a new Public-Private Partnership that will help drive innovation in this area under Horizon 2020.
  4. Develop, following an open consultation a strategy for the large scale deployment of solid state lighting.

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Unit A2: Robotics

We cover research, innovation and policies in robotic technologies for industrial and service applications and for their integration into smart environments such as homes, public spaces and factories. Our aims are to:

  1. Deploy existing financial instruments for research & innovation in this field.
  2. Draw up the first work programme for Robotics and smart spaces under Horizon 2020.
  3. Set up a new Public-Private Partnership that will help drive innovation in this area under Horizon 2020.
  4. Develop policy addressing the ethical, legal and societal issues associated with robotics in order to ensure the wider use of robots and other autonomous systems can proceed in line with our values.

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Unit A3: Complex Systems and Advanced Computing

We aim to help Europe's manufacturing sector to deliver innovative, high quality products at competitive prices in the area of advanced computing and complex systems. Our aims are to:

  1. Deploy existing financial instruments for research & innovation in this field.
  2. Support research & innovation in this area through Horizon 2020, in particular to deliver better and smarter factories
  3. Build the constituencies which will support roadmap-based initiatives all along value chain from technology to applications.

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Unit A4: Components

We work at the frontiers of hardware & software, an important area for Europe's industrial competitiveness. Our aims are:

  1. Deploy existing financial instruments for research & innovation in this field.
  2. Draw up the first work programme to support the further development of the European strategy for nano-electronics and smart & embedded components & systems under Horizon2020.
  3. set up a new "Joint technology initiative" (JTI) on electronics, building on the experience gained under the existing JTI's, ENIAC & Artemis
  4. Prepare a Communication to help build a competitive electronics components & systems eco-system in Europe.

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Unit A5: Administration & Finance

In order to demonstrate that the EU manages soundly and efficiently the budget entrusted to it, we maintain a high level of quality of service in the execution of our financing decisions, including ensuring timely negotiations; short times to contract, to amendment and to payment; proper handling and compliance of legal, financial and audit procedural aspects. Alongside specific support for monitoring a number of our initiatives, a particular focus this year will be the launch of the new Horizon 2020 programme. Our aims are to:

  1. Maintain high quality in grants' budget execution, ensuring timely negotiations, good time to contract, time to amendment and time to payment.
  2. Support Directorate operations, compliance, management, planning & reporting and cross-Directorate co-operation.
  3. Ensure a smooth launch of the Horizon 2020 programme, while supporting running legacy projects (FP7 and CIP).
  4. Support the Director and operational units on the operation and monitoring of the Public-Private Partnerships such as the ENIAC and Artemis JTIs, the Factories of the Future and Green Cars initiatives. Support the specificities of dual site Directorates such as G1 and A2.

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Directorate B: Electronic Communications Networks & Services

Coordinate a better regulatory framework for competition & growth over the entire range of issues in the ecommunications field: economic analysis, impact assessment, policy development, regulatory compliance.

Unit B1: Regulatory Coordination & Business

As part of the team regulating electronic communications within the EU, we ensure Member States implement the rules to which they have agreed, notably on access and authorisation of e-communications networks and services, and which provide a predictable & competition-friendly environment including those on the independence and effectiveness of the National Regulatory Authorities. We share the task of monitoring developments in individual Member States with Unit B2. Our aims are to:

  1. Propose a Regulation to reduce the costs of deploying high speed broadband infrastructure. This will be the centrepiece of our efforts to design new rules to support a competitive single market and to foster innovation and investment.
  2. Initiate infringement proceedings in the event legal action needs to be taken against Member States for failure to transpose and / or subsequently to implement the EU regulatory framework, or to uphold the independence and effectiveness of the Regulatory Agencies.
  3. Promote pan-European standards as a way to deliver pan-European services.
  4. Design new measures related to access & authorisation in an effort to support NRAs, and thereby to strengthen the single market.

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Unit B2: Regulatory Coordination & Users

As part of the team regulating electronic communications within the EU, we focus on the way in which Member States & National Regulatory Agencies deal with the retail market & with consumers. We share the task of monitoring developments in individual Member States with Unit B1. Our aims are to:

  1. Work to preserve an open Internet.
  2. Propose detailed rules on the separate sale of roaming services, following the adoption of the Roaming III Regulation.
  3. Monitor the implementation & impact of the Universal Service Directive, bearing in mind the effective functioning of the single market and competitive markets and the need to avoid placing unreasonable burdens on the telecoms sector.
  4. Coordinate the Commission's relations with BEREC, the grouping of European regulatory authorities.

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Unit B3: Regulatory Coordination & Markets

As part of the team regulating electronic communications within the EU, we monitor and intervene on proposed regulatory measures in electronic communications markets across the EU, notified by national regulatory authorities. Our aims are to:

  1. Monitor the implementation of the relevant EU Framework Directive in order to maintain a competitive single market.
  2. Help promote more consistent regulation across the single market in particular by preparing a Recommendation on costing methodologies for calculating prices of key access products.
  3. Prepare a Recommendation on non-discrimination and functional separation in order to promote consistent rules across the EU.
  4. Review a previous Recommendation key to the application of sector-specific, market-based regulatory policy in the EU ("relevant markets"), to take account of the way in which markets and technology have changed.

