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Membership Directory of the European Information Policy Support Network

Research Institutes and Consultancy Services 


This directory was compiled by:

Empirica

Gesellschaft für Kommunikations- und Technologieforschung mbH 
Oxfordstr. 2, 
D - 53111 Bonn 
Fax: + 49 . 2 28 . 98 53 0 - 12 
Tel.: + 49 . 2 28 . 98 53 00 
e-mail Karl%emp-d.uucp@Germany.EU.net 
CompuServe: <Karl, empirica> 100065,1675

May 1995


Contents


Foreword


After one and a half years it is time to update the Directory of the European Information Policy Support Network (IPSN). It has been created in early 1993 as a result of the workshop on "The Role of Information in the Economy and Society", held on November 3-4, 1992 in Luxembourg. The participants - members from the IMPACT Programme Committee (IPC), representatives of the European Commission, and information researchers - felt it necessary to intensify discussion, exchange and research on urgent information policy issues. 
The aims of the network are to support the goals of the EU-Programmes to stimulate the development of a unified information market and to further its realization. In particular, it should

To allow for continuity and accountability, members can only be institutions, organisations or related legal entities, but not individual persons. 
The information contained in this new Directory has been collected by various electronic means (mostly as part of or attached to an InterNet message - plain texts, Word-for-Windows or RTF-files -, but also by file transfer via CompuServe or on a diskette; both from MS-Dos and Apple worlds) and integrated into a single document. Responsibility for the contents and its outlay rests which the individual organisations which had been asked to provide a short summary of their activities, particularly on research related to policy issues. We have edited the texts only were absolutely necessary. 
We hope that this Directory will be helpful to further develop the activities of the network, to improve information on and contacts between both providers and users of policy-related research on information markets and the information society, and to stimulate the further development of this field which - in the context of global information highways and multimedia - is confronted by a multitude of most pressing policy issues.

Bonn, May 1995

Karl A. Stroetmann


Belgium

Studies on Media, 
Information and Telecommunication (SMIT) 
Free University of Brussels (VUB)
Name: Prof. Dr. Jean C. Burgelman
Address:
Free University of Brussels (VUB) 
Department of Mass Communications 
Pleinlaan 2 
B - 1050 Brussels
Country: Belgium
Fax: + 32 . 2 . 6 29 28 61
Phone: + 32 . 2 . 6 29 24 18
E-mail: jcburgel@vnct3.vub.ac.be

At SMIT (Studies on Media, Information and Telecommunication) the research is concentrated on the fundamental question of how future broadcasting, telecommunication and new information services policies should be organized. We feel that new policies are needed, because transformations in the sector make today's policies more or less obsolete.

With the emergence of new communication technologies and telematics services, four global problem areas may be distinguished. All these areas have not yet sufficiently been treated.

First of all, standard models used to regulate organizations for cultural or informative communication are being questioned.

Secondly, the field of conflicting interests of privately owned groups and public organizations should be acknowledged. It is essential to investigate which is the best regulational environment for these new communication technologies: private or public, or a mixed solution? In which way could current innovation policies in information technology be transformed from 'tool-oriented' to 'need-oriented' policies?

In third place, we perceive that there is a major redefinition of the geographical areas in which these new technologies are being used (local vs. global). This raises the question as to how far a nation-state can proceed determining the policies to be pursued?

Fourthly, digitized networks have the potential to incorporate the entire communication traffic, this evolution is referred to as 'convergence'. This aspect adds yet another dimension to the questions raised above. Who should control what, and in which way, in an integrated communications structure?

We feel that these new problems are connected to one of the most important ideas that have always directed communications research: the quality of public communication. Drawing the line between public and private areas is becoming a more and more substantial topic. Closlely entwined with this topic are the issues of organizing communications sectors on the one hand and the discussion of its policy-making on the other hand.

The primary goal is to offer an analysis of the dynamics influencing current and future telematics policies.

Once this is achieved, we envisage to contrieve a coherent, integrated and public-oriented telematics policy.

With these goals in mind we wish to counter to the common assumption that policy is per definition fragmented and technology-oriented (technology push). The idea that promising technological potentials are not redeemed does have considerable consequences for all important agents in the field of telematics: government, telecommunications operators, users and suppliers of telecommunications services and equipment.

Slowly, the realisation that users should be involved into innovation and implementation of telematic services is gaining terrain, precisely because of the technological potential ignored by an abundancy of users.

Acceptance research, the first pillar of our research, will provide us with information about the publics attitude towards telematic services. This information should then be fitted into telematic policy. Then, understanding of the relationships between the most important agents is required. How do the agents relate to each other? Who influences whom in decision making processes? Can structural relationships between privileged partners be distinguished? What is the current vision determing telecommunications policy (if there is one)?

It is necessary to conceed that today's policy decisions will determine the future offer. Wrong choices today, will have negative repercussions within only a few years , because of high R&D costs and the cost of implementation of new communication technologies. As regulation also determines telematic policy, regulation is the second pillar of our research.

After this inquiry into the dynamics of acceptance and the process of regulation, it still remains necessary to analyse how knowledge should be transferred. How can the decisionmaking process on new communication technologies be made to work as democratically as possible? To solve this problem, the third pillar of the research projects consists of studying the knowledge transfer process between the different agents involved in telematic policymaking. We mainly focus the public accessibility of scholarly and scientific information, and its use for social ends. For instance, how can user groups operate optimally transferring knowledge to policy? How does the knowledge transfer process between producers and governments operate, and how can user associations integrate in this communication process? This are all unanswered questions, we would like to answer.

Summarizing: to reach a coherent and public-oriented policy, a more precise and complete understanding is needed of:

  1. telecommunication regulation;
  2. use of telematic services;
  3. the dynamics of knowledge transfer and science communication on the subject of technological policymaking processes.

So at our research centre we investigate the following three areas:

  1. the political economy of telematic services, where regulation will be the focus of investigation;
  2. the sociology of innovation, zooming in on the use and the introduction of telematic services, here acceptance dynamics are our main concern;
  3. policy research on the topic of communications technologies, where the aspect 'knowledge transfer' will be the main research issue.

Finland

Department of Information Studies 
University of Tampere, Finland
Name: Prof. Pertti Vakkari
Address: PL 607, 
FIN-33101 Tampere
Country: Finland
Fax: +35. 8. 31 21 56 560
Phone: +35. 8. 31- 21 56 968
E-mail: inf@uta.fi,
http: //www.uta.fi/laitokset/informaatio

OVERVIEW

The Department of Information Studies at the University of Tampere is the leading graduate school and research unit in information studies in Finland. It is also one of the most important research units in IS in Scandinavia. The educational goals of the department orientate towards new information professions with broad views on information policy and technologies. The department also takes actively part in discussions concerning information policy issues in Finland. 
The department offers a sound postgraduate program, which educates the largest share of postgraduates within the discipline in Finland. Research has been organized around two research groups, RG on information seeking (REGIS) and RG on information retrieval. The main areas of developing research and teaching are information seeking, information retrieval and information management.

