A pilot project originated by Directorate-General XIII (Telecommunications, Information Industries and Innovation) aims to narrow the gap between Community research and national journalists in all Member States. The VIPS-Agency is designed to help science journalists gain the easiest possible access to newsworthy research results from the RTD Framework Programmes. VIPS distributes fact sheets on research projects (one significant finding per sheet) and supplies contact details of scientists involved in the work together with the references of official documentation. Issued monthly, the information sheets also build up to form a useful directory of Community research activity and of specialists available to communicate with the press. At present, some 200 scientific journalists receive VIPS updates on a regular basis. Over 40 separate information sheets have already been issued, covering Community research news ranging from the development of more resistant rice varieties and the detection of marine pollution sources, to advances in industrial laser welding and the use of plastic composites in stress- and heat-bearing car engine parts.