Tag Archives: New technology

Impact of the e-Economy on European enterprises

Impact of the e-Economy on European enterprises

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Impact of the e-Economy on European enterprises

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Information society > Digital Strategy i2010 Strategy eEurope Action Plan Digital Strategy Programmes

Impact of the e-Economy on European enterprises

This communication analyses the impact of information and communication technologies on European companies and the European market. The objective is to support the full introduction of the e-Economy in Europe.

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament – The impact of the e-Economy on European enterprises: economic analysis and policy implications [COM(2001) 711 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Background

Information and communication technologies (ICT) are having a profound impact on the potential for economic growth and have become one of the main sources of competitiveness and increases in incomes. As a result, they have moved to the centre of the policy debate. When in March 2000, in Lisbon, the European Union (EU) set itself the ambitious target of becoming the world’s “most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy” within ten years, it recognised that attaining this goal depended on making the best possible use of ICT. The Lisbon strategy placed greater emphasis on the knowledge-based society within existing policy processes and launched the eEurope 2002 Action Plan as a roadmap to modernise the European economy.

The emergence of the e-Economy: macro and microeconomic issues

It is generally accepted that, atmacroeconomic level, the increased use of ICT leads to productivity gains and hence improves the competitiveness of enterprises and the economy as a whole. ICT-induced productivity gains are also a source of job creation in certain sectors – whereas jobs may be destroyed in others. ICT use does away with repetitive jobs often carried out by workers with low-level skills. The overall dynamism resulting from ICT use leads to job creation in other areas to an extent that more than offsets the losses.

In this context, the matching of skills poses a major challenge for the design and conduct of the labour market. The ICT skills gap is a major risk hampering further growth in Europe. The situation is particularly sensitive in Europe due to declining demographic trends and the decreasing level of interest of young Europeans in scientific studies.

Atmicroeconomic level, the e-Economy is leading to important changes in organisational market structures. The faster pace of technological change is having a major impact on the structure and lifecycle of enterprises. Firstly, ICT reduces the economic impact of distance and the cost of access to information, thus increasing the scope for competition within markets. Secondly, ICT often tends to lower the cost of setting up small enterprises thus, potentially, providing for additional competition. Thirdly, ICT creates the opportunity for new cooperative means of product and service delivery, which can lead to improved quality and cost efficiency. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, ICT gives rise to many new products and services.

The process of creating new enterprises and of adapting or replacing traditional enterprises is indicative of the way the economy adapts to new market conditions. This process has accelerated considerably since the late 1990s. Products are increasingly becoming “extended products” which include an important service component. Internet-oriented enterprises are starting to acquire the characteristics of traditional enterprises, such as warehouses and chains of shops. Conversely, traditional retailers are starting to move part of their activities on-line, adding new distribution channels and new sourcing strategies.

The impact of ICT varies, however, from sector to sector. Information-rich sectors (digital goods, information services, financial and business services, etc.) witness the emergence of new business models and increased market competition. In industries where entry barriers are higher, such as construction and heavy engineering, the impact is likely to be more gradual. Digital interactions between administrations and business are key components of the e-Economy. By offering online access to public services, administrations can add concrete, direct incentives for enterprises to go digital themselves.

One characteristic of the e-Economy is the emergence of new business models. A substantial number of these have failed, along with many “dotcoms”. Others however, have proved to be viable, notably in the business-to-business (B2B) area. Entering the e-Economy at a more mature stage may constitute an opportunity rather than a disadvantage for EU enterprises which have learnt from the mistakes of pioneers. Enterprises can now use tried and tested technologies, as well as viable business models – more specifically B2C (business-to-consumer) whose potential has still to be tapped.

E-Economy enterprises increasingly need to define and manage the risks associated with extended and dynamic enterprise configuration – not just the risks associated with the information infrastructure but also, and especially, those relating to access to adequate financial resources. Although the situation is improving, the EU venture capital market remains only a fraction of that of the US, where pension funds play a major role. Early stage investments in 2000 were five times higher in the US than in Europe. The financial environment in Europe is still insufficiently conducive to innovation, both technological and organisational. In this respect, the European Investment Bank with its “Innovation 2000” initiative and the Commission under the Action Plan on financial services and the multiannual programme for enterprises and entrepreneurship (2001-2006) and the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) (2007-2013) have takenn initiatives to contribute to the supply of risk capital for innovative businesses.

Maximising the benefits of the e-Economy: the next steps

This Communication highlights the steps that will have to be taken to maximise the benefits arising to European enterprises from the e-Economy. These steps encompass:

  • the fostering of a culture of entrepreneurship;
  • enhancing the ICT skills levels needed to participate effectively in the e-Economy;
  • raising the ability of European enterprises to compete in a modern global economy;
  • further improving the functioning of the internal market.

Skills underpin entrepreneurship. Both issues are tightly interrelated. The problem of the skills gap (entrepreneurial skills and technical ICT skills) has been addressed through a number of initiatives, notably in the European Employment Strategy and in the eLearning Action Plan (2001-2004). Taking into account these challenges, there is a need to:

  • accelerate the development of focused skills programmes and e-learning solutions;
  • strengthen research efforts not only in the area of technology, but also with regard to related socio-economic issues and to the effects on human resources;
  • strengthen on-going initiatives at all levels to help enterprises, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), acquire ICT and e-business skills;
  • monitor the demand for ICT and e-business skills in Europe, benchmark national policies, and strengthen co-operation and co-ordination at the European level;
  • launch focused projects in 2002, in close co-operation with Member States and the private sector, which aim to address the specific needs of enterprises, particularly SMEs.