COMPLETED PROJECTS

ONGOING PROJECTS


France

Centre de recherches infométriques 
(CERESI/CNRS)
Name: A. Turner
Address: 1, Place Aristide Briand 
F - 92195 Meudon Cedex
Country: France
Fax: + 33 . 1 . 45 07 59 00
Phone: + 33 . 1 . 45 07 56 53
E-mail: turner@cnrs-bellevue.fr

The Infometrics Research Center (CERESI/CNRS) was created by the Mission for Scientific and Technical Information and Communication (MIST) of the CNRS. CERESI's goal is to study the impact of computer supported information exchanges on the social processes of knowledge production in science and industry. A better understanding of this impact is needed in order to design and build multi-media information management systems. CERESI is located in the Center for Multi-Media Productions of the MIST where 55 engineers and information professionals are actively involved in producing multi-media products.

  1. GEstion Optimisée des Documents Electroniques (Project GEODE): 
    CERESI is leader of a European Research Consortium composed of the I. Prigogine Lab., Institute Solvay at Brussels; the Centre for Requirement Studies of the Computer Laboratory, University of Oxford; the Centre for Information Science of Scienter, University of Bologna, Italy. The first phase of this project, which is nearing completion, was aimed at carrying out a requirements study for programming an "intelligent mediator" of information flows. We argue thatcomputer supported mediation of information flows is needed in order to allow work communities in both science and industry to successfully manage the borderline between their "in-house" organizational context and their competitive environment. Building the mediator has led us to focus on the general problem of acquiring knowledge through textual analysis and then plugging it into an organizational context for debate on goals and strategies. Scienter in Italy has developed a PC-hypertext prototype of the GEODE concept.

  2. The Modern Information Professional (MIP) 
    The CNRS organized a Workshop with the Reasearch and Development Department of the British Library on the future of the information professional in September 1994. The MIP concept is vague and will be defined in different ways in different contexts. For some members of the Workshop, "modern" implies simply another adjustment along a continuum that has traditionally cast the information professional in a support function, working for other people to satisfy their information needs. For others, computer mediated communication implies working with the actors of economic, social, technical and scientific change to manage the information flows structuring their specific sectors of activity. The general point made, however, is the following: it is not enough to train information professionals to become skilled "users" of new communication techniques. They must actively participate in the social shaping of information and communication technology in order to use it as a tool for cooperative work and competitive advantages in their specific work environments.

  3. MOST Clearinghouse (UNESCO) 
    CERESI is responsible, with the LASMAS of CNRS, for creating a Clearinghouse for the Management of Social Transformations (MOST). The MOST programme is a UNESCO sponsored activity in the social sciences which aims at promoting international collaboration and research into a better understanding of the problems of social transformations world-wide. The Clearinghouse is seen as a support tool for this initiative, providing members of the MOST network with an informational infrastructure for cooperative work over the INTERNET. This project is being used as a test-bed for the conception of training programmes for information professionals by the International Committee for Social Science Information and Documentation. The political issues have been highlighted as a dimension which cannot be ignored in building training programmes for the Modern Information Professional. 
    For example, there is considerable ambiguity attached to the idea of creating an "information support function" for the MOST programme. What does this concept mean in different geographical contexts? The degree of political "acceptibility" of such a concept will no doubt vary greatly as a function of different economic, social, geographic and cultural problems in different regions? Does this mean that "intelligent mediation" has to be defined differently in each context? The answer provided to this type of question has not only important consequences for building training programmes for the Modern Information Professional, but also for designing "intelligent mediator" machines for information flow management as well.

  4. Socio-economics of information 
    Building an information sector into the economy is being managed in different ways by different societies. One major difference between the American and the European approaches lies in the number and the multiplicity of forums for discussion and debate on the essential questions of the emerging information society. CERESI is taking part in a feasibility study aimed at establishing an Open Institute for the Socio-Economics of Information which will be proposed as one such forum. Its goal will be to focus on the Research-Industry Interface. 
    The results of socio-economic research should be used to put the needs of European industry into perspective, but it is felt that this is precisely the weak point in Europe's response to the challenges of the information society. The Open Institute for the Socio-Economics of Information will seek a solution to this problem by providing a structured framework for meetings between researchers and members of industry. The Open Institute is an organizational solution. It should help promote discussion and debate in the European "no-man's land" separating Industrial needs for analytical benchmarks from the efforts underway to produce them in the socio-economic research community. It will build bridges between theory and practice. 
    The idea of an Open Institute has been adopted for two reasons. The first is that this Institute will seek to remain open to the currents of thought, technologies and actions being developed in both industry and research, as we have just said. Equally importantly, however, is the fact that the idea of anOpen Institute designates a particular form of functioning. The model of the Open Institute is that of the virtual entreprise. The experts who take part in the entreprise will work on projects which are configurated dynamically in order to prepare the semi-annual Workshops which the Institute proposes to organize.


Germany

empirica 
Gesellschaft für Kommunikations- 
und Technologieforschung mbH
Name: Dr. Karl A. Stroetmann
Address: Oxfordstr. 2 
D - 53 111 Bonn
Country: Germany
Fax: + 49 . 2 28 . 98 53 0 - 12
Phone: + 49 . 2 28 . 98 53 00
E-mail: e-mail: karl%emp-d.uucp@Germany.EU.net
CompuServe: <Karl, empirica> 100065.1675

empirica Gesellschaft für Kommunikations- und Technologieforschung mbH is a private research and consultancy institute based in Bonn, Germany.

Modern industrialised nations are rapidly transforming themselves into information-intensive societies. In this context, the activities of empirica centre on the processes of development, marketing and implementation of new information and communication systems and services as well as on their strategic and policy implications. empirica provides a range of services at the interface between user organisations, who wish to understand, select and deploy new systems and services, the developers of new information and communication systems and services, and the policy makers who need to provide strategic guidance and support to these developments.

Research on the influence and impact of I&CT on new, flexible and location-independent work performance, particularly on various aspects and forms of Teleworkand Teleservices, but also on mobile working, distributive cooperative working (CSCW), and workflow management have been a major focus of research for almost ten years. Related fields concern communications systems for elderly and disabled persons or information engineering. There follow brief summaries of some recently finished or still ongoing research projects (virtually all of these projects have been performed by consortia of partners located in various EU countries):

TELDET: Telework Developments and Trends - A Compilation of Information on Telework (Case Studies and Trend Analysis) (1994-95) 
The objectives of the project are to generate comparative information on telework practices in all Member States, to carry out an analysis of the current prevalence and spread of telework, to analyse trends in demand and supply factors for teleworking in five major European States, and to develop an overview of the conditions for the development of telework (e.g. policy measures) in the different Member States and their changes with time. The empirical basis are representative surveys of the population and of decision makers. The information developed by the TELDET project will be the worldwide largest integrarted empirical source of comparable information on telework penetration, practice, demand and supply factors and future trends.

EMPLOY: Urban teleworking and employment opportunities (1994-95) 
The EMPLOY project will produce guidelines for the implementation of telework initiatives aimed at two distinct entities - enterprises who may be considering telework, and local development authorities who may wish to foster telework initiatives in urban areas. The focus of these guidelines will be on the processes of job creation, maintenance and improvement associated with implementing telework initiatives. Empirical basis are case studies, interviews with various urban players and surveys of employers in six European metropolitan areas (Amsterdam, Cologne, Dublin, Madrid, Montpellier, Rome).

CAPACities: Consolidated Actions of Public Authorities for European Cities in the new 'Information Society' (1994-1995) 
The project analyses trends and developments in the area of telematics applications and teleservices in different industrial sectors and in public administration as well as their impact on city development in Europe. A large number of city case studies are carried out analysing existing and planned telematics applications and the corresponding city strategies and intervention possibilities. From the city case studies scenarios of the likely impacts and developments and the necessary intervention possibilities and instruments for cities are developed. Finally recommendations and guidelines addressed to cities for steering and impacting development towards the achievement of desireable results will be developed.

JOINT: Job Opportunities In New Tele-Activities (1994-95) 
Global (digital) telecommunications and innovative applications of information techniques open up new opportunities (and threads) for telecooperation and teleworking across national boundaries and time zones. It is the goal of this study to investigate these developments in some detail in various sectors of industry and services (about 20 alltogether), and in a multitude of countries (on all continents). Particular emphasis will be laid on the "risks of job outflows versus opportunities for new jobs in (West) European urban areas." On the basis of these empirical investigations policy recommendations will be developed for a new positioning of the European Union on global telecooperation markets, and for the role and policies of public urban and regional agencies and services in this context.

Other projects in these fields are:

Two projects of related interest are:


Germany

Lehrstuhl für Wirtschaftsinformatik
Name: Prof. Dr. Helmut Krcmar
Address: Universität Hohenheim (510 H) 
D- 70593 Stuttgart
Country: Germany
Fax: + 49 . 7 11 . 4 59 - 31 45
Phone: + 49 . 7 11 . 4 59 - 33 45 or 34 55
E-mail: krcmar@rs1.rz.uni-hohenheim.de 
schwabe@rs1.rz.uni-hohenheim.de

Hohenheim Research Direction

The Hohenheim Information Systems department is involved in three research areas: Computer Aided Team, information management and life cycle assessment. We see those research areas to be interconnected. 
After a brief introduction, we will introduce Computer Aided Team and information management projects of relevance for information policy projects. 
Computer Aided Team aims at making teams more productive. We therefore aim for a better understanding of team work, build prototypes to support teams and evaluate them in experimental and field research. 
Information management research analyzes the adaptation of (public or private) organization to the new potential of information systems. 
Integrated management of substance chains focuses on ecological information systems, especially on life cycle assessment.

Projects

EDI in the Public Sector

A survey analyzes the diffusion and knowledge of EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) in German public administrations. The survey was sent to 541 national and state administrations in last fall and we received 95 usable replies up to now. The survey reveals that EDI is rarely used in German public administrations and there is also little knowledge. Many administrations confuse EDI with EMail. EMail is used by the majority of all administrations; about 40% also use EMail for external purposes. This widespread adoption of EMail indicates that an electronic public access to administrations can very well be feasible from the technical point of view.

Information and Citizenship

The project 'Information and citizenship' will explore the extent of the current and potential demand for citizenship information within the European Economic Area and to identify the contribution that the information services industry can make to meeting the demand. The results of this study will be presented in a IP-Network meeting in September.

Demand for Telecooperation in the Public Administration

Together with three other German partners Hohenheim explores the demand for telecooperation in the German public administration for the DeTeBerkom/Berlin. We assume that the demand is not given but can be actively shaped by industry and public players. The project has already developed a methodology for the design of telecooperation in the public administration and scenarios for the usage of telecooperation. We are currently working on a qualitative and quantitative model for demand estimation and on specific design suggestions. Our work indicates that it is critical to actively design telecooperation applications that are useful for small groups or small numbers of organizations rather than to wait for the widespread adoption of technology.

Multimedia Support for Local Parliaments

Hohenheim is currently performing pilot studies for the multimedia support of local parliaments. We aim to support the parliaments of several German and European city with any time/ any place collaboration support. The collaboration support should include the parliament work, the collaboration with the administration and with interested citizens. Initial interviews with several cities indicate a large need for support and interest in this project. The inclusion of citizens into the political process was of the particular interest for our British and Italian partners.

Results relevant for Information Policy

The general results of our research can be summarized in four points:
  1. There has been little interest in citizenship information in the last years in Germany. Information technology providers and policy makers therefore do not only have to create the application but also the market.
  2. The technological infrastructure is less a problem for electronic information provision than organizational and legal problems in Germany.
  3. For more advanced multimedia applications it is crucial to move from the 'global Multimedia infrastructure' scenario to telecooperation islands. Those telecooperation islands are characterized by a local critical mass and a high need for support. We believe local parliaments can be such a telecooperation island.
  4. These telecooperation islands indicate that the market for information support may be much more fragmented than e.g. the market for telephone services.
  5. The Internet and other On-line services become increasingly popular in Germany. This includes grassroots movements for local citizen information provision. The efforts therefore should concentrate on these services as a basic infrastructure.

Greece

National Documentation Centre (NDC) 
National Hellenic Research Foundation
Name: Filippos Tsimpoglou
Address: 48, Vas. Constantinou 
GR-11635 Athens
Country: Greece
Fax: +30 1 7246824
Phone: +30 1 7242172, 7249029
E-mail: ftsimp@isosun.ariadne-t.gr 
ftsim@apollon.servicenet.ariadne-t.gr

During the last 2 years, NDC activities on Information policyissues can be summarised in the following:

  1. MSSTUDY Project 
    In the frame of IMPACT 2 programme, NDC participated in the Preparatory study for the development of a methodology for themeasurement of the Electronic Information Market in the Memberstates of EU. DGD (Germany) was the coordinator while NBBI (Netherlands) and NDC (Greece) was the NAPs carried out the preparatory research in their countries. The research in Greece was focused in the investigation of what kind of data could be identified, gathered and measured quantitatively in order to be used as indicators for the development of the Electronic Information Market in Greece. A report was submitted to DGXIII/E IMO.
  2. Information Day: Copyright issues in front of the Information Society 
    This Information Day was organised by NDC which was acting as Hellenic National Awareness Partner (NAP) and Hellenic Value Relay Centre (HVRC) and the General Secretariat of Research andTechnology (GSRT). The event took place on 16.03.1995, in the Auditorium of NHRF in Athens. One hundred and fifty (150) people attended the event mainly coming from the private sector covering multimedia developers, publishers. Speakers were originated from Public Organisations, owners of huge quantities of content. Reference was made to existing legislation (Law2121/1994), rules and practices followed by each one of the invited organisation. The minutes of the Day are to be published during the next months.
  3. Hellenic Network of Scientific Libraries. 
    Because of the lack of an established Library Network as well as the lack of a systematic procedures for cooperation between Libraries in Greece, NDC undertook the initiative to create and develop and the Hellenic Network of Scientific and Technological Libraries. A pilot phase with 6 libraries started on March 1994 and lasted 9 months. The number of libraries participating in the network has been raised to 40 covering all the country and equal number of Institutions, hospitals, universities and companies. The whole system is based on
  4. TRAIN-NFP 
    TRAIN-NFP is a task within the NAP project included only to NAPs from LFRs. The aim of the task is to train University Professors in order to incorporate in their regular curricula issues on Electronic Information Services and to overcome the Electronic information illiteracy of the University Students in LFRs. NDChas organised 6 seminars of 4 days duration each, addressed exclusively to University Professors. Till now 120 University Professors attended the seminars and the first multiplication effects have appeared .A report has been submitted to Mr. Deberghes of DG XIII/E.

Ireland

COMTEC
(Research Centre on
Communication, Technology and Culture)
Name: Dr. Paschal Preston
Address: Dublin City University 
Collins Ave. Extn. 
IRL - Dublin 9
Country: Ireland
Fax: + 3 53 . 1 . 7 04 54 47
Phone: + 3 53 . 1 . 7 04 54 78
E-mail: PrestonP@dcu.ie

COMTEC PROJECTS: Some recently completed or current COMTEC Research Projects

  1. The use of new ICTs & the potential uses of ISDN in the Communication & Media Services Sectors (1993-1994) 
    This project examined the current patterns of adoption of various forms of new ICT-based communication technologies as well as potential applications of Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN). ISDN has often been identified as the first stage of the development of broadband communications systems across Europe (eg the EU's 1994 Bangemann Report). The research was based on in-depth company-level research in the communications and media services industries (eg the newspaper, audio-visual, graphics, recorded music, specialised information services etc). The aim was to identify the types of informatIon and communication technology currently in use in this sector and to idenfity the factors likely to shape the patterns of diffusion and demand for ISDN in the media and cultural industries. This project was completed in December 1994.
  2. Telecommunications, 'Universal Service' & Related Policies in Ireland: a Political Economy & Historical Approach (1992-1995) 
    This project examines the historical development of 'universal service' in telecommunications in Ireland. The in-depth study examines the development of changing definitions and conceptions of universal service amongst key policy, managerial and economic actors in relation to successive generations telecommunications technologies and services. It investigates the specific characteristics of telecoms services and regulatory concepts and practices in the Irish context and the factors which have shaped the key changes over time. It also examines the implications of these historical shifts for the development of new conceptions of 'universal service' appropriate to the era of new and convergent ICTs.
  3. Contrasting Approaches to the 'Information Superhighway' and the 'Information Society' (1994-1995) 
    This research project seeks to identify commonalities and differences between the approaches to the information superhighway adopted by a number of national governments and international policy-making organisations (eg the EU and the Group of Seven). It examines the implicit and explicit differences in terms of
    1. conceptions of the role of new communication technologies and industrial/ economic development;
    2. the degree of emphasis/stress on the application and diffusion of new communication technologies;
    3. assumptions about the respective roles of the state and markets;
    4. identification of the specific claims and concerns of the smaller economies/societies and less favoured regions.

Italy

FORMIT
(Fondazione per la Ricerca sulla 
Migrazione e sullo Integrazione delle Technologie)
Name: Dr. Luca A. Remotti
Address: Via Giovanni Gemelli Carerl 11 
I - 00147 Roma
Country: Italy
Fax: + 39 . 6 . 5 13 78 68
Phone: + 39 . 6 . 5 12 88 95
E-mail: formit@sci.uniroma1.it

Institutional Activities

The Formit Foundation was constituted on the 3rd of February 1986 and decreed a Public Entity on the 15th of February 1991 by the Ministry of University and Scientific and Technological Research, which controls the Foundation's activities. 
The Formit Foundation works in the field of technical, economic and social problems connected to the transfer processes of innovative technologies and to the area of research into new methodologies and training practices. 
The Foundation intends to be a meeting point of the activities of the State and firms, favouring the promotion of high technology content initiatives and the transfer of the most significant experiences in the areas of advanced technologies, both nationally and internationally. 
The launching of a permanent observatory on research initiatives with possible industrial flow on, enables the dissemination of information necessary to assess the current and future needs of normalisation, induced by impact of technology and to delineate the new and emerging professions and relative training modules. 
The Foundation proposes its contribution towards a more effective use of technological innovation on the part of Public Administrations, evaluating the service needs of citizens and firms and providing the answers to the needs created by the Public aparatus. 
With this in mind, the Foundation carries out specific support actions in the processes of modernisation of the Public apparatus intervening with organizational support in creative activities and project monitoring of modernisation of the projects of Public Entities and Public Administrations. 
Another major area of attention regards the promotion of synergies between institutional investments and venture capital, aimed at the setting up of structural initiatives and projections, containing highly innovative technological components. 
The integration processes of the European Union are followed with particular attention, so as to assess their impact and favour Community actions, that tend to create equal opportunity for citizens and firms. 
The cultural and scientific policies of the Foundation are directed by a Scientific Committee, composed of experts from different disciplines and representatives from the Ministry of University and Scientific and Technological Research, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Crafts and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 
All the activities provide information and input on the establishment of policies in the field of advanced technologies, particularly in the area of information in any form, from the technical approaches to the delivery of value-added information to specific user groups.

