Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


The conference "Converging Technologies for a Diverse Europe" on September 14 and 15, 2004 in Brussels marked an important step in exploring the impacts and opportunities of the "new technology wave". The background to the conference was the Report "Converging Technologies - Shaping the Future of European Societies", from a group of 25 European experts ranging from physicists to sociologists, which dealt with scientific and technological developments at the respective states of the art and create new systems and capabilities; that is, the convergence of Nano-, Bio-, and Information technologies, and Cognitive sciences (NBIC).
However, the Report from the Expert Group had integrated the social sciences in NBIC, and the key concept was CTEKS, 'Converging Technologies for the European Knowledge Society', with whose convergence and its impact on Europe and the world at large were to be analysed.
An important question in this context has been whether the convergence of these sciences and technologies will, indeed, become the dominant development of a new technological wave, with all its socio-economic consequences, as suggested by the 2002 NSF Report.
This paper is a summary of the conference, and not of the work of the group or of the report itself. As such it takes the discussion a step further and includes the reactions of a larger and broader audience confronted with the challenge of convergence. It is meant as a tool to stimulate further the discussions we must have, if we are to find our own uniquely European vision for the future. For details of the conference and the reader (contributions from attendees and interested parties), see

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