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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Internet to make Europe's systems smart and efficient

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News Today, the use of Internet has obvious advantages. These will be even more tangible in future with broader and ubiquitous Internet operating. Willing to contribute to make future lige more intelligent and less pollutant, the European Commission has designed a strategy to put Europe at the forefront when it comes to the development of smart internet-powered infrastructures. It calls on Europe's governments and its ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) sector to take advantage of the increasing demand for innovative applications of the internet to make existing infrastructures like healthcare systems, energy grids or traffic management 'smart'. A partnership between public authorities and major ICT players with a budget for 2011-2013 of €300 million available for projects to be selected in the near future will be launched to implement this ambitious plan. This envelop will complement the €200 million yearly ICT support to ongoing research for underlying internet technology.

The European Commission today proposed an EU-wide internet innovation strategy linking governments and different industry sectors across Europe. The strategy aims to improve key infrastructures to our economy and society by making them better able to process massive amounts of data in their daily tasks. Internet data traffic is today growing already by 60% every year. As the internet connects to billions of sensors and online mobile devices to deliver ever more sophisticated information, these infrastructures need to be 'smart' enough to use such huge amounts of data in real time. For example, through internet technology like sensors, smart tags , and, one day, the Galileo navigation satellite system, traffic jams, which cost Europe €135 billion a year, could be reduced by 20% and emissions by another 15% Today's plan aims to make Europe a leader in the research and roll out of future internet technologies needed to 'smarten up' infrastructures in areas affecting daily life like healthcare, transport, and energy. This will not only reinforce the competitiveness of Europe's ICT industry but European consumers will also be the first to benefit from new applications and services. Smart systems are already being piloted in regions and cities throughout Europe. For example, Stockholm invested in a smart traffic management system which cuts travel time, boosts public transportation and reduces carbon emissions. Through the use of sensor networks and mobile devices (near) real time data can be collected which is key to managing energy or transportation systems. This information can then be used to optimise the urban mobility system for example. These wireless devices will also benefit from the extra spectrum provided by the digital dividend as they get widely deployed. The Commission today urged governments and industry to work together so that European research focuses further on key internet technologies and their fast application to daily life. The Commission will kick-start this public-private partnership with a call for proposals in 2010. Altogether, €300 million are planned for this initiative over the 2011-2013 period – a figure to be matched by industry. The Commission is already funding research making the internet itself smarter, with €400 million invested in more than 90 European projects under its ICT research programme , and another €200 million a year to be invested from 2011-2013 research budgets. For instance, the SENSEI project works to connect the real and digital worlds creating "smart" places everywhere, like sending car-poolers a text message when there is a bus near that could get them to their destination quicker Background Today's Communication forms part of the preparations for a European plan for innovation and research, called for by the European Council in December 2008. It is also part of the Commission's response to the recommendations of the Aho Panel's call for European ICT research to become more risk-friendly and do more to commercialise its results. Today's Commission Communication can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/foi/library

Source :  European Commission - Press Room


More information  European Commission - Press Room

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