The simplification and harmonisation activities undertaken at European level up to now should be continued in order to enable rapid development of pan-European businesses and fair trade in both the B2B and B2C environments. On the other hand, it is necessary to continue to review existing product legislation, in particular certification requirements and procedures to ensure that they are neutral between different means of product and service delivery.

Not all problems, however, can be resolved by legislation alone. Self-regulation should play an important role in promoting trust between partners in electronic transactions. Public policy should be aimed at raising credibility for self-regulation and at ensuring that codes of conduct are respected, through the availability, if needs be, of legal remedies.

In Europe, the e-Economy depends to a significant extent on the full participation of SMEs. The eEurope Go Digital initiative provided a first response to this challenge. It aimed to ensure that European enterprises, and in particular SMEs, fully embraced e-business and became active participants in the e-Economy. It is therefore necessary to:

  • foster open standards and certification procedures;
  • reinforce the security of networks and of information;
  • contribute to reinforcing legal certainty for SMEs engaging in cross border e-business;
  • optimise the use of existing resources, such as structural funds and research and technological development (RTD) budgets.

Exchanges between business and public administrations are a potentially powerful driving force for the e-Economy. This communication encourages public administrations to be at the leading edge of on-line service delivery, and to provide incentives for enterprises to access such services. Public administrations are also urged to continue these efforts to modernise their internal structure, by fostering, for example, the delivery of online services. The aim is to ensure broad interoperability both across borders and between administrations and business.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission of 13 March 2001 – eEurope 2002: Impact and Priorities

[COM(2001) 140 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission of 13 March 2001 – Helping SMEs to “Go Digital” [COM(2001) 136 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Councilof 20 December 2000 on a multiannual programme for enterprise and entrepreneurship, and in particular for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) (2001-2005) [Official Journal L 333 of 29.12.2000].

 

ENIAC

ENIAC

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about ENIAC

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Research and innovation > Research in support of other policies

ENIAC

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 72/2008 of 20 December 2007 setting up the ENIAC Joint Undertaking.

Summary

The ENIAC Joint Undertaking implements the Joint Technology Initiative (JTI) on nanoelectronics with a view to developing information and communication technologies. This public-private partnership aims to support investments in this area, sources of innovation and competitiveness. The JTI on nanoelectronics is thus also part of the European Research Area (ERA) and contributes to research and development (R&D).

Based in Brussels, the Joint Undertaking is a Community body with legal personality. It was set up for a period extending until 31 December 2017. The founding members of the Joint Undertaking are the Community, Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the AENEAS association, which represents companies and other R&D actors operating in the field of nanoelectronics. The ENIAC Joint Undertaking is open to new members. Up to now, Austria, the Czech Republic and Norway have joined the list of members.

Objectives

The ENIAC Joint Undertaking is to contribute to the implementation of the Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration activities (Seventh Framework Programme) in the field of nanoelectronics. One of its key objectives is to encourage the development of essential skills by means of a research programme and to support its activities. It is thus aimed at encouraging European competitiveness as well as the emergence of new markets and new social applications. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are also encouraged to participate.

The Joint Undertaking also aims to promote cooperation and the coordination of Community and national efforts, both public and private, in order to support R&D and investment: concentrating efforts will, in particular, make it possible to ensure that better use is made of results.

Operation

The Joint Undertaking consists of the following bodies:

  • The governing board, made up of representatives of the members of the ENIAC Joint Undertaking and the chairperson of the industry and research committee. It ensures the smooth running of the organisation and supervises the implementation of its activities;
  • The executive director, appointed for a three-year period by the governing board, is the main person responsible for day-to-day management and is the legal representative of the Joint Undertaking;
  • The public authorities board, made up of the public authorities of the Joint Undertaking which appoints their representatives and their lead delegate. Its role includes approving the scope and the launch of calls for proposals and deciding on the selection and financing of accepted proposals;
  • The industry and research committee, comprising a maximum of 25 members, is appointed by the AENEAS association. It is responsible in particular for drawing up the multiannual strategic plan and for drafting proposals concerning the Joint Undertaking’s strategy.

ENIAC’s resources consist of contributions from members and from the Community as well as revenue generated by ENIAC itself. Any legal entity that is not a member may make a contribution to ENIAC’s resources either in cash or in kind.

ENIAC’s costs consist of:

  • Operating costs, borne by its members. AENEAS also makes a contribution of up to EUR 20 million or at most 1 % of the sum of total costs for all projects. The Community’s contribution may not exceed the sum of EUR 10 million. ENIAC Member States make a contribution in kind;
  • R&D activities. The Community makes a contribution of up to EUR 440 million. The financial contributions of ENIAC Member States, equivalent to at least 1.8 times the contribution made by the Community, do not pass through the Joint Undertaking but are paid directly to the research and development bodies participating in the projects. Furthermore, those same bodies make contributions in kind whose value is equivalent to at least half the total cost of R&D activities.

R&D activities are implemented by means of projects launched as a result of competitive calls for proposals. These projects are financed by financial contributions from the Community and from participating Member States and by contributions in kind from the research and development bodies participating in the Joint Undertaking’s projects.

As a Community initiative, the Joint Undertaking and its staff are covered by Community legislation. In particular, the Court of Justice of the European Communities is the authority responsible for ruling on any proceedings between members and on proceedings brought against the ENIAC Joint Undertaking. The Commission and the Court of Auditors carry out checks on recipients of any Joint Undertaking finance.

