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ITEA - 4 more years
Advancing software-intensive systems

Leuven, 10 October 2003

Note: This press release is also available in Spanish.


ITEA Symposium 2003 post-symposium press release English word-document - 237 kB


This year's symposium focused on major achievements during the first half of ITEA's innovative software programme and outlined exciting plans for the period ahead.


On Thursday 9 and Friday 10 October 250 software experts, together with corporate and academic ICT policy-makers from all over Europe met in the impressive 700-year-old University Hall of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium for the 4th annual symposium of ITEA (Information Technology for European Advancement).


This meeting marked the halfway mark in ITEA's eight-year programme (1999 - 2007). The two full days of project demonstrations, presentations and keynote addresses once again proved that ITEA is at the heart of European embedded and distributed software development. ITEA has just crossed the one billion euro mark in project value with its 6th Call and Call 7 will be launched in January 2004.


Crucial achievements in the first half of the programme were the development of a shared vision for "Building the digital future". This was underpinned by the creation of an industrial-strength organisation, the first ever Technology Roadmap for software-intensive systems, and a solid portfolio of technologies and results. These were achieved via some 49 projects so far, involving large industry, SMEs and academia in a well-balanced framework spread across Europe.


Looking forward, the crucial challenges for the 2nd half are to maintain the momentum despite the economic downturn and the subsequent cuts in R&D investment and to help Europe live up to the Lisbon goal using ERA (European Research Area) and the cooperation of the major European actors, such as the Framework Programme of the Union, as key building blocks.


As Ms Patricia Ceysens, the Flemish Minister for Economy, Foreign Policy and E-government, put it in her opening address: "We face global competition in terms of knowledge and creativity, which is why it's so important to invest heavily in R&D. Stressing the fact that her government has systematically increased spending on innovation and sciences in recent years, she added: "We're committed to realising the Lisbon goal of investing 3% of Gross Domestic Product in R&D by 2010."


Prince Filip of Belgium, who visited the project exhibition, welcomed ITEA's contribution: "This unique programme will, I am sure, prove to be a cornerstone in positioning Europe at the top of the knowledge society." Prince Filip continued: " Many promising innovations are about to take place, which will boost our European knowledge economy … and cooperation between universities and industries will be crucial for the position of Europe in the world."


Project exhibition & presentations


The current set of 49 projects (of which 23 are completed, 25 are running and one is in its start-up phase) - with some 300 partners from 18 European countries - has established a solid basis for further development. Many of these have led to the creation of new products, and some to new start-ups.


The symposium this year presented the biggest project exhibition so far with 32 project booths. Enthusiastic teams used impressive live demonstrations to explain the practical results of their research. The exhibition also provided a useful occasion for face-to-face networking, exchanging ideas and discussing new business opportunities.

To illustrate the ITEA vision of the future, three particularly significant projects were presented:


UmsdL - a milestone for "roadblock removers" - uses the advantages of UML and SDL combined in the new UML2 standard for better, faster and cheaper software development. HomeNet2Run, of which a full live demonstration was shown at IFA 2003 in Berlin, is a "technology enabler" that created an open home network architecture with residential gateways and bridges for interconnecting broadband access and home consumer terminals of all kinds. Ambience is a good example of a project that is "exploring the future" - looking beyond tomorrow and giving shape to an ambient intelligence environment, systems and products.


3rd ITEA Achievement Award


Ambience received this year's ITEA Achievement Award. This project represents an exciting new concept in information technology: ambient intelligence. This has the potential to improve the quality of our lives by providing a digital environment that's conscious of our presence, sensitive and responsive to our needs, habits, gestures and emotions. Prince Filip, who presented the award, said: "I'm very impressed by the Ambience project. First, it's at the leading edge of information technology. Second, it streamlines the interaction between people and digital devices. But most of all, it's relevant to people's everyday life, to their daily environment."


Special Focus session


Some 50 participants attended a successful forum for the exchange of technical knowledge and ideas, which took place prior to the official opening of the symposium. Members of seven ITEA projects - Adanets, HomeNet2Run, @Terminals, Digital Cinema, Co-VAR/Vaccat, Ambience and EAST-EEA - presented their views on developments in Digital Entertainment.


Keynote speakers


The session on Friday was opened by Professor André Oosterlinck, Rector and President of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, who highlighted the relationship between research at universities and that conducted by industry, stressing the hub function of the Leuven region for developing a knowledge society and thus helping to meet the Lisbon goal.

Sjoerd De Clerck, Managing Director of Barco Digital Cinema, Belgium highlighted technological and business challenges and opportunities for the shift from analogue to digital cinema, where Europe is in a leading position.


In his speech "Software Engineering: Are we on the track leading to victory?", Dominique Vernay, Chief Technology Officer of Thales, France, argued that today's software development processes are still far from being efficient and satisfactory. Industry needs more knowledge, improved methods and development tools, as well as testing tools to validate the products in order to achieve real industrial maturity for software engineering.


In "The key to competitiveness lies in innovation and standardization", Winfried Holz, Division President, Global Business Unit Solutions, Siemens Business Services, Germany talked about the importance of innovation and standardisation within the business services sector as an enabler for real e-business.


Julio Guzmán Rodríguez of the General Secretariat for Science Policy in the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology presented the impressive draft Spanish master plan for 2004-2007, emphasizing Information Society Technologies as a key driver of economic growth and competitiveness and describing the aggressive Spanish plan for achieving the Lisbon goal.


ITEA and Open Source Software


On Friday afternoon a lively discussion on Open Source Software and its impact on and potential for a European technology strategy and competitiveness took place among a number of distinguished panellists from all over Europe.

About ITEA


Information Technology for European Advancement - ITEA - is Europe's premier cooperative programme for pre-competitive research and development in embedded and distributed software.


Established in 1999 as a EUREKA strategic cluster programme, ITEA supports coordinated national funding submissions, providing the link between those who supply finance, technology and software engineering. By issuing annual Calls for Projects, evaluating projects and helping bring research partners together, ITEA plays a prominent role in European software development. Some 6,500 person-years of R&D have been invested in the programme so far.


ITEA-labelled projects build vital middleware and prepare standards, laying the foundations for the next generation of products, systems, appliances and services. These projects are industry-driven, involving complementary R&D from at least two companies in two countries. The programme is open to partners from large industrial companies, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as public research institutes and universities.

Founding companies include Alcatel, Barco, Bosch, Bull, DaimlerChrysler, Italtel, Nokia, Philips Electronics, Siemens, Thales, and Thomson multimedia, later joined by the European Federation of high-tech Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). These firms are all leaders in their field, whether in automotive, telecommunications, mobile communication, consumer electronics or information technology.


For more press information, please contact:


Anne van der Linden
ITEA Office
Tel: +31 (0)40 247 5590
Fax: +31 (0)40 247 5595
Email: [email protected]