HC Deb 04 November 2002 vol 392 cc149-50W
Dr. Cable

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress has been made by the Information Society Technologies programme; what costs have been incurred since its start up broken down by financial year; what the budget allocated was in each financial year; when the programme is due to finish; and if she will make a statement. [78108]

Mr. Timms

The Information Society Technologies programme within the EU's Fifth Framework Programme (FP5)—which finished in June 2002—was allocated a budget of €3.6 billion for the period 1998–2002. This budget, for the purpose of encouraging innovative research, development and demonstration projects in the 1ST area, has now been exhausted and UK companies, in competition with all other member and associated states, have won over £300 million of financial support (around 14 per cent. of the total disbursed) thereby meeting the target set in the 1998 Competitiveness White Paper to stimulate 'strong UK participation in the EU's Framework programmes'.

The indicative budget allocations for each year of FP5 were:

1999 1.31
2000 1.00
2001 0.85
2002 0.37

During the lifetime of the Fifth Framework Programme DTI funded the UKJSHELP service to provide a website, helpline, national contact point, literature and programme of promotional events to help UK organisations make successful applications for funding support. The annual cost of providing this service was:

November 1998 to March 2000 705
April 2000 to March 2001 511
April 2001 to March 2002 539
April 2002 to March 2003 441


Figures include VAT.

The EU will be launching the Sixth Framework Programme in November 2002. 1ST will again have a budget of 3.6 billion to cover the period 2002–06. DTI officials are currently considering how best to support UK organisations hoping to access this budget beyond March 2003.

DTI is ensuring that UK organisations have early access to all available information about the development of the FP6—by posting information on the UK/SHELP website (http://www.ukishelp.co.uk), holding information events and undertaking a programme of awareness-raising company visits.

The Libraries of the House have copies of recently written case studies about successful projects in the IST area, funded under previous European programmes, which demonstrate the potential gains ('European Programme Funding—Case Studies in Information Society Technologies').

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