Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


This report reviews the challenges and opportunities for Europe especially in the field of Information Technology (IT) in view of strengthening the European Research Area (ERA). IT ranks as the most important among the key technologies because of its dominant role in all other areas and in the convergence of technologies. It deserves a continued special attention due to its economic and societal relevance not least for innovation. For instance, the productivity growth rate of Europe¿s economy is based on ICT to a degree of 50%.
The challenge for Europe is to build upon the high level of education and the ingenuity of its people in a synergetic way, to overcome the well-known systemic failures, to break up rigid organisational structures hindering innovation, and do so in harmony with its cultural, social and natural heritage. Our traditional ways of designing such a complex fabric are no longer sufficient to achieve this goal. ICT and especially Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Cognitive Science (CogSci) with their knowledge technologies, have the potential to support this transformational process.
The report's analysis of Europe's science and technology base and activities in IT demonstrates that substantial efforts are needed to succeed in the competition with the main competitors. Europe lags behind in comparison with the US, Japan, etc. in most factors including the number of patents, the spending levels in R&D and in education, the number of researchers, the percentage of corporate research, the low ICT employment intensity, the slow penetration of ICT and its computational paradigm in other areas (especially in social sciences and humanities), the net business profits, and many others. Europe has to increase its efforts substantially to be able to compete with the current technology leaders and competitors.

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