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Telematics Programme: Mid-term review

The results of the 1993 mid-term review of the specific RTD programme "Telematic Systems in Areas of General Interest" (1991-1994) will be published shortly. The main objectives of the review were: - To assess the extent to which the programme fulfils its objectives as outli...

The results of the 1993 mid-term review of the specific RTD programme "Telematic Systems in Areas of General Interest" (1991-1994) will be published shortly. The main objectives of the review were: - To assess the extent to which the programme fulfils its objectives as outlined in the Council Decision for the programme and in meeting the broad objectives of the Third Framework Programme; - To determine the effects and impact of the programme; - To assess the need for any adjustments or modifications to the programme or future telematics-related activities in EU programmes. A considerable number of detailed conclusions and recommendations are set out in reports covering each of the seven individual Areas of the programme (AIM 2; DELTA 2; DRIVE 2; ENS; LIBRARIES; LRE; ORA). With regard to the programme as a whole, the Review Board came to a number of conclusions which are brought together in an Executive Summary annexed to the report. These include: - Attention should be given to creating and applying a strategic vision for the programme. This should target the user community, and in particular the telematics service providers. Such a vision requires a ten-year time horizon, even if the programme authorization has to be achieved through the shorter steps of the Framework Programmes. - There is a strong case for continuing the running of the programme under a single team. The review board welcomes the way the programme Areas have been brought together in a single programme by the Commission. - The Commission should renew its efforts to bring effective user involvement into all sectors of the programme. - Appropriate training should be given to the teams running the programmes, particularly in the approach and skills needed to stimulate coherence in a diverse community. - The whole programme should be organized so as to maximize the development and use of common generic components (this will require a new, common subprogramme using a matrix approach in all Areas). - Systematic examination of work throughout the programme should establish those fields where the conventional, cost-shared RTD project is appropriate, as fully-funded studies and projects may be more appropriate in certain circumstances. - The Board recommends a very substantial increase in the budget for the programme. Other recommendations include the prioritizing of horizontal, cross-sector activities and a greater degree of focus in work plans, with fewer, more tightly defined objectives. It is also considered that a well understood and well designed set of structuring concepts, forming a design model, should be developed to improve the quality of telematics systems. Infrastructure developments should adhere to Open Systems standards wherever possible, to facilitate the development of competitive products for future exploitation. To underpin the generic infrastructure systems development, an RTD programme is much required covering technical, economic and legislative aspects for the enabling of technology development. In addition, the development of standards and specifications is seen to be an important activity and should have high priority. A degree of increased selectivity and cross-project cooperation is needed to reduce the number of actions and to focus the standardization work in the programme. The Review Board also makes a number of comments on administrative issues, concertation and coordination, and the technical auditing process.

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