EITC'96, the annual European Information Technology Conference and Exhibition, took place in Brussels from 25 to 27 November 1996. Organized by DG III of the European Commission, EITC is the major European conference in the field of information technologies. The theme of EITC'96 was "Doing business in the Information Society", and the focus was on electronic commerce, enabling technologies, access to finance, training and information technology applications. Keynote speeches from Christian Thommessen, General Manager of the IBM Global Network in Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and Tim Berners-Lee, Director of the W3 Consortium and inventor of the World Wide Web, clearly demonstrated the high profile of the event. Over 1,500 participants from industry, research organizations, the European institutions and national governments attended the conference. The exhibition highlighted technologies and products developed by companies with funding from the Community's specific RTD programme in the field of Information Technologies (ESPRIT), and demonstrated the potential of the technology transfer actions which are a part of ESPRIT. Participants could also try out applications in the Cybercafe, including CORDIS, the Community's R&D Information Service, and view the "Web for Schools" initiative, which aims to train teachers to integrate the World Wide Web into their teaching. A major feature of the event was the award of the European Information Technology Prize (ITEA'96), presented by Mr. Jacques Santer, President of the European Commission, on 26 November. ITEA'96 is organized jointly by the ESPRIT programme and Euro-CASE, the European Council of Applied Sciences and Engineering, and provides recognition to innovative information technologies products with excellent market potential. The prize is open to organizations from the EU, Central and Eastern European countries, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Israel. Three ITEA'96 Grand Prizes were awarded from a short list of 25, with the winners each receiving the ITEA Trophy and ECU 200,000. The rest of the short-listed companies will receive a runners-up prize of ECU 5,000. The three Grand Prize winners are: - 3D Scanners of London, United Kingdom: Model Maker, the first hand-held product that can accurately, and quickly, scan physical objects to make 3D computer models; - Data Fellows of Espoo, Finland: F-Secure Cryptography Product Family, provides secure remote log-in and file transfer for data protection in a corporate environment, based on SSH technology; - Oticon of Hellerup, Denmark: Digifocus, the world's first fully digital compact hearing instrument at the ear. Digifocus is based on a tiny new microchip set with the same processing power as a desktop computer.