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ESPRIT and ACTS projects
related to
Electronic Commerce

Electronic Commerce is a general concept covering any form of business transaction or information exchange executed using information and communications technology, between companies, between companies and their customers, or between companies and public administrations.

Electronic Commerce includes electronic trading of goods, services and electronic material.

Upstream and downstream of the transactions, it also includes the advertising and promotion of products and services, the facilitation of contacts between traders, the provision of market intelligence, pre- and post-sales support, and electronic procurement and support for shared business processes.

Over recent years, efforts to improve business efficiency and responsiveness have increasingly resulted in a blurring of the boundaries between interacting companies. Business processes supported by electronic commerce can span company boundaries, with each company enacting its own parts of those shared processes. A novel example occurs with the "virtual enterprise", where each participating company contributes its own core competence to a closely cooperating network of companies addressing a particular market opportunity.

The electronic trading of physical goods and services represents an evolution of the present ways of trading, capitalising on new possibilities offered by technology, eg. to improve efficiency.
However, the trading of electronic material (software, video, music, images, multimedia works, games, etc.) represents a revolutionary new way of trading, for which the full commercial transaction cycle can be conducted at once via the same network, such as Internet, implying specific requirements regarding the integration of payment, IPR control, etc.
Depending on solutions that will be retained by the market place, traded "electronic goods" could create totally new markets and revolutionise some industries (such as publishing).
Electronic commerce aims at improving efficiency in terms of lower costs, improving effectiveness in terms of widening market potential and better meeting customers' needs and enhancing product and service innovation, notably through customer-supplier interactivity.

The full deployment of Electronic Commerce depends on a clear regulatory environment, fast data networks, technology, such as electronic payment systems and, above all, on user awareness and the existence of clear business cases.

This latter point is the precondition that could unleash the significant private investments that are necessary to develop a critical mass of services and applications.

The development of new services and the operational changes implied by electronic commerce require extensive use of IT tools: from sophisticated network systems and computers or often "Information appliances" to multimedia applications.

The process of going "on-line" with key business processes, from sales to production control, requires mastering of the possibilities offered by information systems. Multimedia development tools, data base access, E-mail, electronic documents become all part of the daily activities and key elements of the operations in even the smallest company that wants to benefit from electronic business.

Once users are familiar with the possibilities offered by the information technology and they have understood the business advantage, electronic commerce will be able to have a significant pick up.

Esprit, as the R&D programme in Information Technology, has been particularly active in developing the necessary systems infrastructure, applications and stimulating user awareness through pilot projects and trials.

The G7 Pilot Project "Global marketplace for SMEs" co-ordinated by DG III on behalf of the European Commission, together with the USA and Japan has provided a significant impulse and driving force to electronic commerce in Europe and to the activities on electronic commerce in the European Commission.

This report is an inventory of the on going Esprit activities in Electronic Commerce and provides an overview of the activities launched under the G7 Pilot Project "Global Marketplace for SMEs" in the last two years.

I. THE ESPRIT PROJECTS

In our classification, the projects have been developed in 4 categories:

1. Business to Business Electronic Commerce

These projects deal with the evolution of business organisations towards the electronic management of their commercial activities with suppliers and other business customers. The object of trading here is usually a step of the supply chain, where the purchaser adds value to a part which he then integrates into another product. Examples are an integrated circuit that goes into a telephone, a piece of fabric that goes into a suit.

Application and service developments in this area include services and products for specific sectors, such as textile, fashion and marble industry, technical product descriptions, just-in-time ordering and control, product maintenance and training. The underline vision towards which most of these Esprit projects work is that of an extended virtual enterprise organisation where suppliers and users, whether in the same or separate companies, contribute to a common, shared business process.

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2. Business to Consumers Electronic Commerce.

These projects deal with the evolution of business organisations towards the electronic management of their information, sales and support activities with consumers. The main characteristic of this case is that the object of trading is generally a finished product/service to be used as such by a customer. Example: buying books over the Internet, home banking.

Application and service developments in this area address the issue of electronic shopping by developing electronic shop-windows, on line delivery of information, like news and stock quotes, home banking, sophisticated reservation systems and tourist information systems.

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3. Business to Administrations Electronic Commerce.

This topic deals with the transactions occurring between administrations and businesses, such as electronic tendering, electronic filling of tax form, obtaining licenses or other government services. There is relatively little activity in this area in Esprit with only one project addressing direct public procurements from SME's.

Business to Administration projects | Return to top of page

4. Infrastructure.

This category of projects is developing the enabling technology necessary for Electronic Commerce applications. This includes:

Copyright management. Standards and basic technology to protect authors' and related rights of information published in electronic form. This is a pillar for the trading of intellectual property and works of art. (Projects)

Infrastructure projects | Return to top of page


II. International support for Electronic Commerce: a driving force for Electronic Commerce

Under this topic, international activities are supported under the ESPRIT programme with the objective to ensure the necessary global reach that any project related to electronic commerce has to focus upon.

Electronic Commerce knows no boundaries and is developing worldwide. Recognising this global aspect and the strategic importance to involve SMEs as the foundation of economic activity and key to innovation, the G7 Pilot Project "Global Marketplace for SMEs" offers the opportunity to spread internationally activities and projects launched on a regional basis and to allow participation of European SMEs in the global trade market.

The G7 pilot project has been a driving force for Commission action in Electronic Commerce, initiating interservices group meetings and collaboration amongst DGs, European and international workshops and conferences, industry consultation, development of Memorandum of Understanding and recently the European Initiative for Electronic Commerce.

General conclusion.

Overall, we have accounted for almost 100 projects working on electronic commerce-related topics for a total investment of over 150 MECU of funding in the ESPRIT programme and over 55 projects in the G7 Pilot Projects "Global marketplace for SMEs", amongst which 17 Esprit projects qualify for the label.

Certain areas are covered better than others. For instance, very few projects deal with administrations or with consumer to consumer electronic commerce, which is not surprising in the early stages of new developments. Aggressive businesses are the first ones to try new opportunities with administrations and the general public following behind.

At this stage, however, we can say that Esprit has done considerable work and has laid the foundations for the development of Electronic Commerce in Europe. The G7 Pilot Project has contributed to a large extend to the current initiatives which are taking place in the European Commission and in Europe and has provided an opportunity to reach a global focus.

Rosalie Zobel

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I. ESPRIT and ACTS projects related to Electronic Commerce:

1. BUSINESS TO BUSINESS ELECTRONIC COMMERCE

AC001 BOURBON. Develop cost-effective, scaleable ATM-based services for SMEs throughout Europe. Development and demonstration of ATM applications to SMEs both urban and rural. Definition of appropriate network and service architectures.

AC002 MOMENTS. Demonstrate the feasibility and viability of wireless for advanced multimedia products. Wireless multimedia potentially used for electronic commerce.

AC023 IMMP. Trial advanced broadband services both for residential and business users. Will develop multimedia retrieval, WWW, advertisement and commerce trials.

AC062 CINENET. Pilot the distribution over broadband networks of cinema quality films, live events etc. Revolutionise the mechanics and economics of film distribution for public display.

AC064 TECODIS. Demonstrate co-operative teleworking in a software development application. Shows co-operative teleworking as an effective procedure in this and many other possible applications.

AC069 COBNET. Explore the architecture and technology of next-generation corporate networks. Communications needs of major corporations, with a high potential in business to business electronic commerce.

AC070 TEAM. Pilot the component supply process for the automotive industry using advanced communications techniques. Provides a framework for the integration of the entire supply chain in motor vehicle production.

AC075 EIES. Implement an advanced multimedia communications service between harbours for maritime applications. Demonstrates the benefits of electronic commerce in the maritime transport sector. Blue Pages (harbour yellow pages in hypertext) have been developed.

AC107 EMERALD. Develop and carry out trials in medical imaging applications using ATM networks. Develops an important medical application for advanced communications.

AC109 LEVERAGE. Trial broadband technology for multimedia communications in a distance language-learning application. Cross-border contacts, establishment and fulfillment of joint tasks, can be adapted from the context of co-operative learning to the business to business context.

AC240 PRINT-IT. Develop a distributed publishing application. Supports the successful deployment of distributed publishing services in Europe.

EP20339 MIAOW(MM). The project aims to develop and assess a distributed multimedia information system for the marble industry and all related professionals. The system being developed in this project will create a set of information servers which will convey, enrich, correlate and ensure the reliability of information concerning stone building materials, making it available to potential clients all over the world in a timely and cost-effective way.

EP20718 TISSUS (MM). The global objective of the project is to set up an image bank and its relevant environment for acquiring, tailoring, storing and delivering images to enterprises in the textile industry. The system will help textile enterprises to address their markets (fashion, clothing, decoration, and textiles for technical use) by supporting their creative process, specifically by offering them access to wide collections of historical textile information and images.

EP20727(TBP). The objectives of the IMMS project is to implement and evaluate a pilot re-engineered materials procurement business model for airline material stocks in KLM and Team Aer Lingus. The metrics of success or failure are defined in the research as specific cost saving goals in the process of procuring / disposing of airline technical stocks. The project is designed to address the problem of airlines sharing their surplus and excess stocks by providing the communications and information technology to trade among themselves in these stocks. Additionally the project will establish standards for the pricing of such parts and create a central agency to manage the process and achieve the benefits of economies of scale and buying leverage.

EP6040 PRODEX(IIM). To demonstrate the exchange of mechanical design data between heterogeneous systems in the areas of conceptual and detailed design.

EP9033 ADONNIS(HPCN). To demonstrate the benefits of innovative approaches to co-operation using high performance networking services.

EP20730(TBP). The capability for transport industry SMEs to exploit new business practices that can allow them to adequately adapt to the quickly changing market appears to be fundamental if they are to resist and compete on the long run. It is in this context that the idea of a networked enterprise, made-up of tens of SME transport operators, all acting and behaving so as to be perceived from the market as one large enterprise, can represent a paradigm shift for thousands of European SMEs. This new business practice can be named Virtual Multimodal Transport Operator (VMTO). A VMTO might then be thought of as being formed by many - as many as needed - independent companies all adopting, to different extents, a common organisational infrastructure, obeying and complying to a well-defined reference model, presenting comparable cultural background and exploiting common IT potential.

EP22124 CIREP(IIM) It addresses the crucial need of European industry for availability of reliable and standardised digital representations of components which can be used in an integrated design and manufacturing environment and which will facilitate exchange of manufacturing information, both within and between enterprises, through the complete life cycle of products in which such components are used.

The benefits for the European industry will be significant improvements in marketing position for component manufacturers by providing their customers with accessible and usable information of quality in forms which will result in significant cost saving for component users. Altogether, the project's developments will provide a generic IT application to support global electronic business in the field of standardised libraries of component information to be integrated into end users' own design and manufacturing environments.

EP22201(TBP). The Infomar Project will develop and demonstrate a multi-cultural information and trading network for fresh seafood, linking fishermen, processors, fish merchants, retailers and various supporting organisations (logistics, quality control, insurance and payment transfer) in order to increase efficiency and stability in seafood trading.

EP22336 DEUS(TBP). The project'objective is to assist the development of SMEs markets by seeking and experimenting possible procedures and tools to satisfy its objective, which is to globalize such markets in order to promote their development through telematic services.
The Chambers of Commerce of six main european cities, together with the European Multimedia Forum, have identified a strategy that highlights problems and solutions through a pilot project involving 380 SMEs.

EP23118(TBP). The EVENT project has the aim of enhancing the marketing/ commercial processes of a set of European companies operating in the pneumatic industry sector and forming a "Virtual Enterprise". The Project applies to SME companies operating on a trans-national basis and exhibiting high business potential. The improvements are expected to increase the timeliness in order management, the customers' satisfaction and the operational effectiveness.

EP23926 SAMSON(TBP). Surface engineering is a complex industry in which access to information from a variety of sources is of prime importance. WWW based technology will be used to develop a European sector-wide intranet for surface engineering SMEs for sharing of information on manufacturing and design processes, materials and practices, while at the same time ensuring the security of the commercially sensitive information resources.

EP24034 AGENTISME(TBP). The project will demonstrate an number of electronic commerce aspects, namely search strategies for products and services, post sales service, training and education, on-line consulting. The aspects will be tested for SME acceptability. The major outcome will be the transfer and integration of the underlying technology to the SMEs in order for them to act as a virtual company.

EP24136 SERVICE(TBP). The project aims at building a virtual consultancy, whereby small and medium-sized consultancies pool their services and products thereby enabling the partners to offer a broader range of products/services. A quality system for a virtual enterprise and a business model for the network will be designed in order to clarify uncertainties concerning property rights, the licensing model and the common marketing process.

EP24145 AMICOS(TBP). The market for electronic components and electronic spare parts is an information demanding market. The project aims at building a virtual shop for rich, interactive and continuously up-to-date product information, with easy navigation facilities and seamless integration among browsing, ordering and payment processes.

EP24322 TERPSICHORE(TBP). The project will create a supply and production chain in the volatile (seasonal) environment of high fashion wool garment manufacturing. The business processes are situated in a multi-site multi-supplier international environment. A group of three SMEs cooperate to develop and test common communication infrastructure, which integrate their own production planning tools to achieve a quick response system. The communication will be based on a secure electronic network, incorporate integrated production scheduling, while the business processes are re-engineered.

