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Enthusiastic response to first call for Telematics Applications programme

There has been an enthusiastic response to the first call for proposals for the Telematics Applications programme of the Fourth Framework Programme (1994-1998). The call also resulted in a strong involvement of users, with partners representing regions, cities, towns and rural...

There has been an enthusiastic response to the first call for proposals for the Telematics Applications programme of the Fourth Framework Programme (1994-1998). The call also resulted in a strong involvement of users, with partners representing regions, cities, towns and rural areas joining industry in submitting proposals. In particular, the call attracted 1,375 proposals. The projects and actions proposed cover education and training, transport, urban and rural areas, health, administrations, research networks, the environment, and language engineering. Many consortia made proposals that cover two or more areas, dealing with, for example, distance learning courses for medical practitioners or the monitoring of the environmental impact of traffic flow. A key aim of the programme is to involve users at all stages of a project, which has been reflected in the proposals received. They are clearly driven by the wish to tackle practical problems and are decidedly user oriented. Particularly noteworthy are the strong user-provider partnerships formed around networks of towns, cities, regions and rural areas. Commenting on the response to the call, Commissioner Bangemann welcomed the fact that many of the proposals were directed towards the development of the information society. The first call for the Telematics Applications programme was open from 15 December 1994 to 15 March 1995. The external evaluation process, completed on 31 March 1995, involved nearly 500 independent experts. These were chosen to provide a balance of user, supplier, industrial, market and technical expertise. The shortlist of the most highly rated proposals will form the basis for the Commission services' consultation, in May and June 1995, of the Telematics Programme Committee. This Committee is composed of representatives of each EU Member state and associated country. The final list that emerges from these discussions will be presented to the Commission for a formal decision in July. Subject to the outcome of contract negotiations, the first projects will start soon afterwards. The total EU funding for the projects and actions arising from this first call is expected to be ECU 370 million.