Background

The Lisbon Agenda for Growth and Jobs placed emphasis on investment in the fields of knowledge and innovation. Therefore the JTIs, public-private partnerships implemented by Joint Undertakings, have been initiated under the Seventh Framework Programme. These JTIs stem from the work of European Technology Platforms set up under the Sixth Framework Programme.

With the “ENIAC” initiative, five other JTIs are planned in the following sectors: embedded computing systems (ARTEMIS), innovative medicines (IMI), aeronautics and air transport (CLEAN SKY), hydrogen and fuel cells (FUEL CELL), and Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES).

References

Act Entry into force Timescale for transposition into Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No. 72/2008

7.2.2008

OJ L 30, 4.2.2008

ARTEMIS

ARTEMIS

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about ARTEMIS

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Research and innovation > Research in support of other policies

ARTEMIS

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 74/2008 of 20 December 2007 on the establishment of the ARTEMIS Joint Undertaking to implement a Joint Technology Initiative in Embedded Computing Systems

Summary

From mobile phones to bank cards, cars and planes, integrated computing devices have become part and parcel of our daily lives.

They also represent a growing share in the value of finished goods in many key industrial sectors.

According to recent statistics, these technologies represent a true growth market:

  • 98 % of computers are integrated in other devices;
  • over 4 billion embedded systems were sold in 2007;
  • the world market comes to EUR 60 billion and is continuing to grow at an annual rate of 14 %;
  • by 2010, it is expected that over 16 billion embedded computers will be in circulation (over 40 billion by 2020).

The European Union (EU) has this market in its sights, focusing its efforts on a new Joint Undertaking, known as ARTEMIS.

The ARTEMIS Joint Undertaking implements the Joint Technology Initiative (JTI) on Embedded Computing Systems.

This public-private partnership aims essentially to support the co-financing of research initiatives at European level and to improve cooperation between the various operators in the sector.

Based in Brussels, the Joint Undertaking is a Community body with legal personality. It has been set up for a period up to 31 December 2017. The founding members of the Joint Undertaking are the Community (represented by the Commission), Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Finland, Sweden, the United Kingdom and ARTEMISIA, an association representing companies and research and development (R&D) organisations active in the field of embedded computing systems. The ARTEMIS Joint Undertaking is open to new members.

Objectives

ARTEMIS contributes to the implementation of the Specific Programme “Cooperation” of the Seventh Framework Research and Development Programme (7th FRDP).

It aims in particular:

  • to define and implement a “Research Agenda” for the development of key technologies for embedded computing systems;
  • to provide financial support for various R&D activities;
  • to promote a public-private partnership favouring convergence of Community and national efforts (public and private), investments, and collaboration between the various sectors involved;
  • to improve the coordination of R&D efforts in the field of embedded computing systems;
  • to encourage the involvement of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Functioning

The Joint Undertaking bodies are:

  • the Governing Board, which consists of representatives of the members of the ARTEMIS Joint Undertaking and the Chairperson of the Industry and Research Committee, has responsibility for the operations of the Joint Undertaking and oversees the implementation of its activities;
  • the Executive Director is appointed for a three-year period by the Governing Board, is responsible for the day-to-day management and is the legal representative of the Joint Undertaking;
  • the Public Authorities Board consists of the public authorities of the Joint Undertaking, each of which appoints its representatives and a lead delegate. Its tasks include approving the scope and the launch of calls for proposals and deciding the selection and funding of the proposals selected;
  • the Industry and Research Committee consists of a maximum of twenty-five members appointed by the ARTEMISIA association. Its tasks include preparing the draft Multiannual Strategic Plan and making proposals regarding the strategy of the Joint Undertaking.

The ARTEMIS resources are made up of contributions from the members and the Community and revenue generated by ARTEMIS itself. Any legal entity which is not a member may make in-kind or cash contributions to the ARTEMIS resources.

The ARTEMIS costs consist of:

  • running costs, borne by its members. ARTEMISIA also makes a contribution of up to EUR 20 million or up to 1 % of the sum of the total cost of all projects. The Community contribution may not exceed EUR 10 million. The ARTEMIS Member States make in-kind contributions;
  • R&D activities. The Community makes a contribution of up to EUR 410 million. The financial contributions from the ARTEMIS Member States amount to at least 1.8 times the Community’s financial contribution and do not pass through the Joint Undertaking, but are paid directly to the research and development organisations participating in the projects. Furthermore, the same bodies make in-kind contributions to the projects, the total value of which over the duration of the Joint Undertaking is equal to or greater than the contribution of the public authorities.

The R&D activities are implemented by means of projects launched following open and competitive calls for proposals. These projects are funded by financial contributions from the Community and the participating Member States and by in-kind contributions by the research and development organisations participating in the projects of the Joint Undertaking.

As a Community initiative, Community legislation applies to the Joint Undertaking, including its staff. The Court of Justice of the European Communities has jurisdiction in any dispute between the members and in actions brought against the ARTEMIS Joint Undertaking. The Commission and the Court of Auditors carry out checks among the recipients of the Joint Undertaking’s funding.

Background

The Lisbon Agenda for Growth and Jobs placed the emphasis on investment in knowledge and innovation. In this respect, JTIs, which are public-private partnerships implemented by joint undertakings, have been set up under the 7th FRDP. These JTIs stem from the work of European Technology Platforms set up under the 6th FRDP.

In addition to the “ARTEMIS” initiative, five other JTIs are planned in nano-electronics (ENIAC), innovative medicines (IMI), aeronautics and air transport (CLEAN SKY), hydrogen and fuel cells (FUEL CELL), and global monitoring for environment and security (GMES).

