New ICT Research and Innovation Strategy - Commission calls for doubling funding

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) represent 12 million jobs in Europe and the ICT sector represents 6% of EU GDP, driving innovation and competitiveness in all sectors of the economy. But there is an important gap between what Europe produces and what it consumes as the largest global ICT consumer in this knowledge-intensive field.

EU investment to strengthen innovative ICT is not only smaller than the one of its competitors but also heavily fragmented. Public and private investment in ICT research in Europe is less than half that of the US and the EU attracts five times less venture capital than the US.

Against this background, the European Commission has published a new ICT Research and Innovation Strategy proposing to mobilise resources in three interlinked ways:

- In the next decade Europe should double its investments in ICT research and innovation. The EC will increase the annual funding available under the ICT priority from €1.1 in 2010 to €1.7 billion in 2013. Member States should match this budget increase at national level.

- Europe should be the home for more world-class poles of excellence in ICT, making ICT research careers more attractive to bridge the current skills gap.

- The right conditions should be in place for new public private partnerships for ICT-based solutions that are competition and innovation friendly. ICT research and innovation should be integrated into EU policy areas with a significant socio-economic impact such as health, energy and transport with more collaboration between users and producers.

This new strategy is part of the Commission's response to the recommendations of the Aho Panel's evaluation of ICT research and development in the EU's overall research programme.

More information and the full text of the communication can be found in the related EC press release.