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Find the most recent information on EU Funding activities in the field of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) by visiting our ICT in FP7 website , which covers ICT in the 7 th Framework Programme (FP7) 2007 - 2013.

Strategic Objectives

" IST Vision : anywhere anytime natural access to IST services for all"

These are the research activities that are eligible for funding under the IST priority.
The bullet points correspond to the IST 2005-2006 Work Programme .

[ " Default version " ]

Applied IST research addressing major societal and economic challenges

Towards a global dependability and security framework
This Strategic Objective aims at building technical and scientific excellence, as well as European industrial strength in security, dependability and resilience of systems, services and infrastructures, whilst meeting European demands for privacy and trust. This will also seek to strengthen the interplay between research and policy development in line with the eEurope objectives both within the EU and world-wide, and contribute to standardisation activities in network and information security. It will give particular attention to involving all members of the enlarged Europe in a coherent EU security RTD strategy.
ICT research for innovative Government
To modernise and innovate public administrations at all levels, to foster good governance, to provide citizens and industries with new service offers, and thus create new public value. To contribute to easing mobility of European citizens within the Internal Market, making European Citizenship a reality, and supporting them as active citizens through innovative government services and through participation in decision making processes.
ICT for Networked Businesses
To develop software solutions adaptable to the needs of local/regional SMEs , supporting organisational networking and process integration as well as improving adaptability and responsiveness to rapidly changing market demands and customer requirements.
To develop distributed and collaborative ambient intelligence-based network-oriented systems for efficient, effective and secure product and service creation and delivery. The aim is to explore how ambient intelligence technologies and the vision of duality of existence, in the real world and in cyberspace, can result in innovative products, services and business environments.
e Safety - Co-operative Systems for Road Transport
To develop and demonstrate Co-operative systems for road transport that will make transport more efficient and effective, safer and more environmentally friendly. Co-operative Systems (as an extension to autonomous or stand-alone systems), in which the vehicles communicate with each other and the infrastructure, have the potential to greatly increase the quality and reliability of information available about the vehicles, their location and the road environment, enabling improved and new services for the road users.
Such systems will enhance the support available to drivers and other road users and will provide for:
  • Greater transport efficiency by making better use of the capacity of the available infrastructure and by managing varying demands;
  • Increased safety by improving the quality and reliability of information used by advanced driver assistance systems and allowing the implementation of advanced safety applications.
Integrated biomedical information for better health
Research and development on innovative ICT systems and services that process, integrate and use all relevant biomedical information for improving health knowledge and processes related to prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and personalisation of health care.
Technology-enhanced Learning
The objectives, contributing to the overall goal of enhancing learning through technologies, are:
  • To explore interactions between the learning of the individual and that of the organisation in order to improve how current or emerging ICT can mutually enhance the learning processes for the individual and for the organisation;
  • To contribute to new understandings of the learning processes by exploring links between human learning, cognition and technologies.
The first is mid-term, reflecting the challenges posed by ubiquity of access and delivery in mixed formal and informal learning settings. The second is longer term and aims to build on and advance the inter-relationship between cognition and learning processes and exploit links to other disciplines.
Access to and preservation of cultural and scientific resources
The aim is to develop systems and tools which will support the accessibility and use over time of digital cultural and scientific resources. This requires work to:
  • Support the emerging complexity of digital cultural and scientific objects and repositories, through enriched conceptual representations, and advanced access methods.
  • Explore how to preserve the availability of digital resources over time, through novel concepts, techniques and tools.
Advanced Grid Technologies, Systems and Services
To advance the current generation of Grids towards the knowledge Grid and complete virtualisation of Grid resources. To foster uptake and use in business and society.
To reduce the complexity of Grid-based systems, empowering individuals and organisations to create, provide access to and use a variety of services, anywhere, anytime, in a transparent and cost-effective way, realising the vision of a knowledge-based and ubiquitous utility.
ICT for Environmental Risk Management
This Strategic Objective covers ICT aspects of services for GMES (Global Monitoring for the Environment and Security1) end-users and those aspects that are relevant to the monitoring, the preparation and the response phases of environmental risk/crisis management co-ordinated at European level.
e Inclusion
To mainstream accessibility in consumer goods and services, including public services through applied research and development of advance technologies. This will help ensure equal access, independent living and participation for all in the Information Society.
To develop next generation assistive systems that empower persons with (in particular cognitive -) disabilities and aging citizens to play a full role in society, to increase their autonomy and to realize their potential.
Strengthening the Integration of the ICT research effort in an Enlarged Europe
To develop and validate innovative and efficient ICT -based systems and services in key application areas for the societal and economical development of the enlarged Europe, with a view to strengthening the integration of the IST European Research Area.
Collaborative Working Environments
To develop next generation collaborative working environments, thereby increasing creativity and boosting innovation and productivity. These environments should provide collaboration services to make possible the development of worker-centric, flexible, scalable and adaptable tools and applications. This will enable seamless and natural collaboration amongst a diversity of agents (humans, machines, etc) within distributed, knowledge-rich and virtualized working environments. Professional virtual communities and nomadic personal access to knowledge should be supported.

Communication, computing and software technologies

Broadband for All
To develop the network technologies and architectures allowing a generalised and affordable availability of broadband access to European users, including those in less developed regions, peripheral and rural areas.
Outcome expected from this work is:
  • optimised access technologies, as a function of the operating environment, at affordable price allowing for a generalized introduction of broadband services in Europe and in less developed regions, and notably for the enlarged Europe in line with the eEurope objectives,
  • a European consolidated approach regarding regulatory aspects, and for standardized solutions allowing the identification of best practice, and the introduction of low-cost end user and access network equipment.
Mobile and Wireless Systems and Platforms Beyond 3G
To realise the vision of "Optimally Connected Anywhere, Anytime" supported by all system levels from access methods and networks to service platforms and services. Preparatory work has characterized Systems beyond 3G as a horizontal communication model, where different terrestrial access levels and technologies are combined to complement each other in an optimum way for different service requirements and radio environments.
Outcome expected from this work is:
  • a consolidated European approach to serving mobile users with appropriate enablers for applications and services. These may include the personal level (Personal/Body Area/Ad Hoc Network) the local/home level (W-LAN, UWB) the cellular level (GPRS, UMTS), the wider area level (DxB-T, BWA) and also DVB-H in the context of broadcasting to mobile handheld devices, possibly complemented by a satellite overlay network (e.g. S-DMB);
  • a consolidated European approach to technology, systems and services, including location-based services, notably in the field of future standards (e.g. for access) and in international fora (WRC, ITU, 3GPP-IETF, ETSI, DVB...) where the issue of systems beyond 3G is addressed;
  • a consolidated European approach regarding the spectrum requirements (terrestrial and satellites) in the evolution beyond 3G and a clear European understanding of the novel ways of optimising spectrum usage when moving beyond 3G.
Networked Audiovisual Systems
To advance "Audio Visual" systems and applications in converged and interoperable environments encompassing broadcasting, communications, mobility and IP. Globally, the objective is to favour the emergence of horizontal competitive markets across the value chain, to lower market entry barriers, to enable viable business models and to open new markets. At the technological level, the aim is to ensure a guaranteed level of service delivery across complex interoperable environments as well as an optimised use of underlying delivery network bandwidth/QoS characteristics, allowing for availability of high added value scalable multimedia contents and programmes and seamless device connectivity.
Software and Services
To support the competitive position of European software industry (notably SMEs ) in more globalised and service-oriented markets. This requires advanced capabilities in the engineering and management of software systems, services and applications and is to be addressed by creating and extending open and interoperable platforms, methodologies, middleware, standards and tools. The results will enable the design and management of complex software systems and, particularly, the simple and low-cost creation of new types of services and applications, including those for the mobile user.
Embedded Systems
To develop the next generation of technologies, methods and tools for modelling, design, implementation and operation of hardware/software systems embedded in intelligent devices. An end-to-end systems vision should allow to build cost-efficient ambient intelligence systems with optimal performance, high confidence, reduced time to market and faster deployment.
Research networking testbeds
To integrate and validate, in the context of user-driven large scale testbeds, the state-of-the-art technology that is essential for preparing future upgrades of the infrastructure deployed across Europe. The work is essential for fostering the early deployment in Europe of Next Generation Information and Communications Networks based upon all-optical technologies and new Internet protocols and for incorporating the most up-to-date middleware. This work is complementary to and in support of the activities carried out in the area of Research Infrastructures on high-capacity and high-speed communication networks for all researchers in Europe (GEANT) and to high performance Grids, which represent major components of the eInfrastructure concept.

