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Information services for business and industry

In the framework of the Council Decision of 12 December 1991 (OJ No L 377 of 31.12.1991) adopting a programme for the establishment of an internal services market (IMPACT 2) and within the scope of fourth action line of the programme, "Support strategic information initiatives...

In the framework of the Council Decision of 12 December 1991 (OJ No L 377 of 31.12.1991) adopting a programme for the establishment of an internal services market (IMPACT 2) and within the scope of fourth action line of the programme, "Support strategic information initiatives", the European Commission published a call for declarations of intent in October 1993 (OJ No C 266 of 1.10.1993). The call concerned declarations of intent for projects that would develop integrated information services tailored to the needs of specific end-users throughout Europe. The response to this call was analysed and the Commission concluded that it is feasible to exert a significant impact on the growth of the information services market through support for key projects aimed at business and industrial needs. The Commission is now inviting interested organizations, irrespective of whether they have already made a declaration of intent, to submit detailed proposals. Proposals should be for pilot and demonstration projects for electronic information services focusing on the needs of specific industrial and business sectors, and particularly the needs of small businesses, for rapid access to relevant information in support of their search for growth and competitiveness. Such information may, for example, cover markets, prices, materials, suppliers, technologies, products and news, as well as expertise and specialized knowledge. The information content offered must be of high quality, reliable, complete and up to date. It will require the use of networks linking relevant organizations participating in the project, to facilitate the exchange of information gathered from different sources. Projects must be transnational, within the European Economic Area (EEA) and should ultimately cover as large a part of the EEA as possible. They should continue to reduce discrepancies between the different areas of the EEA. The IMPACT programme is not about technical research and development. Projects should use existing technologies. They must feature improved access facilities for the end-user, including systems which are attractive to SMEs and to the first-time or occasional user. Projects should target clearly identified user groups and needs across the EEA. The information services supported are expected to make a substantial impact on the information market in the medium term and to this end must show not only their value to the user but also their potential economic viability. The financial contribution to projects will be on a shared cost basis, calculated as a percentage of the costs incurred. This percentage will not exceed 50% of the total costs and may be lower, in proportion to the budget and the size of the projects supported. An information document on procedures, forms and guidelines for the submission of proposals was sent to all respondents to the call published in October 1993. Other organizations may obtain these documents from: European Commission DG XIII/E-2 IMPACT programme Jean Monnet Building Office C4-25A L-2920 Luxembourg Tel. +352-34981222; Fax +352-34981234