ESPRIT Basic Research: summaries of projects, working groups and Networks of Excellence
Innovation is the lifeblood of industrial development and particularly so in the case of Information Technology. Basic research is an essential element in any R&D programme as it generates the ideas and concepts required for technological innovation. The main objectives of ESPRIT basic research are to provide new knowledge and expertise from which industrial research can draw in order to ensure tomorrow's innovation, and to secure the environment for training tomorrow's researchers through research itself. Three distinct types of activity are supported: - Projects; - Working groups; - Networks of Excellence. These activities have different but complementary roles in fostering the growth of a research community in Europe. Projects involve collaborative teams to carry out and achieve results on a specific research topic. Working groups aim at improving the systematic exchange of information between teams working in a common field, through travel, workshops and conferences. Networks of Excellence are groupings of research teams sharing common long-term technological goals that closely coordinate their research and training activities. This publication provides information on all basic research activities launched as a result of the third ESPRIT call for proposals (OJ No C 67 of 10.3.1993). It also provides an opportunity to view the progress and evolution of activities selected as a result of the 1991 call. Each project, working group and network is described in a standard format, covering its aims, approach and methods. Progress and results as well as the latest publication in the areas and information dissemination activities are also covered. In each case, details of participating organizations are provided together with a contact point. The proposals put into effect as a result of the 1993 call bring the ESPRIT programme in its current form to a close. In the future, activities will be run under the specific IT programme of the Fourth Framework Programme. It is expected that basic research will be commissioned either as long term research projects, characterised by their potential to produce breakthroughs in the long term but with clear industrial implications; or advanced research projects involving a high, but assessable, technological risk whose success would have a direct impact on industrial competitiveness. Accompanying measures will include an expansion of the Networks of Excellence as a major contribution to available research infrastructure. The new approaches and orientations are designed to meet the priorities foreseen for the 1990s, while building on and consolidating the achievements of the ESPRIT programme.