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 74/2008 [adoption: consultation CNS/ 2007/ 088] 7.2.2008 OJ L 30 of 4.2.2008

Media literacy in the digital environment

Media literacy in the digital environment

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Media literacy in the digital environment

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Audiovisual and media

Media literacy in the digital environment

Document or Iniciative

Commission Recommendation 2009/625/EC of 20 August 2009 on media literacy in the digital environment for a more competitive audiovisual and content industry and an inclusive knowledge society.

Summary

This Recommendation aims to increase media literacy in the digital environment in order to achieve a more competitive knowledge economy while contributing towards a more inclusive information society.

Definition

Media literacy is defined as the ability to access the media, and to understand and critically evaluate different aspects of the media and media content. Media literacy also includes the ability to communicate in a variety of contexts.

Barriers

There are still many barriers to the development of media literacy at European level. Member States still lack a shared vision in this area. In addition, the lack of visibility of national, regional and local initiatives in this area makes it more difficult to foster European networks. Consequently, for the moment, there is no coordination between stakeholders.

Challenges

Media literacy should enable European citizens to better understand and analyse the media messages and content they encounter and to acquire the skills which will enable them to play their role of citizen fully.

It may also contribute to safeguarding the pluralism and independence of the media. It permits the expression of diverse opinions from different social groups and promotes the development of the values of tolerance and dialogue.

Media literacy also plays an important role in enhancing awareness of the European audiovisual heritage and cultural identities. In fact, it helps to increase knowledge of and interest in recent European cultural works.

Faced with these challenges, the European Commission proposes encouraging research projects on media literacy in the framework of existing programmes.

Recommended action

Member States are invited to develop and implement co-regulatory initiatives leading to the adoption of codes of conduct relating to the European media.

It is important to promote and finance research, studies and projects covering the different aspects and dimensions of media literacy in the digital environment.

Member States are also encouraged to organise debates in conferences and public events with a view to the inclusion of media literacy in the education curriculum and as part of the provision of key competences for lifelong learning.

Member States should also implement national campaigns to raise public awareness of cultural heritage, as well as training to raise awareness of the risks involved in processing personal data through information and communication networks.

Moreover, the Media Industry is invited to suggest tools for improving the level of media literacy, such as:

  • information tools relating to digital content and search engines;
  • awareness-raising campaigns about techniques used for commercial communication purposes (product placement and online advertising);
  • information packs for young people on the processing of personal data;
  • information days on the creative economy and copyright.

Background

The Commission Communication of December 2007 on ‘A European approach to media literacy in the digital environment’ emphasised the importance of media literacy in relation to commercial communication, audiovisual works and digital content. A better level of media literacy would contribute towards the objectives that the European Union set for itself in Lisbon and in the context of the i2010 initiative.

ICT infrastructures for e-science

ICT infrastructures for e-science

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about ICT infrastructures for e-science

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Information society > Internet Online activities and ICT standards

ICT infrastructures for e-science

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – ICT infrastructures for e-science [COM(2009) 108 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This Communication aims at developing the infrastructure of information and communication technologies (ICTs), also known as “e-Infrastructures”, in the area of e-science.

The potential of e-Infrastructures

The performance of information technology is constantly improving with regard to computation capacity, storage capacity and network speed. It allows new needs to be met in terms of modelling and simulation in sectors such as research into climate change or targeted healthcare but generates problems when designing e-Infrastructures.

It is therefore necessary to adopt ICTs to each phase of the scientific process, so that researchers can work together efficiently. This adoption will also allow the scope of research to be extended, which should generate, in the long term, a scientific renaissance and contribute to the success of the Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs.

The current position of e-Infrastructures

The European Commission’s Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development has promoted the development and deployment of e-Infrastructures, in order to strengthen scientific excellence, and to promote innovation and industrial competitiveness.

 GEANT is the world’s largest multi-gigabit communication network for researchers and educators. In Europe, GEANT is widely used and connects 34 National Research and Education Networks (NRENs).

E-science grids (devoted to subjects such as high-energy physics and bioinformatics) are also present in Europe, in particular through EGEE which operates a multi-disciplinary grid with over 80 000 computers on 300 sites in 50 countries worldwide.

Scientific data necessitates new tools and methods. Projects are being developed in Europe so that all scientific content resources are accessible through e-Infrastructure services.

A new supercomputer infrastructure has been identified by ESFRI as a priority to improve European scientific performance and meet socio-economic challenges. The combined action of Member States and the Commission will generate the creation of PRACE, a new European e-Infrastructure dedicated to high-performance computing.

Global Virtual Research Communities are growing fast, which is opening up new perspectives for collaboration in the field of research on a worldwide scale.

European strategy for e-Infrastructures

The Commission proposes a renewed strategy to meet the challenges of e-science for 2020 and beyond. Three interrelated vectors are key to this strategy:

  • attaining worldwide leadership in e-science;
  • establishing e-Infrastructures;
  • exploiting these e-Infrastructures in order to promote innovation.

GEANT must continue to increase its performance in collaboration with NRENs, so as to facilitate access to resources and equipment for researchers, educators and students. Both developed and developing regions must be covered. In this regard, Member States must prioritise the use of GEANT as an experimental platform.

Industry is to be invited to use European e-Science grids. To this end, Member States must develop National Grid Initiatives (NGIs). The European Commission plans to facilitate interaction between European e-Science grids and global grids.

Access to scientific information must be improved by developing data-centric science. Member States thus have a duty to invest in the field of scientific data infrastructures and exchange best practice.

