Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Programme funding

EUR 35 million
To foster economic growth and understanding between Europe and Asia through better awareness, access to, and use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). The aim is to increase direct co-operation between Europe and Asia in the field of ICT, to better serve the ICT needs of local communities and citizens, and provide an input into sustainable development.


This Programme was launched in late 1999 for a period of 5 years to promote and intensify alliances in information technology and communication between Asia and the European Union (EU) member states. In particular, it focuses on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and aims to link Asia with Europe in the search for compatible ICT solutions and standards.

The Programme acts as an intermediary between the existing schemes for economic co-operation with Asia, and the ICT activities under the European Commission’s Research and Technology Development (RTD) Framework Programme. It does this by helping to fund ICT initiatives in the partner countries in the following six areas of activity: agriculture, education, environment, e-governance, health and transport. These areas of activity are particularly relevant to the Asian societies and will increase the integration of the concerned countries/territories into the global information society.

In particular, the Programme will aim at:
- Stimulating an open dialogue between governments, citizens and key players in the ICT sector, professional associations, chambers of commerce, NGOs, regulators, standardisation bodies and the private sector of both regions.
- Improving co-operation in ICT between Europe and Asia (and within Asia), particularly in the least developed countries.
- The formation of long lasting ICT partnerships.
- Further integration of Asian countries into the Information Society.
- The strengthening of ICT mutual trade and investment flows between the regions.
- Increasing the European ICT presence in Asia.

The EU-Asia IT&C Programme’s Phase II has now closed. As of 2005, projects that give special attention to SMEs and recognise the key role being played by the information and technology sector in promoting trade and investment and mutual understanding between the EU and Asia will be eligible under the Asia-Invest Programme (


Actions under the Asia IT&C are undertaken in the following areas of activity: agriculture; education; e-governance; environment; health; transport.

A. Agriculture - to increase production and productivity through the transfer of the benefits of technological innovation, by increasing collaboration in research and improved co-operation between public and private sector and the developed and developing world. The categories of activities include:
- internet connections and communication,
- modelling,
- management information systems (MIS) and geographical information systems (GIS),
- remote sensing,
- global positioning systems (GPS),
- computer assisted education and training (CAT),
- various dedicated software applications/consultancy services,
- research & environmental monitoring,
- natural hazards,
- aerial photography and precision farming.

B. Education - to remove illiteracy, to improve levels of participation in education and to improve the quality of, and accessibility to education. The categories of activities include:
- school-based education,
- life-long learning/continued education.

C. Health – to promote better health and illness prevention among the populations; to increase life expectancy and enhance standards in health care and medicine; to improve health awareness and lifestyle patterns, especially regarding nutrition and physical exercise; to address issues in child mortality and reproductive health. The categories of activities include:
- electronic health networks,
- intelligent patient environments,
- information systems,
- regulation.

D. Transport - to improve the movement of passengers and goods and constantly search for faster, larger, more reliable, more secure and more affordable transportation facilities. The categories of activities include:
- development of the overall transportation chain,
- assistance, control and follow-up,
- forecasting facilities.

E. E-governance - to support and simplify governance for government, citizens and businesses. The categories of activities include:
- eDemocracy,
- eGovernment,
- citizen engagement,
- government benefits,
- eGovernance for disadvantaged communities.

F. Environment - to promote sustainable methods for managing the environment in Asia, targeted for major economic growth on the twenty-first century. The categories of activities include:
- research and environmental monitoring,
- natural hazards,
- modelling,
- remote sensing,
- satellite systems,
- geographical information systems (GIS),
- aerial photography,
- computer assisted education and training (CAT),
- internet connections and communication.

These different areas of activity of the EU-Asia IT&C Programme will be covered under five programme components:

1. Get in touch and keep in touch activities: to identify and link organisations in the form of task forces, workshops, seminars, and conferences to assess, search and specify solutions for adaptation and compatibility issues between European and Asian ICT environments.

2. Practical demonstration projects: to support the demonstration of the European ICT capabilities with the purpose of collecting observations and recommendations on potential improvements.

3. Short technical and university level courses: to support courses and workshops, of a graduate or post-graduate standard, to explore, transfer know-how and/or search for solutions around key ICT issues.

4. Liaise with European ICT initiatives and programmes: to support the identification and establishment of task forces, workshops and/or other events which aim to improve and facilitate contacts, participation, and transfer of know-how.

5. Understanding European and Asian regulatory and legislative organisation structures: to support studies, task forces, workshops, seminars, and/or conferences with the aim of improving the mutual understanding of European and Asian ICT regulatory and legislative organisation structures.


The Asia IT&C Programme is administered by a Programme Management Officer (PMO), with an office in each region. The European PMO is located in Brussels, Belgium, the Asian PMO in Bangkok, Thailand.

In order to be eligible for a grant, consortia will comprise at least three partner organisations: two from two different EU member states and one from an Asian participating country/territory.
Applicants and partners must be non-profit-making. They must be national or regional authorities, public sector operators or non- profit-making organisations from the private sector or civil society (such as research centres, universities, NGOs, professional associations or federations; particularly those representative of small and medium-sized enterprises).
They must have their headquarters in the EU or in any of the following countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, People’s Republic of China (excluding Hong Kong and Macao), East Timor, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam.

Actions must take place in one or more of the eligible countries participating in the Programme. The action must relate to a defined geographical area, and the reasons for the choice must be fully explained in the action’s description. It may concentrate on one country or even on a single region of a large country. The duration of a project/action may not exceed 36 months.

Calls for proposals will be published annually in the Official Journal of the European Communities.
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