International Relations 
The Foundation opened an office in Brussels in January 1995, to manage and develop relations with the European Union. 
Its function is to promote the access of Public Entities and privates to Community Research and Development Programmes, with particular reference to the needs of small and medium enterprises, striving to create better competitiveness of national systems, and to make representations to the European Parliament of the needs of legislative harmonisation, those with the aim to advance integration processes and create an environment of equal opportunity for citizens and firms. 
In relation to these institutional objectives, the Foundation was selected to take part in the VALUE programme, to create systems of dissemination of Italian research activity results, and together with CNR (National Research Council), was appointed as the reference point of the EUROTECHALERT project aimed at the dissemination of information on research and development carried out by Italian Public entities as well as by the European Commission. 
The Foundation carries out studies and research in the area of Technological Assessment to contribute to the definition of national and Community policies in this field.

Studies, Research and Initiatives 
The principal activities carried out or in development on the basis of external assignment, and specifically oriented towards the support to advanced technologies and information policy options, regard:

Centre of Training Methodologies and Practices 
In relation to training activities, aimed at qualifications and professional updating of medium level managers and directors of industrial research and advanced Tertiary sectors, a Centre of Training Methodologies and Practices has been created at the Parco Scientifico e Tecnologico Ionico-Salentino (PASTIS), of which the Formit Foundation is a partner.


Italy

Istituto di Studi sulla Ricerca e 
Documentazione Scientifica (ISRDS) 
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)
Name: Dr. Augusta Paci
Address: Via Cesare de Lollis 12 
I - 00185 Roma
Country: Italy
Fax: + 39 . 6 . 4 46 38 36 (or: 4 45 69 77)
Phone: + 39 . 6 . 4 45 23 51
E-mail: paci@www.rm.cnr.it

Activity 
Our Institute has carried out a number of research related activity in the last three years. 
It has carried on a research on activities about information, education and research in the information market sector in Italy. 
It has also carried on a research on CD-rom titles and publications in Italian University libraries. 
Both the projects try to focus a dynamic situation which shows a particular and new interest in our country towards information electronic products and services. 
The CD-ROM investigation in University libraries intends to assess major modifications in service due to the introduction of user oriented standalone information products. 
An important project is dealing with the technological transfer of a juridical-economic expert system (SEFIT) to enterprises and with possible distribution through Internet WWW server. 
Another important line of research is related to courseware development for training and educational activity. 
ISRDS has developed a prototype of an educational system for information and training in electronic information product and services to be used in university courses. This project needs to be further implemented. 
ISRDS has developed a study to analyse education and training offer in Italian academies and to evaluate functions and trends.

Applied research 
ISRDS devoted also time to participation in European R&D programme getting funding for two projects within the Libraries programme of the 3 Framework Programme:

International activity 
Due to the participation of ISRDS to international non-governmental organization is worth mentioning the ISRDS role within FID the International Federation of Information and Documentation: at FID international conference held in Japan at Omiya during October 1994, a paper entitled Information roles and European Community: Aims, Research Programmes and Activity in the period 94-98 was presented and will be published in the Conference proceedings. In this paper the EC network IP-net is also mentioned. 
ISRDS has also taken part in 4 Framework Programme preparation in various panel of sub-programmes of the Telematic Programme.

Netherlands

NBBI 
Project Bureau for Information Management
Name: Drs. John Mackenzie Owen, 
Ms. Anouk Kramp
Address: Burgemeester Van Karnebeeklaan 19 
P.O. Box 80544 
NL - 2508 GM The Hague
Country: Netherlands
Fax: + 31 . 70 . 3 61 50 11
Phone: + 31 . 70 . 3 60 78 33
E-mail: Mackenzie.Owen@nbbi.nl

The scope of NBBI's work lies in the field of information services: the production, conveyance and use of information. Its activities vary from market research into the demand for a particular CD-ROM, to the qualitative and economic analysis of databases and the organization of workshops; from the complete management of complex projects, such as the instigation of a nationwide exports information system, to the introduction of optical information technology in education. NBBI also develops models for quality of service and implements strategic studies into the future of information services.

Ongoing research

Commercial Activities on the Internet 
In the Netherlands more and more profit and non profit organisations are interested in the possibilities to provide services on the Internet. The fact is that only a couple of organisations have started with a home page on WWW or something else. Organisations are afraid to invest too much in Internet, without knowing what the financial advantages are. In a brief literature review, based on the lastest articles and discussions, NBBI summarizes the situation of commercial activities on the Internet in the United States. Because organisations in the US have more experience with Internet, we think more insight in the US situation can lead to more insight in the possibilities of Internet. The main Internet-related problems and solutions (found by American companies) are discussed. NBBI will organize a seminar to discuss the results of this review with interested Dutch parties.

EC study on Information & Citizenship 
NBBI delivers the Dutch parts of the EC-study on Citizenship & Information. This contains a literature review and eight interviews with policy makers, journalists, researchers and providers and consumers of citizenship information (public information).

Member States Study (IMPACT) 
NBBI is involved in the EC Member States Study, concerning the IMPACT programme. Together with other research institutions in the European Union, NBBI is studying the feasibility of, and basis for, a description of the entire information market in Europe. The information sector consists of libraries, documentation centres, host organizations, database producers, bookshops and magazine distributors. The EC is interested in the most important financial data of this large industry. The methodology has been prepared by the DGD in Germany and two methodology pilot projects have been realised (Netherlands and Greece).

Depot study 
NBBI has just started a EC-study on the possibilities of a electronic depot. Therefore a literature review has been carried out. Problems of authentication, copyright and costs etc. will be studied to find answers to the questions that all national libraries in Europe have to answer, concerning their function as national depot of publications.

Recently finished research 1992-1994

Document delivery, a user survey 
A large number of organizations, both profit and non-profit in nature, offer document delivery services. Some examples of this are libraries, bookshops and publishers. The service is extremely varied, ranging from cuttings sent by post, photocopies and fax messages to advanced network systems. Customers are somewhat puzzled by the procedures and pricing systems used by these suppliers. Some suppliers sub-divide their rates, while others charge the all-in price. Some charge subscription fees while others offer special discounts. Users have difficulty in evaluating the services on offer and in comparing their relative merits. In 1993 and 1994, NBBI will carry out a user survey of document delivery services. The aim is to provide users with a clear perception of document delivery organizations, in terms of procedures and of prices.

Quality control 
Suppliers and distributors of information are experiencing shifts within their industrial column. Methods of producing, distributing and receiving information are undergoing far-reaching changes. Furthermore, all companies endeavour to achieve continuity. In order to guarantee such continuity, increasing numbers of information services are establishing quality programmes. The main purpose of such programmes is to take stock of customers' information requirements. Customer-oriented information products are absolutely essential to continuity. The introduction of quality programmes will boost customers' confidence in the organization. 
NBBI has been operating in the field of quality control since 1992. It aims to use the project "Quality control in information services" to identify ways in which quality control can contribute towards improving the distribution and availability of information. Furthermore, NBBI is developing instruments for the systematic introduction of quality improvements.