A new generation of supercomputing facilities must be implemented. The European Union must comply with the ESFRI objectives which aim to achieve peta-flop performance by 2010 and move towards exa-scale computing in 2020. Research and development in software and hardware must therefore be intensified so as to implement supercomputers. The preparatory work carried out by PRACE is a starting point for Member States that are also invited to invest in associated research fields. In the mid-term, the Commission will prepare a European scientific agenda in the field of supercomputing, covering the components, systems, software and services required.

Member States are also requested to fully exploit infrastructures to serve science and research. The objective is to host global virtual research communities.

Context

A new vision for the European Research Area based on the free movement of knowledge (the “fifth freedom”) was defined at the 2008 Ljubljana Council meeting. Moreover, the Aho Report of May 2008 highlighted the importance of developing infrastructures that would allow e-science to be disseminated. This indeed represents a new scientific revolution. It is essential for the European Union to be at the cutting edge of innovation in this field.

Internet of Things

Internet of Things

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Internet of Things

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Information society > Internet Online activities and ICT standards

Internet of Things

2 emissions through the development in particular of health monitoring systems, connected trees and cars. The interconnection of physical objects will generate a genuine paradigm shift for society.

Document or Iniciative

Communication of 18 June 2009 from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – Internet of Things: an action plan for Europe [COM(2009) 0278 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This Communication presents the perspectives and challenges for the development of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Definition and existing applications of IoT

IoT is composed of a series of new independent systems operating with their own infrastructures which are partly based on existing Internet infrastructures. IoT can be implemented in symbiosis with new services. It covers three types of communication which can be established in restricted areas (‘intranet of things’) or made publicly accessible (‘Internet of things’):

  • things-to-person;
  • thing-to-thing;
  • Machine-to-Machine (M2M).

IoT currently covers several applications such as:

  • web-enabled mobile phones equipped with cameras;
  • unique serial numbers or bar-codes on pharmaceutical products;
  • smart electrical metering systems which provide a consumption report in real time;
  • ‘intelligent objects’ in the logistics sector (eFreight), manufacturing or retail.

The challenges of public governance

According to the European Commission, policymakers should also participate in the development of IoT alongside the private sector. Some challenges are indeed policy-related, as highlighted by the World Summit on the Information Society, which encourages IoT governance designed and exercised in a coherent manner with all the public policy activities related to Internet Governance.

Many questions concerning the implementation of the connection of objects arise such as:

  • object naming;
  • the authority responsible for assigning the identifier;
  • ways to find information about the object;
  • how information security is ensured;
  • the ethical and legal framework of IoT;
  • control mechanisms.

Faced with these challenges, the Commission proposes to prepare a set of principles underlying the governance of IoT, as well as a decentralised management structure.

Principles underlying the governance of IoT

The development of IoT must not take place to the detriment of privacy and personal data protection. In this regard, the Commission intends to publish a Communication on privacy and trust in the information society, as well as launching a debate on the freedom for individuals to disconnect from a network at any time.

In order to safeguard information security, the Commission proposes to step up monitoring and protection of critical information infrastructure.

Regarding standardisation, the Commission considers it sensible to take advantage of the deployment of Ipv6, making it possible to directly address objects. The Commission also intends to assess existing standards mandates which may include some issues related to IoT, or create others if necessary.

In the field of research and development, IoT represents a considerable challenge, insofar as it is related to wide societal problems. In this regard, the Commission will fund research projects in the field of IoT under the Seventh Framework Programme. Furthermore, IoT may also have a role to play in the four public-private partnerships set up by the Commission in the following areas:

  • ‘green cars’;
  • ‘energy-efficient buildings’;
  • ‘factories of the future’;
  • ‘Future Internet’.

These research activities are to be supplemented by the launch of pilot projects under the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP). These pilots should help to promote activities related to e-health, e-accessibility, climate change, or helping to bridge the digital divide.

The international aspect is also essential, insofar as the Commission intends to intensify dialogue with its international partners in order to establish benchmarks for common principles in the field of IoT.

Waste recycling should be facilitated by the implementation of IoT through tags which will make objects easier to distinguish during the process.

The Commission is currently concentrating its work more particularly on the availability of appropriate radio spectrum resources and on electromagnetic fields.

Context

The Internet has reached a turning point in its development. A network of interconnected computers is to evolve into a network of interconnected objects such as books, cars or electrical appliances. Although IoT is not yet actually implemented, this Communication gives an indication of the technology to come over the next 15 years.

This summary is for information only. It is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document, which remains the only binding legal text.

Satellite navigation applications

Satellite navigation applications

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Satellite navigation applications

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Transport > Intelligent transport and navigation by satellite

Satellite navigation applications

Document or Iniciative

Green Paper of 12 December 2006 on Satellite Navigation Applications [COM(2006) 769 final – Not published in the Official Journal]

Summary

The market in products and services generated by the introduction of satellite navigation is forecast to reach 400 billion by 2025. Galileo, a flagship programme of European space policy, together with Egnos, is part of the GNSS (global navigation satellite system) providing a range of positioning, navigation and timing services.

The Green Paper also underscores the Commission’s aim of fostering innovation in the wider context of the Lisbon strategy, under which the public sector should promote the EU’s competitiveness at world level.

