Erkki Liikanen, European Commissioner responsible for Enterprise and the Information society, clarified the increasingly important role of IST (information society technologies) at the recent meeting of the Research council, held in Luxembourg on 26 June. He claimed Europe's success in technologies such as mobile communications, software and digital TV was due in part to EU support for research and development, and Europe's regulatory framework. To maintain a competitive position with the USA and Japan, Mr Liikanen argued for continued support for investment in the information and communication technologies, as these technologies underpin the competitiveness of all industry. Increased investment in pre-competitive research and development will be required to ensure the birth of the next generation of technologies, such as post 3G communication and the next internet protocol, v.6. One example is the investment in the high-speed communication network for researchers, GEANT. Mr Liikanen emphasised the need for the EU to compensate for the markets failure to overcome the 'digital divide'. He sees that EU action will be required to ensure all of society gain from new technology and its applications.