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Unit B4: Spectrum

As part of the e-communications team we focus on ensuring that Member States manage radio spectrum effectively, as the basis for a competitive internal market in wireless communications. Our aims are to:

  1. Prepare and manage the spectrum inventory, review spectrum use and analyse future demand, as the basis for policy initiatives under the Radio Spectrum Policy Programme.
  2. Focus our work on the policy framework on the need to ensure legal certainty, identify sharing opportunities and define sharing conditions which can together lead to opportunities for the development of wireless broadband and the introduction of innovative wireless technologies in sectors such as energy & transport.
  3. Create the technical and regulatory conditions to promote the most efficient use possible of spectrum for wireless technologies to meet the DAE broadband targets.
  4. Develop a co-ordinated and effective EU response to the ITU decision to open the 700 MHz band to wireless broadband, while ensuring that the conditions exist to facilitate the convergence of broadcasting and wireless broadband platforms in the long run.

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Unit B5: Broadband

As part of the e-communications team our job is to boost the roll-out and take-up of the next generation of high-speed Internet networks and services across the EU. Our aims are to:

  1. Aim to secure adequate funding for this goal within the planned Connecting Europe Facility, and to prepare for its use.
  2. Seek to mobilise investment for broadband through the Structural & Cohesion Funds.
  3. Liaise with all private and public stakeholders across the EU whose input is essential to meeting the DAE's high speed Internet targets.

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Directorate C: Excellence in Science

Ensure the renewal of the scientific basis for future ICT by fostering excellence in ICT research, and to help transform the way it is conceived, practiced, disseminated and used. Develop a full-cycle roadmap to get the output into the EU economy, through innovation tools such as pilot-lines, open innovation platforms, pre-commercial procurement, and standards. DG lead for Horizon 2020/Excellence.

Unit C1: e -Infrastructure

We support the development and deployment of e-infrastructures that will give every European researcher digital skills and digital tools and contribute to a seamless and open European space for online research, the Digital European Research Area. Our aims are to:

  1. Support the deployment of infrastructures for data-centric science & engineering.
  2. Seek to develop the infrastructure and services as well as the corresponding skills base to support the European High Performance Computing (HPC) strategy.
  3. Develop GÉANT as the basis of a service that can both support researchers within Europe and better link Europe with the rest of the world.
  4. Facilitate community-led development of digital environments for large-scale collaboration among researchers in life sciences, physical sciences, environmental and geo-sciences, and the energy field.

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Unit C2: Future & Emerging Technologies (FET)

Our team supports ground breaking, multi-disciplinary exploratory research for future ICT. Our aims are to:

  1. Harvest future trends, technologies, and research communities. Part of this work will be to look at the possibility of establishing a "FET Observatory".
  2. Prepare to implement the new Future & Emerging Technologies mandate within H2020.
  3. Continue to manage the FET Open and FET Pro-active portfolio of research projects.
  4. Maintain an intensive dialogue with the scientific community, policy makers and society in general in order to secure for FET the high visibility within the research community which it requires if it is to find new ideas.

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Unit C3: Digital Sciences

Our job is to support the emergence of a Digital European Research Area (ERA) where researchers, knowledge, and technologies circulate freely, aided by digital means. Our aims are to:

  1. Support open access to data, publications and ERA services for connectivity, computing, software and data as part of our effort to promote a digital and seamless and seamless ERA. This will be based on constant consideration of ethical aspects of scientific data collection, sharing and preservation.
  2. Use digital tools to engage with potential young researchers to build science & technology careers. We will also help develop new ICT-based policy modelling tools and systems which can enhance awareness of scientific findings in the policy and societal discussions.
  3. Coordinate and follow up the ICT contribution to the "Excellence" pillar of Horizon 2020.
  4. Support research to explore how the convergence of Big Data and online tools including social media applications can change the way in which people are involved in decisions based on science.

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Unit C4: Flagships

We manage a portfolio of pilot research initiatives ("flagships") delivering major breakthroughs in science and technology, with the potential for radically new technologies that can impact the European economy or provide solutions to some of society's biggest challenges. Our aims are to:

  1. Draw up an overall policy framework which supports, for up to 10 years, large scale transformational science and research initiatives, targeting grand scientific & societal challenges, through coordinated initiatives among European, and national programmes, including where appropriate collaborations with non-European programmes.
  2. Manage the ongoing and future FET Flagships in close cooperation with all relevant stakeholders.
  3. Work with the other EU institutions and all relevant stakeholders to support the implementation under H2020 of the existing projects which may require support beyond the end of the current programmes.
  4. Share the lessons of the FET approach with other initiatives across the Commission.

