The European Commission this week announced one of its biggest calls
ever for information and communications technology (ICT) research
proposals under its research framework - €780 million in 2011.
"Increasing overall investment into ICT research is crucial for our
future,” said Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda Neelie
Kroes. “This research will help Europe's industry to strengthen its
The cash will be put into research on the shape of the future
Internet, robotics, smart and embedded systems, photonics, ICT for
energy efficiency, health and well-being in an ageing society, and
The Digital Agenda for Europe
is the EU's flagship policy programme for doubling of annual public
spending on ICT R&D by 2020 and to leverage an equivalent increase
in private spending to achieve the goals of Europe's 2020 strategy for
jobs and growth. Under it, the Commission has committed to maintaining
the pace of a 20% yearly increase of the annual ICT R&D budget at
least until 2013.
The €780 million will be on top of an already announced €220
million made available in July for public private partnerships focusing
on ICT for smart cars, green buildings, sustainable factories and the
future internet (see IP/10/966, MEMO/10/339, Newsroom) – making a total
of €1.2 billion.
In the fresh round €120 million will be available to fund research
and technological developments in networking, digital media and service
infrastructure for the future internet alone – investment deemed crucial
if Europe is to stay ahead of the challenges that its increasingly
digital society will face in the next decade, says the Commission.
Meanwhile nearly €100 million has been earmarked for the 'Future
Internet' Partnership (IP/09/1596) to take advantage of the increasing
demand for innovative internet applications that make infrastructures
like health systems, energy grids or traffic management systems
To strengthen Europe's position as a leading supplier of electronic
systems and photonic components, more than €200 million is now
available for research in this field. This supports the competitiveness
of the automotive, telecoms, industrial automation, lighting
technologies and medical industrial strongholds in Europe.
This latest call also foresees close to €200 million for research
in ICT for health and ageing. The European population aged 60-plus is
increasing by about 2 million every year and technology has been
identified as essential to creating sustainable solutions and for
maximising market opportunities to reduce related social and health care
In addition, €135 million is available for ICT research to improve energy efficiency in buildings, in transport and logistics.
EU-funded ICT research projects support more than 15,000
researchers every year, stimulate Europe's capacity to innovate and the
industry's economic growth.
It also provides major opportunities for innovative SMEs in the areas seen as crucial for growth.
Universities, research centres, SMEs, large companies and other
organisations all over the EU in Europe are invited to apply for project
funding under ICT Call 7 so long as they meet the 18 January 2011 deadline.