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CORDIS Express: Research on the road to ‘Digital Europe’

This edition of CORDIS Express takes a look at some of the EU-funded projects that are helping to lead us towards ‘Digital Europe’.

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From transport to media, tourism to energy, digital technologies are infiltrating and changing almost every industry sector. And they’re changing the way that we as individuals live. Do you read the news online? Book flights on your smartphone? Use a GPS while travelling? The chances are that your life, like that of millions of other Europeans, has been deeply permeated by digital technologies. It’s no wonder then that, at European level, the digital economy is growing at seven times the rate of the rest of the economy. Investments in ICT now account for 50 % of all European productivity growth. However, the road to total digitalisation in Europe still requires huge commitment and investment. According to the European Commission, if we succeed in fully implementing the Digital Agenda – an initiative which aims to reboot Europe's economy and help Europeans to get the most out of digital technologies – we would increase the European GDP by 5 %, or EUR 1 500 per person. We would also create 3.8 million new jobs throughout the economy in the long term. Jeremy Rifkin, an economic and social theorist, says that the journey towards a wholly ‘Digital Europe’ would keep our industries busy for the next 40 years. It’s clear that digitalisation will affect every sector, and that’s why under Horizon 2020, ICT-related topics can be found in all priorities, from 'Excellence Science' to 'Industrial Leadership', to 'Societal Challenges'. 'Excellent science' research covers the radically new technological possibilities through the 'Future and Emerging Technologies', including FET Flagships, and the 'European research infrastructures' ('eInfrastructures'). The 'Industrial Leadership' pillar, meanwhile, addresses research and innovation activities on generic ICT technologies either driven by industrial roadmaps or through a bottom up approach. Finally, the different 'Societal Challenges' parts of the programme support multi-disciplinary, application-driven research and innovation actions leveraging ICT to tackle societal challenges. From digital DNA sequencing to ‘smart’ irrigation, this edition of CORDIS Express takes a look at some of the EU-funded projects that are helping to lead us towards ‘Digital Europe’. - Digital Europe: the ‘third industrial revolution’ - Commissioner Kroes: Digital is everywhere - it is everything and for everyone - A smart way to irrigate crops - and save water - Table-top 3D laser printer opens door to new world of small-scale innovation - An innovative and expanding journey planner - A roadmap for digital fabrication - Entering a new era of DNA sequencing

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