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Esprit : An Introduction for Proposers (September 1997 Version)
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European Commission - Specific RTD programme in the field of Information Technologies

Welcome to Esprit, the IT Programme


ESPRIT
An Introduction for Proposers

"Supporting the growth and spread of the Information Society"

September 1997


Check-list of specific information documents

Themes

  • Esprit Thematic Calls : Electronic Commerce — IT for Mobility — Information Access and Interfaces — Learning and Training in Industry

In conjunction with the ACTS programme

R&D; tasks

Preparatory, Support and Transfer Activities

- applicable throughout the programme

- specific to activities in a particular domain or domains

PLEASE NOTE

  1. You should refer to the work-programme as you read this booklet.
  2. Please read the text of the call before you make a proposal
  3. Make sure you use the appropriate specific information document



CONTENTS

1. Welcome to Esprit, the IT Programme
1.1 Who this booklet is for
1.2 What this booklet contains
1.3 Other documents you will need to prepare your proposal
1.4 Getting more advice
2. About Esprit
3. What technologies and activities does Esprit cover?
What document do I need to prepare a proposal for a task?
Index by task number to the specific information document you need
6.1 IDEALFIT: promoting international collaboration
6.2 PROSOMA: turning your innovation into business
7. Contact points for the programme
8. List of National Contact Points

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1. Welcome to Esprit, the IT Programme

1.1 Who this booklet is for

This booklet is for people planning to submit a proposal in response to a call for proposals issued by the Esprit programme. It forms part of a package of information designed to help you understand Esprit's priorities and requirements. It is designed to save you time and effort by directing you to the documents and information you will need when preparing a proposal.

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1.2 What this booklet contains

Section II gives some background information on Esprit and how it operates. Section III outlines the technologies and activities covered by the programme. Sections IV and V guide you to the specific information document that you must use to make a proposal for a particular task. Section VI gives information on the IDEALFIT (partner search) and PROSOMA (results showcase) initiatives.

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1.3 Other documents you will need to prepare your proposal

  • The current version of the Work-Programme , which outlines the technical areas covered by the programme and contains descriptions of the tasks to be undertaken.
  • The Guide to Tasks Covered by Esprit Calls , which specifies which parts of the programme will be open in particular calls.
  • The Call for Proposals under which you want to make a proposal: calls are planned for 16 September 1997 and 17 March 1998 .
  • The Specific Information Document covering the type of proposal you plan to make and your area of interest: use sections IV or V of this booklet to decide which document you need. Each one provides detailed information on procedures and evaluation criteria.

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1.4 Getting more advice

The National Contact Points , grouped together in the IDEALFIT project , will help you if you have any questions about the programme, the preparation of proposals, and finding potential partners. The email removed Esprit Information Desk can help you with many queries.

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2. About Esprit

This section briefly describes the basis and rationale of the Esprit programme and its main features.

Esprit can help everyone using or developing information technologies

Esprit, the European Union's information technologies (IT) programme, is focused on user requirements and the need to accelerate and broaden the take-up of IT. For these reasons, Esprit integrates cutting-edge R&D; projects with preparatory, support and take-up activities. This approach fosters the collaboration between technology users and technology suppliers that sparks off innovation.

Suppliers benefit by getting feedback from users about their current and future needs: this helps them to better direct their research and exploit the results in the fast-moving world of IT. By interacting with user-groups via the programme, they also improve their chances of establishing their technologies in the marketplace.

Users as a whole gain, through Esprit, the opportunity to influence the technology and product development process. Those keen to adopt new information technologies get access to the latest developments and assistance in trying these out; while those looking for proven technologies and standardised products are brought into contact with suppliers, and with more experienced users, via dissemination and best-practice networks. The Esprit programme, in short, can help everyone using or developing IT.

Esprit's context

Esprit forms part of the EU's Fourth Framework Programme, which runs from 1994 to 1998. Framework programmes set the overall aims and priorities for the EU's R&D; activities and define their content in broad terms.

Specific programmes — of which Esprit is one — define the more detailed basis for R&D; in a particular technological area. Esprit works in close cooperation with other specific programmes, particularly ACTS (telecommunications), IMT (industrial and materials technologies) and Telematics Applications. Esprit is managed by DG III, the Directorate General for Industry of the European Commission.

How Esprit operates

The R&D; that each specific programme will support is described in a work-programme , which contains descriptions of the tasks to be undertaken. Esprit's is a so-called "rolling" work-programme, as it is adapted each year, after extensive consultation, to take account of industry's changing priorities.

