The Information Society Technologies (IST) programme is one of the four thematic programmes of the Fifth Framework Programme of EU RTD.
The general IST programme objective is to realise the benefits of the Information Society for Europe both by accelerating its emergence and by ensuring that the needs of individuals, enterprises and public administrations are met. The policy framework for the IST programme is set in the e-Europe initiative which is a key component of the EU strategy for reaching the goal set in the Lisbon Council in March 2000: 'to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world'. The focus of the IST programme is 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.
The IST Programme follows on from the ESPRIT, ACTS and Telematics Applications Programmes which were carried out within the Fourth Framework Programme.
The IST includes four inter-related key actions (KA):
- KA1 Systems and services for the citizens,
- KA2 New methods of work and electronic commerce,
- KA3 Multimedia content and tools,
- KA4 Essential technologies and infrastructures.
The objective of the Key Action 'Systems and services for the citizens' is to foster the creation of the next generation of interoperable general interest application systems in the following five areas:
- special needs groups,
- transport and tourism.
The projects in the Key Action 1 'Systems and services for the citizens' are grouped into clusters which represent logical groupings of projects encouraged to co-operate for their mutual benefit.
Each of the five areas - healthcare, special needs group, administrations, environment, transport and tourism - includes two or more clusters of projects.
In the transport area there are two clusters:
1. 'Mobility and intelligent infrastructure for transport' and
2. 'Intelligent vehicles'.
The cluster 'Mobility and intelligent infrastructure for transport' ranges across all modes, road, air, rail and maritime. Research in the cluster is expected to contribute to safer, cleaner and more efficient transport, as well as to rationalise energy use - thereby reducing environmental pollution, according to the general goals of the EU transport policy. In addition to this, people on the move will enjoy increasing access to a range of info-mobility services in line with IST's objective of having ubiquitous access and ambient intelligence.
The cluster 'Intelligent vehicles' also ranges across all modes. Research in the cluster is expected to contribute to safety, security, efficiency and comfort.
The IST programme is implemented through actions which comprise: shared cost actions, support for networks, concerted actions, accompanying measures including take up actions and training activities. EU funding varies across and within type of action and can be up to 100% of eligible costs.
EU funding in the IST programme: EUR 3600 million
EU funding in the IST Key Action 1 “Systems and services for the citizens”: EUR 646 million
EU funding in the IST KA1 cluster “Mobility and intelligent infrastructure for transport“ (40 projects): EUR 54,2 million
EU funding in the IST KA1 cluster “Intelligent vehicles” (35 projects): EUR 29,9 million