Brussels, 24 May 2005
The European Commission is financing a new Europe-wide Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) project aimed at helping new Member States to build e-business and e-work expertise.
Focusing on Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania and Malta, the IST-BONUS project will assist companies, universities, consultants and national contact centres to improve their research facilities. Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania are also part of the project.
Germany, the UK and Greece are the three 'old' Member States involved in supporting the new Member States and the candidate countries in identifying appropriate projects, forming research partnerships and project consortia, and benefiting from the EU funding opportunities in order to develop new technologies, products and applications in the areas of e-business and e-work.
The aim is to upgrade the participation of these countries in the IST (information society technologies) priority of FP6 and FP7, both in quantitative and qualitative terms. E-business and e-work have been chosen as focus areas as they can significantly impact upon Europe's competitiveness, sustainability and societal cohesion.
It is hoped that IST-BONUS will facilitate the transition of competent organisations from the new Member States and the candidate countries from 'research followers' to 'research leaders' able to coordinate European projects.
'This two-year project brings together research experience with research potential,' explains Maurice Mulvenna, a senior lecturer in computer science from the University of Ulster in the UK. He will be responsible for providing practical information on how to improve participation in EU research.
'We value new links with other European research organisations, companies and universities. They are of increasing importance in an enlarged Europe, from the perspectives of research synergies and access to new student markets,' added Gerry McAllister, head of the Ulster University School of Computing and Mathematics.