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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.

Council Decision - Annex II - (a) KEY ACTIONS

COUNCIL DECISION of 25 January 1999 adopting a specific programme for research, technological development and demonstration on a user-friendly information society (1998 to 2002) (1999/168/EC)

(iii) Multimedia content and tools

Objectives and RTD priorities

The aim of this work is to improve the functionality, usability and acceptability of future information products and services to enable linguistic and cultural diversity and contribute to the valorisation and exploitation of Europe's cultural patrimony, to stimulate creativity, and to enhance education and training systems for lifelong learning. Work will cover new models, methods, technologies and systems for creating, processing, managing, networking, accessing and exploiting digital content, including audiovisual content. An important research dimension will be new socioeconomic and technological models for representing information, knowledge and know-how. The work will address both applications-oriented research, focusing on publishing, audiovisual, culture and education and training and generic research in language and content technologies for all applications areas, and will include validation, take-up, concertation and standards.

Interactive electronic publishing and digital heritage and cultural content

For interactive electronic publishing, work will focus on new publishing and media paradigms for both commercial and private use (including the evolution of the world wide web). It will address future publishing systems able to handle new combinations of content and to provide users with new levels of interaction and control, and cover new forms of content such as virtual objects, in multiuser environments, or immersive, animated content. Three fast-evolving application areas will be addressed: knowledge publishing, in particular for scientific and business content; lifestyle publishing, in particular for news, entertainment and information for the citizen; and geographic and statistical information, including related socioeconomic information, particularly where complex information needs new presentation forms for the non-specialist user. The work on digital heritage and cultural content will aim to improve access to cultural patrimony, facilitate its valorisation and stimulate cultural development by expanding the key contribution of libraries, museums and archives to the emerging 'culture economy', including economic, scientific and technological development. Actions will particularly address new digital processes and cover business and economic models, especially those which stimulate new partnerships through networking and new services for the citizen.

RTD priorities:

  • for interactive electronic publishing: generating creative content through advanced tele-collaborative real-time authoring and design systems and skills development (for example for 3D or virtual reality design and conceptual modelling); systems for the generation and reuse of content from different media; collaborative creative expression and publishing; managing digital content by supporting distributed and networked content; processing large sets of data in innovative ways (e.g. visualisation, scenario development or spatial analysis); devising new metrics for valuing information assets; personalising content delivery (via push or pull technologies), by cost-effective content packaging, advertising and transactions, customer profiling and individualised design and presentation (in a manner that respects the user's right to privacy); exploring the limits between domain-specific and domain-independent content; the work will be complemented by take-up actions including validations and assessments, together with first-user actions and other best-practice initiatives,
  • for digital heritage and cultural content: integrated and improved access to heterogeneous distributed and networked collections and repositories and the information they hold, in digital and traditional form (e.g. library holdings, museum exhibition material, public archive contents, multimedia art or sound archives, digital film collections and digital cinematic distribution networks); improving the functionalities of large-scale repositories of content by providing rich and powerful interactive features and advanced management and copyright techniques; preservation of and access to valuable multimedia content from multiple sources, covering electronic materials and electronic surrogates of fragile physical objects; take-up: a key aspect will be validations and demonstrations,

Education and training

Work will aim at providing the EU with a blueprint for a seamless and cost-effective implementation of advanced technologies for enhancing both education and training systems. This work will focus on the common needs of different teaching and learning processes, on new approaches to lifelong learning, and on innovative ways of integrating multimedia pedagogic material.

RTD priorities: improving the learning process through more autonomous and more individualised learning: work will include local learner support, peer learning, remote tutoring, curriculum/course design systems, and accreditation systems; developing higher quality learning material by improving the quality of the content itself, the embedded pedagogical or didactic approaches, and the adaptability to learner needs: work will address new instructional design tools, learner modelling techniques, modelling methods for knowledge transfer, including connected intelligence, as well as learning ergonomics, and will cover content ranging from simple hypermedia to advanced simulations; broadening access to learning resources and services for all: work will address common platforms allowing full access to services across heterogeneous networks, including harmonised identification and retrieval of knowledge resources; and take-up actions,

Human language technologies

Work will focus on advanced human language technologies enabling cost-effective interchanges across language and culture, natural interfaces to digital services and more intuitive assimilation and use of multimedia content. Work will address written and spoken language technologies and their use in key sectors such as corporate and commercial publishing, education and training, Cultural Heritage, global business and electronic commerce, public services and utilities, and specialeeds groups. Work will also include the development of electronic language resources in standard and re-usable formats.

