The Future of eServices

Direct links to on-going projects in this IS Research Topic
ICEAC | LearnCom | Learning 2.0 | CROSSROAD | EXPGOV



Over the last few years, the IST area is witnessing an impressive growth of innovative applications and services with important social and economic implications for the European information society. Referred to as social computing, these applications exploit the connectivity dimension of the Internet to support the networking of people and content. In addition, the user is an active participant in this process.

e-Applications team will investigate the socio-economic impact of social computing applications as exploratory research, based on desk research, experts interviews and an expert workshop. Based on the results, it will define, in collaboration with the customer DGs, the key research questions on the potential impact of social computing on the future of eServices. In particular, it will consider of the potential role of users in re-shaping the future eServices and on new innovation models.


eGovernment is regarded as a prominent application area in the transition towards a socially inclusive and sustainable knowledge society. Understanding the technological and socio-economic context of governments, citizens and businesses is a key to understand the particular technological challenges that Governments will face to use the full potential of technologies in order to provide better government in a broader sense, and to derive a specific eGov research agenda for today.

e-Applications team will continue to participate to the FP6 eGOVERNET project (competitive action), which aims at the creation of national eGovernment RTD programmes, as well as stimulate the integration of existing national eGovernment programmes at EU level. The Action will mainly focus on the latter objective.


The citizens will need to pursue continuous learning to adapt to the changing skills needs of the labour market and remain employable in an increasingly competitive environment, affected by globalization and migration trends. A crucial objective of DG EAC is therefore to develop polices that foster ICT skills to be able to live, work and socialize in an increasingly knowledge-based economy. Furthermore, in Europe, the growth of employment depends more and more on jobs requiring tertiary-level education. In this context, DG EMPL and DG EAC recognises that Life Long Learning (LLL) can play a key role as a catalyst in addressing a number of upcoming challenges.

ICTs have an important role to play in supporting new social learning models and learning spaces. In the networked knowledge society, an increasing share of competence and knowledge creation occurs outside formal systems of education. Understanding, supporting and multiplying these new processes of competence and knowledge creation, complementary to and coordinated with existing educational tools, will become even more strategic sources of the European competitive advantage.

See IPTS page on ICT for Learning, Innovation and Creativity


Main client: DG INFSO, EAC, EMPL
Under the Area: e-Applications
Head of Area: Clara Centeno


In the context of a framework of collaboration with DG EAC Dir A, the e-Applications team will through an expert scenario building exercise, validate and refine the potential of the concept of Learning Spaces in 2020 developed last year, and will provide specific policy support for two upcoming Communications to be prepared by the Directorate: one on the links between Learning and Innovation and another one on future perspectives on Education beyond 2010. The latter support will be based on recent research results at IPTS as well as additional desk research.

e-Applications team will conclude a research project on eServices (eLearning, eGovernment, eHealth) developments in the New Member States. The research will provide country reports, based on expert data collection, analysis and assessment in each of the MS, and thematic synthesis reports based an integration of the national reports, and additional experts assessment and validation.

It is also expected that future needed competences will evolve, as well as what will need to be learned and how. How ICTs can become a catalyst in addressing these changes, and, in particular, how can ICT-enabled LLL drive European society to move towards realising the socio-economic goals of Lisbon (competitiveness, economic growth, innovation) is a crucial policy objective of DG INFSO, EAC and EMPL.

e-Applications team will contribute to building scenarios of the future of eServices in 2020 with a series of scenario building exercises, starting with eGovernment, and identify related policy challenges.


Related Projects/Studies:

  • LearnCom: Pedagogical innovations in new ICT-facilitated learning communities
    The aim of this study is to review and assess the new social and pedagogical approaches to learning that are emerging in new ICT-facilitated learning communities.  In addition to formal education, such communities are increasingly emerging in informal and non-formal lifelong learning environments where learning is happening in a freely organised manner, bringing together learners, experts, and other parties.  This study aims to examine these new learning communities in order to find innovative pedagogical and organisational practices that support lifelong learning in different settings and foster innovation in the interaction of teachers, learners and organisations.
    MORE ...