Language technology 
In the years ahead, language technology will be an extremely important factor in the area of information services. The increasing range of electronic files means that user software will become a matter of major importance. Not every application lends itself to menu-driven software, nor is every user capable of using a query language. In such cases, language technology tools offer a solution.NBBI is mediator and co-sponsor of a project to develop a full text retrieval system for searching through entire Dutch or English texts. 
Furthermore, NBBI has organized a seminar in collaboration with the European Commission. The topic has been the importance of language and technology for the EC in general and for the Netherlands in particular. 
In the course of 1993 and 1994, NBBI will be undertaking various activities in collaboration with the Dutch government, in the form of the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Economic Affairs. These activities, which are in the field of "Language and Technology", are aimed at bringing users and developers closer together.

Information brokerage 
Information brokerage is the provision of tailored information, for a fee. In Europe, information brokerage is less well-developed than in the United States. There have been few developments in this field in the Netherlands which, compared to other European countries such as Germany, France and Great Britain, has no significant tradition in this area. In spite of this, supply still exceeds demand. 
NBBI project entitled "Information brokerage" includes an exploratory survey aimed at finding out how various neighbouring countries use information brokerage for information services and for industry and commerce. A pilot project will subsequently be used to explore the application of information brokerage. 
This project's findings will be used in the production of a manual entitled "Guide to information brokerage in the Netherlands", which will be aimed specifically at industry and commerce.

Electronic journals 
Electronic journals offer the prospect of skipping several steps in the traditional production process. In this way, for example, the publisher and/or the library can be bypassed. Instead, the writer communicates directly with the reader via an electronic network, thereby eliminating the increase in value produced by publishers and libraries. 
NBBI will carry out a study of the characteristics and costs of electronic journals, as well as of their users and markets. Special consideration will be given to the effects which electronic journals have on the service and management of publishers, libraries and computing centres. Some examples of current electronic journals are: Psychology, Online Journal and Clinical Trials.

Strategic information for small and medium-sized businesses 
Up to date information on topics such as market developments is a significant competitive factor. However, the provision of an information service to small and medium-sized businesses has encountered a number of problems. Entre-preneurs are often either fobbed off with stacks of brochures, endlessly referred from place to place or, in the cases of some information suppliers, subjected to a stream of impenetrable jargon. 
On the other hand, information providers complain that their customers make little or no use of expensive facilities such as special computer systems. NBBI, in collaboration with the Economic Institute for Small and Medium-sized Businesses (EIM), has carried out a study to pinpoint the crux of the problem. This investigation has shown that the difficulty lies neither in the quantity nor the quality of the information, as such. However the nature of the information itself does need to be changed. 
The suppliers provide strategically-oriented information which focuses on the long-term, while what the customers need is tactical information which focuses on solutions to acute problems. NBBI is making the results of this study available to the various branch- and umbrella organizations involved. NBBI is also using the results in pilot projects involving information brokerage and in market research into document delivery.

Audiovisual media 
The contents of audiovisual archives include material dealing with films, photographs and broadcasting. Many groups are involved in making this information available (granting access) to users. All those involved endeavour to make accessing such archives as reliable and standardized as possible. Currently, there is still too little audiovisual material available to the end user. For this reason NBBI is bringing together various groups while taking the lead in developing the specification, construction and implementation of such an access system. 
The participants in this project are the Netherlands Government Information Service, the Film and Science Foundation, the Netherlands Broadcasting Services Corporation (NOB) and the Dutch Film Museum.


Norway

Norsk Regnesentral (NR) 
Norwegian Computing Center
Name: Erling Maartmann-Moe
Address: Postboks 114 Blindern 
N - 0314 Oslo
Country: Norway
Fax: + 47 22 69 76 60
Phone: + 47 22 85 25 00
E-mail: erling.maartmann-moe@nr.no

The Norwegian Computing Center is an independent research foundation with an objective to contribute to the needs of research in the fields of information technology, scientific computing and applied statistics in Norway and Europe. Currently about 22% of the research activities carried out by the 80 researchers at NR is work within EU-research programs. A new research group for interactive media (IMEDIA) was established in February 1994 by researchers working in different groups at NR. IMEDIA's goal is to unite the potential of information technology with the penetrative power of mass media. In particular, this will concern activities within the knowledge based service sector, and the shaping of future services within areas of public information services, electronic newspapers and documents, interactive television, information networks and educational systems. The work within these areas has made information policy a core issue for the group and for NR as a whole. Some examples of recent and current research at NR in the area of information policy and strategy are given below.

Symposium: Citizenship and InformationPolicy in the Global Village

The symposium was arranged to put the issues of the technological development in relation to information policy and democracy forward in the national debate. NR and the Norwegian Research Center for Computers and Law co-operated in inviting researchers, public servants, politicians, journalists, and strategy developers to a symposium on Citizenship and Information Policy. The symposium was held in November last year, with 11 Norwegian presentations from different parts of the public and private sector, people working with information and information policy, media policy, and regulation, and one presentation from the IP-net to get the European perspective. The audience focused on the need for a broad debate on the issue of information policy, not only for the government but also for the society as a whole. The international nature of information policy in the age of information technology was also one of the main issues at the symposium, and the need for a national policy and a conscious and coherent strategy for regulatory issues was emphasised. 
As a follow-up to this event, the Norwegian Ministry for Cultural affairs asked NR to organise a seminar to inform the public servants in the Ministry of the possibilities of information technology, as a basis of development of a national policy. Yet another follow-up was a seminar for Norwegian journalists called The Internet as Medium and Source. Here, the possibilities for developing markets for commercial publishing on Internet was discussed, together with use of the net as a source for getting background and news information to a newspaper. Partly as a result of these activities NR are currently engaged in strategy development for two main actors within publishing in Norway; Norwegian Governmental Administration Services (governmental publishing) and The Norwegian News Agency serving the Norwegian newspapers.

National Information Network (NIN)

The NIN-initiative is the main Norwegian response to challenges linked to the Electronic Superhighway and the Information Society. The initiative is administratively anchored to the Research Council of Norway (NFR), the unit for Industry and Energy which runs the applied, industrial-oriented research projects within the council. From the start, however, the NIN-initiative was managed by an ad hoc group, emphasising "user-orientation" and "bottom-up" priority setting. The process reflected the general trend of user-orientation in Norway as well as Bangemann-inspired action and project-oriented initiatives. 
NR is involved in NIN at many levels, such as:

Norwegian Impact: National implications and adaptation of two studies

The two Impact studies The Future of Media and Advertising and Information and Citizenship are important for the Norwegian advertising agencies, media, and society as a whole. NR will follow up these two studies and help to disseminate the results and the discussions evolving from them. National Policy makers and strategy developers in private enterprises will be invited to a seminar, where the results will be discussed together with consequences of the results to the Norwegian society. NR will try to contribute to public debate around the issues of democracy, media development, advertising, internationalisation and more discussed in these studies.

Electronic payment on Internet

The IMEDIA group at NR has recently finished a study on state of the art concerning payment systems for commercial information services on Internet. We have also specified a solution on how information services can be distributed commercially on the net, even with information units at a prize of 1/10-1/2 ECU. There are plans to establish a pilot service where anybody with access to the network can buy and sell information to a very low transaction cost. We see this as an important effort to improve the quality of information from Internet, and to help making it a useful tool in the information society.

Strategy development for two main actors in publishing in Norway, Norwegian governmental publishing and The Norwegian News Agency

NR is working with the main news agency in Norway to develop their strategy for electronic publishing. We will i.e. investigate how the Norwegian News Agency can expand to new markets, and how existing material can be distributed by new media. Possibilities for commercial activities on Internet is also included. Further, NR will look into how the Norwegian Governmental Administration Services can produce and distribute governmental documents using media independent publishing. We will study the development of standards in this field, and how an automatic printing process is possible. In this approach publishing on demand will also be considered.

Portugal

Centro de Informação Técnica 
para a Indústria (CITI) 
Instituto Nacional de Engenharia e 
Tecnologia Industrial (INETI)
Name: Prof. Dr. Ana Maria Ramalho Correia
Address: Estrada do Paço do Lumiar 
P - 1699 Lisboa Codex
Country: Portugal
Fax: + 351 . 1. 7 16 - 47 32
Phone: + 351 . 1 . 7 16 - 51 41 
/ - 27 11 / - 5 81 / -27 12 
(ext: 29 87)
E-mail: acorreia@citi.ineti.pt

CITI, the Technical Information Center for Industry is a combined research and services provider for INETI (National Institute for Industrial Engineering and Technology) whose mission is to promote the exploitation of information resources and the effective use of Information products and services by Industry, in the country. 
To achieve this goal and as a specific objective CITI pursues R&D projects within Information Science, with particular emphasis on the area of Information Policy issues. 
CITI strategy to develop research activities in the area of Information policy is aimed at contributing to a better understanding of the Portuguese information environment and to promote the awareness of the need for a sound Information Management within the organization. Information policy related research at CITI, gave rise to three types of studies:

MASTER'S THESES

Relevant examples of recent Masters theses are described in the following abstracts. Where applicable areas for future research were indicated.
  1. National Information Policy: A study of the Portuguese legal framework (1989-1992)
  2. Conclusion: Policy statements concerning information related issues are scattered thoughout Portuguese legislation.
    Recommendation: To maintain and develop the database assembled under this study to facilitate further searching of the legislation.
  3. The information professionals' ethical problems.
  4. Conclusion: There is a need for information professionals code of practice.
    Recommendation: To establish a national committee of ethics to lead the discussion on ethical problems and to establish a code of professional ethics for information workers.
  5. Computer crime - Implications for the development of Electronic Information Market.
  6. Conclusion: There is a need to design and develop specific training programmes for those investigating computer crime. There is a need to complement existing penal law with appropriate provisions in procedural law.
    Recommendation: Future research projects should encompass comparative studies on modus operandi, on information management models used in the investigation of computer crime, on new legislative developments, on the characterization of this criminal phenomenon and its specific impact on the rate of expansion of the Information Society.
  7. Vocational training in the Information Sector.
  8. Conclusion: Information education and training, being a structural element in the development of an information society can be regarded as a good indicator of a society's information developmental stage. It has also, the advantage of identifying emergent issues which are important elements for future analysis.
    Recommendation: To correct the imbalance between present provision of IT related courses and those addressing Information Management issues.
  9. Contribution of the Regional Chambers of Commerce to the information transfer in Portugal
  10. Conclusion: Regional chambers of commerce can play an important role in the development of the Information Society.
    Recommendation: One of the priority recommendations mentioned was to define and prosecute a global management policy for all information resources promoting effective and efficient information transfer.

RESEARCH UNDER CONTRACT

The following is an on-going research activity in the field of information policy, information market and information society:

EC study on Information and Citizenship

CITI is one of the participating partners in the EC study on Information and Citizenship. CITI's contribuition aims at preparing the overview of the Portuguese situation regarding the provision and demand of citizenship information. Within the scope of this study, CITI has identified major issues on citizenship information being debated in the Portuguese society. The approach has been to carry out a literature review,a telephone survey and a total of thirteen face-to-face interviews (with policy-makers, opinion-makers, journalist, member of the Administration Board of Portuguese Telecommunications company, leaders of citizens rights' leagues, researchers and information providers in the public and associative sector). The results of this study will be presented in a conference in Luxembourg in September 1995.

Spain

FUINCA
(Fundación para el Fomento de la 
Información Automatizada)
Name: Francisco Martin Carbajal
Address: Pza. de la Independencia, 6 
E - 28001 Madrid
Country: Spain
Fax: + 34 . 1 . 330 07 18
Phone: + 34 . 1 . 330 07 00
E-mail: Francisco.Martin@fundesco.es
http: //www.fundesco.es/

The recent and ongoing research activities in the fields of information policy, information market and information society are as follows.

