The potential and capabilities of modern ICT systems are still growing exponentially fuelled by the progress in electronics, microsystems, networking, the ability to master increasingly complex cyber-physical systems and robots, and progress in data processing and human machine interfaces. These developments provide major opportunities for Europe to develop the next generation of open platforms on top of which a multiplicity of innovative devices, systems and applications can be implemented.
These new solutions will enable a wealth of new business developments in particular for SMEs, and will contribute to boosting competitiveness, creating jobs and supporting growth.
The first ICT-Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies (LEIT) Work Programme under H2020 provides a balanced response to the main challenges faced by Europe in the field: firstly, the need to maintain a strong expertise in key technology value chains; secondly, the necessity to move quicker from research excellence to the market.
It combines a strong support to industrial roadmaps with new mechanisms to encourage disruptive innovation. The former will reinforce medium to long term commitment to industrial strategies and provide continuity and stability. The latter will offer flexibility and openness and will help develop dynamic eco-systems in which innovators can operate. Both strands will require the involvement of new actors, on one hand to exploit and leverage new technologies and on the other to initiate and drive change.
Six main activity lines have been identified in the ICT-LEIT part of the Work Programme:
In addition, the Work Programme features several cross-cutting topics addressing cyber-security, Internet of Things and research on a Human-centric Digital Age. All activities are complemented with support to innovation and take-up, international cooperation and a dedicated action for SMEs to propose bottom-up innovative ideas, using the SME instrument.