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Information & Communication Technologies

IST Advisory Group (ISTAG)

Mandate for the Information and Communication Technologies Advisory Group (ISTAG) for the 7th Framework Programme


Under the Specific Programmes implementing the 7th Framework Programme (2007-2013), the Commission is responsible for drawing up annual or biannual work programmes. In doing so, the Commission wishes to draw on the best possible external advice.

Members of the ISTAG should provide consistent and consolidated advice to the Commission services regarding the Theme Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) of the Cooperation Specific Programme. Advice should be provided on strategy, relevant objectives and scientific and technological priorities.

In line with Annex 1 of the “Cooperation” Specific Programme, advice should pertain to: all activities under the Theme, including international cooperation and responding to emerging needs and unforeseen policy needs, and taking account of pluridisciplinary and cross thematic research; dissemination, knowledge transfer and broader public engagement; SME participation; and societal and economic aspects.

The Advisory Group should provide written input to the Commission, which will be used in the preparation of the work programmes. The advice received from the Group will complement other sources of external advice received by the Commission, including from stakeholder consultations and, where relevant, from European Technology Platforms.


Members participate in the Group in their individual capacity and commit themselves to discuss questions put forward and provide advice in their relevant fields of expertise to the best of their ability and in the best interest of Community research.

Advice to the Commission is the result of discussions within the Group. This advice is expected to represent the consensus view of the Group. However, in the event that a consensus cannot be found, for whatever reason, individual members may request to have divergent views recorded.

The advice may take account of documents provided to the Group by the Commission services. Additional experts may be invited to the meetings of the Group for discussion of particular questions.


Commission will make publicly available, including on the Internet:
  • The names of the members of the Advisory Group.
  • The written advice provided by the Advisory Group.

The work programme to be adopted by the Commission may provide an overview of how the advice provided by the Group and other sources of external advice have been used.

Confidentiality and conflict of interest

Without prejudice to Article 287 of the EC Treaty and Article 194 of the Euratom Treaty, members are required to not divulge information given in the context of the work of the advisory groups, when it has been indicated to them that the information is confidential. Members of the Advisory Groups must not seek or act in any way to take undue advantage of, or exercise undue influence on, the implementation of the 7th Framework Programme.

They must not be involved in any way in the evaluation or selection of proposals for Community funding under FP7. Therefore members of the Advisory Groups:

  • May not be Member State delegates/representatives, or experts/advisers accompanying Member State delegates/representatives, or Associated State observers (delegates/representatives, or experts/advisers accompanying them) in the Committees assisting the Commission in the implementation of the FP7 Specific Programmes 'Cooperation', 'Ideas, 'People', Capacities' and 'Euratom'; or called as experts before these Committees (except for the Chair person of each Advisory Group, who can be invited by the Chair person of a Committee to present the work of the Advisory Group he/she belongs to);
  • May not act as evaluators of proposals submitted under the 7th Framework Programme.

Members of Advisory Groups may participate in consortia under the 7th Framework Programme, either in their personal capacity or as representative of the organisations to which they belong. However, should any item on the agenda or any subject discussed in a given meeting of an Advisory Group be of relevance for projects or proposals under the 7th Framework Programme that a member, or the organisation to which he/she belongs, has submitted or is likely to submit, the member should inform the Commission and the Advisory Group of the situation. He/she can be requested to abstain from the deliberations and/or leave the room for the discussion of the concerned item/subject.

Members of the Advisory Groups will inform the Commission of all interests, not explicitly stated above, which could be considered prejudicial to their independence.

When a member of an Advisory Group is in breach of the requirements set out above, he/she will be considered as no longer being in a position to stay as a member of the Group.

Reimbursement of costs

Travel and subsistence expenses will be reimbursed according to Commission decision of 5 December 2007, Annex, Article 4, paragraph (6) (daily allowance and accommodation allowance increased by 50% compared to the standard allowances set up by this decision, with a minimum of EUR 300 when the increase applies to both the daily allowance and the accommodation allowance).