The European Commission is investing in research and development projects to encourage the increased use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for sustainable growth.
The European Commission recognises that ICTs could play a greater role in supporting sustainable growth. Significant EU funds have, therefore, been dedicated to driving research and development in this area. The main funding instruments are the Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7) and the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP).
The 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7)
The 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) is
the European Union's main instrument for the funding of research over the period
2007–2013. The total budget for FP7 is € 51 bn. and split along thematic
priorities. The EU has earmarked over € 9.1 billion for funding ICT over the
duration of FP7 and part of this for Environmental Management and Energy
Efficiency in particular.
The Work Programme for 2011-2012 defining the priorities for research funding in ICT is available at http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/ict/programme/home_en.html.
Currently we support projects dealing with energy efficiency in buildings, data centres and manufacturing, as well as projects in the areas of smart grids, climate change management with ICT. You can find a complete list of projects here.
The value of the projects mainly comes from connecting existing technologies in novel ways, which enables ICT to be deployed for new purposes, such as remote environmental monitoring and intelligent adjustment of energy production, distribution and consumption. It helps ensure that ICT applications meet urgent market needs in this area and demonstrate that ICT can deliver on its promise of enabling sustainable growth.
The Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP): supporting innovation and deployment
Scientific achievements often fall flat if they do not find practical
applications which are used by public authorities, commercial entities or
individuals. This is why the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme
(CIP) supports innovation activities (including eco-innovation) and encourages a
better uptake and use of newly developed information and communication
technologies (ICT). The CIP runs from 2007-2013 in parallel to FP7. It has an
overall budget of € 3621 million.
One of the pillars of the CIP is the ICT Policy Support Programme (PSP). The ICT PSP funds activities such as pilot trials and thematic networks, especially aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Projects funded through the ICT PSP aim to demonstrate how novel ICT solutions can be deployed and technical or organisational challenges overcome.
In the ICT PSP Work Programme for 2011 a call on ICT for energy efficiency in public buildings is foreseen under Objective 1.2. Further details are available at the ICT Policy Support Programme page.