Information Society Technologies

A thematic priority
for Research and Development under the Specific Programme “Integrating and strengthening the European Research Area” in the community sixth framework programme


2003-2004 Workprogramme



IST Workprogramme for 2003 and 2004


1        Introduction

This Workprogramme covers the activities of the IST thematic priority in the Specific Programme “Integrating and Focussing the European Research Area” for two years, 2003 and 2004. It defines the priorities for the calls for proposals in these two years, the implementation plan and the criteria that will be used for evaluating proposals responding to these calls.

The priorities reflect the input received from the Programme Committee and the IST Advisory Group[1] (ISTAG), the response to the Expressions of Interest and from the preparatory activities launched in 2001 and 2002 including workshops and road-mapping exercises. This has led to a strong focus of the Work programme on a limited set of strategic objectives that need to be addressed at a European level.

2        Objectives, Structure and overall approach

2.1       IST in FP6: the overall vision

The IST thematic priority will contribute directly to realising European policies for the knowledge society as agreed at the Lisbon Council of 2000, the Stockholm Council of 2001, the Seville Council of 2002, and reflected in the e-Europe Action Plan.

The strategy adopted in Lisbon 2000 is for an accelerated transition to a competitive and dynamic knowledge economy capable of sustainable growth, with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion. This requires a wider adoption, a broader availability and an extension of IST applications and services in all economic and public sectors and in the society as a whole. IST are the key underlying technologies for easier and efficient knowledge creation, sharing and exploitation.


The objectives of IST in FP6 are therefore to ensure European leadership in the generic and applied technologies at the heart of the knowledge economy. It aims to increase innovation and competitiveness in European businesses and industry and to contribute to greater benefits for all European citizens.

The focus of IST in FP6 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. This vision of "ambient intelligence"[2] places the user, the individual, at the centre of future developments for an inclusive knowledge‑based society for all.

This research effort will therefore reinforce and complement the eEurope 2005[3] objectives and look beyond them to the 2010 goals of the Union of bringing IST applications and services to everyone, every home, every school and to all businesses.


eEurope2005 aims at a wider deployment of IST including to modernise further the public services including egovernment, ehealth and elearning and to create a dynamic business environment. It also aims at ensuring a higher security of the information infrastructure and a wider availability of broadband access.

eEurope will therefore contribute to the adoption of the research results as they emerge. It will also provide feedback about their acceptance and the problems related to their use. This close articulation between the research and policy initiatives is a key component of the Union strategy to achieve the Lisbon goals.

The Community support for IST in FP6 will help mobilise the industrial and research community around high-risk long term goals. It should facilitate the aggregation of public and private research effort on a European scale and enable the development of a European Research Area (ERA) in IST.

The main societal and economic challenges to be addressed are :

-        solving “trust and confidence” problems so as to improve dependability of technologies, infrastructures and applications. These should ensure security, privacy and protect property and individual rights. Improving trust in the knowledge society is a key requirement for its development.

-        Strengthening social cohesion by providing efficient, intelligent and easy to use systems for health, transport, inclusion, risk management, environment, learning and cultural heritage.

-        Enabling sustainable growth and improving competitiveness both of large and small businesses as well as the efficiency and transparency of governments. This includes the development of mobile eCommerce and business and ework processes and will provide for more and better jobs.

-        Supporting complex problem solving in science, society, industry and businesses. The aim is to harness the computing and knowledge management resources across Europe and bring them to the desktop of any researcher, engineer or other end user.


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3.1.9    Networked businesses and governments

Objective: To develop ICTs supporting organisational networking, process integration, and sharing of resources. This shall enable networked organisations, private and public, to build faster and more effective partnerships and alliances, to re-engineer and integrate their processes, to develop value added products and services, and to share efficiently knowledge and experiences.

Focus is on:

       Management of dynamic collaborative networks through the development of harmonisation frameworks, open platform specifications, models and ontologies. This includes multi-disciplinary research into complex adaptive and self-organising systems and modelling, representing, tracking and measuring distributed work and knowledge flows in business networks.

       Technologies for interoperability supporting open networks of intelligent, autonomous, self-adaptive, self-configurable, and scalable software components for networked organisations including SMEs. Novel reference architectures working in dynamic networks using ontologies, agent and grid technologies, web-services, semantic web and peer-to-peer computing.

       Open, secure, interoperable and re-configurable e-government platforms, applications and multi-modal services. They should be based on European standards, support national, regional and local initiatives and deploy as much as possible open source software solutions for all aspects of inter- and intra-government operations including electronic democracy systems, interaction with citizens and businesses, governmental process re-engineering and knowledge management.

       Managing knowledge to support innovation and business strategies through sharing, brokering, trading and measuring of knowledge and intellectual capital. Research will also cover knowledge modelling from multiple perspectives/levels across the value chain as well as emergent innovation-friendly collaborative and working spaces that facilitate leveraging of tacit knowledge, creativity and resource productivity.

       IST as driver for small business and government re-organisation through local development processes including small business ecosystems and their interactions with local government. Mass deployment actions for one-stop e-government services for all, supported by benchmarking are addressed as well socio-economic research in the governance of networked organisations and e-government models and legal issues.

IPs shall follow a focused and multidisciplinary approach bringing together a critical mass of business and government organisations, academic research labs, standardisation organisations and technology transfer centres. NoEs shall be used to integrate visionary European and international research communities and build up new knowledge. STREPs and other support measures should support emerging sub-domains and offer large-scale business and government pilots. Work will build on and complement the Member State activities in the field.

Work could also build on past international RTD activities involving US, Japanese and Latin American (e.g. Brazil, Mexico) participants in the area of networked collaborative organisations and will be complemented by demonstration and technology transfer activities for small businesses and governments towards the Mediterranean countries, Russia and the newly independent States (NIS), the Western Balkans and Latin America. 

[1] The ISTAG report on the recommendations for the Workprogrammes in FP6, the reports on the analysis of Expressions of Interest as well as other reports on the preparation workshops and Commission internal Groups are available on the IST Web page

[2] ISTAG report: Ambient Intelligence scenarios for 2010,

[3] eEurope 2005 at: