Europe's research and development in Information Society Technologies (IST) makes a vital contribution to efforts to become the world’s most competitive knowledge economy. But Europe must step up this investment if it is to achieve "critical mass" in these technologies. So says a report, released by the European Commission on 17 January 2005. The report also highlights the need to reduce bureaucracy, which threatens to stifle research. The report was written by a high-level panel of independent experts chaired by Professor J.M. Gago, former Portuguese Science Minister and one of the authors of the Lisbon strategy.