Brussels, 09 Jul 2004
To select successful IST projects that will have a good uptake and downstream deployment of their results, ETNO believes that the appropriate involvement of major sector players is essential. The research ambitions of major European IST sector players are not adequately represented in the Integrated Project (IP) evaluation process. Specific evaluation criteria capturing the relevance of the proposals to the needs of the sector should be included and evaluation teams should have a higher proportion of industrial sector experts.
As for the IST Work Programme 2005 / 2006, a significant part of the budget should be dedicated to extend existing IPs in strategic objectives where major European sector players are well represented: Broadband for all, Mobile and wireless systems beyond 3G and Networked audio-visual systems and home platforms.
ETNO recommends that the 2005 / 2006 IST Work Programme must support a balanced mix of new and ongoing work. The Programme should also be flexible enough to take into account the lessons learned from the first phase of FP6.
If the benefits anticipated from Integrated Projects (IPs) initiated in the first two Calls are to be realised, the Work Programme must support the second phase plans of these IPs. To facilitate a smooth progression of existing work, Call 4 should primarily be used to extend IPs from Call 1, while Call 5 should be used for Call 2 IP extensions.
ETNO believes that the appropriate involvement of major sector players is essential for successful projects and for the uptake and deployment of their results.
Therefore, ETNO recommends that a significant part of the IST Work Programme 2005 / 2006 budget should be dedicated to extend existing IPs in the following strategic objectives where the major European sector players are well represented:
- Broadband for all
- Mobile and wireless systems beyond 3G
- Networked audio-visual systems and home platforms
Where existing IPs are not adequate in terms of major sector player involvement, resources should be made available to encourage more participation. The topic areas where this would be appropriate are:
In addition, the strategic objectives should be extended to address the following topics:
- Network security and resilience
- Audiovisual and home services convergence with the mobile world
- Identification and authentication management
More information is provided in annex for these topics.
As regards the "new instruments", ETNO supports the Integrated Project concept provided IPs are industry led, and a persistent impact is ensured through the involvement of major sector players. Networks of Excellence (NoE) have proved to be of much less value to industry. For some areas of the Framework Programme NoEs may be appropriate. However, for the IST programme IPs and Specific Targeted Research Projects (STREPs) are the preferred instruments. In the implementation of the 2005 / 2006 Work Programme ETNO recommends that there is no further provision for NoEs.
ETNO members feel more dissatisfied with FP6 processes in comparison to FP5. The major concern is that research ambitions of major European IST sector players are not adequately represented in the IP evaluation process. Specific evaluation criteria capturing the relevance of the proposals to the needs of the sector should be included.
In addition, to ensure that proposal evaluations are made with a real understanding of the economic implications and downstream potential, evaluation teams should have a higher proportion of industrial sector experts.
ETNO would welcome further discussion on these topics with the European Commission in advance of the fourth IST Call of FP6.