You should consult the current work-programme when planning to submit a proposal:

Full versions are available in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. Abridged versions are available in Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Portuguese and Swedish, and in Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Russian and Slovenian.

Frequent calls for proposals — notices published in the Official Journal of the European Communities — invite proposals from consortia to carry out projects covering the work specified in the work-programme.

There are two types of calls for project proposals:

Domain-specific calls address particular parts of the Esprit programme. Each call makes reference to the tasks in the work-programme for which proposals are invited, and specifies the submission deadlines. Esprit currently plans to issue such calls on 16 September 1997 and 17 March 1998 . Most tasks are open for particular calls, though some can be submitted at any time.

Thematic calls address themes that cut across the different domains and tasks in the programme. Esprit currently plans to issue such a call on 16 September 1997.

You should check when particular tasks and themes will be called

You should check the terms of a particular call when planning to submit a proposal:

Proposals are then evaluated by independent experts, and the best selected for funding. Industrial partners have half their costs met via the Framework Programme budget, while research institutions can have all their marginal costs covered (ie, the additional costs incurred through participating in a project).

The answers to many frequently asked questions about the call, proposal submission and proposal evaluation process are available on line. Alternatively you can contact the Esprit Information Desk: e-mail email removed

A condition of most R&D; projects is that they bring together companies and research institutions from at least two EU/EEA or associated countries (such as Israel). There are many opportunities for organisations from other countries to take part, and Esprit particularly favours the involvement of researchers from the countries of Central Europe and the Baltics (CCE), the Mediterranean region, and the New Independent States (NIS) of the former Soviet Union.

You should check the participation rules when organising a consortium for a proposal that includes non-EU partners. This is available online and also in section 2.1 of each specific information document.

There are particular opportunities for organisations from the countries of Central Europe and the Baltics (CCE) . Please consult the online information or alternatively contact Esprit's international cooperation team.

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3. What technologies and activities does Esprit cover?

Esprit's themes cut across various EU activities, ranging from R&D; programmes to policy and regulatory initiatives. The thematic calls address Esprit's contribution to each theme. The evaluation and follow-up of the proposals selected will be carried out in conjunction with the Telematics Applications and ACTS programmes. The four current themes are:

You will need to use the self-contained specific information document " Esprit Thematic Calls " to make a proposal relating to a theme.

You should also consult the All About Themes page online and check the home page of each theme for more information and background documents.

In addition, and in conjunction with the ACTS programme, proposals addressing IT for Satellite Communications are invited under the 16 September call for proposals . You should consult the information note .

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The work-programme is divided into eight domains . These cover the key underpinning technologies, long-term research, and areas where technology integration is the main concern. Each domain has its own R&D; area and set of preparatory, support and transfer activities . Each area and activity contains domain-specific tasks . There are also a series of preparatory, support and transfer activities applicable throughout the programme.

The work-programme describes the domains, areas, activities and tasks. You can consult it online where each task is linked to the call where it is open and to the specific information document you will need to make a proposal for that task, or you can fax a request for a printed copy to the IT Programme Office


The domains are structured as follows:

0.2, SME Cooperative Research in IT0.3, Networks of Excellence0.4, User Groups and Working Groups0.5, Concerted Action0.6, Dissemination and Awareness Actions0.7, Demonstration Actions0.9, Analysis of Possible Socio-Economic Consequences .

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Software Technologies - domain 1

R&D; areas

Preparatory, support and transfer activities

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Technologies for Components and Subsystems - domain 2

R&D; areas

Preparatory, support and transfer activities

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Multimedia Systems - domain 3

R&D; areas

Preparatory, support and transfer activities

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Long-Term Research - domain 4

R&D; areas

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Open Microprocessor Systems Initiative - domain 5

R&D; areas

Preparatory, support and transfer activities

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High-Performance Computing and Networking - domain 6

R&D; areas

Preparatory, support and transfer activities

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Technologies for Business Processes - domain 7

R&D; areas

Preparatory, support and transfer activities

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Integration in Manufacturing - domain 8

R&D; areas

Preparatory, support and transfer activities

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4. What document do I need to prepare a proposal for a task?

  • If you know the task number, look up the document you need in Section V below.
  • If you want to browse through the various R&D; areas and preparatory, support and transfer activities, read this section.

This section deals first with themes, next with tasks in R&D; areas, and lastly with tasks in Preparatory, Support and Transfer activities.

This version of the work-programme links each task to the specific information document needed to make a proposal for that task. To get a document in print, contact the IT Programme Office

Themes

To make a proposal, you must use the specific information document

Esprit Thematic Calls

In conjunction with the ACTS Programme

  • IT for Satellite Communications. Before making a proposal, read the information note .

R&D; areas

From the point of view of the documents you need, R&D; areas can be grouped into three categories:

1) R&D; areas in domains where a single-step evaluation procedure is always used;

2) R&D; areas in domains where a two-step evaluation procedure is always used;

3) R&D; areas in the Long-Term Research domain.

1) R&D; areas in domains where a single-step evaluation procedure is always used

  • Software Technologies - domain 1
  • Open Microprocessor Systems Initiative - domain 5
  • Technologies for Business Processes - domain 7
  • Integration in Manufacturing - domain 8

To make a proposal, you must use the specific information document

Call on R&D; Tasks: Single-Step Evaluation

In the case of Statistical Systems, you must use the specific information document Statistical Methodology and Information Systems

2) R&D; areas in domains where a two-step evaluation procedure is always used

  • Technologies for Components and Subsystems - domain 2
  • Multimedia Systems - domain 3
  • High-Performance Computing and Networking - domain 6

To make a proposal, you must use the specific information document

Call on R&D; Tasks: Two-Step Evaluation

3) R&D; areas in the Long-Term Research (LTR) domain (domain 4)

  • Open LTR Scheme
  • Reactive LTR Scheme

To make a proposal, you must use the specific information document

Call on R&D; Tasks: Long-Term Research

To make a proposal, you must use the specific information document


Preparatory, Support and Transfer Activities

Activities are of two types:

1) Activities applicable throughout the programme (ie, domain-independent);

2) Activities specific to a particular domain .


1) Activities applicable throughout the programme

2) Activities specific to a particular domain

To get a document in print, contact the IT Programme Office

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5. Index by task number to the specific information document you need

In order to reduce the size of this file, the index by task numbers is in a seperate document which is also available online.


6. IDEALFIT and PROSOMA

6.1 IDEALFIT: support for potential proposers and newcomers to the programme

IDEALFIT is an Esprit project where partners from 19 countries are pooling their local knowledge as National Contact Points to promote collaboration across international boundaries. Finding the right partners to work with in other countries can be a major challenge, and one which often deters newcomers to the programme. Esprit is supporting this new initiative to help organisations who have difficulty in this area. IDEALFIT offers:

  • Information dissemination on Esprit
  • Support for potential proposers
  • International partner brokerage events
  • Special workshops and seminars.

Let IDEALFIT work for you: get in touch via your National Contact Point (listed at the end of this booklet).

The IDEALFIT partners represent Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

6.2 PROSOMA: helping turn innovation into business

For most organisations the completion of an Esprit project is only the first step towards commercialising their work. The hurdles that then face them can be formidable: finance, legislation, marketing and distribution all need to be addressed. Experience shows that social contacts, or networking, is a key factor in overcoming these barriers. Networking brings information technology providers into contact with systems developers, equipment manufacturers, venture capitalists, technology brokers and end-users — any or all of whom can provide what is needed to bring a result to market. Such networking helps bridge the gap between research and the marketplace, and so helps turn innovation into business.

Esprit's PROSOMA service has been launched on this basis to help industry benefit from the many successes achieved in the programme. PROSOMA helps companies looking for innovative IT solutions to identify relevant Esprit R&D; results by making professionally produced, multimedia presentations of these results available on CD-ROM and via the World-Wide Web . It also enables businesses to learn from the experiences of others in taking up and making use of information technologies. Each presentation may be linked to the website of the company concerned, providing searchers with useful background information and putting the results into context with the company's other products and services. There are also connections to the CORDIS dissemination service.

To gain the full benefit of what the service can offer, get the current version of the CD-ROM, free of charge, by E-mailing a request, with your name and address, to email removed

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7. Contact points for the programme

For more information on the Esprit programme

Esprit Information Desk
N105 8/94
rue de la Loi 200 Wetstraat
B-1040 Brussels

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e-mail email removed

PLEASE NOTE

  1. You should refer to the work-programme as you read this booklet.
  2. Please read the text of the call before you make a proposal
  3. Make sure you use the appropriate specific information document


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8. Esprit National Contact Points

National Contact Points will help if you have any questions about the Programme and the preparation of proposals.

A list of National Contact Points is available for consultation.

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Themes

R&D Tasks

Preparatory, Support and Transfer Activities

— applicable throughout the programme —


The URL of this page is /esprit/src/info97.htm

It was last updated on 1 August 1997 and is maintained by Esprit