Anticipating Future and Emerging Information Society Technologies
Coordination Action

Future technologies


Beyond-The-Horizon (B-T-H) is a European coordination action to identify ICT-related research trends and strategic areas that require support. The action is funded by ISTFET, the Future and Emerging Technologies activity of the EU Information Society Technologies programme. The coordination is handled jointly by ERCIM — the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics, and FORTH — Institute of Computer Science Greece. A well-defined, extensive and systematic consultation of the science and technology communities in Europe involved in the problems and challenges mentioned above, has led to roadmaps for six strategic research areas, describing the routes research should take in  order to meet the emerging grand challenges.

These areas are: Pervasive computing and communications; Nano-electronics and nanotechnologies; Security, dependability and trust; Bio- ICT synergies; Intelligent and cognitive systems; and Software-intensive systems. In addition, FET itself brought in three strategic areas to be included in the coordination action: Quantum Information Processing and Communication, Complex Systems, and Tera-Device Computing. Similar roadmaps exist for these areas.

The consultations consisted of:

  • brainstorming workshops during which eminent researchers from both academia and industry drafted agendas for basic research in the six identified areas
  • a plenary workshop in, December 2005, where representatives of the six thematic groups together with prominent invitees like Nobel laureate Claude Cohen- Tannoudji and IST-FET Head of Unit Thierry van der Pyl, discussed the outcome of the individual workshops, and explored research challenges arising at the intersections of the different areas
  • on-line consultation of research communities in Europe through the B-T-H website, where the draft documents describing the six areas were available for comment, after which they were finalized during April 2006.
This process has mobilised a wide and multi-disciplinary community providing input at all levels —individual, research groups, institutions as well as funding agencies — to the benefit of the future European Information Society.

1-GEIE-ERCIM - France

18 months from 1 January 2005 – 30 June 2006

ERCIM's role:
Project co-ordinator

Funding Agencies:
European Commission, FP6 IST Programme, FET
EC funding:  482 000Euro

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