Germany launches new ICT programme

The German Government has unveiled a new EUR 5.5 billion programme aimed at further strengthening the country's position in the information and communication technologies (ICT) sector.

The ICT sector in Germany has gone from strength to strength in recent years, triggering notable innovations. In the second half of the1990s, ICT investments accounted for 18% of the country's overall economic growth.

ICTs have also spurred on innovations across a wide variety of other industries. Over 50% of Germany's industrial production and over 80% of its exports now depend on the use of ICT and electronic systems.

Launched during the CeBIT Fair, the 'IKT 2020' programme will fund research projects, targeting the ICT sector, as well as those industries where ICT is shown to be a key driver of innovation. These include the automobile, mechanical engineering, medicine, logistics and energy industries. Industrial partners will be invited to participate in the project funding.

Technology platforms will also be set up by the programme, which runs until 2011, to pursue the development of ICT-based services. In addition, the programme also includes a specific funding measure aimed at simplifying funding procedures for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

The new programme has been commended by the European Commission for being 'well-aligned' with the priorities for ICT research included in the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

For further information, please visit:
http://www.bmbf.de

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