The Information Society Technologies Advisory Group (ISTAG) has issued its 10 key recommendation to the Commission on the orientation for EU ICT R&D and Innovation beyond 2013. ISTAG reaffirms the importance of pursuing and strengthening EU investment in ICT research and innovation. Indeed, ICT infrastructure plays a critical role in today's globalised economy and its reliable and trustworthy operation is absolutely essential. However beyond this, ICT has become a key transformative force in social innovation, by enabling the development, implementation and deployment of innovative solutions addressing societal needs and supporting human and socio-economic development opportunities. This wider agenda calls for a larger stakeholder community, beyond the traditional players, including unconventional actors such as informal networks and influential individuals.

Europe should be able to translate its strength in managing complex systems and environments into an effective competitive advantage in a technological landscape that increasingly relies on multiple interconnected and distributed systems. Special emphasis should be placed on those activities with high and visible EU added value such as the development of common platforms and reference architectures, interoperability and data exchange standards.

In order to deliver the expected impact, ISTAG considers it essential to develop a more comprehensive view of the whole value chain of ICT and ICT-enabled services, bridging the gap between pre-competitive research, product development and service deployment.

The funding of high risk research carried out in FET (Future Emerging Technologies) should be pursued and complemented with new and more flexible forms of participation such as the open and fast track schemes. This approach would facilitate a more dynamic agenda, accommodating ambiguity and unpredictability as inherent features of research but would also open the way to new paths for innovation that could lead to rapid exploitation of research results.

The ISTAG also recommends that partnerships for the development of cross-border and EU-wide services and platforms should lead to pilot implementations and test-beds involving the Member States, notably in terms of funding. In general, instruments should also be oriented towards strategic management of large scale EU-wide research and innovation portfolios moving away from micromanagement.

The ISTAG recommendations and the underlying full report are open for consultation and comments  until 30 September 2011.

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