Information Technology will design the future of Europe | SIVECO Romania

Information Technology will design the future of Europe

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Bucharest, 15th of June 2006 - Recently, took place in Bucharest a conference that aimed to discuss about practical issues regarding Romania’s future adhesion to the European Union and about investment opportunities in various domains.

At the event participated Anca Boagiu, Ministry of European Integration, Mr. Johnathan Scheele, Head of European Commission Delegation to Romania, Romanian business environment representatives, local and international press representatives.

On this occasion, Mrs. Irina SOCOL, General Manager of SIVECO Romania, as an ISTAG (Information Society Technology Advisory Group) member, presented, the latest information about the impact of information technology on the evolution of European Union.  

In fact, everybody agrees that ICT domain plays an important role in the development of the global economy and the labor force market, increasing productivity and fostering innovation in key domains of activity. Probably, in the near future, information technology will become a part of our every day life just like electricity.

ISTAG (http://www.cordis.lu/ist/istag.htm) has been set up to advise the Commission on the overall strategy to be followed in carrying out the IST thematic priority under the European framework programme for research.
According to ISTAG in 2010, the new generation of technology characterized by connectivity, mobility, and scalability, will enable the consumer to be connected “anytime, anywhere, in all cases”. Technology will be embedded in our every day environments, so that they are invisible to the user. Taking these into account, digital content and multimedia will become a part of every day existence for the technology consumer.

According to ISTAG, there are domains, such as medical services domain, which play a very important role for the future of Europe. Wireless communication systems with embedded cu sensors, compliant to the medical and clinical standards will allow permanent patient monitoring, immediate and adequate medical services.

e-Learning is an important issue for ISTAG. European educational system will include the latest research in the domain and adopts lifelong learning model (anytime, anywhere) that eliminates any kind of constraints (temporal, geographical) ensuring the training process democratization by enabling equal acces to education. (eliminates the danger of “digital divide”).

Among the methods of achieving these goal we can mention:

- Portals and information interactive services, data management and evaluation;

- Digital content embedded in the new mobile devices (3G mobile phones, Pocket PCs, Internet TV), alongside with GRID technologies;

- Virtual schooll laboratories development, administrated from the distance (which need low investments and enables equal acces to research resources)

How will the future Europe look like?

Digital entertainment consumers will be able to connect from any location, from home or from public spaces; digital content consume is going to become an action on the spot, the users will be able to manage the content by themselves. They will want the content to be personalised and accessible from anywhere and using any kind of device.

The key words at the end of this decade will be: technological security for increased confidentiality, safety and accuracy of information.

Talking about the present trends on the European and global IT&C market, Mrs. Irina SOCOL emphasized a few issues:

According to IDATE analysis and consultancy centers (http://www.idate.org/), the global IT&C market grew up with 6,1%, reaching Euro 2.30 billion.

IT was the fastest growing segment, with a 7% increase in hardware and 8.5% in software and services. This way the gap between equipment and services areas was reduced dramatically.

From the point of view of evolution by regions in 2004, IT&C market rate in Western Europe was just 2,9% (below the global average), compared to 3,9% in North America and 10% in Asia Pacific (which is half of the global increase). In the top of countries that incorporated IT&C in the economy, we can count:  South Korea, USA, Finland, Japan, France, Germany, Sweden and UK.

The areas where Europe stays leader are: nano-electricity, integrated systems, web services, cognitive systems, research and development centers, communications, and standards.

As concerns investments in research and development for IT&C, we now register annual 5% increase at global scale (whereas in regions such as India and China the increase percentage is ten times higher), Europe holding a 40% of the global total.

The countries that allocate the most significant budgets to R&D (as percentage in GDP) are: Finland, South Korea, Netherlands, Germany, France, UK, Italy and Spain. Except for Finland and Sweden, European countries are far behind South Korea, Japan and USA. The level of investment in R&D per inhabitant is 80 Euros in Western Europe, 350 Euros in the US and 400 Euros in Japan. In order to reach the objective set in Barcelona (3% of GDP for R&D), Europe has to increase considerably the level of investments in this area.

From the point of view of interest areas, research oriented to finding new integrated solutions, easy use of  IT&C and security solutions for IT systems are priorities.

Unfortunately, when it comes to investments in R&D in Romania, statistics are poor. Investments hold a small percentage in GDP.

The good news is that, according to the studies performed, the IT&C market registered significant progresses, which allows, and even imposes an increase in expenditures for R&D.

We truly believe that Romanian specialists have a word to say in high technologies and that a sustainable development can only be assured by constant investments in research and development. Our main strong points on the international market are quality of the products, specialists’ value and management system quality. Romanian companies have the capability to add value to the international software business and are an important element for Romania’s awareness as an valuable software producer.”