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Details of the Information Society Technologies programme of the Fifth Framework Programme

A detailed overview of the new Information Society Technologies programme of the Fifth Framework Programme was given at the IST 98 conference in Vienna last week. Programme director George Metakides presented provisional details of the content of the four key actions and the o...
A detailed overview of the new Information Society Technologies programme of the Fifth Framework Programme was given at the IST 98 conference in Vienna last week. Programme director George Metakides presented provisional details of the content of the four key actions and the other action lines.

Pending approval for the Fifth Framework Programme by Council and Parliament, expected later this month, the IST programme is planning for an overall budget of ECU 3,6 billion. Three of the four key actions will receive ECU 612 million each (Systems and Services for the citizen, Multimedia Content and Tools, New Methods of Working & Electronic Commerce), while the key action on Essential Technologies & Infrastructure will have a budget of ECU 1296 million. A further ECU 360 million is allocated to Future and Emerging Technologies. And ECU 108 million will be available for Research Networking.

The IST programme will cover several types of activities. R&D projects can be the shared cost type, demonstration type or a combination of both, with the level of eligible costs contractors can claim varying between 35% and 50%. Take-up activities have funding available for Trial, Best Practice or First Use, under which up to 100% of costs are eligible.

Other activities known from the Fourth Framework Programme will continue, including Accompanying Measures, Concerted Actions and Thematic Networks, Fellowships, SME Exploratory Awards and Cooperative Research.

The Commission plans two types of funding to be available. The Full Cost Model would as before provide up to 50% funding. Depending on the type of accounting available to the contractor, the full cost model can include a flat rate for overheads or overheads can be submitted according to actual expenses. The Additional Cost Model would be available for those organisations without adequate analytical accounting to implement the full cost model. It would include a 20% flat rate overhead.

The timetable envisaged by the Commission for the implementation of the IST programme foresees the finalisation of the work programme by the Advisory Group and the Programme Committee in January, with a first call on 16 February 1999 (deadline 18 May 1999) and a second call 16 March 1999 (deadline 15 June 1999).

Metakides emphasised the importance of the IST programme being a single integrated programme managed under a single concept. This is in contrast to the Fourth Framework Programme where a number of separate specific programmes were involved. The IST programme will have one work programme, one Expert Advisory Group and one Programme Management Committee.

The key actions in the IST programme define the research priorities. For each priority the Commission has drafted two or three action lines, which will be taken up in detail in the work programmes.


Systems & services for the citizen covers five priority areas:
- Health
- Elderly and disabled
- Administrations
- Environment
- Transport and tourism.

These have draft action lines for:
- Models for services to citizens
- Systems for health professionals
- Personal health systems
- Telemedicine services
- Systems and services for independent living
- Administrations in the information society
- On-line support to democratic processes
- Environmental monitoring and management
- Environmental risk & emergency management
- Transport infrastructure and mobility
- Systems for intelligent vehicles
- Tourism.


New methods of work & electronic commerce deals with three priorities:
- Working methods and tools
- Market management systems
- Information & network security.

These have draft action lines for:
- New perspectives for work and business
- Corporate knowledge management
- Workplace design
- Team work
- Dynamic networked organisations
- Digital design and life cycle management
- New market mediation systems
- Enhanced consumer-supplier relationships
- Identification, authentication and privacy
- Secure electronic financial transactions
- Digital object transfer.


Multimedia content & tools covers five priorities:
- Electronic publishing
- Cultural heritage
- Education and training
- Language technologies
- Information access & handling.

These have draft action lines for:
- Social and business models for multimedia content
- Authoring and design systems
- Content management and personalisation
- Access to scientific and cultural heritage
- Digital preservation of cultural heritage
- Open platforms and tools for personalised learning
- The flexible university
- Advanced training systems
- Multilinguality in digital content and services
- Natural interactivity
- Multisensory forms of content.

Essential Technologies & Infrastructure includes seven research priorities:
- Information processing, communications & networking
- Software, systems & services - Simulation and visualisation
- Mobile and personal communications and systems
- Interfaces
- Peripherals, subsystems and microsystems
- Microelectronics

These have draft action lines for:
- Convergence and integration: scenarios and analyses
- Concurrent systems
- Real-time systems
- Network integration, interoperability and interworking
- Technologies for network management and service-level interworking
- All-optical and terabit networks
- Component-based software engineering
- Engineering of intelligent services
- Methods and tools for intelligence and knowledge sharing
- Information management methods
- Generic data technologies and standards
- Real-time simulation and visualisation technologies
- Large-scale shared virtual and augmented environments
- Re-configurable radio systems and networks
- Terrestrial wireless systems and networks - Integrated satellite systems and services
- Tools and technologies for wireless communications
- Peripherals technologies
- Subsystems technologies
- Microsystems
- Microelectronics and opto-electronics design
- Applications competences
- Processes, equipment and materials
- Advanced opto-electronics and microelectronics.

Source: European Commission, DG XIII

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