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Europe’s IST research priorities

A new survey of front-line researchers in 25 EU countries reveals surprising devations from tech policy orthodoxy. The so-called Fistera Delphi (it’s a system for averaging the results of an opinon survey) asked experts, including this writer, to prioritise research priorities for 2010 and beyond. Strong endorsement was given to “Education and Learning” as an application area for IST that “contributes to the construction of a European knowledge society”. (I voted against this, for reasons rehearsed elsewhere). But my vote seems to have counted on other issues: domains such as leisure and recreation, ageing, and security, scored much less well than the report’s editors seem to have anticipated. This led them to comment, rather plaintively I thought, that “this result is rather surprising given the huge markets that exist around these areas”. I was reassured that European IT experts don’t buy the corporate push in these domains. Even more encouraging: “improving IPR protection” came last among the challenges proposed by the report’s editors.

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