|EUROPA > European Commission > Information Society and Media||Skip navigation | Search | Contact|
A world-class research programme
Information Communication Technologies research takes up the single largest portion (over €9bn) of the EU's “Seventh Framework Programme for Research” (2006-2013). Funded projects bring together scientists, companies and others such as user communities from across Europe, pooling their resources and helping carry out an EU-wide vision of how technologies should be developed.
The i2010 perspective: focuses on strengthening the
EU's investment in
innovation and research in ICT. This involves development of instruments and
policies for ICT research and setting of priorities for cooperation with the
private sector to promote innovation and technological leadership.
Objectives range from very basic research (nanotechnology, photonics ...) through to using ICTs to improve quality of life (road safety, healthcare ...) and industrial competitiveness (networked services, software ...).
These are complemented by the Future and Emerging Technologies initiative - a nursery for incubating the innovative, high-risk ideas vital for Europe's long-term competitiveness.
DG Information Society & Media has also created GÉANT, linking researchers in over 3,500 research and education centres in 34 countries together across Europe. The world's most powerful research network, GÉANT creates massive economies of scale for European science and makes possible research that was previously impossible even to imagine.
Snapshot: Help! I’m a car and I’ve crashed
From 2009, all new cars will be equipped with automatic “eCall” technology that could save an estimated 2,500 lives every year and provide faster medical care for many thousands more car accident victims.
"... research must often be combined with regulation to turn innovative ICT technologies into life-saving services"
When the car senses a major impact, eCall will automatically report your exact location to the emergency services via mobile phone, using another Commission initiative - the single ‘112’ European emergency number. Anyone in the car can also trigger an eCall by simply pushing a button.
This is a joint Commission-industry initiative. Launching both eCall and 112 meant bringing together governments, vehicle manufacturers, ICT industries and emergency services from across Europe, showing how research must often be combined with regulation to turn innovative ICT technologies into life-saving services.
Snapshot: Mobile Phone, Mobile Cash
Thanks to European research, anyone with a mobile handset will soon be able to pay for anything, anywhere. The SEMOPS project (Secure Mobile Payment Service) has developed a highly secure way for consumers to make payments using mobile devices.
Users can send money to friends and family, pay bills and invoices, buy anything from vending machine coffee to a new car, purchase via the Internet and more, all using their mobile handset. And because they approve each transaction and only provide sensitive information to trusted partners, they remain in full control, with security guaranteed.
Snapshot: Bringing the Ballot Box to You
A successful research project into electronic voting has led to an eTEN project to test the technology in real world elections, helping Europe deliver on the promise of eGovernment.
Electronic voting is vital to eGovernment, where interactive technologies help deliver better public services and attract citizens back to democracy. Any new system, however, must be at least as secure, private and accessible as existing ones to win voter trust.
The ePoll research project therefore defined and piloted an electronic voting framework, incorporating smart cards, biometrics, cryptography and userfriendly, portable kiosks. The follow-up eTEN project then successfully ran large-scale, legally valid elections in France and Italy to ensure the technology meets real-world needs.