Information society technologies are transforming the economy and society by creating new ways of working and new types of business. They also provide solutions to major societal challenges such as healthcare, environment, safety, mobility and employment, and have far reaching implications on our everyday life.
Although substantial advances have been made, Europe is still far from taking full advantage of the potential of knowledge-based services in real life. Products and services are still hard to use and out of reach for many people, and the 'digital divide' is widening across the world. Research will focus on the future generation of technologies in which computers and networks will be integrated into the everyday environment, rendering accessible a multitude of services and applications through easy-to-use human interfaces. This vision of 'ambient intelligence' places the user at the centre of future developments for an inclusive knowledge-based society for all.
The Information Society Technologies (IST) thematic priority aims to increase innovation and competitiveness in European businesses and industry and to help all European citizens so that they can fully benefit from the development of the knowledge-based society.
The Community research activities carried out under Information Society Technologies address the following aspects:
- Strategic objectives, such as applied IST research addressing major societal and economic challenges, communication, computing and software technologies, components and microsystems, and knowledge and interface technologies; and
- Future and emerging technologies (FET), such as a FET open scheme supporting research on new ideas involving high risk, such as embryonic research, proof-of-concept and high quality long-term research of foundational nature, and a FET proactive scheme aiming at focusing resources on visionary and challenging long-term goals that are timely and have strong potential for future impact.
The programme funding was 3984 million euros.
Directorate-General for Information Society and Media (DG INFSO)