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The ESSI accompanying measure within the framework of the Specific Research and Technological Development programme in the field of Information Technologies, 1990-1994

ESSI is an accompanying measure to the specific research and technological development programme in the field of information technologies (1990-1994) (ESPRIT 3) and is directed at furthering the best use of productivity-enhancing methodologies and tools especially by users of IT systems. It aims at improving software and system quality and productivity to the benefit of the whole of the European Community. Specific emphasis will be placed on the improvement of software quality. It is anticipated that a substantial part of all three lines of action may address the certification of the company's software development process according to widely-accepted international quality standards, for example, ISO 9001, BOOTSTRAP, SPICE, or the SEI model.
To promote improvements in the software development process in industry so as to achieve greater efficiency, higher quality and greater economy.
Three domains:

- Application experiments:
Directed at improving the practice of producing software by gaining experience with state-of-the-art software engineering supports in specific applications and by evaluating these supports;

- Dissemination actions:
To ensure that companies, on a Community-wide basis, are aware of the experiences of the participants involved in the application experiments and of the opportunities more generally available to assist them in improving their software capabilities;

- Education and training:
To concentrate on the development of courses and seminars to raise the general awareness of the benefits of advanced software engineering practice.
The Commission is responsible for implementing the scheme within the framework of the third ESPRIT programme. The ESSI activity will be implemented as a large-scale project within the specific programme. This is to be accomplished by applying the state of the art of software engineering in a wide range of industries, on the basis of a thorough analysis of each individual case. It is anticipated that SMEs will make a significant contribution to the goals of ESSI. The full impact of ESSI will be effected through dissemination of experience and know-how across borders and sectors.

Calls for proposals will be issued from time to time. Proposals for Application Experiments should comprise two parts: Part 1 provides information on the proposers and costs and Part 2 defines the experiment at consortium and company levels. Proposals are required to address the potential for replication of the resultant experience in other companies. Contracts awarded for Application Experiments will be signed by a single user, (the prime user) and the Commission. 100% of the incremental marginal costs associated with the execution of the action can be charged under the agreed contract. This is defined as the actual expenditure which a contractor incurs in the execution of the task and which is solely attributable to the execution of the task. Proposals will be selected on the basis of the following criteria: realistic and efficient costings; the practicability of the proposal; presentation in the context of the total life-cycle; the potential benefits of the action to the companies involved and, in particular, to the users; the potential for replication of the resultant experience in other companies; and the impact on the software development process in the company and in the Community through dissemination and follow-on actions in the take up of specific practices.