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ISTAG Working group on grand challenges in the evolution of the information society

Funded under: FP6-IST


In preparation for the European Union�s 7th Framework Programme for research and technological development, the European Commission asked the IST Working Group on Grand Challenges to assess the future of IST technologies and their influence on European society. The group�s aims were to identify grand challenges in information and communication technology (ICT), the pursuit of which will stimulate research and development in key areas and help the European Union to achieve its social and economic goals. The Working Group has followed its conviction that research and development should be a resource for technology innovations that lead directly to significant benefits for European economy and society.
In our view, the Internet and today�s global networks of mobile communication technologies presage an era in which IST will be dominated by complex, integrated IT systems. Europe�s strength is the design, engineering and deployment of large-scale integrated IT solutions. The major challenge for research and development will lie in learning how to design and manage complex, networked systems comprising thousands heterogeneous components, while ensuring that these systems bring benefits to European Society. At the same time, the boundaries of ICT research are now rapidly expanding and prospects for further growth are also increasingly relying upon cross-fertilisation of ICTs with many other scientific disciplines, in particular material-, bio and the life sciences. Our grand challenges aim to achieve these goals by furthering the seamless integration of diverse ICT technologies with upcoming advances in other relevant disciplines. We have sought to identify visionary projects leading to �concrete pictures of the future�, focusing 8-10 years in the future, that will demand interdisciplinary research and engineering in many key areas and that exemplify application domains of particular promise for growth in Europe.

Additional information

Authors: No author stated, European Commission, DG Information Society, Brussels (BE)
Bibliographic Reference: Luxembourg, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2004, 54 pp, free of charge
Availability: This document can be accessed and can be ordered online at:
ISBN: ISBN 92-894-8164-1
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