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Unit C5: Administration & Finance

In order to demonstrate that the EU manages soundly and efficiently the budget entrusted to it, we maintain a high level of quality of service in the execution of our financing decisions, including ensuring timely negotiations; short times to contract, to amendment and to payment; proper handling and compliance of legal, financial and audit procedural aspects. Our aims are:

  1. Ensure the coordination and implementation of all financial and contractual matters concerning Research projects for ICT, Capacities and CIP as well as administrative expenditure for events and studies with as result full budget consumption and achievement of targets for time to contract/payment.
  2. Coordinate the budget planning and reporting, to contribute to the annual programming cycle, to provide support to Human Resources Management, to participate in the definition of user requirements in IT tools.
  3. Ensure a smooth transfer to the new structure, to support in the allocation of resources and project distribution, to participate in working groups defining the rules and guidelines for the Horizon 2020 programme.
  4. Provide service and advice to operational units on legal and financial matters related in particular to audits, bankruptcies, termination.

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Directorate D: Cooperation

Provide an effective participatory, transparent and cooperative interface with all external stakeholders.

Unit D1: International

We work on a bilateral level and through multilateral fora, to garner support for the EU's objectives. Our aims are to:

  1. Aim for a successful outcome of the WCIT by keeping international Telecommunications Regulations closely aligned to existing and evolving EU Regulations. This should ideally lead to an enhanced status for the EU in ITU in 2014.
  2. Represent DG Connect in existing Internet fora, ensuring that any International initiative taken remain compatible with the Compact principles. This will include the "No disconnect strategy" and the management of the .eu domain name. We will cooperate with the Internet Policy Task Force on an overall global architecture for Internet governance.
  3. Focus in our bilateral relations on (1) market access for European companies, (2) supporting relevant multilateral initiatives and (3) promoting a sound and transparent regulatory system in all parts of the world that is as closely aligned to the European model as possible.
  4. Aim to ensure that EU researchers can fully benefit from 3rd country excellence in research by ensuring mutual access and increasing the number of 3rd country researchers participating in European projects.

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Unit D2: Inter-institutional

The unit is the DG's interface with the other EU Institutions, and the guardian of the planning and procedures which ensure this cooperation results in good legislative & political initiatives. Our aims are to:

  1. Ensure the planning follows political guidance and EU strategic objectives, with realistic timelines, and minimised delays.
  2. Ensure the DGs' policies are adopted according to Commission rules and in a timely fashion in order to achieve expected political results.
  3. Ensure the DG's priority issues are followed in a timely way by other Institutions in order to achieve the right decisions.
  4. Ensure the DG's policies and goals are explained to and understood by Institutional players.

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Unit D3: Communication

We define and help the DG to carry out an integrated communication strategy. This implies shaping views on complex issues within the DG and using the full panoply of tools to present them to external audiences. Our aims are to:

  1. Maintain and improve the DAE public web site.
  2. Help all units to use the full panoply of communication tools (especially web and social media) as part of an integrated media strategy with broader use of monitoring and measuring tools.
  3. Help create coherence in the views and approaches of different units and Directorates around a priority action and proposing a communications strategy to achieve this goal.
  4. Create an internal communication platform, to reinforce interaction among Connect staff and promote and encourage more open and direct communication and especially collaboration between management and staff.

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Unit D4: Stakeholders

This unit ensures that DG Connect is efficient at stimulating, assessing and responding to input from all stakeholders whose views and experience can feed our activities. It will also manage specific initiatives such as "Digital Women", "Digital Champions" and further develop action on corporate social responsibility. Our aims are to:

  1. Develop and ensure the application of a strategic approach to stakeholder engagement across the DG.
  2. Set common Principles/Guidelines on Good Practice for Consultation with Stakeholders.
  3. Provide advice and support on stakeholder engagement to other units.
  4. Lead the implementation and coordination of on-going multi-stakeholder initiatives and actively support new ones.

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Directorate E: NET Futures

Research and Innovation on what lies beyond the current Internet architecture, software and services. DG lead on EU-Strategy for the Cloud. Enabling growth through research, innovation and policy for future industries. Develop a full-cycle roadmap to get the output into the EU economy, through innovation tools such as pilot-lines, pre-commercial procurement, and standards.

Unit E1: Network technologies

We support research activities on wireless, optical & satellite communication technologies that can cope with the massive projected increases in network traffic. Our aims are to:

  1. Reinforce European know-how with leadership on ultra-fast broadband access and core networks based on infrastructure able to support a 1000-fold growth in traffic by 2020.
  2. Develop European industrial leadership on networks and architectures capable of supporting novel classes of Internet usage and innovative applications like content/information-centric, distributed computing, Machine to Machine and the Internet of Things.
  3. Reinforce industrial, academic and SME partnerships to develop and experiment sustainable network technologies, that are ultra-fast, low power, low energy, low radiation, and of highest spectrum efficiency.

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Unit E2: Software & Services, Cloud

In leading an integrated cloud strategy for Europe, our aims are to:

  1. Develop and implement a strategy for cloud computing in Europe addressing legal & policy frameworks, the technical & commercial fundamentals, and actions to stimulate take-up and effective use in Europe, in particular in the public sector through the European Cloud Partnership.
  2. Implement policy actions to encourage open source and fair licensing schemes for interoperability.
  3. Develop a research agenda for cloud and the Internet of Services, including devices, sensors and networked computing.