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2. BUSINESS TO CONSUMER ELECTRONIC COMMERCE.

AC011 AMUSE. Conduct residential user trials of multimedia applications using an ATM network. Trials a package of interactive services, including a tele-travel agency.

AC034 ON THE MOVE. Define and trial a mobile application programme interface (API) . Users service profiles are trialed, with a potential use in mobile electronic commerce.

AC054 MEMO. Pilot mobile multimedia services in construction and publishing applications. Extends interactive multimedia to the mobile user.

AC076 OPARISOD. Develop and test an interactive services on demand (ISoD) system, particularly server and switching centre technology. Trials teleshopping.

AC099 TELE-SHOPPE. Trial an application of teleshopping, using virtual reality. Develops a new means of retailing goods using broadband networks.

AC103 ISIS. Explore the access to interactive services by satellite. Open new possibilities for borderless electronic commerce through the use of satellite transmission.

AC104 MOSTRAIN. Develop mobile multimedia communications technology for the very high speed train environment. On-board electronic commerce may be extrapolated from this trial supporting applications such as voice, video, messages.

AC232 MUSICIAN. Research and validate the multimedia service integration chain, addressing all aspects of service creation and delivery. Supports easy creation of and access to multimedia service.

AC225 ATMAN. Develop integrate and test the full supply, handling and delivery chain for audio visual material on ATM networks. Provides all the elements to establish businesses trading in audio-visual material on advanced networks

EP8592 OASIS2(MM). The project aims to develop a new concept in electronic shopping. It will prototype a multimedia based service delivered through interactive sales terminals. The project is driven by consumer and retail needs and it will enable retailers and financial service providers to sell their products and services.

EP9252 NEWSPAD(OMI). The overall objective is to design, implement and pilot a multimedia news broadcasting system, where the information is disseminated via digital communication means (such as satellite/terrestrial digital broadcasting and ISDN), and delivered through a low-cost, small size, low weight, fully-featured portable multimedia device. Broadcasted information includes news, entertainment, education and advertising.
The detailed objectives are to:

EP20583 CHIC(TBP). is a pilot project to control the distribution of newspapers and magazines through the news-stands distribution channel. The goal is using the existing technology to improve quality and competitiveness in the business process. The basic CHIC idea involves implementing the following 3 phases :
a) Selecting about 150 news-stands in Italy and 40 in Greece, representative of total sales trends.
b) Implementing a survey system to give the Publisher sold and return figures in real time, using the existing organisation and technology.
c) Establishing a new relationship system between News-vendors, Distributors and Publishers.

EP20772 MILLION(MM). The project aims to realise a consumer-oriented system for developing the tourist potential of European cities by providing communications-based services to a significant sample of people in selected geographic areas and by making what the involved areas have to offer the tourist known to the largest possible community of networked users: the Internet

EP22287 C&I(MM). The project aims to facilitate uptake of multimedia in the retail industry by:

EP22405 HOMESTEAD2(MM). The prime objective of the project is to set up and demonstrate for both consumers and sales organisations a new and more advanced way of home shopping, using a multimedia-based on-line solution as the access channel. It is also intended to lower the cost of entry for merchants wishing to promote their goods or services directly into the home, by using existing consumer technology enhanced by on-line connectivity for the sales transaction.

EP22445 W3USERNET(SW). Supporting the Information Society, the goal of the W3UserNet project is to speed up adoption, by European businesses and organisations, of the tools and techniques that will allow them to seize the multiple opportunities offered by the World Wide Web. Focusing on users aspects, and complementing existing initiatives which concentrate on the technology, the W3UserNet aims at helping European companies, especially SMEs, to integrate the use of the Web in their business processes.

The W3UserNet will undertake the following activities:

A key aspect of the W3UserNet, relative to existing regional initiatives, is to "leverage" these beyond their local spheres of influence and help them to secure access of European-expertise, examples, and partners.
The activities of the W3UserNet will be carried out in co-ordination with other European initiatives in this field such as the W3 Consortium and the G7 pilot project "Global Market Place for SMEs".

VISEUM. Develop an advanced ATM networking infrastructure supporting a Europe-North America virtual museum. Access to cultural and heritage information can create a basis for global electronic commerce opportunities.

EP20742 ECRIS(SW). ECRIS is a computerised reservation and information system. This system is designed to enable tourist customers to gain information about regions, destinations, service providers from a tourist board or travel agency and/or to book a tourist service and make all the necessary payment transactions associated with it. The project is founded on product design and development using new object-oriented and distributed software technologies.

EP24047 ELEGANT(TBP). The project introduces ICT technologies in the garment industry with the aim to reduce time-to-market, improve logistic and strengthen the chain "producer - trade - consumer". The project is focused on the set-up of an electronic networked multimedia kiosk for usage by the end-user with the capability of electronic purchase of fashion clothes.

EP24379 EL SME(TBP). The project aims at developing effective electronic means for SMEs to market and trade their goods, digital material and services. The facilities aimed for are: advertising, marketing analysis tools, electronic packaging, ordering and delivery, contract generation, royalty redistribution, and copyright protection.

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3. BUSINESS TO ADMINISTRATIONS ELECTRONIC COMMERCE.

EP24104 TRADEPOINT(TBP). The main objective of the project is to provide a one-stop shopping service for public authorities for the purchase of goods and services from SME suppliers which do not require a published call for tender. The project will provide multimedia product catalogues, on-line functionalities for ordering, invoicing and electronic payment. In addition it will provide, where possible links to the suppliers' stock control and logistic systems to provide up-to-date and accurate product information.

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4. INFRASTRUCTURE.

4.1 COPYRIGHT MANAGEMENT.

AC019 TALISMAN. Pilot copyright protection mechanisms in a series of video and multimedia trials. Will protect against illegal copying and commercial piracy of multimedia information.

AC051 OKAPI. Develop a trusted kernel, appearing to the user as a distributed operating system for interactive services. Will support access control to multimedia services in an open environment.

AC242 OCTALIS. Develop and trial the technology for conditional access and copyright protection for multimedia services. Supports a standardised approach to the protection of future commercial multimedia services.

EP5469 CITED(MM). The CITED project is based on the needs of the information industry to safeguard copyright material stored and transmitted in digital form, and thus overcome the reluctance of copyright holders to commit their works to a form which is capable of rapid and accurate copying and thus highly susceptible of piracy. CITED is concerned with the expansion of the committed information to digital storage, which is currently severely restricted by fears on the part of the copyright owners that they will loose effective control over their intellectual property. This fear severely curtails the commercial exploitation of copyrighted informations.

