Techno-economic Foresight for the Information Society
Institute for Prospective Technological Studies
In 2009, TEFIS will implement 5 activities: (1) ICT role in Health and Quality of Life; (2) ICT role in Digital Identity and Information search; (3) ICT role in the provision of mobile services in Augmented Reality Environments; (4) ICT role in Sustainable Development; and (5) ICT role in the Evolution of Innovation Processes. In more detail:
TEFIS Activity 1: ICT role in Health and Quality of Life
With health increasingly dependent on working and living spaces, food and quality of the environment, the demand for health care is on the rise as is the running cost of public healthcare systems in the EU. ICTs can play a role in making the supply of existing services more efficient, enabling the market to offer novel services and new treatments and enabling patient to directly contribute towards shielding their own health. As a complement to a number of activities already launched by the European Commission in this area (i.e. eHealth Lead Market Initiative, Joint Communication on Telemedicine, Commission Recommendation on cross-border interoperability of electronic health records, SANCO operated European Health Portal, high-level conferences, CIP and FP funded projects), TEFIS will develop the following 3 sub-acticities:
Sub-activity 1.1:'Remote Patient Monitoring and Treatment ReMonT' - Assess market and innovation dynamics, focusing on improving care / cure in out-of-hospital settings, so as to contribute to policy making at the European level in relation to PHS (Personal Health Systems). TEFIS research, which is included in the IRIS framework contract and will be accompanied by a multi-annual Administrative Arrangement with DG INFSO/C, will evaluate the purpose, perceptions and expectations of current and likely future actors in the area. Both qualitative (case studies) and quantitative (indicators in relation to evidence of clinical and economic benefits) outcomes will be developed. The activity will be implemented over three years, to further strategically monitor Personal Health Systems.
Sub-activity 1.2:'Health Systems 2.0' - Identify, primarily for DG INFSO/H, how citizens/patients engaged in Social Computing initiatives will be empowered to shape the supply of Healthcare, become drivers of innovation in tele-homecare applications and contribute to biomedical research so as to raise awareness on the role of ICTs on future healthcare, tele-homecare systems, and biomedical research challenges. The research will assess likely impacts in these three domains based on case studies of actual situations and analysis of possible impacts with the help of expert workshops.
Sub-activity 1.3:'eWork4AA' - Exploratory research which will contribute to the development of policies that will facilitate the socio-economic integration of senior citizens and the provision of market services to transform the working place accordingly. TEFIS research in this area will explore market demand and supply, the socio-economic potential of such services, the likely benefits for the economy and society and likely future challenges. Desk-research and a scenario building workshop will be the basis of the research proposal.
TEFIS Activity 2: ICT role in Digital Identity and Information search
Consumer/citizen confidence in technological and market innovations, affected by the implementation of efficient identity management systems, is a pre-requisite of business success of emerging applications; the role ICTs can play in establishing 'trust' is of key importance.
Sub-activity 2.1:'eIdentity in 2020' - Examine, primarily for DG INFSO/H, the social, economic and technical aspects of identity in the 2020 ubiquitous information space so as to assist policy formulation. TEFIS will identify favourable conditions for safe and effective personal data management and propose identity-market enhancing policy options. This research will: (a) identify key policy stakeholders and industry players and determine their diverse targets and market strategies; (b) identify and assess current and future conceptual and technical innovations in relation to emerging identity applications; and (c) evaluate the impacts of emerging technologies in the presence of increasing industry consolidation and user-producer convergence.
Sub-activity 2.2:'Audio-Visual Content search' - Investigate, primarily for DG INFSO/D, today's web search engines as well as emerging audio-visual content ones so as to help policy makers address socio-economic challenges. TEFIS research will continue the study on future socio-economic and legal impacts of audiovisual search engines in the framework of FP6-funded coordinating action CHORUS. The CHORUS partners, who will deliver final results by mid 2009, will seek further funding by submitting a new research proposal (FP7) to which TEFIS will contribute by trying to establish research contacts with non-European partners.
TEFIS Activity 3: ICT role in the provision of mobile services in Augmented Reality Environments
Increased processing power, cheap memory, fast wireless networks, low-cost internet access packages, powerful sensors embedded in the environment and innovative software have brought mobile devices, content and applications to centre stage. Users have come to expect added value in everyday activities and information-rich content on the move. The combination of Augmented Reality (AR) which enables enriching the physical environment with digital information and today's smart phones which are location aware thanks to GPS technology, embed compasses, sensor readers and accelerometers and are always on is likely to cause a disruption in the way individuals appreciate life when on the move.
Sub-activity 3.1:'Mobile Augmented Reality: R&D and Innovation Framework' - Identify and assess, primarily for DG INFSO/D, measures leading to the creation of innovative business models and market conditions that are likely to emerge as the result of the marriage of mobile and Augmented Reality technologies influencing users' contribution. TEFIS will research issues in relation to users' location, the daily choices of the users, the context of the consumption of 'augmented' content by users, the users' perception of trust and their need to better control their personal data. The study of market and innovation dynamics will be accompanied by qualitative scenarios and quantitative data to develop a comprehensive picture of the area's future evolution.
TEFIS Activity 4: ICT role in Sustainable Development
In the current context of climate change and increased pressure on natural resources, ICT is a promising enabler for many of the emerging challenges due to its ubiquitous presence and systemic nature. However, there is still a gap between potential benefits of ICT use and evidence of actual efficiency gains and further research efforts are required to bridge the gap and provide policy makers with the necessary ammunition to tackle the complex issues.
Sub-activity 4.1:'ICTs for structural change' - Exploratory research which will contribute to the implications of the ICTs' transformational change (often described as 'dematerialisation') in relation to priority environmental sustainability targets, by considering the individual on the move and in the work environment. The exploratory research will: (a) define cases of mobile services which have transformed the way end-users carry out their activities so as to assess the impact of such services on the carbon footprint; (b) review available data on the innovation potential of teleconferencing and teleworking to reduce the carbon footprint related to business needs (c) assess current market barriers, drivers and market dynamics for selected mobile services (as in "a" above), teleconferencing and teleworking ; and (d) assess the awareness among businesses about the offer of such services and their likely socio-economic impacts, identify barriers to innovation diffusion and drivers for the take-up of these services.
TEFIS Activity 5: ICT role in the Evolution of Innovation Processes
Innovation is all about creating value by combining new and established ideas. It is well known that ICTs induce innovation, including organisational innovation, since they act as enablers to new processes, habits and knowledge. Beyond access to funding, skills and lack of motivation, the need emerges to identify conditions that would help stimulate innovation into the use of ICTs.
Sub-activity 5.1:'ICTs and organisational innovation' - Explore the conditions and the incentives required to initiate and motivate widespread behavioural changes which would accelerate the intelligent deployment of ICTs so as to maximise access to knowledge, efficiency, versatility and mostly growth and jobs for the EU. Barriers to innovation as well as negative implications to society will also have to be identified and addressed. TEFIS will, in collaboration with the other actions in the Unit, and as a by-product of its research in the preceding 4 activities, explore measures that will empower the individual to deploy ICTs successfully so as to better understand and help create and sustain innovation. For instance, TEFIS will determine incentives to assist the individual to adopt a healthy or an energy efficient lifestyle through ICT-enabled real-time information provision. TEFIS will help formulate a consistent strategy defining appropriate actions, incentives and rewards and present it to the main client