  • Learning 2.0: The Impact of Web 2.0 Innovations on Education and Training in Europe
    The objective of this study is to assess the impact of web 2.0 trends on the field of learning and education in Europe and to see where Europe stands in terms of using web 2.0 innovations in the domain of learning. As the use of social computing applications enables different types of learning and teaching settings (formal, non-formal and informal), it is an important driver of innovation in learning.
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  • CROSSROAD: A Participative Roadmap for ICT Research in Electronic Governance and Policy Modelling
    The main goal of the CROSSROAD project is to build a roadmap for ICT research in the field of governance and policy modelling, which will be supported by the contribution of the results deriving from other FP7 projects in these domains.
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  • EXPGOV: Exploring ICT-enabled governance models in European cities
    The IPTS Exploratory research on ICT-enabled governance models in European cities aims at deepening the understanding of the interplay between ICTs and governance processes at city level in the EU by providing evidence of the changes that ICTs are producing on city governance models.

Completed Projects/Studies:

  • Exploratory research on web2.0: the socio-economic impact of emerging social computing applications
    The main objective of this research is an impact assessment of emerging social computing applications, by:
    1. Investigating the business models and socio-economic impact of social computing applications;
    2. Analysing the quantitative and qualitative position of Europe versus the rest of the world (e.g. US, Asia) on supply and usage as well as the conditions for these applications to develop;
    3. Validating the existing socio-economic theories that could support and explain their current and further development;
    4. Analysing implications for policy-making

  • NMSeGH: Next steps in developing IS Services in the New Member States: eGovernement and eHealth
    This research will develop an assessment of the eGovernment and eHealth developments in each New Member State, the specific drivers and barriers, and derive the relevant conclusions in terms of policy and research at national and EU level.
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    The objective of the study is to coordinate the creation of national eGovernment RTD programmes and initiatives and to stimulate the integration of existing national eGovernment RTD programmes.
    MORE ..

  • ICTMOD: ICT-driven models of public governance, public administration and democracy
    The evolution of governance structures in Europe and the impact of new technologies point at new potential models in order for governments to contribute to growth, competitiveness, and social cohesion. This research looks at the potential role of ICT in driving or enabling such new models and will develop scenarios of eGovernment in 2020.
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  • NMSeL: Next steps in developing IS Services in the New Member States: eLearning
    This research will develop an assessment of the eLearning developments in each New Member State, the specific drivers and barriers, and derive the relevant conclusions in terms of policy and research at national and EU level.
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  • eLFUT or Future of Learning: Learning Spaces in 2020
    The role of ICT for learning in Europe: this planned foresight study envisages to use the notion of "learning spaces" (as raised above) to develop and validate a new vision of learning in Europe that is ICT-enabled and that redefines the roles of all those involved in learning. It conceives learning as a social and community-based experience. The study will validate trends and drivers; present illustrative scenarios of learning spaces; and will identify drivers and bottlenecks for realizing learning spaces.
    MORE ...


Dissemination activities:

Related Events:

Results from IPTS-DG JRC eLearning activities have been presented at the following events:

