The European Commission has made one of its most substantial calls for ICT research proposals under the European Union’s research framework programmes.

The EC will provide project funding of €780m in 2011 for advanced research in ICT in health and well- being in an ageing society, the future of the internet robotics, smart and embedded systems, photonics, and energy and efficiency.

The latest call, which was made at Europe’s biggest event for ICT research and development, ICT 2010-Digitally Driven, foresees almost €200m being directred towards research in ICT in health and ageing.

The aim will be to create sustainable systems that help reduce social and healthcare costs.

The call will also make available €120m to fund research and technological developments in networking, digital media and service infrastructure for the internet, and €200m for electronic systems to support competitiveness in the medical industry, telecoms and industrial automation.

In addition, the Commission has committed to a 20% annual increase in the ICT research and development budget until at least 2013, under its Digital Agenda.

Neelie Kroes, commission vice-president for the Digital Agenda, said: "Increasing overall investment into ICT research is crucial for our future.

"The EU’s support to our world-class researchers announced today must be accompanied by substantial additional investments by the beneficiaries themselves. This research will help Europe’s industry to strengthen its competitiveness."

Universities, research centres, SMEs, large companies and other organisations in Europe are eligible to apply for project funding and can submit proposals until 18 January 2011. The submissions will be assessed by independent panels of experts.

Link: More information on the funding call