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Unit E3: Net Innovation

In order to provide support for web entrepreneurship and Internet businesses in Europe, our aims are to:

  1. Engage new stakeholders in developing visions of net innovation to be included in EC programmes and activities.
  2. Enable and demonstrate innovative services for businesses and citizens which build upon the most advanced functionalities of the net.
  3. Explore and pioneer novel forms of technological and digital societal innovation which use the full potential of the network effect.

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Unit E4: Experimental Platforms

As a centre of excellence for advanced and integrated network experimentation, our aims are to:

  1. Create and maintain experimental platforms which allow the testing and integration of technologies, tools, services and applications in realistic environments (e.g. smart cities) in view of large-scale deployment.
  2. Promote the federation and sustainability of these platforms and the emergence and validation of standards.
  3. Foster the demand and support innovative experiments integrating research results, driven by the needs of the relevant stakeholders along the value chain, ranging from researchers to end-users.
  4. New concepts for the long-term evolution of experimental facilities such as experimentation as a service,  pan-European set ups and  virtualisation of networks.

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Unit E5: Administration & Finance

In order to demonstrate that the EU manages soundly and efficiently the budget entrusted to it, we will maintain a high level of quality of service in the execution of our financing decisions, including ensuring timely negotiations; short times to contract, to amendment and to payment; proper handling and compliance of legal, financial and audit procedural aspects. Our aims are to:

  1. Manage the financial and contractual implementation of FP7 ICT, CIP PSP grants and Horizon 2020 funding instruments.
  2. Provide financial and legal assistance to selection procedures, contract signature and payments of studies and support services.
  3. Carry out annual planning, programming and reporting; manage audits, HR support, IT coordination and statistics.
  4. Support the transition to the Connect structure and monitoring.

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Directorate F: Co-ordination

Coordinate overall DG vision on our contribution to EU economic growth. Develop, coordinate and monitor effective policy for deployment, regulation & research and innovation of ICT. DG lead for EU 2020, FP7 and Horizon 2020.

Unit F1: Growth & jobs

Overall coordination of the DG Connect contribution to EU growth policies, including the Digital Single Market. Leadership for DAE implementation. Our aims are to:

  1. Coordinate policy aspects related to the contribution of ICT to growth, skills and jobs, and promote the position of the DG in relevant European and national initiatives beyond the Digital Agenda.
  2. Contribute to the European Single Market, fostering policy initiatives on digital aspects relating to consumers and business, especially to promote e-commerce, supporting legislative or other type of interventions within or outside the Digital Agenda.
  3. Ensure the overall implementation and run the governance mechanisms of the Europe 2020 flagship "Digital Agenda for Europe", through solid coordination across Commission services and beyond.

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Unit F2: Innovation

We work to help close the gap between research and innovation, and hence to the creation of jobs in Europe. Our aims are to:

  1. Contribute to policy and regulation to support innovation; support innovation clusters and networks; and foster change in the attitude towards innovation and entrepreneurship.
  2. Foster the translation of breakthrough technologies, generated by research projects, into innovative products and services.
  3. Develop new instruments to support the creation of an ecosystem of innovation in Europe.
  4. Exploit European strengths in design and creativity by developing new, bottom-up and flexible models of innovation including social, open and user centric innovation.

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Unit F3: Programme Coordination

We provide the overall coordination of the DG's research and innovation activities, developing, defending and promoting the DG's position in the various coordination bodies, both within and outside the EU. Our aims are to:

  1. Coordinate ICT Research and Innovation across all three H2020 pillars including Inter-service groups, ERA, ERAC, Joint programming, ISTAG, ETPs, National ICT directors ensuring a coherent DG Connect position
  2. Coordinate delivery of the ICT related work programmes across the different pillars of H2020.
  3. Manage and coordinate LEIT ICT Committee, FET Committee, ICT Directors, ICT National Contact Points, and organisation of ICT information events, proposers' days and conferences at regular intervals.
  4. Develop a coherent strategy for international collaboration in ICT research and innovation ensuring coherent implementation and representing DG Connect in S&T dialogues and inter service coordination of international R, D and I activities.

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Unit F4: Knowledge Base

We coordinate the data strategy and provide evidence for assessing progress in meeting the Digital Agenda policy targets. Our aims are to:

  1. Coordinate DG Connect's data strategy, ensuring data needs are met at cost, including studies.
  2. Coordinate ICT-related country intelligence, including mapping and monitoring of digital skills.
  3. Coordinate data collection, dissemination and analyses to assess progress in implementing the Digital Agenda via the Scoreboard.
  4. Coordinate evaluations relevant to the DG's objectives and proposals for strategic orientations.

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Directorate G: Media & Data

Lead for the DG in framing and supporting a vision for the optimal development and expansion of innovative & creative media & data use. From R&D to the necessary regulatory framework, including open data, Public Service Information, Audiovisual, Inclusion & children's issues. Develop a full-cycle roadmap to get the output into the EU economy, through innovation tools such as pilot-lines, pre-commercial procurement, and standards.