Components and microsystems

The technical goals are to reduce the transistor size deep into the nano-scale, to radically transform the process technologies through the integration of a large number of new materials, and to master the design technologies for achieving competitive systems-on-chip and systems-in-package with increasing functionality, performance and complexity. This should be obtained without compromising on reliability, energy consumption and costs of such systems. The aim is also to secure the necessary design skills and stimulate the use of technologies in areas where these are insufficiently used. The work supports, and is in line with the orientations proposed by the Technology Platform 1 on nanoelectronics.
Micro/nano based sub-systems
To validate integrated micro/nano systems technology for new products and services in key application fields such as miniaturised autonomous robotic systems, mass storage systems and visualisation systems. Micro/nano-based integrated medical systems are also targeted to explore the many opportunities offered by combining bio-, nano- and information-related technologies.
Technologies and devices for micro/nano-scale integration
To push the limits of integrated micro/nano systems through research on a family of mixed technologies (combining for instance micro-nano-technology, ICT and bio-technology) and integration technologies for very high density or for integrating micro/nano devices in various materials and into large surfaces. Validation and demonstration of maturing silicon-based and polymer-based technologies, manufacturing and design issues are also targeted.
Photonic components
To develop advanced materials, solid-state sources and micro- and nano-scale photonic devices, and to integrate photonic functions in micro/nanoelectronics components ('Photonic system on a chip').
Projects are expected to address research challenges for mid-term to long-term industrial exploitation in one or more of the following application contexts:
  • "Information technologies for health care and life science": bio-photonic functional components and sub-assemblies;
  • "Communications and Infotainment": components and subsystems for low-cost or high-performance;

Knowledge and interface technologies

Multimodal Interfaces
To develop natural and easy to use interfaces that communicate intelligently via several modalities or with multilingual capabilities.
Semantic-based Knowledge and Content Systems
To develop semantic-based and context-aware systems to acquire, organise, personalise, share and use the knowledge embedded in web and multimedia content. Research will aim to maximise automation of the knowledge lifecycle and to achieve semantic interoperability between heterogeneous information resources and services, across content types and natural languages. To pioneer intelligent content, which will be self-describing, adaptive to context and user information needs, and exhibit a seamless interaction with its surroundings and the user.
Cognitive Systems
To develop artificial systems that can interpret data arising from real-world events and processes (mainly in the form of data-streams from sensors of all types and in particular from visual and/or audio sources); acquire situated knowledge of their environment; act, make or suggest decisions and communicate with people on human terms, thereby supporting them in performing complex tasks.

The following activity, although not incorporated as a Strategic Objective due to its wider scope, is complementary to the IST objectives of FP6 .

Future and Emerging Technologies (FET)

FET complements the other objectives of IST with research from a more visionary and exploratory perspective. Specifically, FET 's purpose is to help new IST -related science and technology fields to emerge and mature, some of which will become strategic for economic and social development in the future. The research typically supported by FET is of a long-term nature and involves high risks that are compensated by the promise of major advances and large potential impact. It aims at opening up new possibilities and setting trends for future research programmes, making FET a 'nursery' of novel research ideas and the IST 's pathfinder activity.

  • Open Scheme . The purpose of FET open is to enable a range of ideas for future and emerging technologies to be explored and realised. The scheme is open to the widest possible spectrum of research opportunities that relate to Information Society Technologies.
  • Proactive initiatives . Proactive initiatives aim at focusing resources on visionary and challenging long-term goals that are timely and have strong potential for future impact. These long-term goals are not necessarily to be reached during the lifetime of projects but provide a common strategic perspective for all research work within the initiative and a focal point around which critical mass can be built and synergies developed. Calls for proposals for proactive initiatives may be preceded by invitations to submit 'expressions of interest'.

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