EP8195 COPICAT(MM). The electronic publishing market - brought into being by combining multimedia technology with the world-wide distribution capability of electronic information networks - has a large potential for growth, but it will not develop until there is an effective electronic means of safeguarding copyright internationally.
The COPICAT project addresses the area of electronic copyright protection. It aims to provide a basis for confidence in electronic copyright protection and open up a "blocked" market in multi-media electronic publishing.
COPICAT will develop a generic architectural model for an electronic copyright protection system incorporating the copyright-related event management model from the CITED project (ESPRIT 5469).

EP8265 AMIDE(MM). The aim of the AMIDE project is to promote the development of multimedia information products and services by providing a comprehensive environment capable of integrating the needs of the main participants in the information dissemination chain: publishers, distributors, media operators and end-users. AMIDE targets both on-line and off-line services and provides:

EP20460 COPEARMS(MM). The primary objective is to assist the "vertical projects" concerned with IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) management and co-financed by the European Commission. The aim is to do this by taking advantage of the experience gained in an earlier ESPRIT Project. This will support the development and implementation of an interoperable IPR ECMS (Electronic Copyright Management System). A related objective is to cooperate with the vertical projects in a standardisation process that is necessary to permit interoperability among different ECMS.

EP20517 COPYSMART(MM). The CopySmart project aims at the development of an industrial low-cost solution for implementing Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) management based on the CITED model.
The fast expansion of information networks like Internet and the introduction of digital broadcasting technology has risen the problem of media copyrights, author rights, access control and payment for digital multimedia material.

CopySmart targets the PC environment and will provide within short term the hardware and software building blocks for implementing IPR management in multimedia applications. Respect of standards is a key issue for large market acceptance. The principle adopted is thus to not secure the PC, but the application and to provide hardware security by a standard bus, PCMCIA device. This CopySmart device will contain protected CITED functions and security functions. Cryptographic algorithms and payment functions will reside in the CopySmart device in a removable security module, so that it can easily be adapted to national regulations and payment methods.

EP20676 IMPRIMATUR(MM). IMPRIMATUR has been established to study how to meet the challenge of multimedia rights clearance in networks. The IMPRIMATUR consortium represents the interests of content providers, users, IT and telecoms companies. It brings together European and American participants in a major programme of information-gathering, systems-proving and consensus-building.
The project has two main, related goals. The first goal is to agree a swift and practical response based on a mutual understanding of the problems arising at the interface between lT, telecommunications and IPR concerns. This is to be done within a forum which represents a wide range of organisations in the information industry. The second goal is to identify and develop a set of tools to address those problems in the business, technological, standards and legal areas.

EP22226 MUSE(MM). The MUSE project focuses upon the following objectives:

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4.2 PAYMENTS.

AC014 CANCAN. Research possible schemes for ATM service contracts and charging. Will support the financial viability of future ATM services.

AC039 CA$HMAN. Develop charging and accounting schemes for multi-service multi-supplier ATM networks. Will support the adoption of multimedia services on ATM networks with satisfactory charging schemes.

AC091 SPECIAL. Elaborate an accounting and tariffing based billing concept for interactive multimedia services. Advances understanding of the issues of billing and customer care in the ATM environment.

EP7023 CAFE(MM). The project addresses the important field of digital payments with its many unsolved technical, institutional and legal issues. It aims to begin defining a generalised protocol for electronic access and payment and to embed this in the development of a miniature pocket workstation as an access and payment device for information services.

EP8670 CASCADE(OMI). This project aims to produce a platform for a new generation of integrated chips for portable electronic devices.
The objectives are to enhance the architecture of the existing microprocessors used for chipcards and other portable intelligent devices to provide a new generation of chips for electronic consumer products. It targets the market for "portable intelligence",
especially for smart cards, interactive badges and secured portable intelligent devices such as PCMCIA cards. This new chip could be used in other domains such as telecommunications and mobile applications.
The new architecture provided by CASCADE will have to adapt existing technology to the changing requirements of the market by: increased processing power to accommodate multi-service application and improved security features, creating a development environment for the new architecture, which allows the use of high level programming languages and thereby facilitating application developments.

EP9259 SOSCARD(OMI). This project brings together the state-of-the-art cryptographic methods with the latest RISC processor design techniques to design a very low cost Smart Card which fully supports a standards Smart Card operating systems (the emerging ISO 7816 part 4) and high security data encryption/decryption.

EP20847 CRISP(OMI). The smartcard and electronic tag market is expected over the coming 10 years to have annual growth of 30%. This translates to a $500 million of semiconductor chip sales in 1999. There is a clear market need for a low cost, multi-application smartcard using public key cryptography. In order to validate the cryptographic and physical security requirements and enable exploitation through manufacturing of product, a fully functional smartcard IC must be designed and built. The OMI project SOSCARD is developing a powerful new cryptographic reduced instruction set processor, CRISP, to meet the exacting requirements in silicon area and cryptographic performance of smartcard ICs and provides an ideal platform for this work.

EP22693 HYPERBANK (HPCN) The main aim of the project is to provide the Banking sector with the requisite toolset for increased understanding of existing and prospective customers, and better tailoring of products and services for those customers. The entire ethos of the project will be user led. The successful completion of the project will allow banks to gain competitive advantage and specifically enable them:

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4.3 ACCESS DEVICES.

TEN-DYP. Dynamic Yellow Pages. The key objective of the DYP project is to produce a common technology framework for Trans European Information and Business Directory on the Internet.

AC096 MULTI-MEDIATOR. Demonstrate the feasibility, over ATM networks, of electronic brokerage services for the publishing industry. Provides a needed application for the publishing industry.

AC203 COBRA. Creation, demonstration and validation of an open brokerage architecture, contributing to international standards. Promotes the commercial realisation of on-line brokerage services.

AC211 OSM. Develop and pilot an effective marketplace for product and service offerings delivered through on-line systems and other advanced communications means. Provides for the definition of formal implementation-independent interfaces across catalogue, service, broker and desktop facilities, through a validated open brokerage architecture.

AC218 CODIS. Develop a brokerage system for data bases of digital video clips for the PR/advertising sector. Forms the foundation for an eventual commercial service in this area.

AC221 GAIA. Develop a generic architecture for information availability to support multilateral information trading. Supports the development of electronic brokerage services.

EP20255 ISIS. The project aims to develop and test an Earth Observation (EO) information access and retrieval system. The major objective is to allow the demonstration of high-volume, interactive data-access and data-mining services and to offer on-line and thematic data access.
The project will address some of the technical constraints to the operational development of EO services. These relate to adequate information extraction tools, data availability and data delivery. In particular, the project will address the improvement of access to products and of their availability and associated delivery times. This will enable users of remote sensing products to have access via computer networks not only to catalogues, but also to the products themselves. The images will be compressed according to individual requirements

EP21868 AMUSE-IT(OMI) - Within a large trial of on-demand services in different European cities launched by the ACTS programme, this project analyses the existing infrastructure and develops the next generation set-top-box device to be used in the second half of the trial.

EP22375 MEDIA-PASS(MM). The project aims at defining and creating a new generation of high quality interactive multimedia systems to attract customers and to increase sales in commercial activities, retail shops and large stores. These systems will have the high audio-visual quality of TV commercials, the authoring friendliness required by communication professionals not accustomed to IT tools and the networking capability required by broad commercial organisations.

EP23031 ATOM(OMI) -The purpose of this project is to accelerate the application of OMI technology to advanced consumer communications products. ATOM will deliver working demonstrators of: a new generation of DECT portable phones using low-power technology, high speed network access controllers and an innovative portable, personal communication device.

EP23368 JEDI(OMI) - This project addresses the Internet and World Wide Web growth and its impact on the existing and future information infrastructure. The growth of emerging Internet applications and the requisite infrastructure requires substantial research and development efforts aimed at scaling up existing information technologies and services and integrating them with advanced voice and video communication technologies. It is also necessary to develop new technologies that address key issues such as virtualized routing and bridging, multilevel security and conditional access, interoperability, advanced information storage and retrieval and ease of use in this integrated setting.
By integrating relevant technologies, JEDI aims at significantly reducing the cost of multimedia communication servers while at the same time matching or exceeding the performance and functionality of existing routing technologies, therefore providing tremendous opportunity for market exploitation.

EP24285 HIPER-KIDS(OMI) - The objectives of this project are: the development of a high performance 3 Dimensional rasterizer, a multimedia board for consumer applications incorporating both a MPEG2 decoder and the 3D component and a demonstrator application in the field of car sales support.

EP20717 OVID(SW). The technical objective of this project is concerned with assessing the usability of voice processing software in automated banking using the telephone ('direct banking'). The purpose of OVID is to bring together international banking partners and technology providers for a trial application of a European automated telephone banking using voice processing.

EP21036 EIVIS (HPCN) The objective of the project is to prepare for the development of future Video-On-Demand (VOD) products for the transportation market. It is envisaged that, in the near future, commercial planes, ocean liners, ferries and trains will be fitted with VOD servers. Passengers will then be able to choose and control video programmes from individual terminals. The server will also provide games, tourist information, news and other services. A strong growth in this type of services and products is anticipated in the near future if such systems can be made available with an acceptable performance at a reasonable price.

EP23483 EPSIS (HPCN) Image processing techniques are bringing a whole range of innovative applications to the world of digital video. An early commercial application released by one of the project partners in 1995 is the electronic billboard. This image processing system is able to detect and track a real billboard or another target in the live broadcast flow of a sports event, and to insert a synthetic "electronic billboard" to replace it in the video signal. This can be used to optimise the impact of sponsoring to specific audiences.

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4.4 SECURITY

AC026 SEMPER. Development, implementation and trial of an open communications architecture for an electronic marketplace. Will cover the key issue of security in the electronic marketplace completely and systematically. Project's home page : http://www.semper.org

AC095 ASPECT. Develop and test new security features and migratory scenarios for UMTS. Provides enhanced security, fraud prevention, secure billing for universal mobile services. These results can be adapted for secure electronic commerce.

AC102 M2VTS. Develop and trial multimodal verification for access to teleservices. Provides assurance of security of access and data necessary for the widespread use of electronic commerce.

EP20563 E2S(SW). The goal of the project is to contribute to the growth of Electronic Commerce on the Internet by developing, testing and installing end-to-end security mechanisms for commercial transactions using the Internet. The plan is to deliver a professional infrastructure that is attractive to businesses and consumers, enabling the economic growth promised by the "information society". Specific objectives in the plan are:

EP9602 PCI-CAPRI DBINSPECTOR (HPCN). The scale of financial-sector crime today makes the detection of anomalous financial transfers into, out of and within a nation, one of the most important functions of modern government. The analysis necessary for detection of such criminal activity depends on a national infrastructure for the frequent capture of transaction histories from all financial institutions within a state.
It also requires a central IT infrastructure capable of maintaining historical transaction records and capable of enabling the application of advanced analysis techniques to large data volumes. One of the aims of this project is to demonstrate how HPCN technologies can be deployed to enhance the effectiveness of UIC's fraud analysts by supporting a considerably higher level of interaction with the data than is currently possible.

EP22005 WIRE(SW). The overall goal of the WIRE project is to make it possible for organisations to deploy Secure Enterprise Webs. Today, many organisations have set up Web servers for non strategic IT applications to deliver public information to the market at a low cost compared to advertisement in other media. This current WEB technology is successful when data is public (access control is not required), small (less than thousands of pages) and simple (text, numbers, built-in .gif images). These conditions are too restrictive for professional applications. Commercial transactions require strong support for user authentication and access control.
The WIRE project addresses these industrial requirements as follows :
Security: the existing WebDCE server will be enhanced to support single mutual authentication corporate wide, fine grain authorisation and encryption to enterprise hypertext documents, transparent location of service, associated with low cost administration.
Large scale data management: Based on this WebDCE secured framework, WIRE will enable users to benefit from DBMS services:. In WIRE, a special effort will concern WEB query language facilities.
Groupware: A framework will be developed for collaborative authoring and annotations of documents through electronic mail.
Multimedia: For multimedia access and visualisation, the project will provide encapsulation of existing multimedia data to become accessible from the Web, mechanisms to automatically create hyperlinks in multimedia data and new visualisation tools.

EP24103 FACTMERCHANT(TBP). The pilot will demonstrate the integration of secure billing, e-mail and EDI on a platform, which provides comprehensive access to business and financial information. This will include news and rates, world-wide market and broker research, and financial and credit analysis. The pilot will be run over Internet for access for both SMEs and larger organisations. The pilot will use knowledge-based systems technology for search, public-key cryptography and digital signatures for confidentiality, authentication, integration and non-repudiation.

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4.5 INTELLIGENT AGENTS.

EP23311 TREVI(SW). This project aims to offer a solution to the problem of information overflow that is affecting users of the World Wide Web and Internet through the semi-automatic application of a client profile to textual and static data sources. Using a client profile and some generic domain-specific rules, decisions will be made whether incoming textual information is relevant to the end users.

EP23916 MIA(TBP). The goal of the project is to pilot the use of advanced intelligent software agents applied to electronic commerce in the vehicle manufacturing sector. The project will address the following business processes: marketing of products, initial contacts, exchange of pre-sales information, general information exchange, post-sales support.

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4.6 SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENTS.

TEN-DCC. Digital Platform for Cultural Content. Centred on the development of a common Digital platform for Cultural Content using heuristic interactive system (HIS) technology, the project aims at implementing a pan-European access network for art content providers.

AC008 THESEUS. Develop a terminal suitable for the telecommunications needs of future European capital markets. Will improve the quality, efficiency and competitiveness of the integrated European financial industry

AC032 SETBIS. Develop high-performance set-top box for interactive multimedia services. Enhances Europe's expertise in the rapidly-growing multimedia/interactive TV sector

AC033 SOMMIT. Define an open, modular, interactive multimedia terminal architecture . Provide a range of terminals for a future multiservice, multivendor environment, capable of rapid upgrade on quality and functionality

EP8752 MAGIC TOUR(MM). The main objective of MAGIC TOUR is to develop a multimedia and spatially-oriented Authoring System to support the automatic low cost generation of electronic applications for tour operators, tourist bureau's and travel agencies. In order to validate the authoring tool in different situations corresponding to real life problems, the MAGIC TOUR project will include a second part in which the Authoring System will be tested and validated. The test will be conducted developing three typical kinds of tourism application prototypes:

EP20169 DAFS (HPCN) . Data mining is a technique for examining very large databases to help discern subtle relationships suggesting new business activities that need increased or decreased investment. The project aims to enhance the performance and functionality of data-mining systems by building a special purpose parallel data-mining server and an associated front-end client. This will be achieved by:

EP20359 EURICO(OMI). EURICO is an acronym for a complete platform for applications in the area of multimedia, telecommunication, embedded control. The project intends to create a new base for the design of applications to meet present and future requirements including the development of demonstration applications in the following areas:

EP20636 EUROMEDIA(MM). The field of application for the EUROMEDIA project represents the fusion of digital multimedia technology with broadcasting technology. A basic prerequisite for emerging broadcasting services such as Video on Demand (VoD) is the design of digital archives and the provision of suitable means for access them. Since digitised material intended for broadcasting, including relevant descriptive and administrative data, is multimedia in nature, the digital archives also need to be multimedia.
The project addresses both the design of the archives and the development of suitable means for accessing them.

EP20761 ASCISSA(OMI). This Project leverages on specific European interconnect, processing and software technologies to build a computing platform suitable for easy integration and access of information that need fault resilience and large scaling factors in disk resource, both in the amount of space and in the performance level, as well as high level of parallelism in the processing of data, including complex queries.

EP20799 HYPERTOUR(MM). The principal aim is to develop a business-centred approach for the production of multimedia applications promoting tourism. The overall objectives are:

EP20855 INK(MM). The objective of the INK Project is to develop a system for POS/POI (Point of Sale / Point of Information) networked applications where access to multimedia data is provided from a number of interactive terminals connected to one or more video servers.

EP20184 HPS-ICE (HPCN) - High Performance Simulation of Internal Combustion Engines. The overall goal of the project is to integrate the simulation of fluid flow, mixing and heat release in internal combustion engines into the development cycle through the use of HPCN.
In order to make further advances in the development of piston engines, including the lowering of harmful emissions and the improvement of fuel economy, it will be necessary to make increasing use of computational fluid dynamics.
At present there are two main obstacles to transferring existing relevant basic research to development centres. The first obstacle is the long computational time currently required for the realistic simulation of time-dependent flow fields and turbulent combustion under real-engine conditions. The second obstacle is the time and cost required to generate, modify and control the computational grid.

EP22160 HYNODE(MM). The objective of the project is to design and develop an efficient and market-oriented environment supporting news-on-demand applications. Adapting and integrating existing IT components needed for news authoring, storage and delivery, the project aims to develop appropriate mechanisms to support news filtering according to the needs of each end-user.

EP22508 MSC (HPCN). The project aims at evaluating and promoting the use of High Performance Computing and Networking for industries and the educational sector. The project is organised as a cluster of several projects based on the remote access to High Performance computers at the CEPBA (UPC) computing centre. Each subproject uses tools developed in the PCI-I (Pacos) and PCI-II projects.
An educational project will enable several schools, from Spain and The Netherlands in particular, to enhance a baseline project on air pollution with an environment for remote collaborative manipulation of multimedia data and visualisation. The dissemination of this activity should create new products in remote education using High Performance Computing, industrial spin-offs as well as public awareness of the value of HPCN applications.
The resulting infrastructure will increase the accessibility of High Performance Computing based applications to industry not only at the research and evaluation phase but also in production environments on the field, and by applications that do not justify the acquisition of expensive hardware. This will lower the risk of adoption of these techniques by SMEs. In addition, awareness and recognition of the benefits of high performance applications by the public will increase from dissemination activities in the media.

EP22509 ESD-NET (HPCN) - High Performance Electronic System Design Network. The objective of this project is focused on distributed computer supported collaborative working (CSCW) for Electronic System Design (ESD) using distributed simulation and modelling high performance computing applications through the network (ESD platform exploiting ISDN/ATM services).
Expected benefits include, among other, faster marketing response time, better customer servicing, enhanced product performance and quality, clearer management decisions, more cost efficient operation, just in time inventory, more efficient international communication and transactions with partners, cost savings.

EP22519 RCNET (HPCN) - Exploiting HPCN in an Engineering Consultancy Environment. The objective of this project is to respond to HPCN requirements for SME's in the computer aided engineering environment through remote access to university / research computer power.
A small Engineering consultancy company (REL - Reverse Engineering Ltd) needs HPCN computer power to perform computational intensive simulations, but is unable to justify the large capital costs of purchasing HPC equipment.
So the project will provide computer power availability through high speed connection to a remote University computer (University of Manchester) to run simulation activities. Another application area included in this experiment will be the qualification and decommissioning of offshore structures.
In addition, appropriate infrastructure will be installed to facilitate remote simulation, remote visualisation and interactive video conferencing between REL's sites in UK and Norway.

EP22528 CANET (HPCN) - Collaborative Automotive Network. The purpose of the project is to set up user experiments on the usage of computer supported collaborative working (CSCW) tools over an ATM wide area network in a distributed environment. The experiment is a user-driven trial which will involve leading edge automotive manufacturers and suppliers in a multi-site topology, using high performance communication services and applications. Some of the involved companies were early adopters of such advanced communications and development tools and are now willing to extend their expertise in this domain.

The whole automotive business process is to be impacted by the trial's results: impact on the decision making process before launching a new vehicle, impact on experimenting best practices, impact on the time to market and the competitiveness of the European automotive industry, impact on the development costs of a new vehicle.

EP22542 COVAS (HPCN) - Collaborative Visualization of Automotive Simulations. The project aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the use of a collaborative working environment in the design of a new car. This environment will be based around multimedia communication tools and will draw on experiences already gained in a relevant project involving ARUP and Falkenburger und Partner.
The objective is to set up a multi-site high-performance computing environment and to determine its cost-benefits when applied to a real engineering problem from the automobile industry involving several collaborating partners operating under realistic commercial constraints.

