INFO2000 programme launched following Council agreement At the Industry Council in Brussels on 20 May 1996, the EU Council of Ministers reached agreement on the INFO2000 programme aimed at stimulating the development of the European multimedia content industry and at encouraging the use of multimedia content in the emerging Informa... At the Industry Council in Brussels on 20 May 1996, the EU Council of Ministers reached agreement on the INFO2000 programme aimed at stimulating the development of the European multimedia content industry and at encouraging the use of multimedia content in the emerging Information Society. The programme will operate for a period of four years, from 1996 to 1999, and will have an estimated budget of ECU 65 million. The programme will have three action lines: - Stimulating demand for, and raising awareness of, multimedia content; - Exploiting Europe's public sector information; - Triggering European multimedia potential. The first calls for proposals under the programme, expected in June 1996, will be in the following areas: - Establishment of a multimedia information demonstration and support network (MIDAS-NET) composed of existing organizations active in promoting the Information Society. This work will be on a shared-cost basis, with a Community contribution estimated at ECU 100,000 per year for each MIDAS node; - Stimulation of pilot projects that will catalyse the production of high-quality European multimedia content. They will cover four areas: economic exploitation of Europe's cultural heritage; information services for business and SMEs in particular; geographical information; and scientific, technical and medical information. About 80 proposals should be selected following the first call, and the Community contribution to projects will be up to ECU 100,000 per project, on the basis of 40% of incurred costs. In order to publicize the programme to prospective participants, the Commission intends to hold a series of information days in the Member States in June and July of 1996. The INFO2000 work programme and a guide for proposers may be found on the Internet, along with a full list of the information days, including their dates and locations.