Unit G1: Converging media & Content

Audiovisual and Media policy and related research. INFSO lead on Copyright. We ensure that the current regulatory environment of the audio-visual media services sector is respected, while preparing a strategy for addressing future developments (such as Connected TV), including the regulatory, research & other challenges related to this process of convergence. We promote respect for media pluralism and media freedom, while helping to facilitate the online cross-border distribution of digital content and consumer access to it. Our aims are to:

  1. Address regulatory, Research and other challenges of convergence in order subsequently to develop a strategy.
  2. Ensure that the Audiovisual Media Services Directive is correctly implemented and provides a reliable framework for the European audiovisual industry, while safeguarding public policy objectives.
  3. Work towards respect for media pluralism and media freedom.
  4. Help facilitate the online distribution of and consumer access to digital content, in particular through reforming copyright.

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Unit G2: Creativity

The creative industries have an important growth potential as the Internet develops. We provide research funding to areas such as interfaces, simulation and visualisation, games engines, immersive experiences and support the creative industries in their innovation process. Our aims are to:

  1. Support the development of new creative experience tools that make use of all our senses and which will allow for richer, more collaborative and interactive experiences.
  2. Promote solutions for the digitisation of Europe's cultural heritage, the cross-border access to digital cultural content, its reuse and long term preservation.
  3. Support the development of Europeana, Europe's digital library, providing it with a stable funding model for the period 2014-2020 whilst improving access to European culture and serving as a hub for the creative industries for the innovative reuse of its content.
  4. Mobilise the entire range of available EU innovation instruments in H2020 to support the creative industries.

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Unit G3: Data Value Chain

The processing, management, use and reuse of data help drive growth and efficiency in the public & private sector. Our aims are to:

  1. Developing a strategy for the European data value chain leading to a coherent set of actions that will help to boost the emerging European data industry and that will contribute to increased efficiency in a range of data-intensive application areas.
  2. Supporting research and innovation fostering the intelligent use, management and reuse of complex and large amount of data for better decision making, efficiency and knowledge management. Main areas of work will be: Research on data and content analytics including visualisation and multilingual data; the use of data driven intelligence and knowledge management in data intensive sectors.
  3. Advancing the Commission's open data policy by accompanying the adoption process of the revised Directive on the re-use of Public Sector Information by Parliament and Council, by handling complaints and infringements based on the existing PSI Directive, and by promoting open data policies across the European Union.
  4. Creating the basis for pan-European portals for open data and for language resources. These portals will improve the accessibility and usability of fragmented data and language resources available at the local, regional and national level.

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Unit G4: Inclusion, Skills & Youth

We work to ensure that citizens, especially young people and those at risk of exclusion, are best able to benefit from the Internet and have the necessary skills to do so. Our aims are to:

  1. Improve the quality of content, opportunity and experience of the Internet for children, taking into account the increasingly young age at which they go online and ensuring that all young adults acquire progressively the appropriate skills to be digitally competent citizens.
  2. Support research and innovation on ICT for education with a strong focus on how to promote take-up, including through initiatives with industry. foster the use of ICTs both inside and outside formal educational systems.
  3. Develop a strategy aimed at making the Internet more accessible and inclusive.
  4. Support research & innovation, through the effective and efficient implementation of programmes and projects in the fields of Safer Internet and of ICT enabled learning.

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Unit G5: Administration & Finance

In order to demonstrate that the EU manages soundly and efficiently the budget entrusted to it, we will maintain a high level of quality of service in the execution of our financing decisions, including ensuring timely negotiations; short times to contract, to amendment and to payment; proper handling and compliance of legal, financial and audit procedural aspects. Our aims are to:

  1. Ensure the proper implementation of the ongoing grants, audits and alike for the different programmes handled by the directorate.
  2. Support Directorate operations, management, planning/reporting and cross-Directorate co-operation.
  3. Support the transition to DG CONNECT and Horizon2020.
  4. Improve the DGs performance in payment deadlines so as to meet the Commission shorter payment deadlines.

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Directorate H: Sustainable & Secure Society

Address selected ICT challenges for a sustainable, healthy and secure society. Develop a full-cycle roadmap to get the output into the EU economy, through innovation tools such as pilot-lines, precommercial procurement, and standards. DG lead for Horizon 2020/Societal Challenges.

Unit H1: Health and Well-Being

With a brief to coordinate research for health and wellbeing of citizens, including integrated care: short and mid-term, we will target the personalised, preventive healthcare of the future. Our aims are to:

  1. Develop and implement policies which support the use of proven eHealth and well-being solutions as outlined in the Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE). We will prepare for adoption the eHealth Action Plan, 2012-2020, and submit a proposal for the establishment of the eHealth Interoperability Framework.
  2. Support pre commercial procurement and public procurement for innovation.
  3. Make progress on interoperability of personal health summaries and ICT skills cooperation with the United States.
  4. Prepare a SWP on the applicability of the existing EU legal framework to telemedicine services. We will encourage law incubators giving assistance to high technology start-ups.

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Unit H2: Digital Social Platforms

We seek to deploy ICT more widely in areas that will allow people to age well.Our aims are to:

  1. Support research and innovation in active ageing and independent living through novel ICT concepts and solutions, digital social platforms, multidisciplinary effort, and global cooperation. ICT for social care and contributing to the integrated care scenarios.
  2. Foster large scale innovation actions by engaging MS, regions, industry, professionals, users and other stakeholders on specific actions that include ICT-enabled innovation and deployment.
  3. Prepare for adoption the Directive on Web-Accessibility.