EP22597 VISTA (HPCN) - The main objective of the project is the integration and demonstration of a generic and extensible system to support the generation of scenarios for real-time interactive television. This realisation of a virtual interactive studio will offer facilities for mixing real and synthetic objects and characters in any combination, to be controlled remotely by end users such as home television viewers.
The system will enable the realisation of innovative interactive domestic tele-services. The image content of the programmes will be generated over ATM in real-time by high-end graphical computers. The number of simultaneous interactive viewers will vary from a few to several hundred. Three concrete and specific applications will be tested using the system:
An interactive television drama (simultaneously on three channels) with viewer participation, a virtual presenter controlled remotely in real-time, interactive virtual driving environment to teach traffic rules.

EP22723 HITERM (HPCN) . Within the framework of HPCN Information Management and Decision Support, HITERM aims at expanding the application of HPCN to decision support in new domains: the central focus is the interface between technological risk management and the environment. Using distributed parallel computing, the project aims at reaching better-than real time performance for the simulation of accidental release of hazardous substances into the atmosphere and ground and surface water. This information will be used, in the framework of interactive, on-line decision support and advisory systems for the adaptive routing of hazardous transports integrating environmental risk criteria with other road information and the support of emergency management tasks (and related staff training) for transportation accidents involving hazardous substances and for hazardous installations, as foreseen by the amended Post-Seveso Directive (82/501/EEC, 87/216/EEC, COM(94)4).

EP22937 HOMENET(MM). The objective of the project is to allow the bridging between telecommunication, cable, personal computer connection and EHS home automation/signal distribution by providing HOMENET, a routing appliance that will act as the heart of a true network of appliances and signals in the home and connect to the information highways.

EP22556 APAT (HPCN) - Applications Professionelles sur ATM. The objective of this project is to set up industrial applications both for cooperative working and multimedia experiments on broadband networks at end-users sites.
The two major applications planned to be experimented are relevant to cooperative design of tyres and cables among different sites in Europe at the Pirelli company and a tele-expertise/tele-training service between French Research Centers and Industrial end-users in France and Italy with the company Cisi.
The applications will be built over a cooperative working platform including video. This platform will be used between partners sites and for real day-to-day videoconferances, experts consultancy, computer software resources sharing, communication between distant developers of project and replay (on demand) of training courses or seminars.

EP20496 SEDRES(SW). This project is directed at the development of an interface standard which will allow the complete set of tools in design of aeroplanes and spacecraft and their avionics systems (hardware, software, mechanical design, and implementation, project management, etc.) to communicate in such a way that an integrated project support environment is available from commercial tools.
This project will develop and demonstrate an "open" design information environment for the active components (e.g. electronics, hydraulics, computing) of complex integrated products. The resulting standards and environment will increase the efficiency of industrial collaboration in design and product support, and will complement the strong focus on geometry and structure definition which characterise other research projects.

EP21037 PCI-II AMODES (HPCN) The main objective of the project is the evaluation of a combination of advanced information technologies, namely data analysis, data management and high-performance computing, in the context of a data warehouse within one of the most technologically mature Italian financial institutions. The data warehouse will be designed with the practical objective of providing support for money laundering countermeasures.
The project will develop software modules supporting both data access and data management.

EP21017 INNOVA (HPCN) The project aims to develop software to be embedded in the new generation of high-performance computing tele-control stations to be integrated in supervisory control and data acquisition systems. These stations will deal not only with digital and analogue signals produced by conventional process sensors, but also with images and sounds. With their ability to obtain process information through a real-time fusion of conventional control signals, images and sounds, these stations will allow the development of more complete, flexible, reliable and secure control systems capable of solving difficult industrial control problems. To perform all the necessary functions and still satisfy the requirement for real-time operation, the software will have to run on a high-performance computer.
The project will evaluate the suitability of HPCN technology for an embedded VOD server. This will be supported by the development of a demonstrator including a server with an operating environment and applications. Evaluation of this demonstrator will require the presence of a large number of terminals, a few of which will be physical while the others will be simulated.

EP22246 FORMULA(SW). The project aims to improve the electronic publishing process for all those involved; publishers, agencies, photo reporters, by facilitating enhanced management of images and the global remote access to image banks.
The results of the project will be a demonstrator for image database management, proving the viability of integrating new technologies based on automatic extraction of image annotations (during insertion) and on a pictorial content-based approach (during retrieval), for an innovative approach to image handling in electronic publishing.
It will adapt and integrate different technologies from the various related domains: Human Computer Interfaces (HCI) Pictorial Content Based Insertion and Retrieval techniques, Multimedia Database (MMDB), WWW and Internet technologies for the higher levels; ISDN (Integrated System Digital Network) and other ground technologies for handling the multimedia data), according to the identified user needs.
This demonstrator will result in a dramatic reduction of costs for electronic publishers in image manipulation (costs for image annotation, for image retrieval, for administrative issues).

EP20424 2RARE(SW). 2RARE addresses two large and complex distributed software-intensive heterogeneous systems where the precise specification of requirements is of key importance, as well as the evolution of these requirements over time and across different system families.
The first application is based on an infrastructure composed of satellites, ground stations and a network system for which a software intensive component (about 1 million lines of source code) has to be developed.
The second application is a distributed multimedia retrieval services system offering facilities to users via set-top boxes (connected to their TV sets) over the telephone network.

EP22707 HP-RETAIL (HPCN) Large retail groups concentrate their efforts on the exploitation of new consumer groups. They have developed information systems which deliver the necessary marketing information and also shorten the time delay between consumer demand and stock replenishment. High performance parallel computing is ultimately required for data warehouses. Present installations at the large retailing chains are based on massively parallel IT systems from US companies. Medium sized retailing companies are concerned that these large systems are prohibitively expensive and not scalable to fit the needs of a medium sized company.
The result will be a scalable architecture and a set of pre-configured decision support tools that will help to improve the average trade margins not only overall but also for individual sales outlets, allow benchmarking between different outlets and help to optimize stock replenishment.

EP24231 JEDI(SW). The objectives of this project are: to develop a Java visual programming environment for the rapid prototyping and implementation of Internet based database applications and to build two different electronic commerce pilots in the area of Internet publishing that will serve as a test bed. The JEDI development environment will be integrated with existing authoring tools, offering support for the design and delivery of new types of titles from pay-per-browse schemes, to personalised, adaptive content generation.

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4.7 DISTRIBUTED TOOLS

AC028 TOBASCO. Apply high-density wavelength division multiplexing (HD-WDM) techniques for the upgrade of CATV networks. Will advance the introduction of interactive TV services in existing established CATV networks.

