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Information technology for european advancement

Collaborative industrial r&d programme dedicated to
"software for software-intensive systems" that is being
developed by the european information technology producers
and users' industry to boost european competitiveness.

ITEA (Information Technology for European Advancement) is a collaborative industrial R&D programme developed by the European Information Technology producers and users industry. "Software for software-intensive systems" refers to any combination of generic and non-generic, embedded and non-embedded software that allows reliable software platforms to be created. These platforms are software infrastructures on which applications are built. In short, ITEA deals mainly with the intermediate software layers (middle-ware) between Operating Systems and applications. Information Technology pervades every aspect of work and everyday life, offering ample room for innovation in all areas, e.g. administration, public and private services, institutions, industry, trade and commerce, education and citizens' needs. Future information systems will be more and more configurable, adaptable, intelligent, dependable, secure and complex. They will handle digital data of different natures (image, video, voice, text, etc.) which will be used in various contexts (office, home, mobility, etc.). Software brings intelligence, versatility, and determinant added value to these systems, making them self-explanatory and easy-to-use. These systems are more and more software-intensive. Being the key to the development of Information Technology, software and software engineering in Europe are perceived to be lagging behind, mainly when compared to the U.S. As an example, U.S. vendors (independent software vendors and systems vendors) were already covering 90% of the U.S. market and 65% of the Western European market in 1996. It is of paramount importance that this trend is reversed and the gap is closed as rapidly as possible, in order to avoid overall European industry becoming the hostage of others. For the development of the entire European industry, software is a strategic raw material. The objective of ITEA is to close this gap through the development of software infrastructures necessary to build complex systems. To achieve this, we need to 'leapfrog' the software gap in software-intensive systems. This means that we will have to conduct firm and determined common actions at European level through anticipating technological orientations in areas where Europe has special needs, competencies and strengths. Leapfrogging is a key factor for success in the face of highly powerful and dynamic global competition. Three application sectors fulfil these conditions and constitute three core competencies of ITEA: 1. Extended Multimedia 2. Communications, and 3. Distributed Information and Services. Mastering these applications requires reliance on services provided by three other core competencies: 1. Content Processing 2. User Interfaces and 3. Complex Systems Engineering, the latter being crucial and at the very heart of the other five core competencies: projects under ITEA have to cover at least two of the ITEA competencies, with emphasis on Complex Systems Engineering. Industry is convinced that now is the right moment to act by putting forward an eight-year rolling research programme to master systems architecture, standardisation and systems integration in order to become leaders in software-intensive systems design. The programme will be managed from the ITEA Office, to be established in one of the EUREKA member states. This programme will be industry-driven, aiming to achieve highly competitive results: ITEA means winning the battle of time-to-market, structuring technology programmes to bring European businesses into line and offering IT people a future in Europe. ITEA interfaces with other R&D programmes, mostly MEDEA (E! 1535) and the E.U. Framework Programmes. While MEDEA is dedicated to microelectronics, ITEA, in a similar way, is dedicated to software for software-intensive systems. This difference is scope will prevent any redundancies between the two programmes. Each of them will strengthen Europe's I.T. industry in a complementary way. ITEA seeks active cross-fertilization and cooperation with the 5th Framework Programme and identifies a series of results of the 4th Framework Programme as valuable starting points. In cooperation with the 5th Framework Programme, ITEA will pro-actively promote European contributions in the international standardisation bodies, through the development of technological platforms and software environments. This industrial R&D programme is open to universities and research institutions which will be encouraged to participate. ITEA needs these institutions for the acquisition and dissemination of the technological innovations in ITEA. The ITEA programme is also open to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Thus, ITEA will foster collaboration between SMEs and large companies as well as academia. Although ITEA is not application software dedicated, application software houses may give significant contributions to the objective of ITEA. Consequently, their participation in ITEA is also welcome. The total effort to be invested in ITEA is estimated at 20,000 staff years, corresponding to approximately 3.2 Billion ECU over 8 years (1999-2006). Because of the highly innovative and collaborative nature of ITEA, it is expected that the overall public funding percentage will be comparable to that of the E.U. Framework programmes. Keywords: software engineering, long term life software, reliable platforms.
Acronym: 
ITEA
Project ID: 
2 023
Start date: 
01-10-1998
Project Duration: 
123months
Project costs: 
3 200 000 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.