RTD priorities: adding multilinguality to systems at all stages of the information cycle, including content generation and maintenance in multiple languages, localisation of software and content, automated translation and interpretation, and computer-assisted language training; enhancing the natural interactivity and usability of systems where multimodal dialogues, understanding of messages and communicative acts, unconstrained language input-output and keyboard-less operation can greatly improve applications; enabling active assimilation and use of digital content, where work will apply language-processing models, tools and techniques for deep information analysis and metadata generation, knowledge extraction, classification and summarisation of the meaning embodied in the content, including intelligent language-based assistants; the work will be complemented by take-up actions including validations and assessments, together with first-user actions and other best-practice initiatives,

Information access, filtering, analysis and handling

Work will focus on advanced technologies for the management of information content to empower the user to select, receive and manipulate (in a manner that respects the user's right to privacy) only that information required when faced with an ever increasing range of heterogeneous sources. Improvements in the key functionalities of large-scale multimedia asset management systems (including the evolution of the world wide web) will support the cost effective delivery of information services and their usage.

RTD priorities: mastering information: rich descriptive models of digital information content, covering all media types and supporting all human senses, in addition to spatial and temporal aspects; associated tools to enable users to develop information profiles, possibly based on vague concepts and enabled via personalised agents; radically new cognitive relations between the system and users via individualised metaphors or visualisation techniques; information management systems: new organisation and management methods for multimedia information sources: work will explore advanced techniques for data warehousing integrating access control mechanisms, quality assurance, integrity control and technical protection of multimedia .fragments'; information categorisation, labelling and filtering enabling selective information retrieval (including navigation and search based on non-textual information) and filtering (including for the control of illegal and harmful content); take-up: first-user and other take-up measures; work will be complemented by validation and assessment in trials, and by concertation measures to contribute to standards.

(iv) Essential technologies and infrastructures

Objectives and RTD priorities

The aim of this work is to promote excellence in the technologies which are crucial to the information society, to accelerate their take-up and broaden their fields of application. The work will address the convergence of information processing, communications and networking technologies and infrastructures. The focus will be on technologies and infrastructures common to several applications, while those specific to one application only would be addressed in the context of that application in other parts of the framework programme.

Technologies for and management of information processing, communications and networks, including broadband, together with their implementation, interoperability and application

The work will focus on the development and convergence of information processing, telecommunications and broadcast network and system technologies.

RTD priorities: concurrent systems: technologies and tools for the sharing and interactive use of remote resources and concurrent activities in geographically dispersed locations, in the context of heterogeneous hardware and software architectures and systems; real-time systems handling large volumes of data; basic technologies and tools supporting real-time embedded systems applications, related work should actively contribute to, or adhere to, standards; broadband telecommunications networks: reliable high capacity terabit optical transmission; a major effort in photonic technologies for end-to-end optical transparency in core and access networks; technologies and architectures, including specifically all-optical networks: topological and functional layout, switching and routing, operation and management; technologies for network integration (notably for the convergence of fixed and mobile, including satellite, networks) and new service independent architectures and systems, to ensure all users have affordable access to broadband multimedia nomadic services; interoperability and interworking of networks particularly at the network management and service levels, to increase capacity, flexibility and functionality and to promote the introduction of competition and new intelligent network services (including the evolution of the Internet); generic service methodologies and tools capable of handling the increased network complexity, new architectures and the requirements for end-to-end .quality of service', and network dependability and security; take-up: measures to promote and transfer best practice, for concertation to contribute to standards, and to test and validate technologies and services in field trials,

Technologies and engineering for software, systems and services, including high-quality statistics

Work will centre around the development, deployment, operation and evolution of software-intensive systems embedded in goods and services as well as facilitating production and enterprise processes, including technologies and tools for testing and validation at all stages.

RTD priorities: software and systems engineering: work will focus on dependable, survivable and scaleable systems and address the reduction of the development cycle and costs; the use and further development, as required, of reliable methods and tools will be a central issue; software modularity, in particular the integration of custom and off-the-shelf components into systems, will be a key aspect; service engineering will address the integration of heterogeneous platforms and networks and the increasing complexity and sophistication of the new services and their creation and provision, the objective will be to develop technologies and tools for rapid, customised and cost-effective service creation, deployment, provision and management that provide for an open information and communications service infrastructure, with the necessary reliability, security and quality of service; software technologies work will foster knowledge-based methods and tools, which increase the usability as well as the capability of systems and the intelligence in the network, this includes the timely collection, production, dissemination and communication of high-quality information (including statistical and management information); take-up: best practice and other take-up measures will be a priority; work will be complemented by the validation and assessment of technologies, systems and services in field trials, and by concertation measures to contribute to standards,

Real-time and large-scale simulation and visualisation technologies

Work will address the development and integration of advanced simulation and visualisation technologies and environments in all applications. Work will include distributed simulations and shared virtual environments.

RTD priorities: simulation and visualisation: work on simulation environments will include pre-processing, advanced post-processing (including visualisation and virtual reality) and tools for the validation of simulation with experimental and archival data; tools to support the integration of simulation in industrial and business processes will be a priority; technologies and tools for distributed simulations with emphasis on support for the interoperability of heterogeneous software and hardware systems; shared virtual environments scaleable over large networks; population with autonomous agents and visualisation, such as through avatars; the work will be complemented by take-up actions including validations and assessments, together with first-user actions and other best-practice initiatives,

Mobile and personal communications and systems, including satellite-related systems and services

Work will target the move to an integrated seamless network that ensures global personal connectivity and enables access to wireless multimedia communications and services by anyone, from anywhere, at any time, with capabilities, quality and performance comparable to those of fixed network services.

RTD priorities: work will focus on the development and evolution of new generations of affordable terrestrial and satellite broadband wireless architectures, systems and technologies, exploiting new spectrum frontiers, for both private and public environments, supporting advanced services and maximising spectral efficiency and network performance; addressing full coverage through a multiplicity of radio systems deployed in a multilayer, multidimension cell architecture; service mobility and terminal roaming across terrestrial and satellite wireless and wired networks will be a priority; software reconfigurable networks, systems and terminals, to facilitate improved network planning, interoperability and interworking; miniaturised, low-cost, low-power mobile and portable communication terminals (both hardware and software aspects); technologies, services and applications supporting interactive mobile and personal multimedia services, with regional or global coverage and integrated where appropriate with terrestrial and satellite navigation services; take-up: a key aspect will be validations and demonstrations of broadband interactive mobile multimedia technologies and services; a major effort will be dedicated to technology assessment and concertation measures to contribute to standards,

Interfaces making use of the various senses

Work will address the provision of intuitive ways to capture, deliver and interact with systems. Work will include the development and integration of advanced sensor, actuator and display technologies.

RTD priorities: multimodal, multisensory interfaces and novel tools and devices, validation and assessment will be central to this work; technologies including image and auditory scene processing, understanding and synthesis will be developed and integrated to provide new solutions for the work and leisure/entertainment environments; the work will facilitate the introduction of technologies such as augmented and virtual reality; the development and integration of a range of advanced display technologies for professional and consumer applications will be addressed; emphasis will be given to the development of low-cost and low-power interfaces, as well as the use of new flexible materials for portable and mobile subsystems; included are issues such as user adaptability, knowledge on the health effects, user interaction modelling and profiling; take-up will be stimulated, in particular, by first-user actions,

Peripherals, sub-systems and microsystems

Work will address the need for advanced intelligent (computing and communications) network peripherals which can have multiple functionality yet remain user-friendly. Work on subsystems will cover the building blocks of information processing and communications systems and networks. Work on intelligent microsystems will, in this context, cover miniaturised systems comprising sensing and/or actuating with processing functions, and normally combining two or more of electrical, mechanical, optical, chemical, organic, biological, magnetic or other properties, integrated onto a single chip or a multichip hybrid.

RTD priorities: integration, low-power consumption and miniaturisation will be the drivers for technology development for peripherals and terminals, integrating advanced display technologies, as well as software and hardware modules for content capture, storage and manipulation; the development of advanced mass storage methodologies is a key requisite; subsystems: in addition to basic building blocks a major focus will be home systems; microsystems work will be concentrated on facilitating the broader application of intelligent microsystems, primarily for the medical, biochemical, environmental, automotive and aerospace applications, as well as their use in measurement and control systems or subsystems; the primary aim is to transfer competence from research to industrial use and to facilitate access to existing technologies for prototyping and small volume production; the integration of optical interconnects into microelectronic subsystems and microsystems for high-performance applications (e.g. electro-optical circuit boards); the work will be supported through measures complementing those in 'Promoting competitive and sustainable development' addressing the manufacturability of intelligent microsystems and the associated assembly, interconnect, packaging, materials and equipment technologies, together with support for the appropriate design and simulation activities; take-up: the work will be complemented by concertation for coordination and to contribute to standards, and in particular for microsystems by first-user actions,


Work will address materials, equipment, processes, design and test methodologies and tools which enable the development of electronic components, their packaging, interconnection and application. The approach will be system-oriented and application-driven, and will aim at reinforcing strengths and exploiting technological opportunities drawing on appropriate microelectronic technology solutions best filling generic application requirements.

RTD priorities: application and hardware/software co-design methods and tools; the key technology requirements will be addressed through support for semiconductor materials and equipment development and assessment, packaging and interconnect technology, notably for the most advanced generations; the focus will be on broadening applicability through the development of cost-effective active and passive silicon, silicon-based, or compound semiconductor components and subsystems for applications with generic characteristics, in particular mobility (low power, high frequency wireless communications), high complexity/high performance systems, systems resistant to hostile environments in terms of reliability and endurance, measurement and control; the development, integration or customisation of advanced signal and data processing functions into subsystems together with their associated memory and input/output functions will be a priority, together with macrocells and support tools for classes of applications; optical technologies: new optical sources, optoelectronic integrated circuits, active and passive optical components and devices at new wavelengths, including optoelectronic devices based on organic compounds; take-up: promotion of application and design competencies will be addressed in thematic clusters; a major effort will be devoted to technology assessment, first-user and other best-practice measures.

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Last updated: 18 | 06 | 2002

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