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Research and technology development in Information Society Technologies. Five-Year Assessment (1999-2003) and invitation to comment

(23/07/2004) Information society technology research stakeholders are invited to contribute to a consultation on the findings of the Interim Report on the Five-Year Assessment of Research and Technology Development in Information Society Technologies (1999-2003), with a view to shaping IST research priorities under the EU’s seventh framework research programme (FP7).

"It is vital that Europe should support an information society technology (IST) research, technological development and demonstration (RTD) programme at EU level, so as to foster productivity and competitiveness while enhancing and maintaining leadership in key IST areas."

This 5-year progress report, by a panel of independent experts, looks at the implementation, effectiveness, achievements and impact of EU information society research investment in 1999-2003, and at progress in rolling out information society technologies under the EU’s sixth research framework programme (FP6). The panel concludes that the EU IST Programme under FP5 and IST research under FP6 contributed substantially to progress in IST research, technological development and demonstration (RTD) projects. The interim report seeks your views on:

- the appropriate mix of instruments for IST-RTD under FP7,

- specific research communities to involve in IST-RTD,

- measures to strengthen the European Research Area in the field of IST,

- measures that could improve synergies of IST-RTD with other information society policies

- suggestions for recommendations on intellectual property rights and standardisation to enhance the impact of IST research, and

- suggestions for recommendations on the governance of the future programme.

You have until 31 August 2004 to comment on the report’s findings and preliminary recommendations before your contributions are reviewed and discussed with the panel at a stakeholder consultation workshop in Brussels on 9 September. The report will by finalised by the panel in the last quarter of 2004,completing the 5-year assessment.

Key findings of the interim report

  • It is vital that Europe should support an information society technology (IST) research, technological development and demonstration (RTD) programme at EU level, so as to foster productivity and competitiveness while enhancing and maintaining leadership in key IST areas.
  • Pan-European cross-border co-operation among industrial, governmental and academic players in IST research needs to be stepped up to sustain Europe’s technological leadership in key areas and ensure that a “critical mass” of effort is devoted to them.

Problem areas

- Use of “New Instruments” (e.g. Integrated Projects and Networks of Excellence) and their unsatisfactory impact on certain categories of participants (e.g. small businesses and organisations from new Member States).

- Need to strengthen coherence between IST-RTD actions and programmes and other related IST implementing and deployment policies.

- Need to better adapt management procedures for efficient implementation of IST-RTD programmes.

The fields in which EU research funding delivered most scientific breakthroughs and resulting economic benefits in 1999-2003 were lithography, equipment, global standards for second and third generation mobile communications, embedded systems, photonics, computer vision applications and research infrastructure (GÉANT and GRID).

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