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Unit H3: Public services

We lead the development and deployment of EU Digital Public Services, focussing on cross-border excellence in eGovernment, and based on the eGovernment Action Plan 2011-2015. Our aims are to:
  1. Use the eGovernment Action Plan 2011- 2015 as a tool for innovation in public administrations within the Digital Single Market.
  2. Develop and and implement on-line , cross border eGovernment Services and to prepare and ensure their longer term sustainability
  3. Take the lead in the preparation and coordination of the CEF Digital Service  infrastructures (DSIs) – legislation and preparation of operations

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Unit H4: Trust and Security

We develop policy, research and innovation solutions and carry out activities enhancing the security of Internet networks and services and the protection of citizens' on-line privacy and security. Our aims are to:

  1. Elaborate a European strategy on Internet security and remove cyber security related obstacles to the proper functioning of the Internal Market.
  2. We will manage implementation of the e-privacy Directive and follow-up of all issues related to the protection of privacy on-line.
  3. Manage the various financial programmes (FP7, CIP, H2020) supporting the Internet and ICT security.
  4. Promote a better coordinated and coherent approach on cyber incident management worldwide.

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Unit H5: Smart Cities & Sustainability

ICT has the potential to play a key role in meeting the EU's climate and energy targets. We develop the policy framework to ensure that digital technologies improve sustainability in general including energy security and resource utilisation. We also aim to accelerate the deployment of integrated energy, transport and ICT solutions at local level, help better manage flows of goods and people, and allow an EU-wide shift to clean sources of energy, with improved efficiency in generation, transmission and distribution. Our aims are to:

  1. Accelerate development and deployment of integrated energy, transport, mobility and ICT solutions at local level to serve EU climate and energy targets and more generally combined social, economic and environmental sustainability, while being the coordination unit for smart cities.
  2. Assure a positive contribution of digital technologies to improving energy security and resource utilisation, and reducing carbon emissions across the EU, and creating avenues for innovation and growth.
  3. Accelerate development and deployment of ICT solutions, to manage flows and mobility of goods and people across the EU with a view to achieving vastly improved resource and other efficiencies and general sustainability.
  4. Accelerate development and deployment of ICT solutions that enable an EU-wide shift to clean sources of energy, and improved efficiency in generation, transmission and distribution.

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Unit H6:  Administration and Finance

In order to demonstrate that the EU manages soundly and efficiently the budget entrusted to it, we will maintain a high level of quality of service in the execution of our financing decisions, including ensuring timely negotiations; short times to contract, to amendment and to payment; proper handling and compliance of legal, financial and audit procedural aspects. Our aims are to:

  1. Ensure correct and quick budget implementation of all grants (FP7, CIP) under Directorate remit (financial verification and, where empowered, authorisation, including handling of commitments, amendments, payments, audit implementation and recovery orders).
  2. Support Directorate operations, management, planning/reporting and cross-Directorate co-operation.
  3. Support to the transition to DG Connect and Horizon2020.
  4. Support the Directorate's Communication, Stakeholder Engagement activities and support to Partnerships.

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Directorate R: Support

Support the DG's people and operations, as well as to ensure compliance with essential procedures.

Unit R1: People

We implement the human resources & staff engagement strategies of the DG, and deal with staff and career issues and related legal matters for the DG. Our aims are to:

  1. Assist the Management Team in implementing the Human Resources Strategy.
  2. Implement the Staff Engagement Strategy Action Plan, focussed on the improvement of the DG working environment; implement the Equal Opportunities & Diversity Action Plan including a Well-being policy; implement and develop flexible work pattern schemes.
  3. Provide services to staff, by implementing the learning & development framework.
  4. Analyse the current legal framework to support the implementation of the other priority areas; monitor the implementation of HR internal control standards, including ethics.

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Unit R2: Finance

We manage the finances of the DG, and deal with all budgetary matters, including public procurement, in a spirit of continuous improvement. Our aims are to:

  1. Integrate the Draft Budget and Management plans exercises to reduce the number of contributions by services. Follow-up the inter-institutional negotiations of the next MFF & prepare associated programming.
  2. Achieve the centralisation of closed projects in 2012 and develop de capacity to implement audit results in closed projects in a timely manner.
  3. Develop and maintain the capacity to verify award files in a timely manner.
  4. Put in place a visible process for continuous improvement underlying financial and budgetary processes.

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Unit R3: Support Systems & Tools

We provide the IT systems and tools which are used by the DG. This needs to take into account the transition to the evolving structures of the DG and move to Horizon 2020. Our aims are to:

  1. Facilitate the implementation and maintenance of the DG Connect structure. Prepare and implement the ITIC.
  2. Provide IT support to operations.
  3. Prepare for Horizon 2020 including any externalisation processes.
  4. Lead the IT rationalization work in the Grant Management & Procurement Domains beyond the scope of the Research DGs to the entire Commission.

