Eurochambres Position Paper on Information Technologies and Research

September 3, 2004

Brussels, 02 Sep 2004

  • EUROCHAMBRES call on the Commission to promote a greater involvement of SMEs and new Member State companies and proposes an alternative.
  • EUROCHAMBRES urges the European Commission to promote the development of digital signature and start the usage of electronic signatures in the on line procedures for managing research proposals and projects.

Q1. WHAT MIX OF INSTRUMENTS IS THOUGHT TO BE MOST APPROPRIATE FOR IST RTD UNDER FP7 AND WHY?

EUROCHAMBRES is unhappy about the instruments used under the IST FP6. The new instruments especially are discriminatory against SMEs:

  • SMEs are limited in their dynamic and innovative assets by the top-down approach of the new instruments.
  • SMEs cannot invest high amounts in R&D projects and consequently are given a marginal role in larger sized projects. This can be avoided in reducing the size of the projects.
  • SMEs cannot afford long term R&D because of the pressure to have return on investments. This can be avoided in offering a greater funding percentage for long term researches for SMEs.
  • SMEs cannot participate in lengthy exploratory phases preceding funding.
  • The strong encouragements to bring SMEs in the tenders have perverse consequences. SMEs are sometimes recruited late on for "marketing" reasons. The policy should rather be the other way round and encourage SMEs to be the driving force of the tender.

Additionally, the size of the projects generated by the new instruments is favorable to "sleeping partners". Nevertheless, the general objective to bring together critical mass of resources and expertise to increase Europe's competitiveness or at addressing major societal needs is valid. Therefore the instruments to be used should be more flexible. EUROCHAMBRES urges the Commission to promote a greater involvement of SMEs and new Member State companies and proposes an alternative. In order to promote the involvement of dynamic and innovative SMEs (and new Member States companies), the Commission should reduce the size of the projects. The critical mass of resources and expertise to create a valuable impact can be achieved in networking the small but efficient projects. Indeed, the funded small consortium could be encouraged to cluster under 1 or 2 supra projects (networks of excellence or integration of projects).

The way of structuring those supra projects should be further evaluated. A first phase could be organizing the relevant matchmaking between projects 2 . A second phase could be drafting of common strategy within the created supra project in respect of the Framework Programme main objectives. The following phase could be the exchange of expertise and flexible collaboration between partners.

Q2. HAVE SPECIFIC RESEARCH PARTNERS OR COMMUNITIES RELEVANT FOR IST RTD BEEN OVERLOOKED OR FOR OTHER REASONS NOT BEEN PRESENT IN THE PROGRAMME UNDER FP5 OR FP6? HOW COULD THEY BE BETTER INVOLVED IN THE FUTURE?
EUROCHAMBRES does not have comments on this issue.

Q3. WHAT MEASURES CAN STRENGTHEN THE EUROPEAN RESEARCH AREA IN THE FIELD OF IST RELATED RTD?
EUROCHAMBRES does not have comments on this issue.

Q4. WHAT MEASURES COULD IMPROVE THE SYNERGIES OF IST RTD WITH OTHER INFORMATION SOCIETY POLICIES?
EUROCHAMBRES does not have comments on this issue.

Q5. WHAT SUGGESTIONS CAN BE MADE FOR RECOMMENDATIONS RELATING TO IPR AND STANDARDIZATION THAT WOULD INCREASE THE IMPACT OF THE IST PRIORITY?
EUROCHAMBRES does not have comments on this issue.

Q6. WHAT SUGGESTION CAN BE MADE FOR RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE GOVERNANCE OF THE FUTURE PROGRAMME?

EUROCHAMBRES welcomes the promotion of IT tools to facilitate the submission of FP6 tender and the innovative role played by the IST Unit in this respect. We believe indeed that public authorities, in developing eGovernment tools, foster the development of eBusiness activities.

Therefore, EUROCHAMBRES encourages the European Commission to go one step further in promoting the development of digital signature and start the usage of electronic signatures in the on line procedures for managing proposals and projects (beginning with research projects). Digital signatures are underused for the moment although being vital for the development of eBusiness. We are confronted with the chicken and egg problem: users are not using the tool because the critical mass of users has not been reached. We believe that public authorities should be the principal vector.

It is clear that electronic signatures shouldn't be imposed to all in order to avoid creating a divide based on the use of technologies. Further on, some participants from non EU countries could have a lack in their legislation. It should nevertheless be an alternative to the paper process like financial statements which require periodic submission. Important cost and time savings could be made by companies and the Commission. The European Union started in drafting the Electronic Signatures Directive 1999/93/CE . We believe that 5 years after, the Commission should show its commitment to go one step further and motivate companies to step forward.

Eurochambres
Item source: http://www.eurochambres.be/pp/EUROCHAMBR ES%20-%20Consultation%20IST%20and%20RD.pdf

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Get a month's unlimited access to THE content online. Just register and complete your career summary.

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments