The redesigned CORDIS web service contributes to the Commission's eEurope Initiative
To respond to the challenge of creating a Europe of knowledge and innovation and to mark its tenth year of operations, CORDIS (the European Community R&D; Information Service) has made major improvements to its web-site. The new design offers additional content and improved navigation tools to give European innovators faster access to EU funding for research and to help them take advantage of research results in an effort to increase the competitiveness of the European economy.
The European Commission's Enterprise DG, which provides CORDIS as a free service, points out that this is another step forward in positioning CORDIS as the main portal for on-line assistance to all key players in the innovation process in Europe. The new design brings more visibility to CORDIS as a gateway to the R&D; activities of the EU's Member States and regions. New interactive features and a dedicated section for "Innovation in Practice", enhance the new role of the service within the Enterprise portfolio of the European Commission.
The new CORDIS design and content architecture are based on identified needs of established and potential users of the service. This new CORDIS is part of the efforts to meet the ambitious targets of the eEurope initiative for a more widely used Internet.
New CORDIS design and content architecture
In the early 1990's CORDIS was a service used by research specialists, who felt comfortable with the professional software at the time. In 1994, CORDIS was one of the first European Commission services to start using the World Wide Web for dissemination of EU information. Today, in line with the recent EU drive to provide an extended and simplified access to the Internet - the eEurope initiative - the new CORDIS gives priority to a more user-friendly service for the average citizen, not just the "IT specialist".
A virtual CORDIS "galaxy" with various "planets" makes navigation easier. Users have a clearer view of the huge CORDIS information space, currently offering around 30 000 web pages and ten fully searchable R&D; databases, complemented by interactive services and access to other hosted or linked research and innovation web-sites. Comprehensive alphabetic and thematic indexes have also been developed to present all this information more clearly.
Another innovation is a unified search facility for the entire CORDIS service which makes access to information even faster.
Grouping the information for users
"TODAY", with scrolling News headlines, and "Current Highlights" will keep regular CORDIS users informed about the most recent updates, both to the information on offer and to the services available on CORDIS.
"FIND" is the channel for regular CORDIS visitors, who want fast access to specific information, related mainly to EU funding opportunities and exploitation of available European research results.
"EXPLORE" is a more general channel for new users and those wanting to discover the universe of innovation. This is an area where major new developments will be introduced in the future. Planned new features to help innovators include services such as "Local support for innovation", "Virtual technology fair" and others.
Enhanced CORDIS services
To improve the visibility of the latest R&D; and innovation information, the CORDIS News Service has been converted into an online magazine, while retaining the existing searchable database archive. A special section highlights the open calls for proposals from the various component programmes of the EU's Fifth R&D; Framework Programme, published on CORDIS simultaneously with the Official Journal of the EU.
The Partners Service has a new presentation to provide further opportunities for fostering the culture of interactive networking among researchers across Europe and beyond. Interest in the service is running high, with over 12 000 organisations having registered their interest in forming international consortia. After the success of the specialised service to find partners for the IST Programme in early 1999, a specific partners service for SMEs was launched in December last year. The redesigned and more user-friendly partners interface also highlights opportunities for East-West partnerships and promotes various brokerage events. This service is a widely recognised achievement of CORDIS towards the establishment of online collaboration between researchers and can make a contribution to the development of an eResearch working method - an ambitious target of the proposed eEurope Action Plan.
Open doors to innovation
With the redesigned web-site CORDIS is making a further commitment to the development of its CORDIS Member State R&D; Service, which facilitates research and innovation communication between EU Member States. This ongoing effort is based on a tradition of co-operating with the Member States in hosting their R&D; Council Presidency Services since the Irish Presidency in 1996, thus providing access to national government information in the field of research and innovation. The current CORDIS Portuguese R&D; Council Presidency Service will be the entry point for the forthcoming Ministerial Conference on "The Knowledge and Information Society" in April 2000 - a major follow up event to the Lisbon Summit.
The new presentation of the CORDIS pilot Regional Research and Innovation Service adds another dimension to the positioning of the Commission's web-site as an R&D; gateway, providing links to other R&D; and innovation information sources both inside and outside the CORDIS information space.
With these national and local dimensions, CORDIS stands out as a key information service for a future frontier-free European Research Area, integrating the national science and technology policies of the EU Member States.
The Help Desk Service brings to the forefront the increased user-friendliness of the redesigned CORDIS web-site. The service offers step by step guidance for new CORDIS users and has established an information channel for users who want to meet CORDIS representatives during various events. This new CORDIS Help Desk web service also provides a comprehensive range of direct links to other relevant help desks of the European Commission and to the web pages for frequently asked questions (FAQs) concerning various EC programmes.
For journalists, the completely new CORDIS Press Service is a single entry point to the enlarged CORDIS information space, with a guided tour through the web-site and success stories about the use of the service. It hosts the web edition of VIPS - the press service on successful projects of European research.
The year 2000 will bring yet further improvements to CORDIS, in response to the eEurope initiative and to the outcome of the Lisbon European Council. Some of the planned new features include the extension of the map-based search for partners, projects and results to cover the associated countries of the EU, thus preparing for EU enlargement.
During January 2000, CORDIS users called up almost 280 000 database records and downloaded around 200 000 library documents. The number of pages visited peaked at 2.9 million.
More about CORDIS
A free service provided by the European Commission's Inovation-SME Programme.
- CORDIS is the European Commission's official information service for the Fifth R&D; Framework Programme, which has committed Euro 14 960 million over four years for R&D; activities. Information about calls for proposals, programme implementation and policy developments is available from a single entry point - CORDIS.
- The service is an effective information society tool for bridging the EU's Research and Enterprise policies and hence fostering the knowledge-based competitiveness of European industry.
- CORDIS is a virtual market place with thousands of records offering opportunities to exploit existing or emerging technologies across Europe.
- To help participants in EU-funded research to protect their interests and to monitor other activities, CORDIS hosts the IPR Helpdesk and provides links for direct search through world-wide patent information (esp@cenet).
- To bridge the distance between research results and the market place, CORDIS provides information for financing innovation and hosts the LIFT (Linking Innovation Finance and Technology) help desk.
- The map-based search and other CORDIS tools allow users to investigate the participation in European research on a national and even regional basis with some 42 000 on-going R&D; projects, 12 000 partnership offers and 10 000 ready-to-exploit R&D; results.
- RAPIDUS - the CORDIS e-mail messenger service, can be programmed by users to alert them automatically to CORDIS updates in their fields of interest.
- The on-line library, which provides legislative documents, work programmes and guide for proposers, remains one of the most popular sections of CORDIS.
For more information on CORDIS and its services: