EPIS Project

EPIS: European Perspectives on Information Society


Starting date: January 2007
Duration: 15 months

Objective: The project "European Perspectives on the Information Society" aims at improving the strategic intelligence of the European decision-makers by taking a prospective view towards the evolution of ICT, identifying the potential for disruptions at the development and delivery of services. This will be done by:

  • Developing an observatory of trends in technology and business evolutions of ICT,
  • Running European foresight exercises on the Creative Content sector (for the first phase of the project – other ICT thematic areas to be selected for the next phases), and
  • Exploring specific implications for policies, in particular R&D policy in ICT.


  • General activities
  • A generalised framework for policy-oriented foresight activities in IST ( "IST foresight" ) will be developed.

    1. ICT foresight Observatory
    2. The development of an observatory of trends in technology and business evolutions of ICT - ongoing for 3 years will result in an Annual Monitoring Synthesis (AMS Report) which will highlight fast growing areas with potential for development or disruption, to draw policy makers´ attention, and develop visionary future thinking about application potentials of ICT. Some quarterly policy briefing papers - "Emerging Trend Updates" (ETU) - will also be produced.

    3. Foresight approach
    4. A "basic" process for specific foresight projects is likely to be implemented under EPIS in the coming years. The foresight approach has two roots:
      - Priority Setting (bottom-up / top-down: methods introduced by FISTERA),
      - Adaptive Foresight: a "second cycle" of interaction between "informing" and "facilitating" cycles, targeted at individual actor strategies Embedded in the full policy cycle and its iterations ("policy process improving").

  • Short-term activities (in 2006/2007)
  • EPIS06 will initially focus on the creative content industry looking at content creation, content distribution and user interaction, assessing future technological trends both on the supply and demand side, at technology level as well as market application level with a view to identifying fast emerging trends and hot issues, to draw the attention of policy makers on unexpected trends and major changes. The research results on the creative content sector will be integrated and presented in a Creative Content Report.

Policy relevance

EPIS is undertaken by IPTS on behalf of DG INFSO C2, which deals with analysing, developing and implementing strategies for research and technological development in ICT in Europe, and in particular for Community-supported ICT research in the Framework Programme for research and development.

EPIS will support INFSO C2 in its policy objective to feed-in and filter longer-term IST strategy information to the IST Advisory Group. ISTAG decided to establish a working group on New Business sectors in ICT. EPIS will present its results to this ISTAG working group to help with its strategic decision making.


ETEPS team members

EPIS is being carried out in cooperation with the ETEPS network.
The core ETEPS team members are:

  • Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
    Michael Friedewald, Jürgen von Oertzen, Kerstin Cuhls, Bernd Beckert
    WEB Site: Fraunhofer ISI
  • Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe GmbH (ITAS)
    Michael Rader, Knut Böhle, Andreas Gräfe
    WEB Site: FZK-ITAS
  • University of Sussex (SPRU)
    Ed Steinmueller, Juan Mateos-Garcia, Aldo Geuna
    WEB Site: SPRU
  • ARC systems research GmbH (ARCSys)
    Matthias Weber, Sami Mahroum, Susanne Giesecke
    WEB Site: ARCSys


Further experts will be involved through events and internet tools. A network will be established covering Europe, Asia & USA, encompassing researchers, policy makers & industry/associations. Awareness raising around EPIS06 will be done e.g. via EFMN, FISTERA, online forum.


EPIS Publications:

Related Deliverables:

Related Event:



Project Leaders: Fabienne Abadie and Corina Pascu
Contact: Ioannis Maghiros