The Green Paper outlines the sectors set to benefit from the introduction of the Galileo system as a result of the large number of applications that it will be possible to develop. The areas of application for satellite navigation include:

  • location-based services and emergency calls: through the integration of the Galileo system’s receivers in a large number of devices such as mobile phones, location-based services and personal mobility are the main markets for satellite navigation. Customers will be able to access specific “vicinity” information (the nearest hospital or the best way to a restaurant, etc.);
  • road transport: this area also covers a wide range of applications, from navigation devices to automatic toll systems, safety applications and pay-per-use insurance. Galileo thus ties in with the eSafety initiative, which includes a wide range of applications that could make use of accurate vehicle positioning;
  • rail transport: railway infrastructure includes signalling and train location systems, mainly installed at track side. These are gradually being replaced by the ERTMS/ETCS systems. Galileo will help to improve the safety of train speed control and operating systems;
  • maritime, inland waterway and fisheries navigation: the efficiency, safety and optimisation of marine transportation can benefit from satellite navigation. Galileo should provide benefits for safety applications, safety improvements and automatic identification systems (AISs). It can also be used for port approaches. Directive 2005/44/EC recommends the use of satellite positioning technologies for vessel tracking and tracing in inland waterway transport;
  • air transport: satellite navigation opens up highly interesting prospects in this field. The analyses point to strong growth in air traffic up to 2025. The accuracy and integrity of the Galileo system will enable the use of existing airports to be optimised. The SESAR joint undertaking, which implements the legal framework laid down in the single European sky regulations, will also rely on satellite navigation;
  • civil protection, emergency management and humanitarian aid: helping people after earthquakes, floods, tsunamis and other natural or man-made disasters requires the location of people, assets and resources. Satellite navigation should shorten the response times of rescue services and optimise their deployment;
  • dangerous goods: the legal framework will need to be updated to take account of the many options that Galileo will offer. In the event of problems, satellite navigation can also improve emergency response;
  • livestock transport: every year millions of animals are transported in the European Union. Traceability of livestock is of paramount importance to prevent sanitary fraud, ensure food safety and protect animal welfare. Regulation (EC) No 1/2005, which lays down the requirements for the transport of animals, requires the use of satellite navigation systems in all new trucks for long journeys;
  • agriculture, parcel measurement, geodesy and cadastral survey: 11 million farmers grow crops on 110 million hectares of land in the EU. The location and size of parcels are key data for use in information exchange, whether for commercial purposes or applying for subsidies. Monitoring payments under the common agricultural policy requires increasingly detailed information. Farmers also make use of satellite navigation to optimise crops, reduce fertiliser and pesticide inputs and ensure effective use of land and water. Satellite navigation systems can also simplify and improve the quality of data collection in geodesy and cadastral surveys;
  • energy, oil and gas: industry makes extensive use of satellite navigation systems for exploration and exploitation. The safety and security of oil and gas transport can also benefit from the positioning functions offered by Galileo. It can also improve the synchronisation of electricity distribution networks;
  • search and rescue services: by allowing near real-time reception of distress messages from anywhere on Earth with precise location information and contact between rescue centres and people in distress, Galileo will facilitate rescue operations and reduce the rate of false alarms. This also has implications for the fight against illegal immigration and the ability to rescue migrants in distress at sea;
  • a wide range of other applications: these include logistics, the environment, science and the maintenance of public order: satellite navigation systems can also benefit the logistics sector and facilitate multimodality. Other sectors could not be covered in this Green Paper: public transport, public works and civil engineering, immigration and border control, police, monitoring of prisoners, biomass production and feedstock management, environmental management, medical applications and people with disabilities, scientific research, hunting, sports, tourism, waste disposal, etc.

Ethical and privacy issues

What impact will the development of satellite navigation systems have on privacy? The Green Paper points out that all the Member States of the European Union are signatories to the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees respect for “private and family life, home and correspondence”. Directive 2002/58/EC governs the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector.

The range of public action

The public authorities are encouraging the development of satellite navigation technologies. Measures have been taken in a number of areas including support for research and the adoption of the right regulatory framework. The areas of action are:

  • research and innovation;
  • cooperation between SMEs and the European business networks;
  • international cooperation;
  • standardisation, certification and liability;
  • safeguarding the radioelectrical frequency spectrum and promoting the allocation of new frequency bands;
  • protecting intellectual property rights;
  • adapting legislation to new technologies and innovation.

The Green Paper also contains a questionnaire as part of a consultation procedure. The replies will serve as a basis for drawing up recommendations to the Council and Parliament.

Action plan in favour of environmental technologies

Action plan in favour of environmental technologies

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Action plan in favour of environmental technologies

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Enterprise > Interaction between enterprise policy and other policies

Action plan in favour of environmental technologies

The European Union is adopting an action plan to promote environmental technologies (technologies whose use is less environmentally harmful than relevant alternatives) in order to reduce pressures on our natural resources, improve the quality of life of European citizens and stimulate economic growth. The action plan’s objectives are to remove the obstacles so as to tap the full potential of environmental technologies, to ensure that the EU takes a leading role in applying them and to mobilise all stakeholders in support of these objectives.

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 28 January 2004 entitled: “Stimulating technologies for sustainable development: an environmental technologies action plan for the European Union” [COM(2004) 38 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This action plan in favour of environmental technologies concerns technologies to manage pollution, less polluting and less resource-intensive products and services and ways to manage resources more efficiently. These environmentally friendly technologies pervade all economic activities and sectors. They cut costs and improve competitiveness by reducing energy and resource consumption and so creating fewer emissions and less waste.

