Brussels, 06 Jul 2005
Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding has welcomed the official launch of the European Technology Platform for networked and electronic media (NEM), which took place in Brussels on 29 June.
The key aim of the NEM initiative is to accelerate the pace of innovation and convergence between the audiovisual, content and telecoms sectors in Europe, as well as stimulating coherent worldwide regulation and standardisation policies. The Technology Platform will be chaired by the digital video imaging firm Thompson, and includes some of Europe's largest companies, such as France Telecom, Nokia and Philips.
Frank Dangeard, chairman and CEO of Thompson, said: 'Thompson is very pleased to be leading this strategic initiative with other European partners, under the sponsorship of Commissioner Viviane Reding. The NEM Platform will play a key role in boosting this fundamental sector for European growth, associating world-leading European telecommunications, electronics, audiovisual and media industries.'
The type of convergence between broadcasting, telecommunications and information technology (IT) technologies that the NEM initiative is targeting should lead to new services such as being able to watch the same TV programme on multiple formats, including in-car, portable devices and computer screens, or being able to share pictures, music or video content seamlessly within a community of people no matter where they are located.
Ms Reding told the assembled European stakeholders in Brussels: 'I am convinced that before the end of this decade, the long-awaited technological convergence between communication infrastructures, media content, and electronic equipment will have been completed. A major part of my new policy initiative i2010 aims to foster this process so as to create new market opportunities and jobs as well as a more diverse offer for consumers.'
She continued: 'Industry players must closely work together across the sectors to make sure that technological progress can generate these benefits along the entire value chain of the digital economy. I am confident that the networked and electronic media Technology Platform can make a significant contribution to this important process.'
The NEM Technology Platform addresses a market estimated to be worth 600 billion euro in 2005, providing more than 1.5 million jobs in Europe. The platform claims that by implementing its vision, this figure could be doubled to 3 million jobs by 2015, but warns that Europe will need to invest some 3.5 billion euro between 2007 and 2013 in order to foster significant growth in this area.
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