Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


IST 2003: The opportunities ahead

Funded under: FP6-IST


At the beginning of the 21st century, the potential for information society technologies (IST) to enhance human lives has never been greater. For the economy, IST is central to the �race to knowledge� on which improved productivity and competitiveness depend. The IST industry itself is one of the largest economic sectors, while IST innovations underpin growth in many other markets. In public services, IST enables services to be delivered more efficiently, as well as new services that correspond to people�s evolving needs. And for society at large, IST improves citizens� quality of life, by offering goods and services that did not exist previously or by improving access to those already available.
IST may also play a vital role in helping Europe to tackle the new challenges we see emerging. With enlargement, the number of EU citizens will almost double over the next five years. The EU will have to accommodate, and turn into assets, the further social, economic, cultural and religious diversity this brings. It also has to address the �productivity challenge�: how to create wealth and prosperity in an enlarged Europe. European businesses should be able to take full advantage of technology development, mainly in IST, to adapt and benefit from the emerging networked business environment. Europe needs to improve its competitiveness and develop higher value products and services whilst ensuring a sustainable future. After recent events, security issues remain high on the political agenda and in citizens� concerns. Also, with the aging pyramid set to be reversed by around 2010, we have to come to terms with our �greying� population and its implications for the economy, and society as a whole.
Against this background, in Lisbon in 2000 the EU gave itself ten years to become the world�s most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy, addressing simultaneously three objectives: competitiveness, employment and social cohesion.

Additional information

Authors: No author stated, European Commission, DG Information Society, Brussels (BE)
Bibliographic Reference: Luxembourg, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2003, 131 pp, free of charge
Availability: This document can be accessed and can be ordered online at:
ISBN: ISBN 92-894-5752-X
Record Number: 200518199 / Last updated on: 2005-07-06
Original language: en
Available languages: en
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