The ICT sector represents 4.8% of the European economy.
It generates 25% of total business expenditure in Research and Development (R&D), and investments in ICT account for 50% of all European productivity growth. EU investments in ICTs are due to increase by about 25% under Horizon 2020 compared to FP7. This EU investment will support the whole chain from basic research to innovation that can deliver new business breakthroughs, often on the basis of emerging technologies.
Information and Communication Technologies underpin innovation and competitiveness across private and public sectors and enable scientific progress in all disciplines. Thus in H2020, ICT-related topics can be found in all priorities, from 'Excellence Science' to 'Industrial Leadership', to 'Societal Challenges'.
The potential and capabilities of modern ICT systems are still growing exponentially fuelled by the progress in electronics, microsystems, networking, the ability to master increasingly complex cyber-physical systems and robots, and progress in data processing and human machine interfaces. These developments provide major opportunities for Europe to develop the next generation of open platforms on top of which a multiplicity of innovative devices, systems and applications can be implemented.
These new solutions will enable a wealth of new business developments in particular for SMEs, and will contribute to boosting competitiveness, creating jobs and supporting growth.