ITEA previews the digital future - Symposium review - Award winners - Panel discussion
'Building the digital future' provided the theme for ITEA's 3rd Annual Symposium, which brought 250 European software experts and ICT policy-makers together in Amsterdam for two days in October. The wide-ranging programme of events featured an inspirational exhibition of over 30 projects, including ITEA 00005 DIGITAL CINEMA, profiled in this EUREKA News 60's feature on digital broadcasting.
Keynote speeches addressing different aspects of the challenges of digital transition were given by Jean-Charles Hourcade (senior vice-president, research and innovation, and CTO at Thomson Multimedia), Cesar Vohringer (senior vice-president and CTO at Philips Consumer Electronics), Maurizio Decina (a board member of Italtel, director of CEFRIEL and professor at the Politecnico di Milano) and Emmanuel Caquot (head of service for Information Society and Technologies at the French Ministry of Economy, Finances and Industry) who, as France prepares to assume the EUREKA chair, gave a timely French perspective on collaboration within the European Research Area (ERA).
Congratulations to the winner of the ITEA 2002 Achievement Award: ITEA 99007 PEPiTA (Platform for Enhanced Provisioning of Terminal Independent Applications). The project's consortium of French, Irish, Czech and Belgian partners has created a four-level generic platform with secure connections for mobile phones, smartcards and computers via a common architecture that includes an Application Programming Interface for virtual services, for security and user profile management, and an Enterprise Java Beans platform for application services. PEPiTA is already enabling telecom operators to assimilate the latest technological advances into their network systems, enhancing the services they offer customers. For more information contact Anne van der Linden at the ITEA Office (tel: +31 40 2475590; e-mail:
* ITEA's inaugural Excellence Award was presented to outgoing vice-chairman Eric Daclin, who will be succeeded by Jean-Pierre Lacotte of Thomson.
RA must simplify procedures
The difficulties of harmonising project application procedures between EU programmes and national R&D activities were highlighted at the 3rd ITEA Symposium during a panel discussion on 'ERA challenges for building the digital future'. Speakers drew particular attention to the considerable amount of co-ordination required when applying for the different research budgets available at national and international level; easy-to-understand and jointly agreed procedures would make the lives of researchers and SMEs much easier and be less of a strain on their resources. The discussion concluded that ERA will have to make real progress in this area for large projects to work effectively. It's an issue which EUREKA clusters such as ITEA have already successfully addressed, according to Professor Stefan Jähnichen of Fraunhofer FIRST: "The EUREKA cluster ITEA has managed to overcome the fragmented concept of single projects. ITEA already operates as a community where projects work within a strategic concept."
(See Viewpoint on page 8 for an SME perspective on this issue.)