  • 2009: Seminar on Technologies for the Quality of Life of Elderly Citizens, on 15 June, held at the Polytechnic University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain.  IPTS was invited by the Spanish Chapter of the 'Club de Roma' to make a presentation on 'Active Ageing, Health and Web 2.0' (here).
  • 2009: Conference on 'Sanidad 2.0: Innovación y Redes Sociales en el Sector Salud', on 11 June, held at Deusto University Library, Bilbao, Spain.  IPTS was invited by the Basque Regional Government, Deusto Business School and Innobasque to present the studies carried out on the opportunities provided by Social Computing for biomedical research on rare diseases (here).
  • 2009: Club Gertech Workshop 'IV Jornada Formativa sobre Innovación y Tecnología para la Gerencia Sanitaria', on 9 June, held at IPTS, Seville, Spain.  IPTS made a presentation the results of the studies on Social Computing applied to the health sector (here).
  • 2008: EFQUEL Forum on Quality and Innovation in Learning, 15-17 June in Oeiras, Portugal. IPTS made three presentations at this conference, one on 'Challenges for Quality with User-generated Content' (here), one to initiate a session on Learning 2.0 (here) and one on the future of learning (here). In addition, IPTS participated in the final conference panel session "Towards an integrated approach to quality and innovation in Learning".
  • 2008: EDEN 2008 Annual Conference, 11-14 June, in Lisbon, Portugal. See Conference website: IPTS made two presentations at this conference, one on 'Opportunities and Challenges of Social Computing for Learning and Innovation' (here), and another on 'eLearning in the EU10' (here).
  • 2008: Inforsalud 2008 - XI National Congress, organised by the Spanish Society of Health Informatics, and held in Madrid on 16 - 17 April, 2008. IPTS was invited to present the results of the current studies on Web 2.0 and health. The presentation can be found here.
  • 2007: International Conference 'Social Inclusion and Healthcare Provision in European Regions', organised by the ENRICH Network and Regione Umbria, held in Perugia, Italy on 30 November. The key presentation at the plenary: 'Social Computing for Health in an Ageing Context' can be found here
  • 2007. 'New Patterns of Innovation in Public eServices'. Presentation at a parallel session of the eChallenges Conference held in Den Haag, the Netherlands, on 26 October 2007. This presentation shows how new innovation models (typical of web2.0) are applicable and applied in public services, and the implications that arise from these. It can be found here.
  • 2007. 'The Elephant and the Mice: Will Web 2.0 change Public Services?'. Presentation at the final plenary session of the eChallengegs Conference held in Den Haag, the Netherlands, on 26 October 2007. This presentation analyzes dark scenarios of web2.0 for public services, built by stretching existing cases and weak signals. It can be found here.
  • 2007. 'Potential Impact of Social Computing (Web 2.0) on eHealth' - plenary presentation at the 4th IAVANTE International Symposium 'Improving Health through Education' held on 22-23 October in Granada, Spain at the Advanced Multifunctional Centre for Simulation and Technological Innovation (CMAT), at the Health Sciences Technology Park. The presentation can be found here.
  • 2007: EDEN Annual Conference on New Learning 2.0 held in Naples, Italy on 13-17 June. IPTS presentation on 'A Vision for Future Learning with ICT and Web2.0' (here).
  • 2007. 'Web 2.0 for eGovernment: Why and How?' Tutorial held at the Ministerial Conference on eGovernment ( in Lisbon, Portugal. The presentation can be found here.
  • 2007. 'Web 2.0: What's in it for eGovernment and eParticipation?' - presentation at the eParticipation Workshop, Brussels, 26 February 2007. The presentation can be found here.
  • 2006. EU eLearning Conference, ESPOO (Helsinki), 3-5 July; organised by the European Commission (DG EAC and DG INFSO) in collaboration with the Lifelong Learning Institute Dipoli at Helsinki University of Technology, under the auspices of the Finnish EU Presidency, and in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Finland: More on the ministery...
  • 2005. Helios Workshop on "eLearning –new Learning": Scenarios and perspectives, Brussels, 16 December 2005.
    More on the workshop...
  • 2005. Futures of Learning Seminar, New Learning Paradigms, Paris, 25-26 November 2005, organised by the European Institute of Education and Social Policy, with the support of the Fundaçào Calouste Gulbenkian, the Scottish Executive, the French group Futuribles, the International Futures Forum, the Ecole Supérieur de Commerce de Paris, the Association française des Administrateurs d´Education and the Université de Paris-Dauphine, as well as with the cooperation of OECD.
    See for the report: More on the seminar...
  • 2005. EU eLearning conference "Towards a Learning Society", Brussels, 19-20 May 2005.
    More on the conference...
  • 2005. Workshop on "The future of European eGovernment Research", IPTS Seville ( Spain ), 7 February 2005
  • 2004. FISTE´s eGovernment research line was presented at the IST Days of DG INFSO 2004.
    The presentations can be viewed here
  • 2004. Workshop on "e-Government in the EU in 2010: Key policy and research challenges".IPTS, Seville (Spain), 4-5 March 2004
    More on this workshop...

Related Publications:

Related Links:

See also for info on eLearning activities in Europe:

  • The European Commission supported eLearning portal: here
  • The European Commission policies on Education and Training (including eLearning): here