Specific Programme "Cooperation": Information and communication technologies INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES (ICTs)ICTs play a crucial role in boosting innovation, creativity and competitiveness of all industry and service sectors. We are entering a new phase of development that will drive growth and sustainable development for the coming decades; however, this growth will only be captured if we invest now in research and innovation for the next generation of technologies.What's the benefit for citizens:ICTs are opening up many new opportunities for European citizens and consumers. There is a wide range of applications including healthcare provision, transport systems, as well as innovative interactive systems for entertainment and learning. Innovation in ICT can help improve illness prevention and safety of care, facilitate active participation of patients and enable personalisation of care and can also tackle problems associated with the ageing population.What's the benefit for researchers:Under FP7, ICT research activities will cover strategic priorities in areas of European industrial and technological leadership, such as communication networks, embedded computing, nanoelectronics and technologies for audiovisual content.Research areas will include:;• Network and service infrastructure stability and security;• Performance and reliability of electronic systems and components;• Personalised ICT systems;• Digital content management.What's the benefit for industry and SMEs:ICTs account for nearly half of the productivity gains in our economies today. The gains stem both from the production of innovative high value ICT-based goods and services and from improvements in business processes through the diffusion, adoption and use of ICTs across the economy.ICT-intensive sectors include manufacturing, automotive, aerospace, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and agro-food, as well as financial services, media and retail. Benefits reported by firms, as a result of increased use of ICTs, include faster product development, cost and overhead reductions, faster and more reliable transactions, better relationships with customers and suppliers, improved levels of customer service and support, and enhanced collaboration opportunities.FP7 will facilitate the creation of new forms of networked business processes and applications, as well as new engineering approaches for the application of ICT in manufacturing.