eTEN - Deploying Trans-European e-Services for All
- Introducing eTEN
- The Scope of eTEN
- Project Themes
- How eTEN works
- How to apply
- E-services – the Community vision
eTEN is a European Community programme providing funds to help make e-services available throughout the European Union.
Advances in technology are transforming almost every aspect of our lives. In particular, developments in telecommunications are having a profound impact. In the new Information Society, businesses and governments are able to provide more and more services electronically. In turn, individuals are given greater choice and opportunity, for example to pursue computer-based courses of study, or to receive online health advice. Electronic or e-services are also helping people to become more involved in their communities, for example by letting them know what is happening in their local area.
The launch of new e-services is a major decision for the people who provide them, requiring preparation and planning to weigh up the costs and benefits. Businesses and public authorities all want to know that their investments will reap rewards. They want to see better services resulting for the consumer and the citizen.
The success of e-services can be especially difficult to predict when they are provided in more than one country. There may be language difficulties. There may be differences in culture and in legal and administrative environments. There may be problems in making computer applications compatible with each other. Customer service, maintenance of information or physical stockpiles, delivery, marketing and promotion may also need to be adapted to local conditions.
This is where eTEN comes in.
The European Community eTEN programme helps to stimulate the deployment of innovative, trans-European e-services of social or economic interest. These services are intended to contribute to growth within the European Union, employment, social cohesion, and to help everyone participate in the new knowledge-based economy.
The eTEN initiative is geared to supporting services – it does not provide funding for building infrastructures. eTEN can provide financial support to consortia that propose projects for specific Trans-European e-services It focuses particularly on the critical launch phase, before a service has become established. The prior validation phase of an e-service is financially assisted, where assumptions about the operating costs and the potential revenues, savings and public benefits of a service are put to the test, before a decision is taken on whether to proceed with deployment. This phase typically lasts up to 18 months, and uses demonstrations or pilots of the proposed service, user feedback and peer reviews.
eTEN can provide:
- Up to 30% of the costs of deployment, for the initial rollout of a new service;
- Up to 50% of the costs of market validation for a service, showing its technical and economic feasibility and benefit to end-users. This enables public authorities and investors to make informed decisions on whether to bring the service to market, based on a thorough analysis of the economics involved. In no case, however, can eTEN funding exceed 10% of the estimated initial investment cost of the project as a whole.
|eTEN – stimulating e-services to help make Europe more competitive, and to improve people's quality of life|
All proposals should be based on mature technology and it should be possible to demonstrate at least an embryonic service at the proposal phase. Therefore eTEN proposals should not include major development efforts, apart from adaptation on the basis of user feedback and customising the service for trans-European use. Project proposals submitted to eTEN should be a part of the natural process of preparing a service rollout and should also be an integral part of the activities of the organisations submitting the proposals. They should serve existing or recently identified needs in the user population and their emphasis should be on service provision rather than the exploitation of novel technology.
eTEN's priority is to increase the number of initial deployment projects.
With this in mind proposers should ensure that representatives of the total
value chain up to the user population are either present in the consortium or
have indicated their commitment to support the project goals. Proposers should
also indicate how they propose to proceed beyond the validation phase.
Successful services established in one Member State could consider replication in at least one other member state. Successful research projects funded by EU, national or local programmes could also consider the opportunity for initial deployment under the eTEN programme. Where relevant, close links will be established between projects supported by EU, national and the eTEN programmes with a view to contributing to increased programme awareness, consensus development and technical concertation, and to raise understanding of technology options, success factors for take-up, initial deployment, and market perspectives.
A project resulting in a service can be considered as passing through several phases from initial conception and research resulting in a pilot service (pre-cursor to eTEN) up to sustained operation serving users. eTEN addresses two phases of this process, (a) the validation phase where a technically mature service is tested in the market and a deployment report is completed, prior to a decision to deploy, and (b) the initial deployment phase where a service is launched under operational conditions.
|eTEN: funding projects of many different types|
In the eTEN programme, projects are funded in a number of priority areas. These include:
eGovernment. This can cover on-line services provided by or for public administrations at all levels (local, regional and national) and services aimed at broadening participation in the democratic process. The objective is seamless eGovernment, enabling public bodies, citizens and businesses to interact electronically.
eHealth. This includes services that promote health and improve the prevention of illness. The target is access to and quality and cost-efficiency of healthcare on a Trans-European level and increasing the impact of medical advances.
eInclusion. This includes services that address the specific needs of people with disabilities, the elderly and the socially disadvantaged, and that help overcome socio-economic, educational, geographic and cultural and gender barriers. They focus on the promotion of independence and assistance to participation in society for the widest possible range of people.
eLearning. This includes using multimedia technologies and the Internet to improve quality of and access to education; and delivering services promoting lifelong learning; reskilling the European workforce and promoting digital literacy for all.
Trust and Security. T This includes all security aspects of e-services and related trust and confidence issues such as approved accreditation schemes and services to improve data confidentiality and integrity. Such services help to increase people's confidence in making use of Information Society technologies.
SME's. This includes services for SME's that facilitate their participation in the e-economy. The objectives are to increase the competitiveness of SMEs by their use of e-Services and to facilitate the provision of cross-border e-services for SMEs.
|Projects are funded in a number of priority areas|
eTEN is set apart from other programmes by its offering funding to help overcome a project's initial investment and potential launch obstacles.
eTEN does not fund scientific research. Research in Information Society technologies is supported for example by the EU Framework Programmes. Experience has shown, however, that eTEN is particularly well suited to the exploitation of successful research, helping to bring new developments to e-services market.