Key factors in promoting the environmental technologies

The Commission identifies a number of factors which in its opinion are of importance when promoting environmental technologies and which underpin this action plan:

  • environmental technologies are very diverse and can be applied in all economic sectors;
  • many environmental technologies are under-used, because of among other things low consumer awareness of their benefits, difficult access to finance and market prices which do not reflect the environmental benefits;
  • targeted and effective incentives can contribute to the successful introduction of environmental technologies;
  • reducing uncertainty about future market developments would boost investment in environmental technologies;
  • the experience and commitment of the various stakeholders is vital in promoting environmental technologies;
  • the optimum use of policy and economic instruments (such as legislation, voluntary measures etc.) can accelerate the uptake of environmental technologies;
  • some of the measures which are needed to promote environmental technologies may not affect investment decisions immediately.

In Annex II to this communication, the Commission identifies the barriers to the development of environmentally friendly technologies. There are four types: economic, regulatory, technological and diffusion barriers.

Actions proposed in the plan

The actions proposed fall into three main areas according to their effect:

  • getting environmental technologies from research laboratories to markets;
  • improving market conditions to promote the adoption of environmental technologies;
  • promoting environmental technologies at global level.

In order to get environmental technologies from the research laboratories to the markets, three priority actions are proposed:

  • develop and focus research, demonstration and dissemination programmes;
  • establish technology platforms for environmental technologies;
  • establish European networks for standardisation, testing and performance verification related to environmental technologies.

To improve market conditions, the Commission is proposing among other things to:

  • set performance targets for the main products, services and processes;
  • use financial instruments (loans, risk capital, guarantee mechanisms) to share the risk of investing in environmental technologies;
  • review the guidelines on State aid;
  • revise subsidies which have a negative impact on the environment;
  • encourage the purchase of environmental technologies;
  • increase consumer and business awareness of environmental technologies;
  • organise targeted training in environmental technologies.

With a view to promoting environmental technologies at international level, the priority action proposed by the Commission seeks to encourage responsible investment in environmentally-friendly technologies, as well as the use of environmental technologies in developing countries and those undergoing economic transition.

Background

This Action Plan is based on the results of extensive stakeholder consultations and an assessment of the barriers hindering the development of environmental technologies.

The Action Plan will be implemented in synergy with the Lisbon Process and the 6th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development.

Related Acts

Following up the Action Plan

Communication from the Commission of 27 January 2005: Report on the implementation of the Environmental Technologies Action Plan in 2004 [COM(2005) 16 – Official Journal C 123 of 21.05.2005].
The Commission considers that the implementation of the priorities in the Action Plan is well underway, particularly in terms of establishing technology platforms and key orientation documents which should catalyse the development of environmental technologies, funding from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the preparation for an international support fund. However, the Commission highlights the need to step up work in this area, in particular by mobilising European risk funding, fixing environmental performance targets for products, processes and services, establishing an EU wide system for testing and verifying environmental technologies as part of work to revise the Guidelines for environmental State aids, defining market development and industrial performance indicators, setting up national implementing roadmaps and drawing up action plans for public procurement.


Another Normative about Action plan in favour of environmental technologies

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic

Employment and social policy > European Strategy for Growth > Growth and jobs

Action plan in favour of environmental technologies

The European Union is adopting an action plan to promote environmental technologies (technologies whose use is less environmentally harmful than relevant alternatives) in order to reduce pressures on our natural resources, improve the quality of life of European citizens and stimulate economic growth. The action plan’s objectives are to remove the obstacles so as to tap the full potential of environmental technologies, to ensure that the EU takes a leading role in applying them and to mobilise all stakeholders in support of these objectives.

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 28 January 2004 entitled: “Stimulating technologies for sustainable development: an environmental technologies action plan for the European Union” [COM(2004) 38 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This action plan in favour of environmental technologies concerns technologies to manage pollution, less polluting and less resource-intensive products and services and ways to manage resources more efficiently. These environmentally friendly technologies pervade all economic activities and sectors. They cut costs and improve competitiveness by reducing energy and resource consumption and so creating fewer emissions and less waste.

Key factors in promoting the environmental technologies

The Commission identifies a number of factors which in its opinion are of importance when promoting environmental technologies and which underpin this action plan:

  • environmental technologies are very diverse and can be applied in all economic sectors;
  • many environmental technologies are under-used, because of among other things low consumer awareness of their benefits, difficult access to finance and market prices which do not reflect the environmental benefits;
  • targeted and effective incentives can contribute to the successful introduction of environmental technologies;
  • reducing uncertainty about future market developments would boost investment in environmental technologies;
  • the experience and commitment of the various stakeholders is vital in promoting environmental technologies;
  • the optimum use of policy and economic instruments (such as legislation, voluntary measures etc.) can accelerate the uptake of environmental technologies;
  • some of the measures which are needed to promote environmental technologies may not affect investment decisions immediately.

In Annex II to this communication, the Commission identifies the barriers to the development of environmentally friendly technologies. There are four types: economic, regulatory, technological and diffusion barriers.

Actions proposed in the plan

The actions proposed fall into three main areas according to their effect:

  • getting environmental technologies from research laboratories to markets;
  • improving market conditions to promote the adoption of environmental technologies;
  • promoting environmental technologies at global level.

In order to get environmental technologies from the research laboratories to the markets, three priority actions are proposed:

  • develop and focus research, demonstration and dissemination programmes;
  • establish technology platforms for environmental technologies;
  • establish European networks for standardisation, testing and performance verification related to environmental technologies.

To improve market conditions, the Commission is proposing among other things to:

  • set performance targets for the main products, services and processes;
  • use financial instruments (loans, risk capital, guarantee mechanisms) to share the risk of investing in environmental technologies;
  • review the guidelines on State aid;
  • revise subsidies which have a negative impact on the environment;
  • encourage the purchase of environmental technologies;
  • increase consumer and business awareness of environmental technologies;
  • organise targeted training in environmental technologies.

