Sunday, November 21, 2010

Europe Boosts ICT Research

The European Commission released their “Call for Proposals” for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) research under the EU’s research framework programs. The “Call for Proposals” (FP-7 ICT-2011-7) published September 29, 2010, will allot $780 million to fund research and technological developments in networking, digital media, and service infrastructure.

Specifically, the goal is to advance research on future internet activities, robotics, smart and embedded systems, photonics, and to increase the use of health technology especially to help Europe’s aging society.

The research challenges focus on high-risk ICT collaborative research. In consumer markets, business growth is foreseen in the short to mid-term to provide new web and internet-based services to operate with the new generations of smart phones, networked sensors, and home personalized health systems.

Looking at the future of the internet in the short term, breakthroughs are expected from the integration of IP-based networking and by developing innovative internet-empowered applications. In the longer term, all-optical networks combined with wireless communication, sensor networks, autonomic network/service management capabilities, and security are expected to yield new network architectures and systems.

The European Commission published the ICT Work Program 2011-12 for FP-7 September 2010. The ICT Work Program document defines the priorities in the “Call for Proposals” for projects to be launched in the 2011-2012 period. These projects will start having an impact on markets in 5-10 years on the average.

The ICT Work Program document focuses on a limited set of challenges with mid-to-long term goals requiring trans-national collaboration. Each challenge addresses a limited set of objectives to form the basis for the “Call for Proposals” plus each challenge specifies outcomes targeted by the research to address the impact on industrial competitiveness and socio-economic goals.

The ICT Work Program is divided into eight challenges. Challenge 5 titled “ICT for Health, Aging Well, Inclusion and Governance” addresses advanced ICT research. The European population over 60 is increasing by about 2 million every year. ICTs are needed to create sustainable solutions and to maximize market opportunities to help reduce related social and healthcare costs.

Challenge 5 research objectives cover:

• Personal Health Research will help with disease management and target rehabilitation and treatment outside of hospitals and care centers so that care can be maintained at the point of need with a focus on specific diseases

• Virtual Physiological Human (VPH) research will focus on more elaborate and reusable multi-scale models and a VPH information infrastructure of larger repositories

• Patient Guidance Services will enable patients’ active participation in their care processes. A special emphasis will be given to semantic interoperability to be able to integrate patient information from multiple sources and locations and to enable secure access to personal health records

• ICT research to help the aging but well population and to develop services and social robotics in a highly intelligent environment

• ICT research to improve social computing and find advanced solutions for learning and skills acquisition as well as for Brain-Neural Computer Interfaces

• ICT research to find the solutions needed for governance and then model policies to deal with future scenarios.

Universities, research centers, SMEs, large companies, and other organizations in Europe and beyond are eligible to apply for project funding under ICT FP-7. Proposals are due by January 18, 2011.

The remaining calls for Proposals FP-8 and FP-9 are expected to be published later in 2011 and 2012. For more information, go to For the Work Program document, go to For contact points, go to