The service must be Trans-European, which means that it has to satisfy needs
existing in several Member States.
As a general rule projects should be implemented in a minimum of two EU Member States.
Similarly, though the involvement of a public sector organisation is not mandatory, the participation of public administrations and public bodies is encouraged, to help ensure that services are sustained after the project has finished.
The ideal consortium for an eTEN project includes all the players in the value chain that will be necessary for implementing the service, its set-up, deployment and operation.
Proposals for funding should either be for entirely new services, or services that already exist on a national level, but which will now be given a Trans-European dimension.
The proposed service must be based on a proven technology platform.
There must be clear obstacles preventing the project from being financed from private sources.
The service must be in the common interest, which means that it must be of widespread benefit in a social or economic sense.
|eTEN: helping to bring new developments to market|
eTEN supports the deployment of e-services in the areas of eGovernment, eHealth, eLearning, eInclusion, Trust and Security and SME’s, as illustrated by some recent projects:
- eGovernment - EBP (Electronic Brokerage Platform): The Employment Brokerage Platform is an electronic job exchange system, which allows professionals to receive information about vacancies and post their CVs online.
- eHealth - NETC@ARDS (Trans-European Access to Health Services for Mobile citizens): The Netc@rds project aims to test the use of health smart cards in different European countries, which can be used to show entitlement to health care, and so replace the paper forms (e.g. E111) used today.
- eLearning - ORPHEUS (On-line Alinari Photographic (heritage) Archive for the European Educational System): The ORPHEUS project aims to provide European schools and other educational institutions with access to the European photographic heritage through the Internet.
- eInclusion - SERCAL (Service Centre Solution for Autonomous Living): SERCAL aims to provide a 24-hour home care service to the elderly and disabled through the use of call centre technology.
- Trust and Security services- SPES (Setting Processes for Electronic Signatures in European Cities): SPES will help to increase the use of digital signatures in public administrations
- SME's - ENVIRO2B (First European B2B Marketplace for the Environment):
ENVIRO2B is a web platform to industrial companies and municipalities, giving
them advice about conducting sound environmental strategies. It is also a
business platform where industrials, local communities and suppliers of
products and services can conduct transactions.
SPES and ENVIRO2B are both examples of deployment projects.
Further examples of eTEN projects can be found on the website :
Each year, the European Commission publishes a Work Programme for eTEN. This shows the areas of work that will be addressed in the specific calls for proposals that will follow. eTEN calls for proposals are issued generally at least once a year. In order to help consortia to prepare a proposal, a call for proposals will normally be open for approximately 3 months. Proposals for both initial deployment and market validation projects are evaluated by the Commission, assisted by independent experts. For further information on submitting proposals and on evaluation criteria see: http://ec.europa.eu/eten
A consortium may submit a proposal for the initial deployment of a service, or a request for assistance in its market validation.
The starting point for an initial deployment project is a clear business plan (or equivalent in the public sector), and an accompanying investment plan. The Community contribution is paid out in parallel with the consortium's own investment. eTEN funding is available for the initial deployment of services up to the point of full commercial or public operation, which means that services should not already be profitable. And because deployment projects are directly entering the market, it must be clear that competition is not at risk of being distorted.
With a proposal for market validation, it should be clear what needs to be validated, and what the criteria will be when coming to a decision about the deployment of the service. There should be an established prototype of the service to be offered. During the validation process, the Commission monitors performance of the project, periodically reviewing the results. On completion of the validation, a business plan or equivalent must be produced. This then forms the basis for the consortium to decide whether or not to go ahead with the service.
|Support at the critical validation and launch phases of a project|
eTEN is a key instrument of the eEurope Action Plan 2005. The objective of the eEurope 2005 Action Plan is to give every citizen, business and administration in Europe the opportunity to participate fully in the Information Society and, thereby, to provide a favourable environment for private investment and for the creation of new jobs, to boost productivity and to modernise public services. The Information Society is opening up significant economic and social opportunities, helping to improve people's quality of life, create new markets, and increase growth and employment throughout Europe.
eTEN fits into this scheme by supporting trans-European services in the common interest which might not otherwise be set up, because of difficulties at the initial investment and launch stages. Nonetheless the goal would be to achieve rapid benefit from the investment for both the service users and service providers.
eTEN's aim is to enable people to participate fully in the Information Society, encouraging organisations to extend their services to groups of users who might otherwise be marginalised. A key aim of the eTEN programme is that it should help to strengthen the economic and social cohesion of Europe. It aims to prevent a digital divide opening up in Europe, or the creation of a digital underclass.
eTEN works to stimulate and support the roll-out of Trans-European e-services In this respect, it is part of ongoing efforts to create a competitive, growing European market, in which people, goods, finance and services can move freely between EU Member States.
The importance of this role will increase, with the enlargement of the European Union to 25 Member States on 1 May 2004 and eTEN is open to organisations from all 25 Member States from 2004 onwards. With enlargement, eTEN will help meet the increasing challenge of providing cross-border e-services, and also make use of the increased opportunities provided by a wider pool of resources and experience in an enlarged EU.
|eTEN: helping people participate fully in the Information Society|