Project proposals were submitted by over 1650 companies and 720 universities and research institutes throughout the European Community and the EFTA countries in response to the August 1991 call for proposals made by ESPRIT, the information technology programme within the EC's 1990-1994 RTD Third Framework Programme. A total of 212 industrial projects have so far been selected for the new phase (ESPRIT III) together with 99 basic research projects and working groups, plus nine networks of excellence bringing together research teams with common long term technological goals. Special actions have also been launched in Greece, Ireland, southern Italy, Portugal, Spain and eastern Germany to promote higher awareness of particular technologies and their potential industrial applications With emphasis on industrial projects, the programme will continue to promote cooperative R&D projects while focusing on well defined strategic objectives and technological priorities that take full account of the speed of industrial change. Technical areas covered by ESPRIT III include: Microelectronics; information processing systems and software; advanced business and home systems with peripherals; computer-integrated manufacturing and engineering, plus basic research. The Commission has also launched an open microprocessor systems initiative (OMI) as part of the new phase. Drawing on all other areas of the programme, OMI seeks to extend the open systems concept to on-chip microprocessor systems and associated software. Several large-scale projects aim to focus technology advances in critical strategic areas. These include the development of high-resolution liquid-crystal display (peripherals), developing IC design and manufacturing technologies for both standard ICs and ASICs (microelectronics), increasing the take-up of "best practice" software programming and engineering techniques, by disseminating information on advanced production methods and tools and providing training in their use (software); and taking advantage of the possibilities offered by advances in the field of parallel processing (high performance computing and networking). It is planned that details of the projects selected under ESPRIT III will be available to coincide with the annual ESPRIT Conference, Brussels, 23-27 November 1992. A second call for proposals is expected early in 1993.
Policy making and guidelines
12 March 1993