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Europe Commits €780m More for Union-Wide ICT Research
Source: publictechnology.ne
Source Date: Thursday, September 30, 2010
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Internet Governance
Created: Oct 05, 2010

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 competitiveness.”
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 more. 
The investment announcement was made at Europe's largest event for ICT research and innovation, ICT 2010-Digitally Driven
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 'smarter'.
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 costs.
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.
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