The project CONVAIR is a horizontal activity. Its overall objective was to establish common strategic views and identify key areas and issues that are critical in the evolution of communications and in the realisation of the emerging Communication and Information Society. The value of this activity for the European Union was that the sector actors (including users organisations) were made aware of the strategic aspects of the evolution and that from a clearer understanding, their efforts can be better directed at common agreed objectives. Statements for European InfoCom evolution were also formulated and distributed within ACTS to facilitate the focusing of the concertation process and the full exploitation of the ACTS Programme. They were also input to the preparation of the IST Workplan to facilitate the bridging between the 4th and the 5th Framework Programmes.
The most important results achieved by CONVAIR include:
- Establishment of foresights and visions of how telecommunications can serve the forthcoming Information Society.
- Identification of critical issues for the development and the implementation of the advanced communications.
- Formulation of Statements for the European telecommunications evolution.
- Dissimination through workshops, public events and brochures (http://www.etic.be/convair/doc.htm) to ensure early awareness of sector actors (decision-makers in industry and operators) and large communities of potential users on emerging ACTS results and directions of innovation.
- Submission of a number of inputs for the future collaborative R & D activities within the IST Programme.
The major value added is expected to be the achievement of a general European consensus, even outside the ACTS community, on the project results
Guided by the InfoCom Conceptual Framework developed by CONVAIR, major technological themes were selected for CONVAIR treatment. Each theme was treated in an identical manner. After a review of the status, currently observed trends were extrapolated to five and ten year time horizons, leading to foresights for these time horizons. Visions (defined as highly imaginative anticipations) were also formulated. A sub-set of the technological foresights and visions so derived were identified as key enabling goals (key goals for short) for the forthcoming information economy and information society. Where trends were identified which would disable rather than enable this development, key goals arose from the countermeasures equired to neutralise these trends. The totality of key goals was scrutinised for critical issues, which threaten the realisation of these goals. Finally, action statements were put forward as recommendations for resolving these critical issues. Along another avenue the sub-set of technological foresights and visions identified as key goals lead to an anticipation of the network evolution and thence to that of the InfoCom evolution. For more specific applications, the anticipated evolutionary scenario required to be itemised into structural components, which fit, like building blocks, into the InfoCom Conceptual Framework. These are the network and the InfoCom components.
Both the inventory and the action statements are essential for any long-term planning towards the realisation of the forthcoming information society (be it for the EU IST Programme or for the formulation of strategies of companies).
The most relevant results of CONVAIR activity are summarised in http://www.etic.be/convair/doc.htm released in January 1999.
The CONVAIR consortium involves a cross-section of major European sector actors including network operators, telecommunication research centres, telecommunication equipment suppliers and consumer electronics companies. Major user associations are also participating in the project as associated partners. This enabled the availability of experience from all relevant areas.
How can telecommunications technology serve the forthcoming Information Society?
Which are the critical issues for the development and implementation of advanced telecommunications?
Which are the alternative evolution scenarios of European telecommunications?
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts