EUR-Lex Access to European Union law

Back to EUR-Lex homepage

This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website

Sixth Framework Programme (2000-2006): Information Society Technologies

This summary has been archived and will not be updated, because the summarised document is no longer in force or does not reflect the current situation.

Sixth Framework Programme (2000-2006): Information Society Technologies

This specific programme aims to stimulate the development of hardware and software technologies and applications in order to strengthen the competitiveness of European industry and allow European citizens the possibility of benefiting from a knowledge-based society.


Council Decision 2002/835/EC of 30 September 2002 adopting a specific programme for research, technological development and demonstration: "Integrating and strengthening the European Research Area" (2002-2006) [Official Journal L 294 of 29.10.2002].


In 2000, the Lisbon European Council referred to the development of an information society as a fast way forward towards a competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion.

This led to the eEurope 2002 initiative, which was launched by the European Commission to promote the achievement of an "information society for all". At the same time, the eEurope 2005 initiative is responsible for ensuring that information society applications and services are accessible to every citizen, home, school and business by 2010.

Information and communications technologies create new methods of production, trade and communications. This sector has become the second largest of the Union's economy and employs more than 2 million people in Europe. In this respect, the Sixth Framework Programme attempts to meet the demands and needs of the markets, government policies and citizens.

To maximise the effort in this field economically and socially, the future generation of technology will be more integrated into the environment and more accessible, offering a multitude of services and applications more easily.

The ultimate aim is to introduce more user-friendly technologies in all areas: personal security and privacy, teaching and training, access for the elderly and the disabled, tele-working, electronic commerce and administration, on-line health (e-health), intelligent transport, etc.

The total amount of the " Information society technologies " programme is 3.625 million. The 2003-2004 work programme amounts to a total of 1.725 billion. A budget of some 90 million has been set aside for participants in the following countries: Russia and the newly independent States, the Mediterranean countries, including the western Balkans, and the developing countries. Two calls for proposals are planned to cover this budget.

The actions undertaken address the following four technological priorities:

A) Integrating research into technological areas of priority interest for citizens and businesses

The aim is to find solutions for the major societal and economic changes faced by an emerging knowledge-based society, including the consequences for work and the workplace environment.

The research activities focus on the following areas:

  • research on technologies which guarantee the security and confidentiality of computer systems and the rights and privacy of citizens;
  • the development of "ambient intelligence" systems which improve access to the information society for everyone, in particular the elderly and disabled;
  • the development of on-line electronic commerce, new tools and methods of work, technologies for learning, integrated business management, etc.;
  • the development of large-scale database and global resource systems in areas such as the environment, energy, health, transport, etc.

B) Communication and computing infrastructures

The aim is to develop mobile, wireless, optical and broadband technologies that are reliable, of wide application and can be adapted to meet the needs of citizens.

Research will focus on the development of:

  • research on the new generation of communications systems and networks to prepare for the next Internet generation;
  • the development of technologies that involve multiple actors, and the engineering and control of complex, large-scale systems.

C) Components and microsystems

The aim is to increase research on miniaturised and low-cost components based on new materials. The research focuses on:

  • the production of nano/micro components in order to allow a very high degree of miniaturisation of systems (small size, lightness, fewer connections and low-energy consumption);
  • research on nano-electronics, microtechnologies, displays, new materials, and computing equipment and models.

D) Information management and interfaces

The aim is to develop management tools to enable easier interaction everywhere and at all times with knowledge-based services and applications. Work focuses on the following areas:

  • the development of knowledge representation and management systems based on context and semantics, including cognitive systems, tools for creating, organising, navigating, retrieving, etc.
  • the development of multi-sensorial interfaces which react intelligently to words, language, sight, gestures, touch and the other senses.



Dateof entry into force

Final date for implementation in the Member States

Decision 1513/2002/EC

Date of application: 01.01.2003Date of expiry: 31.12.2006


Last updated: 04.01.2007