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Unit R4: Compliance

We provide the DG with the legal, internal control & external audit expertise needed to fulfil its mission and to report and benchmark our activities. We will:

  1. Contribute to DG Connect’s annual assurance process, contact point for the DG with IAS and ECA.
  2. Coordinate DG Connect’s anti-fraud activity by preventive, detective and corrective measures in view of providing assurance, contact point for the DG with OLAF.
  3. Contribute to DG Connect's internal controls in an integrated manner, contact point for the DG with CFS.
  4. Provide specific legal advice in grant management, support in contestations, litigation and complaints, legal oversight in regulatory work of DG Connect, contact point for the DG with Legal Service, Ombudsman and EDPS.

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Unti R5: Programme Operations

We support all units across the DG when they work under the existing rules and procedures for issuing calls for proposals and evaluations, carrying out project negotiation and selection and managing projects and grants. Likewise we prepare the future rules, procedures, processes and guidelines for H2020. Our aims are to:

  1. Coordinate and support for calls for proposals and evaluation.
  2. Coordinate and support project negotiation and selection.
  3. Support project management and administration.
  4. Prepare for the transition to Horizon 2020.

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Other Entities

Unit 01: Internal Audit

We provide independent, objective assurance and advice designed to add value and improve the operations of the Directorate General. Our aims are to:

  1. Carry out audits on the FP7 payment process.
  2. Review the process for implementing the specific Programme Capacities in DG Connect.
  3. Carry out audits on the IT systems.
  4. Cary our follow-up audits.

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Unit 02: Knowledge-Sharing

We analyse and weigh policy, organisational and administrative options for the fulfilment of the Directorate-General's mission through enhanced processes, tools and practices, including impact assessment, metrics and synergy between the policy, regulatory and research & innovation aspects of the Directorate-General's work. Our aims are to:

  1. Engage a broad community of stakeholders on a way forward to a common long-term perspective of the research, policy and regulatory dimensions of ICT.
  2. Support decision making and forward planning by upstream identification of knowledge sharing opportunities, both in-house and outside; constantly strive to improve the overall performance of the Directorate-General by developing and improving collaboration and knowledge-sharing.
  3. Identify specific policy areas where the understanding of the role of ICT is deficient and optimise the role of the Directorate-General in those areas; steer knowledge sharing between research & innovation and policy/regulatory directorates.
  4. Improve impact assessment planning and performance processes; develop a framework for embedded impact assessment thinking in the Directorate-General's work culture; strengthen the metrics process across the Directorate-General.

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Task Forces

Internet Policy Development

The task force will deliver and implement a strategic vision for the EU's overall Internet policy and its global framework. Our aims are to:

  1. Deliver a strategic vision for the EU Internet policy and its preferred global framework.
  2. Ensure the coherence of Internet policies across the Commission and other EU institutions and coherence with the overall objectives of the EU and respect for its legal framework.
  3. Leverage synergies between policy, research and regulation related to Internet activities within DG Connect.
  4. Foster awareness of broad challenges of Internet policy within the DG and contribute to strengthening the visibility/presence of DG Connect in Internet related activities inside and outside the Commission, incl. at international level.

(Exp date: 31/12/2013)

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Digital Futures

The task force engages stakeholders to build and maintain a shared set of visions to inspire the design of future policies beyond the Digital Agenda and Europe 2020. This relies on new technologies and methodologies for embedding evidence; anticipatory & participatory thinking in policy making practices and contribute to the annual review process of the Digital Agenda and the content definition of Horizon 2020. Our aims are to:

  1. Build and maintain a shared set of visions (futures) to inspire the design of future policies beyond the Digital Agenda and Europe 2020.
  2. Raise public awareness and engage stakeholders in the development of visions and policy options".
  3. Pilot new technologies and methodologies for embedding evidence, agility, anticipatory and participatory thinking in policy making practices.
  4. Contribute to the annual review process of the Digital Agenda and the content definition of Horizon 2020.

(Exp date: 31/12/2013)

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Sectoral Strategy Needs

The task force will develop a sector-by-sector vision on how ICT Research and Innovation will contribute to economy-wide competitiveness and job growth. Our aims are to:

  1. Analyse the ICT competitiveness factors.
  2. Define, implement and monitor the strategy.

(Exp date: 31/12/2013)

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Legislation Team (eIDAS)

The task force will lead the development, negotiation and basic implementation of the B eIDAS proposal: proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on trust and confidence in electronic transactions in the internal market (electronic trusted services regulation). Our aims are to:

  1. Establish a new legislative framework on eID and trust services for electronic transaction in the digital market.
  2. Follow up Directive 1999/93/EC including standardisation and international aspects.
  3. Leverage the large scale pilots (like STORK, SPOCS, PEPPOL, eCodex, ePSOS), to accelerate the realisation of the objective of the new legislative framework.

