IST 99 - Making the Information Society a Reality for All
European Commissioner for Enterprise and Information
Minister of Trade and Industry, Finland
|AN INFORMATION SOCIETY FOR ALL
The information society can only be a success if it becomes
a reality for everyone.
It is our conviction that all European citizens should get
the full benefits of the new technologies in terms of new and high-quality jobs, better
health, increased prosperity, and improved security.
Equally, all companies and public organisations should
benefit from the information society by becoming more effective, efficient and innovative.
It should be our common aim to harness the flow of new
ideas, technologies and applications of the information society for better economic
performance and increased competitiveness, and combine this with the more general
objective of increasing the quality of life of all citizens.
This is what we mean by creating e-quality of
life, the European Commissions slogan at the recent Telecom 99 conference; or
as it is expressed in the national information society strategy of Finland: developing the
information society on the basis of human needs and sustainability.
EUROPES POTENTIAL AND STRENGTHS
Europe has great potential to realise such an information
society: one that will foster the European identity and European values, and bring
benefits to all, independently of their age, background or abilities.
Europe is a global economic power: it has the Euro as a
common currency, and is a well-appreciated partner in international co-operation.
Europe is making a major contribution to the emerging
global information society with its rich history and culture, its diversity in patterns of
living and working, its human-scale values, its care for the elderly and people with
special needs, and its excellence in science and technology.
Europe is well placed to drive the future of the
information society in key areas such as mobile communications, smart cards, e-banking,
language technologies, navigation systems, and manufacturing software. Some European
countries are amongst the most advanced in Internet usage. No better way to illustrate
this than in the host country, Finland, itself a leader in the information society.
VISION, COHERENT ACTION, COMMITMENT
Meeting citizens expectations, and exploiting
Europes potential and strengths to achieve widespread acceptance of the information
society, requires vision, coherent action and commitment.
We are committed to make the information society a reality
for all through an integrated approach in advancing technology, improving skills,
promoting investment, and adapting legislation.
Technologies such as smart cards can find many new
applications in health and social services and in security. Awareness and education of all
citizens about the use and potential of these types of technologies and applications will
be needed to make this a reality across Europe.
Awareness about the many new business opportunities that
originate from the information society also needs to be combined with the willingness to
invest and a positive attitude to entrepreneurial risk-taking. The information society can
become a society in which innovation thrives
The revision of the Internal Market rules for digital
business can make cross-border electronic commerce flourish in Europe provided that a
commitment is made to update skills in technology, improve the understanding of
legislation and develop new business models. New approaches will also be needed to the
telecommunications legal framework, which is being challenged by new converging
technologies and new market developments.
We need to imagine joint action by all the key players
involved, based on dialogue, vision, and realism. This conference, a joint initiative of
the European Commission and the Finnish Presidency of the European Union, provides the
opportunity for an open dialogue bringing vision and commitment to action together.
In this spirit, we are proud to welcome you to take part in
the IST 99 conference, in an exploration of the road towards the future information
society, in making new friends and building new partnerships, and in renewing our
commitment to the realisation of an information society that brings benefits to all.
IST 99 conference: showcase of the future and
meeting place to explore visions and actions
The IST 99 conference, Exploring the Information
Society is the conference in Europe of
the information society community. It is a unique meeting place for business people,
researchers, and politicians from all over the world.
IST 99 opens a window on the future of the information
society in terms of technologies and applications, the legal and regulatory framework,
visionary scenarios of how people will live in the future, emerging job opportunities, how
business will be competitive, and how governments will serve citizens. It addresses the
relationships between all these elements and how they can support each other.
The conference will also present information about future
R&D in the EU Information Society Technologies programme.
Realising the information society for the benefit of all
citizens requires involvement and dialogue of all key players and joint action balancing
vision and realism. Participating to the IST 99 conference offers the opportunity to
jointly explore visions and actions, based on the most recent insights and innovative
developments, and to build new partnerships to realise the information society of the 21st
The IST99 exhibition, which will cover some 4000 sqm will
consist of 4 main elements:
The major part of the exhibition will be oriented towards
results from previous Commission R&D Programmes in information and communications
technologies. Some 80 projects will display their results, clustered in accordance with
the main topics of the conference.
Special villages and pavilions
Several areas in the exhibition will be devoted to
special themes. Important Finnish technology applications and research activities
will be presented in the meeting Finland pavilion . The 25 winners of the
European IST Prize will show their technologies and products in the EISTP village and some
highly interactive music generating technologies will be hosted in the Interaction
Several non-EU countries will present their research
activities and will be looking for R&D collaboration. The Central and Eastern European
counties will be strongly represented, as well as a number of non-EU Mediterranean
countries and other countries associated to the 5th Framework Programme.
Projects and actions of a horizontal nature will inform the
visitor on their awareness activities, support actions and services. Some of them are from
within the IST Programme, others originate from initiatives like the Global Cities
Dialogue or EUREKA. Last but not least, the key actions and messages of the Information
Society Directorate General of the European Commission will be displayed in a visual and
The Investment Forum offers an opportunity for promising
European Information Society Technology ventures to come together and to meet leading
investors, advisors and industrialists. IST companies seeking capital can apply to present
their business and fund-raising plans. The Forum will also include discussions on
Europes high-tech investment prospects, processes and policies.
The presentations on technologies, applications,
policies and the exhibition build upon work supported by the European Commission, in
particular by the Information Society Directorate General.