What is the problem? Public spending on ICT is too low

The EU public sector spends less than 5.5 B € per year on ICT R&D, far below the levels of competing economies. Public policies should be creating the right conditions for sustaining the support to R&D and explore the yet untapped resources to support ICT R&D. Public funding is important for radical improvements to public sector services and new financial resources to R&D. It act as leverage factor for private spending and help accelerate time-to-market and open up new markets for ICT solutions across the EU.

Why is EU action required? To ensure Europe remains a leader in ICT innovation

Awareness raising, experience sharing, benchmarking and financial incentives at EU level will help encourage Member States to move towards the use of pre-commercial procurement. EU action will support a more targeted use of structural/regional development fund for ICT research and innovation and disclose new ways to increase national R&D investments.

What are the Commission's plans?

There are 3 main strands of action:

  • Increase the use of pre-commercial procurement through awareness raising, clarification of the legal framework and sharing of experiences.
  • Increase the use of structural & regional development funds for ICT research facilities and development projects on ICT products, services and applications.
  • Strengthen national R&D investments like tax credits, support to universities, infrastructures, national research programmes, etc.

What has the Commission done until now?

The Commission proposal for Horizon 2020, including the specific programme for research and innovation and the rules of participation was adopted in November 2011.

The FP7 ICT Work Programme 2013 (WP 2013) was adopted in July 2012

A number of pilot projects have been launched under ICT Policy Support Programme as part of the Competitiveness and Innovation framework Programme (CIP), e.g. in the area of health and energy efficiency. (See DAE 56)

What will the Commission do?

By mid 2013:

The WP2013 will continue to support pre-commercial procurement (see DAE Action 50), cooperation with structural and regional development funds and support to universities, infrastructures, national research programmes, etc.

The WP 2013 supports a number of dedicated Pre-commercial procurement initiatives. The calls have been launched in 2012 with deadlines in the first quarter of 2013. The initiatives include support for more efficient higher quality public services and high quality cloud computing environment for public sector needs, through pre-commercial procurement (PCP).

By end 2013:

The next EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020 foresees an ambition budget for ICT R&I and introduces new instruments and funding mechanisms to provide the leveraging potential of private spending. An institutional agreement is foreseen by mid 2013 paving the way for Work Programmes 2014-15 expected to be ready by autumn 2013 with first calls launched by the end of 2013.