AC029 WOTAN. Develop an end-to-end wavelength agile optical communications system using WDM. Develops the technology for a scaleable end-to-end national broadband network.

AC050 PLANET. Define and test a cost effective full service access network based on PON technology, covering up to 100 km/2,000 subscribers. Develops a network technology permitting the deployment of multimedia services to large numbers SMEs and domestic users at viable cost.

EP6876 PISA(IIM) . To develop and demonstrate a platform for information sharing .

EP20408 VEGA(IIM). To establish an information infrastructure to support technical activities and business operations in virtual enterprises.

EP20598 MATES(IIM). To create Multimedia Assisted Tele-Engineering Services to support distributed engineering teams operating from different physical locations.

EP22503 EROPPA (HPCN) - Post-production companies use three-dimensional graphics applications to produce film and video footage for commercial advertisements and television productions. The computing time for such applications takes several weeks on conventional computers, but could be reduced to hours through the use of high-performance parallel systems.
The objective of EROPPA is to design, implement and test methodologies for remote access to computationally intensive three-dimensional graphics applications running on high-performance facilities for use in post production. Such access, if effective and economically viable, would change the post-production business dramatically.

EP22505 WARPSPEID (HPCN). Electronic component suppliers have large image databases holding technical support information and product data sheets. The core size and number of weekly updates make it difficult for such suppliers to maintain these databases over a number of international sites. A centralised approach with conventional telecommunications links is unfeasible as access and transfer time would prevent practical use of the system for support engineers in direct telephone contact with customers.
The objective of the WARPSPEID project is to specify and evaluate the effectiveness of using high-performance networks to provide pre and post-sales support in engineering component supply for RS Components. Their offices in various member states will be networked allowing direct access to the existing UK product support databases. The effect will be to improve both the accuracy and timeliness of responses for European mainland customers with consequent improvement in customer service. A number of SMEs will also be networked allowing direct access to the RS support database without the need for intermediate support.

EP8328 CAESAR. The project is based on exploiting HPCN in a number of ways to bring greater efficiency into the design and production cycles. Increased product complexity leads to the requirements for larger simulations of more complex problems, simultaneous analyses of multiple design and planning options and multi-disciplinary analyses - multi-physics simulation.
The demonstrators include multi-disciplinary design encompassing electromagnetics and aerodynamics, multiple design options for wing design, production optimisation for ship building via a decision support system and virtual factory, and chemical engineering relating to the phase separation of complex polymer mixtures.

EP9810 CENT(SW). The project is aimed at promoting rapid European industrial adoption of Concurrent Engineering (CE) concepts by:

  1. Developing industrial awareness of the concepts, benefits and implementation strategies for CE
  2. Identifying European Industrial requirements
  3. Assessing the suitability of existing Information Technology and identifying development needs.

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4.8 INTER-OPERABILITY

TEN-INFOCITIES. Information for Cities. The project aims at integrating the results of initiatives of more than 40 participating cities by using common infrastructure and standards.

EP9801 WEBCORE(SW). The W3C is an industry consortium which seeks to promote standards for the evolution of the Web and interoperability between WWW products by producing specifications and reference software. Although W3C is funded by industrial members, it is vendor-neutral, and its products are freely available to all.
The Consortium is international; jointly hosted by the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science in the United States and in Europe by INRIA who provide both local support and performing core development. The W3C was initially established in collaboration with CERN, where the Web originated, and with support from DARPA and the European Commission.

EP9807 BOISI(SW). The area of Open Systems has been developing standards and reference models. Architectural and application specific frameworks have been defined with some influence from the requirements of the user. These frameworks will be extended to the Information Infrastructure. The two major poles in the Information Society are, on the one hand users and, on the other, providers. BOISI is an accompanying measure that endeavours to bridge and to reconcile these poles by establishing a general reference model for User Requirements for Open Systems as an input to the implementation of the Information Infrastructure.

EP20804 MASCOTTE(SW). The computer industry has embraced distributed objects as the middleware solution for application integration and distributed processing over the last few years. There is an emerging technology which is having more and more success in this field: the standards based initiative from the Object Management Group (OMG) called CORBA. While this technology is clearly focused on enabling applications, possibly consisting of many millions of objects, it does not include a standards based approach to the management of those objects.
The management of CORBA based systems is provided by a set of CORBA based Management Facilities. The project will define and implement these facilities in conformity with current activities of OMG and X/Open in this domain.

EP22030 CIME(SW). The main objective of the project in the context of emerging information highways is to expand the use of on line information services already available by strengthening European players position, thus creating a European alternative to dominant US services such as Knight Ridder DIALOG or CAS-STN and facilitating the co-operation with new partners both in the dissemination and information supply sectors. In this respect, the co-operation between major European on line host services aims at drastically enlarging the offering to the users: any user of any host service should be able to use the information of the other hosts without any additional contractual, educational, training or technical implication.

EP6212 PROCESS BASE(IIM). To develop a neutral format for the exchange and management of data used in the design, construction and operation of process plants.

EP22284 GENIAL(IIM) - Present engineering practice is changing as companies are forced to increase their level of co-operation, response time to customers, while, at the same time,
managing increased product complexity. In 1994 a group of European companies has established the GEN initiative in order to promote the vision of a Global Engineering Network. GEN is seen as an information network opening up world wide markets for users and suppliers of European engineering products and services. The vision fosters a working culture for large scale collaborative engineering enabling enterprises to become agile.
The objective of the GENIAL project is to provide a substantial contribution to this vision by establishing a Common Semantic Infrastructure. This enables enterprises from different engineering sectors to combine internal knowledge accessed on line and world wide via GEN.

EP20957 TEN-34 (HPCN) . The aim is to deploy trans-European networking facilities which will provide complementary international capacity to allow the national research network investments to be exploited on a global basis and maintain the competitiveness of European research. This project is financed by the joint research networking initiative of Esprit and the Telematics Applications Programme. The implementation will address both the requirements for greater capacity and support the emerging multi-media applications.

EP20956 JAMES (HPCN). The project aims develop a Europe-wide ATM-based interconnection structure together with associated experimental services to meet the requirement for implementation of a European High Speed Network for Research in response to a growing user demand for higher bandwidth services. Connectivity for experimental use between the National Research Networks and European research projects (e.g. Esprit projects, National Hosts, ACTS Projects) is provided over an ATM bearer service based on the trans-European network infrastructure established for the European ATM Pilot. The JAMES project is to experiment, test and evaluate the provision of new ATM-based broadband services and applications throughout Europe. These experiments will use traffic originating from National Research Networks and National Hosts. The major objectives of the JAMES project are to:

A Users Board (UB) has been set up to manage the interface of the project with the users, and provide direct support to users for projects technical problems.
The main benefit for the research community will be cheaper connectivity to high-speed broadband facilities.


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