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ALIPRO benchmarking report: Cyprus leads ranking of ICT research programmes

EU project ALIPRO has benchmarked the quality of research programmes on information and communications technologies in the New Member States and Acceding and Candidate Countries.

Cyprus has the best-managed and most effective ICT research programme of all EU New Member States and Acceding and Candidate Countries. In a benchmarking study by EU project ALIPRO on programmes related to mobile communications, the Cypriot Programme for Research and Technological Development emerged as the top performer among 32 programmes from 13 New Member States and Acceding and Candidate Countries. In the comparative analysis, the Cypriot programme scored the highest average value (3.75 out of 4), followed by ten programmes from Hungary, Estonia, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Poland. All of them are in the same league as the reference programmes: the FP6 IST programme, EUREKA cluster programme CELTIC, and three German programmes. However the average quality of the programmes in one country varies in some cases considerably, as the Polish example shows: one programme ranks among the top ten, while two are performing significantly lower. The ALIPRO researchers measured a set of eleven quality criteria in regard to the analysed programmes, including the efficiency of the application process, financial capacity, management quality, transparency, and impact. On the positive side, 75 percent of all programmes have an efficient application process and 65 percent have a high impact. Weak points of the analysed programmes are openness, management quality, and financial capacity. There are significant disproportions in R&D intensity between New Member States, Acceding/Candidate Countries and some old Member States like Germany. The annual financial volume of the Bavarian Information and Communications Technology programme, for example, is 34 times bigger than the budget of the Bulgarian National Scientific Programme on Information Society. In general, there is evidence that reforming R&D programmes can have a positive influence on performance. The ALIPRO researchers found out that recently established or reformed programmes are more efficient and effective than old, non-reformed programmes. The focus of the benchmarking study was on programmes which support mobile communications, but only two programmes are explicitly funding research on mobile technologies, applications, and services. In addition, 4 ICT programmes and 26 general programmes offer funding for research on mobile communications. The benchmarking study is available on the ALIPRO website at About ALIPRO ALIPRO is a Specific Support Action within EU Framework Programme 6. The project is performed by a consortium of 14 organisations from all New Member States and the Accession Candidate Countries Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey as well as old member state Germany. The project started in March 2005 and has a duration of 13 months.