Information and Communication Technologies

22/12/2006 - ICT Workprogram 2007-2008



ICT - Open Calls

IST NCP Newsletters



To improve the competitiveness of European industry and enable Europe to master and shape the future developments of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) so that the demands of its society and economy are met. Activities will strengthen Europe’s scientific and technology base and ensure its global leadership in ICT, help drive and stimulate innovation through ICT use and ensure that ICT progress is rapidly transformed into benefits for Europe’s citizens, businesses, industry and governments.



Information and communication technologies (ICT) play a unique, proven role in fostering innovation, creativity and competitiveness of all industry and service sectors. They are essential for addressing key societal challenges and modernising public services and they underpin progress in all science and technology fields. Europe must therefore master and shape the future developments of ICT and ensure that ICT-based services and products are taken up and used to deliver the maximum possible benefits for citizens and businesses.

The ICT theme prioritises strategic research around key technology pillars, ensures end-to end integration of technologies and provides the knowledge and the means to develop a wide range of innovative ICT applications. The activities will leverage industrial and technological advance in the ICT sector and improve the competitive edge of important ICT-intensive sectors – both through innovative high-value ICT-based products and services and from improvements of organisational processes in businesses and administrations alike.


Activities Include:


• ICT Technology Pillars:


-          Nano-electronics, photonics and integrated micro/nano-systems: process, device and design technologies to improve size, density, performance, energy efficiency, manufacturing and cost-effectiveness for components, systems-on-a-chip, systems-in-a-package and integrated systems; basic photonic components for wide range of applications; high-performance/high-density data storage systems; very large area/highly integrated display solutions; sensing, actuating, vision and imaging devices; ultra low power systems, alternative energy sources/storage; heterogeneous technologies/systems integration; multi-functional integrated micro-nano-bio-info systems; large-area electronics; integration in different materials/objects; interfacing with living organisms; (self-)assembly of molecules or atoms into stable structures.


-          Ubiquitous and unlimited capacity communication networks: cost-effective mobile and broadband network technologies and systems including terrestrial and satellite networks; convergence of different fixed, mobile, wireless and broadcasting networks spanning from the personal area to the regional and global area; interoperability of wired and wireless communications services and applications, management of networked resources, service reconfigurability; complex networking of ad-hoc intelligent multimedia devices, sensors and microchips.


-          Embedded systems, computing and control: more powerful, secure, distributed, reliable and efficient hardware/software systems that can perceive, control and adapt to their environment while optimising the use of resources; methods and tools for system modelling, design and engineering to master complexity; open composable architectures and scale-free platforms, middleware and distributed operating systems to enable truly seamless collaborative and ambient intelligent environments for sensing, actuation, computing, communication, storage, and service delivery; computing architectures incorporating heterogeneous, networked and reconfigurable components including compilation, programming and run-time support; control of large-scale, distributed, uncertain systems.


-          Software, Grids, security and dependability: technologies, tools and methods for dynamic and trusted software, architectures and middleware systems that underpin knowledge-intensive services, including their provision as utilities; service-oriented, interoperable and scale-free infrastructures, grid-like virtualisation of resources, network-centric operating systems; open platforms and collaborative approaches for development of software, services and systems; composition tools; mastering emergent behaviours of complex systems; improving dependability and resilience of large-scale, distributed and intermittently connected systems and services; secure and trusted systems and services, including privacy-aware access control and authentication, dynamic security and trust policies, dependability and trust meta-models.

-          Knowledge, cognitive and learning systems: methods and techniques to acquire and interpret, represent and personalise, navigate and retrieve, share and deliver knowledge, recognizing the semantic relationships in content for use by humans and machines; artificial systems that perceive, interpret and evaluate information and that can cooperate, act autonomously and learn; theories and experiments that move beyond incremental advances benefiting from insights into natural cognition, in particular learning and memory, also for the purpose of advancing systems for human learning.


-          Simulation, visualisation, interaction and mixed realities: tools for modelling, simulation, visualisation, interaction, virtual, augmented and mixed reality and their integration in end-to-end environments; tools for innovative design and for creativity in products, services and digital audio-visual media; more natural, intuitive and easy-to-use interfaces and new ways to interact with technology, machines, devices and other artefacts; multilingual and automatic machine translation systems.


New perspectives in ICT drawing on other science and technology disciplines (physics, materials, biotechnologies, life-sciences, cognitive and social sciences etc) are provided in the whole of the ICT theme. These are bringing breakthroughs that lead to innovation in ICT and to entirely new industry and service sectors. They span from miniaturisation of ICT devices to sizes compatible and interacting with living organisms (like novel ICT components and computing systems based on synthetic biomolecular structures), to new computing and communication sciences inspired by the living world, to fully ecocompatible ICT devices inspired by natural systems, and to modelling and simulation of the living world (like simulation of human physiology across several biological levels).


