The objective of the Information Technologies (IT) programme under the Fourth Framework Programme for research and technological development (1994-1998) is to be a key component of the information infrastructure - the engine of the information society. Focal points of the programme address issues which are central to the building of the information society. Examples are multimedia, technologies for business processes and integration in manufacturing, all of which address issues of change and adaptation to new needs. Awareness of the needs of the information society even extends to long-term research, a large part of which aims at the creation of the future interfaces to information that will empower all of the population, thereby avoiding the creation of a two-tier society, while at the same time creating a huge market for new information products and services. By its nature, therefore, the Information Technologies programme can contribute to new pilot projects within its existing terms of reference, by focusing on those needs that best contribute to the development of the information society.