With a view to promoting environmental technologies at international level, the priority action proposed by the Commission seeks to encourage responsible investment in environmentally-friendly technologies, as well as the use of environmental technologies in developing countries and those undergoing economic transition.

Background

This Action Plan is based on the results of extensive stakeholder consultations and an assessment of the barriers hindering the development of environmental technologies.

The Action Plan will be implemented in synergy with the Lisbon Process and the 6th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development.

Related Acts

Following up the Action Plan

Communication from the Commission of 27 January 2005: Report on the implementation of the Environmental Technologies Action Plan in 2004 [COM(2005) 16 – Official Journal C 123 of 21.05.2005].
The Commission considers that the implementation of the priorities in the Action Plan is well underway, particularly in terms of establishing technology platforms and key orientation documents which should catalyse the development of environmental technologies, funding from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the preparation for an international support fund. However, the Commission highlights the need to step up work in this area, in particular by mobilising European risk funding, fixing environmental performance targets for products, processes and services, establishing an EU wide system for testing and verifying environmental technologies as part of work to revise the Guidelines for environmental State aids, defining market development and industrial performance indicators, setting up national implementing roadmaps and drawing up action plans for public procurement.

Digital Agenda for Europe

Digital Agenda for Europe

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Digital Agenda for Europe

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Employment and social policy > European Strategy for Growth

Digital Agenda for Europe

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 19 May 2010 to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – A Digital Agenda for Europe [COM(2010) 245 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The European Commission has proposed a Digital Agenda. Its main objective is to develop a digital single market in order to generate smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in Europe.

What are the obstacles hindering the Digital Agenda?

  • fragmented digital markets;
  • lack of interoperability;
  • rising cybercrime and risk of low trust in networks;
  • lack of investment in networks;
  • insufficient research and innovation efforts;
  • lack of digital literacy and skills;
  • missed opportunities in addressing societal challenges.

What actions are to be taken under the Digital Agenda?

Achieving the digital single market

The Commission undertakes on the one hand to open up legal access to online content by simplifying copyright clearance and management and cross-border licensing. In order to do this, the Commission is to propose a framework Directive on collective rights management and a Directive on orphan works. It will also review the Directive on Re-Use of Public Sector Information.

In order to facilitate electronic payments and invoicing, the Commission needs to complete the Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA) and review the e-Signature Directive in order to offer secure e-Authentication systems.

The European online market suffers from a lack of user trust regarding the security of payments and privacy. The Commission envisages reviewing the EU data protection regulatory framework. It also intends to publish an online Code stating clearly and in an accessible manner citizens’ rights in the digital world. This Code will also concern contract law, and EU-wide online dispute resolution. The Commission will also envisage introducing an EU online trustmark to guarantee consumer protection.

Telecommunication services should be unified. Numbering of services and spectrum bands should also be harmonised.

Enhancing interoperability and standards

The EU must enhance the interoperability of devices, applications, data repositories, services and networks. In order to do this, it is essential that the Commission continue the review of its standard-setting policy. It must also promote appropriate rules for intellectual property rights.

Consolidating online trust and security

Europe must strengthen its policy to combat
cybercrime
,
child pornography
and breaches of privacy and personal data security. The Commission is to present measures on network and information security and the fight against cyber attacks.

In parallel, Member States should take measures to establish a well-functioning network at national level and carry out large-scale cyber attack simulations. National alert platforms should be adapted to the Europol cybercrime platform.

Promoting fast and ultra fast Internet access for all

Europe needs competitively priced fast and ultra fast Internet access for all. In this regard, the EU is to establish next generation access networks (NGAs). The Commission intends to use European funds (ERDF or EAFRD, in particular) in order to finance investment in broadband. The Commission will also reinforce its radio spectrum policy.

Investing in research and innovation

Europe must make up for its lack of investment in research and development in ICTs, which is still insufficient in Europe compared to its major trading partners. The Commission therefore intends to encourage private investment and to double public expenditure to develop ICTs.

Enhancing digital literacy, skills and inclusion

Although the Internet is part of daily life for many European citizens, some categories of the population are still excluded from media literacy in the digital environment. Furthermore, the EU is hampered by a shortage of ICT practitioner skills.

In order to promote employment in the ICT field, the Commission proposes to give priority to digital literacy and skills through the European Social Fund. It also wishes to develop tools to identify and recognise the skills of ICT practitioners and users. The aim is to set up a European framework specially designed for ICT professionalism.

In order to overcome unequal access to digital literacy by European citizens, Member States should promote e-accessibility in particular when applying the Audiovisual Media Services Directive.

Leveraging smart use of technology for society

The European Union must exploit the potential offered by the use of ICTs in the following areas:

  • climate change, through partnerships with emitting sectors;
  • managing ageing population, through e-health and telemedicine systems and services;
  • digitisation of content, through Europeana;
  • intelligent transport systems, by applying the proposed Directive.

How can these actions be implemented?

Implementation of the actions described above will require a sustained level of commitment at both EU and Member State levels (including at regional level). This will be coordinated by a group of Commissioners and will involve Member States and the European Parliament.

Progress on implementing the Digital Agenda will be charted annually and will give rise to the publication of a scoreboard and the holding of a Digital Assembly.

Context

The 2008 financial crisis revealed certain structural weaknesses in the European economy. The Europe 2020 Strategy launched by the European Commission in 2010 constitutes one of the responses to this crisis. It sets objectives in terms of jobs, productivity and social cohesion. The Digital Agenda for Europe forms part of the Europe 2020 Strategy and is one of the seven flagship initiatives thereof.