(Exp date: 31/12/2014)

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Florin Lupescu, principal Advisor

As Chief Advisor, I:

  1. Provide strategic advice designed to ensure DG Connect is able to capitalise on the transition from DG INFSO
  2. Secure adequate assistance for the scenario-development capacity that can underpin the DG's change process

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Žiga Bahovec

As Adviser for Legal & Legislative Issues, I:

  1. Complement the new unit 02 in checking Impact assessments and contribute to the development of a method for impact assessments for future impact assessments.
  2. Advice on legal aspects of emerging technologies, including cloud and internet, with focus on fundamental freedoms, privacy and liability.
  3. Advice on Treaty based aspects related to international agreements and other quasi agreements with 3rd countries.
  4. Reduce legal risk by providing legal advice to the Management team on legal matters in order to improve to implement the Digital agenda for Europe (the fire-fighter role).

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D. Beernaert

There is an increased need for more holistic, integrated, and multi-disciplinary approaches and visions to address the next research, innovation and industrialisation wave and to address the economic, societal and environmental challenges of the future. This is recognised in Horizon 2020, putting amongst others a special emphasis on cross cutting and multi- KET activities.

Adviser for Interdisciplinary & Integrating Activities, I will advise the DG on cross- cutting and multi-KET (Key Enabling Technologies) activities and for value creation out of interdisciplinary and integrating approaches and activities. I:

  1. Support the strategies and policies on electronics in Europe.
  2. Advise on global competiveness issues & other trade and competition related activities.
  3. Contribute to the TF on "Sector Strategy Needs" and the activities on "Regional Policy".
  4. Provide advice on synergies within H2020 and between H2020 and cohesion policy.

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R. Cencioni

As Adviser for Multilingual Aspects of Information Society I

  1. Help establish a widely accepted research and innovation strategy in the field of language technologies.
  2. Contribute to the design, implementation and governance of the Multilingual digital service platform within the CEF.

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J-E de Cockborne

As Adviser for Individuals in the DAE, and to ensure that DG Connect puts at the heart of its action the needs of individuals as human beings, citizens and consumers, I:

  1. Develop a new strategy aiming to ensure that the needs of individuals as consumers, citizens and human beings are properly taken into account in our policy.
  2. Ensure that the actions are completed on time and in an exhaustive way with high quality results.
  3. Advise the Director-General and relevant colleagues and represent the Directorate-General on all issues relevant for the mission.

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N. Dewandre

As Adviser for societal issues, I:

  1. Contribute to and foster the uptake of societal concerns in the implementation of the DAE.
  2. Provide input to the drafting and adoption of the code for Effective Open Voluntarism
  3. Manage the Onlife initiative, within the Digital Futures framework, aiming to rethink concepts in order to grasp in a more future-proof way the challenges faced by society due to the digital transition.

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J. Jaaskelaainen

As Adviser for ICT for Transport & Energy, I:

  1. Coordinate the international activities in the transportation domain, in particular with USA and Japan, chairing of the partnership platforms such as the iMobility Forum and EeIP, and supporting the Directorate H participation in the PPPs including the European Green Cars Initiative (EGCI).
  2. Extend this expertise to other social and collaborative platforms in DG Connect, most notably helping to define and set up the Smart Cities initiative and integrating its energy and transport elements, ensuring coordination with other related activities such as Future Internet.
  3. Coordinate participation in major international events in transport and energy domains, such as TRA congresses, ITS World Congresses and the DAE events.
  4. Support the definition of the ICT for Transport and Energy research and innovation area in the Horizon 2020 framework, including coordination with DGs RDT and MOVE in writing the Work Programmes, and supporting the governance mechanism to be set up.

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R. Niepold

As Adviser for Spectrum, Standardisation & Internet, I:

  1. Advise on developing and implementing a reinforced EU strategic approach to spectrum, including reform of spectrum management towards efficient use of spectrum and delivering sufficient spectrum resources for major policy objectives such as BB wireless access, driving innovation, sustainable development, citizen security, service commodities etc.
  2. Help to establish, under the DG's lead, a coherent strategic Internet Strategy covering inter alia governance, technical infrastructure development, economic model, regulatory aspects, with a view to develop an EU basis for leverage the Internet potential and societal impact and for the EU to engage as a leading player at international level.
  3. Advising on rebuilding a DG competence and lead on ICT standardization and implementing a coherent strategy to deliver on the essential and integral role of standardization underpinning the DG's public policies, R&D&I actions and initiatives, and regulatory actions.
  4. Actively contribute to the systematic communication on the DG's policy action at all levels, as part of the interactive process with stakeholders underpinning policy development throughout its life cycle.

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B. Salmelin

As Adviser for Innovation Systems Adviser to the DG with special responsibility for innovation systems, I:

  1. Support and give insights for the DG on the creation of European Innovation system for knowledge society, with open innovation and experimental instrument development across the DG Connect.
  2. Cary out conceptual development and experimental/prototyping of the methods in our actions in the H2020.
  3. Communicate about our approach to the European innovation system, focusing on open innovation by using various media channels, (e.g. workshops, seminars, publications, social media and alike).

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R. Swetenham : Adviser for Open Data

As Adviser for Open Data, I

  1. Advising DG Connect management team (MT) on cross-cutting issues related to open data.
  2. Reinforce links with other DGs and links with stakeholders outside Commission in area of open data.
  3. Pilot the PSI Directive amendment proposal through legislative procedure.

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