Over the last few decades, information and communications technologies (ICT) have spread into almost all spheres of life, society and the global economy. ICT operates as a multifold, universal and ubiquitous enabling technology. Its global distribution and structural effects alter society and the economy in ways that are comparable to the impact of electrification in the 19th century.
The ICT sector represents an annual market volume of 660.- billion Euro, or 5% of European gross domestic product, but its contribution to the overall increase in productivity is much larger (20% deriving directly from the ICT sector and 30% from ICT investments). Information and communication technologies in their diverse formats exhibit an extremely high pace of innovation. They are developed and used in the industries with the highest R&D intensity - e.g. in semiconductors the R&D ratio is between 10% and 15%.
Two factors - the high research-intensity of these technologies and the growing pressure on companies to engage in permanent ICT-innovation - are also of particular importance for the increase of research investment and innovation performance on the national level. Where ICT is put in use, research investment and innovation performance by companies increase. This is why ICT is among the leading sectors for R&D investment in all comparable European member states, as well as at the level of the joint European RTDI programmes.
In Austria, ICT research is one of the most important research areas. Combining academic and non-university research, Austria hosts internationally excellent research in many subtopics of ICT. For this reason, information and communications technology represents one of the key priorities of the bmvit for research, innovation and technology, along with research on production, mobility and energy. In the course of the last 10 years, bmvit has recognised the prominent role of ICT in the innovation process by initiating, carrying out or supporting programmes such as FIT-IT, benefit, AAL, ARTEMIS and ENIAC, the EUREKA clusters CATRENE and ITEA 2, numerous participations in ERA-NETs, but also AT:net.
Since 2002 the programme FIT-IT has promoted radical technological innovation in the pre-competitive stage of ICT development. FIT-IT, has pioneered the establishment of an efficient and internationally visible Austrian ICT research community. A structural and substantive redesign of the FIT-IT, program, the new programme "ICT of the Future" now reflects changing conditions of the overall RTDI system such as the results of a major evaluation study of the RTDI system, the federal strategy for RTDI, priorities of bmvit and trends in European RTDI policy.
ICT of the Future aims to address the structural challenges of these framework conditions, while at the same time updating and sharpening its technological content.
bmvit- Austrian Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology
Renngasse 5, 1010 Vienna
Mag. Michael Wiesmüller
phone: +43 (0) 1 71162 653501
We are getting older and older. The percentage of elderly people in the population is increasing, because life expectancy has increased. Along with this change has coming need to offer new useful and innovative products and services for an older target group. Especially information and communication technology could make an important contribution in this area.
Controlling the temperatur of your home, editing and sending photos via digital cameras, detecting diseases using computer tomography, managing difficult car journeys with GPS navigation systems. All this will not be possible without information and communication technology. It has fundamentally changed our lives. Bringing progress and innovation into our working environment. Information and communication technology continues to develop further at a rapid-paced and it is characterised by extremly short innovation cycles. The mission of the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (bmvit) is therefor to support creativ innovation and research in the area of information and communication technology. In order to keep one step ahead of the social challenges of the future and to strengthen Austria's global competitiveness, the bmvit establishes the initiative FIT-IT.
Information and communication technology (ICT) forms our nerv system of our present day knowledge-based society. The minute we pick up the mobile phone, surf the internet, do the housework, drive a car or flying a plane, we instantly interact with information and communiction technology systems.