Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Audiovisual :: Video : 25 years of european ICT research

25 years of ICT research

26 November 2008

25 years ago high-tech scientists had ambitious dreams. They were trying to make computers talk to each other and connect them into networks. They wanted better quality digital images and sounds. They wanted to transfer data at high speed. They wanted computers which recognize human speech and handwriting. Today, we take these things for granted.

We take our viewers through a journey through time- starting form Digital Europe, going back to 1983 and showing you our biggest achievements in European funding for Information Technology research.

Scientists today still have ambitious dreams. They now work on creating sensing robots, brain-like computers and technologies that read the mind. The European Union plays a vital role to steer, encourage and help this research into future technologies that will re-shape our lives in just a few decades.

The European research funding programme for information and communication technologies (or ICTs) started 25 years ago. At the time, America and Japan were speeding up information technology development and Europe's previously leading position in technology started to decline very rapidly. Over the past 25 years, €20 billion has been spent on ICT research from the Community budget. EU Member States and industry added substantially more. Was this enough? Is Europe catching up with its competitors? The 25th anniversary of the launch of the European ICT research funding programme provides an opportunity to reflect on these questions.

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