The 'Information Society Technology 2006' conference and exhibition, organised in Helsinki in November 2006, was the opportunity for the European Commission to present its 7th framework programme (FP7) to the European IST research community.
The European Commission announced that it would invest over 9 billion in research on Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) within FP7 that will run until 2013. By allocating the largest single budget item in FP7 to this priority, the European Commission is acknowledging the strategic importance of ICT for Europe's growth and competitiveness.
Over 4,500 members of the IST research community were present in Helsinki to discuss the new framework programme and the strategic priorities for fundamental and applied ICT research throughout FP7.
ERCIM European Projects at IST 2006
Several ERCIM projects were presented during IST 2006, in particular CoreGRID and ACGT. These two leading IST initiatives had a dedicated booth in the main exhibition hall.
CoreGRID (the European Research Network on Foundations, Software Infrastructures and Applications for large scale distributed, GRID and Peer-to-Peer Technologies), considered as a model for Networks of Excellence (NoE), promoted its activities and highlighted a strategic shift in Grid technology development, with Grid computing research effort progressively moving towards the industry and industrial applications.
The ACGT project (Advancing Clinico Genomic Trials on Cancer) was hosted on the 'HealthGrid'' booth. The project promoted the use of Grid technologies to support biomedical applications. A dedicated networking session was also organised to meet with other IST actors in e-health, with a special focus on grid applications to fight cancer.
ENGAGE (Encouraging and Stimulating future RTD cooperation in the field of Information Society Technologies between Europe and Asia-Pacific region) was presented on the EU-Asia Cooperation booth. This initiative supports the development of deeper IST research collaboration with Asia and Southeast Asia.
Other ERCIM initiatives had organised specific and well attended networking sessions, in particular:
MUSCLE: The Network dedicated to multimedia data mining and machine learning specifically presented its e-teams research integration effort (virtual labs) and its new showcasing activity destined to present MUSCLE technology to the industry.
DELOS: The NoE on Digital Libraries presented its activities and plans concerning architecture development of digital libraries of the future; search in multiple languages on data bases; and collaboration on digital archives, which will be initiated with CVCE (Centre Virtuel de la Connaissance sur l'Europe, a public undertaking on Europe's heritage).
The IST 2006 conference has reinforced ERCIM's image as a key player in the IST research community, not only in Europe, but also worldwide.
ERCIM is now looking forward to new partnerships and projects in FP7, and seems to be particularly well positioned across a wide array of IST priorities.
IST 2006: http://europa.eu.int/information_society/istevent/2006/index_en.htm
ERCIM projects: http://www.ercim.org/activity/projects/
Bruno Le Dantec, ERCIM office