The ESPRIT of a European R&D network
by Willem A. Ledeboer
International Journal of Technology Management (IJTM), Vol. 7, No. 6/7/8, 1992

Abstract: After a first attempt to unite the European computer industry failed, the European Community supported the information technology industry in Europe. As a first step 'precompetitive' R&D was chosen, so as not to be in conflict with EC anti-cartel rules. The programme was called ESPRIT. Industry, governments and the European Commission cooperated in shaping the programme. The goals, procedures and organization became a model for many European R&D programmes. Is it a panacea for the ills of the computer industry? No! But it produced many useful results! It also did give Europe a lift in self-confidence. But there are pitfalls. The high hopes of governments and the greediness of the participants lead to expectations that are too high and in promises that cannot be kept. Pressure is being put by the European Commission on industry to come to cooperate in Europe even where cooperation is not justified, using ESPRIT funding as a bait. Still, the outcome is positive. We need a new initiative for cooperation of industry in Europe fostering open and compatible systems.

Online publication date: Sun, 24-May-2009

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