• Integration of Technologies:


-          Personal environments: integration of multimodal interfaces, sensing techniques and micro-systems, personal communication and computing devices, ICT systems embodied in personal accessories, wearable systems and implants and their connection to services and resources, placing emphasis on integrating all facets of a person’s presence and identity.


-          Home environments: communication, monitoring, control and assistance of the home, buildings and public spaces; seamless interoperability and use of all devices taking account of cost efficiency, affordability and usability; new services and new forms of interactive digital content and services; access to information and management of knowledge.


-          Robotic systems: flexible and dependable robot systems operating in human and unstructured environments and co-operating with people; networked and cooperating robots; miniaturised robots; modular design and modelling of integrated robotic systems.


-          Intelligent infrastructures: ICT tools making critical infrastructures more efficient and user-friendly, easier to adapt and maintain, more robust to usage and resistant to failures; data integration tools; ICT for systemic risk assessment, early warning and automated alerts.


• Applications Research:


-          ICT meeting societal challenges: To ensure that all European citizens can reap the maximum benefit from ICT products and services, to improve inclusiveness, seamless access and interactivity of services of public interest, and to strengthen the innovation role of public sector services, improving their efficiency and effectiveness.


         for health: personal non-obtrusive systems that enable citizens to manage their well-being such as wearable or implantable monitoring devices and autonomous systems for supporting a healthy state; emerging techniques such as molecular imaging for improved prevention and individualised medicine; health knowledge discovery and application in clinical practice; modelling and simulation of organ functions; micro- and nano-robotic devices for minimally invasive surgical and therapeutic applications;


         for governments: use of ICT in an interdisciplinary approach in public administrations combined with organisational change and new skills in order to deliver innovative, citizen-centric services for all; advanced ICT based research and solutions to improve democratic and participatory processes and the performance and quality of public sector services, interaction with and between administrations and governments, and support legislative and policy development processes in all stages of democracy;


         for inclusion: to empower individuals and their communities and improve equal participation of all citizens in the information society, while preventing digital divides due to disability, low skills, poverty, geographic isolation, culture, gender or age, inter alia through support to assistive technology, promoting independent living, increasing e-skills, and developing products and services designed-for-all;


         for mobility: integrated ICT-based safety systems for vehicles based on open, secure and dependable architectures and interfaces; interoperable cooperative systems for transport efficiency and safety, based on communication between vehicles and with the transport infrastructure and integrating accurate and robust location technologies; personalised, location-aware info-mobility and multi-modal services, including intelligent service solutions for tourism;


         in support of the environment and sustainable development: risk and emergency management; smart sensor networks to improve hazard forecasting, natural resources management including systems for reduction of pollutants; increasing energy efficiency; managing human response to environmental stresses and to sustain biodiversity; alert systems and timely and reliable public safety communication; assistive technologies and support systems for operation under harsh, hazardous or risky conditions; ecoefficient and sustainable production of ICT: advanced data and information management for environmental monitoring and risk assessment, contributing to INSPIRE; GMES and GEOSS.


-          ICT for content, creativity and personal development:

         novel forms of interactive, non-linear and self-adaptive content; creativity and enriched user-experience; cross-media content customisation and delivery; combining all-digital content production and management with emerging semantic technologies; user-oriented use, access to and creation of content;


         technology-enhanced learning systems, tools and services, adapted to different learners in different contexts; issues underlying human learning when the process is mediated by using ICT; improving people’s abilities to become active learners;


         intelligent services for access to cultural heritage in digital form; tools for communities to create new cultural memory based on living heritage; methods and tools for preservation of digital content; making digital objects usable by future users whilst keeping authenticity and integrity of their original creation and context of use.


-          ICT supporting businesses and industry:


         dynamic, network-oriented business systems for product and service creation and delivery; decentralised control and management of intelligent items; digital business ecosystems, in particular software solutions adaptable to the needs of small- and medium-sized organisations; collaboration services for distributed workspaces; augmented group presence, group management and sharing support;


         manufacturing: networked intelligent controls for high-precision manufacturing and low-resource utilisation; wireless automation and logistics for rapid plant reconfiguration; integrated environments for modelling, simulation, presentation and virtual production; manufacturing technologies for miniaturised ICT systems and for systems interwoven with all kinds of materials and objects.


-          ICT for trust and confidence:


         tools supporting the trust and confidence of ICT and its applications; multiple and federated identity management systems; authentication and authorization techniques; systems meeting privacy needs deriving from new technological developments; rights and asset management; tools to protect against cyber threats.


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