Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


IST 2001: Technologies serving people

Funded under: FP6-IST


Information Society technologies (IST) are increasingly transforming our lives. We see the changes all around us, in the way we live, work, play and interact with each other. The mobile phone is now our constant companion, keeping us permanently in touch with friends, colleagues and family. The internet, still less than 10 years old as a mainstream medium, has become an indispensable channel through which we shop, pursue our hobbies, learn new skills, access government services, and do much else besides. Flexible working practices empower us to work wherever and whenever we like. New navigation and safety systems are making our cars easier and safer to drive. Ultra-realistic animations are opening our eyes to new experiences in culture and leisure. Slowly but surely we are seeing the Information Society emerge. These new avenues, however, are just a foretaste of the opportunities presented by the convergence of computing, communications and content. From modelling climate change to the latest computer games, and from e-commerce transactions to lifelong learning, progress in IST underpins virtually every field of human endeavour. In business, IST is helping European firms to improve their competitiveness in world markets and be more responsive to customers� needs. The IST sector itself is one of the largest sectors of the EU economy, and presents major opportunities for new markets in IST-based products and services. IST also has a vital role in addressing key societal challenges in areas such as health, transport, environment, special needs, learning and cultural heritage. And with scientific research increasingly reliant on global collaboration, Europe�s position in e-science depends crucially on the future development of world-class IST networks and applications. But as expectations grow, so do the risks, such as the �digital divide� between those with access to IST and those without, or violation of information security and privacy.

Additional information

Authors: No author stated, European Commission, DG Information Society, Brussels (BE)
Bibliographic Reference: Luxembourg, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2001, 161 pp, free of charge
Availability: This document can be accessed and can be ordered online at:
ISBN: ISBN 92-894-1573-8
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