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Specific research and technological development programme (EEC) in the field of communication technologies, 1990-1994

Part of the third Framework programme for Community activities in the field of research and technological development (1990 to 1994) under subactivity I.1.: "Information and communications technologies", the programme builds upon the results of the first RACE programme (1987-1992).

Parallel to the continued development of the integrated broadband network and the strengthening of the research effort on optical communications and techniques of synchronic/asynchronic switching, new activities will be directed towards the development of intelligent, reliable and secure networks and new value-added services that are both profitable and adapted to the developing needs of users. These actions include a Community R&D effort of the prenormative type in order to guarantee the interoperability of the systems on the basis of common standards and protocols. Particular attention will be given to the growing demand for mobile telephony services and the integration of these services into networks.
To make a major contribution to the introduction of Integrated Broadband Communications (IBC), with the development of the Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) and the national introduction strategies which are to result in the setting-up of services at Community level by 1995; to enable the integrated broadband network to take on the emerging new services, based on "open" standards; and to make the use of integrated services both flexible and cheaper.
Eight priority areas:

- IBC (Integrated Broadband Communications) R&D:
Addressing, via a systems approach, key technologies, systems, services and applications, with emphasis on the following subjects:
. IBC systems design, architecture and operation;
. IBC transition strategies;
. Common operational environment;
. Techniques for basic IBC system functions;
. Integration of IBC demonstrators;
. Verification tools;

- Intelligence in networks/flexible communications resource management:
Related to the use of new techniques of information transfer, optical communications, and possibly artificial intelligence, for enhancing flexibility, both in the provision of new network services and network management.

- Mobile and personal communications:
Contributing to the development of third generation integrated mobile communication systems, the aim will be to provide universal personal communications using audio, data and image. For cost-efficient implementation third generation systems will require a common radio-interface;

- Image and data communications:
Involving the development of the technologies needed for the introduction and exploitation of advanced, low-cost and flexible image and data communication services, for both business and domestic needs;

- Integrated services technologies:
To contribute to the definition of common functional specifications for new communication services and multimedia systems:
. IBC/Modular standardization:
Harmonization of architectures and specifications for the flexible integration of telematic services under user control;
. Integrated service technologies:
Techniques for architecture realization, user components technologies, metaphors and user interface technologies, and service management systems;
. Service technology verification:
Development of prototype facilities for flexible integration of services responding to the requirements of operators, service providers and users;

- Information security technologies:
To ensure that considerations of quality, security and reliability of service are included in development and implementation strategies for advanced communications. Work in this area will provide validated specifications, guidelines and technology for practical and effective information security at a pan-European level consistent with actions carried out in other Community programmes. Subjects:
. Service quality, security and reliability;
. Information security technologies;
. Information security verification;

- Advanced communication experiments:
Designed to prepare the ground for, and minimize the risks of investments in, advanced communications. Work in this area will identify generic service functions which are reusable and will permit the matching of different user needs while maintaining universal access and interoperability. Subjects:
. Study of generic functions;
. Technology and techniques for advanced communications experiments;
. Application experiments;

- Test infrastructure and interworking:
Test infrastructure is needed to validate standards and functional specifications. Under conditions to be agreed on by the partners, the provision and operation of the test infrastructure is expected to be ensured by the operators and national test-beds, in collaboration and cooperation between them when necessary for interconnection and interworking.
The Commission is responsible for the implementation of the programme, assisted by a committee composed of representatives of the Member States and chaired by a representative of the Commission.

The programme comprises research and technological development (RTD) projects, accompanying measures and concerted action projects.

The RTD projects are the subject of shared-cost contracts, with Community financial participation not normally exceeding 50%. Universities and other research centres have the option of requesting, for each project, either 50% funding of total expenditure or 100% funding of the additional marginal costs. Contracts relating to shared-cost research projects must as a general rule be concluded following a selection procedure based on calls for proposals published in the Official Journal of the European Communities. Projects must, as a general rule, provide for the participation of at least two partners, each independent of the other, established in different Member States.

The accompanying measures consist of:
- The organization of seminars, workshops and scientific conferences;
- Internal coordination through the creation of integrating groups;
- Advanced technology training programmes, with emphasis being placed on multidisciplinarity;
- Promotion of the exploitation of results;
- Independent scientific and strategic evaluation of the operation of the projects and the programme.

Concerted action projects consist of action by the Community to coordinate the individual research activities carried out in the Member States. They may benefit from funding of up to 100% of coordinating expenditure.

The Commission is authorized to negotiate, in accordance with Article 130n of the Treaty, international agreements with third countries which are members of COST, in particular the member countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and Central and Eastern European countries, with a view to associating them with the whole programme or a part of it. Where framework agreements for scientific and technical cooperation have been concluded between the Community and European non-Member States, bodies and enterprises established in those countries may, on the basis of the criterion of mutual benefit, be allowed to become partners in a project undertaken within the programme.

No contracting body based outside the Community and participating as a partner in a project undertaken within the programme may benefit from Community financing for this programme. Such partner shall contribute to the general administrative costs.

The Community funds estimated as necessary for the execution of the programme amount to ECU 554 million, of which a sum amounting to 1% of the budget is earmarked as the contribution from the programme to the centralized scheme for the dissemination and exploitation of results.

The knowledge gained in the course of the projects will be disseminated both within the programme and by means of the centralized scheme.

The Commission will review the programme during the second year and send a report to the European Parliament and the Council. At the end of the programme an evaluation of the results achieved will be conducted by a group of independent experts and submitted to these same bodies.