  1. Study on the feasibility of an EDI service for the book sector. 
    This study followed a very comprehensive study on the present state and trends of the Spanish book sector that emphasized the use of information technologies by the actors of this industry. A comparative analysis with the situation of sectorial EDI in other countries was included. The results of the study are being delivered to the sector, jointly with a diffusion effort of the EDI standards developed for the sector being carried out by the paneuropean group EDItEUR, under EC funding, with the collaboration of Fuinca. 
    These activities add up to a very extensive research made in the past by Fuinca with the purpose of studying and practicing how the information technologies adoption could be fostered in a particular industry.
  2. Study of library information services. 
    Made for British Library, the study covered the full panorama of information services provided by and for libraries in Spain, framed in an overview of libraries (public and private, general and specialized) sector. 
    Together with the work regarding book sector and the permanent activity of an observatory of the electronic information services sector, described below, this study allows a comprehensive and unique understanding of the state and recent evolution of the matter in Spain.
  3. Other specific industries focused activities. 
    During 1994 some studies and development projects were carried out with the objective of promoting the use of information technologies in specific sectors. Among them could be underlined a project of a telematic service to help the trade of agroindustry products in the region of Extremadura. Some significant facts regarding the adoption of info services in rural areas were identified. 
    In addition, Fuinca developed different case studies on sectorial applications of voice servers.
  4. Study of the Latin-American information services sector. 
    Based in previous work made by the foundation from 1988 to the present, this study, currently under elaboration, tries to explore in depth the information services market in Latin America. It covers not only facts and figures but also provides a comprehensive list of individual institutions providers of services with their offer and plans for the future. 
    A particular attention is given to Internet in L.A. and its foreseeable evolution.
  5. Project MATISSE: Managerial Approach for Telematics Systems and Services Evaluation. 
    The MATISSE project has been awarded by a consortium, lead by Fuinca, in response to a call from EC corresponding to Preparatory Actions for Telematics Program. It consists of a study and compilation of the most recent and relevant methodologies for the development of telematics systems and services with a managerial approach. It is aimed to both tenderers -or project developers- and evaluators and reviewers. 
    The final product is composed of a database with hypertext structure of best practices - and their necessary explanations- and of an information management system, different for each one of those two types of users. 
    The database contains information that establishes the principles and practices for service design, production, user acceptability, pilot project introduction and delivery of telematic system and services, considering both system and service aspects and their interactions. The database is divided into five sections, each one dealing with a specific discipline of the management of transnational and paneuropean telematics projects: service management, procurement, invironment management, standards and specifications management and configuration management. 
    This work can be included in the systematic examination made by the foundation of every relevant methodology which can be of interest for the participants of the electronic information sector. Some of the findings have been applied to the pilot project of a gateway to databases service implemented from 1991 to 1993.
  6. Observatory of the sector: ASCII, videotex, BBS, multimedia services, Information Superhighways. 
    This being a permanent activity of Fuinca, its results are directories, studies and special reports for authorities dealing with the promotion of the sector. 
    The activity has lead to an special service for the trustees of the foundation (telecommunication companies, public authorities) consisting of an observatory of the Information superhighways developments and ongoing related national and supranational related policies. This observatory results are reports on specific issues.

United Kingdom

Department of Information Studies 
University of Sheffield
Name: Professor Tom Wilson
Address: University of Sheffield 
UK - Sheffield S10 2TN
Country: United Kingdom
Fax: +44-114-278-0300
Phone: +44-114-282-5081
E-mail: T.D.Wilson@Sheffield.ac.uk
http: //www.shef.ac.uk/uni/academic/I-M/is/lecturer/tom1.html

Introduction

The Department of Information Studies at the University of Sheffield carries out information-related research in a variety of fields. Its research groups cover information management, computational information systems, computer-supported collaborative work and learning, and public policy & library management. Policy issues arise in all of these fields, at the levels of funded project work, Doctoral research, and Masters students' dissertations. This report, therefore, deals with all of these possibilities.

National Policy

Probably the most significant policy-related piece of work over the past year has been Dr. Bob Usherwood's involvement in the consultancy team which has carried out a review of the public library system within the U.K. The report of this work has not yet been made publicly available, but an interim version gave rise to a great deal of debate. Among the recommendations of the interim report were ideas for regional structures and a significant increase in the use of networked information services and networked access to digital resources. 
Dr. Usherwood was also responsible for the production of a statement of standards for public libraries, which was funded by the Library Association. Together with Professor Margaret Evans of Loughborough University, Dr. Usherwood has also been directing a study of quality management in public libraries.

Organizational information policy

At the organizational level number of pieces of work have been carried out, or are still in progress. Professor Wilson and Mr. Loughridge are supervising a study of the management information needs of academic Heads of Departments in higher education institutions, supported by the British Library R & D Department (BLRDD). This project relates to the policies of the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFC) in requiring institutional strategies and the consequent "knock-on" effect of this policy at the institutional level. 
Professor Wilson has also directed a study (which is just drawing to a close) of the information system strategies of high performing companies, supported by BLRDD. This study has examined a model of the relationship between the "information ethos" of firms which are leaders in their industry sectors, with a view to a) deriving ideas of best practice and b) providing a methodological basis for examining lower performing companies. 
Several Ph.D. students are also engaged in work in areas that have general information policy connotations: Neil McClemens is examining the impact of executive information systems on the general information structures of companies; David Allen is studying the way universities are responding to the HEFC's requirement that they should produce information strategies (which are perceived to be more general than information technology strategies); Maija-Leena Huotari is coming to the end of an investigation of the relationship between the value chain and information systems, which has concerned two companies in Finland and which provides firms with a basis for examining the extent to which their information policies match their business needs; and Zita Correia is writing up her investigation of the environmental scanning activities of Portuguese companies in the chemical sector of industry. All of these students are supervised by Professor Wilson and Dr David Ellis.

Masters students' projects

A good deal of research has its origins in the work of Masters' students and among the policy-related projects completed in 1994 were:

Centre for Health Information Management Research

The Department is the lead department in a newly established Centre for Health Information Management Research, which also involves the Departments of Public Health Medicine, General Practice, Health Care for Elderly People, the Centre for Human Nutrition, and the Sheffield Centre for Health and Related Research. 
The Centre will be responding to matters of national policy in relation to health information and health informatics as reflected in the Information Management and Technology strategy of the National Health Service. 
Four Ph.D. students are currently undertaking work under the auspices of the Centre and a short contract to examine the relationship between information and decision-making by general practitioners has now started.

United Kingdom

Policy Studies Institute (PSI) 
Information and Cultural Studies Group 
Information and Citizenship Group
Name: Kate Oakley
Address: 100 Park Village East 
UK - London NW1 3SR
Country: United Kingdom
Fax: + 44 . 1 71 . 3 88 09 14
Phone: + 44 . 1 71 . 3 87 21 71

Background to the Information and Cultural Studies Group

The Policy Studies Institute is Britain's leading independent research organisation, undertaking studies of economic, industrial and social policy. An Information Policy Group was established at PSI in 1989. It was created to meet a demand for research into policy issues related to the supply and use of information. Following a rapid expansion in staff and subject areas covered, the Group was split into two in 1994. 
The Information and Citizenship Group now deals with issues relating to the role information in society and citizens' rights of access to information. Staff working on the economic, industrial and market aspects of information came together with those working on arts and culture research programmes to form the Information and Cultural Studies Group.

The Information Programme

Within the Information and Cultural Studies Group, the Information Programme covers a wide range of information and information-related industries and the policy issues relevant to those industries. However, the focus of the work is primarily information content rather than information technology per se. The areas covered can be summarised as follows:

The majority of the Information Programme's work is carried out at a European or worldwide level. Members of the Information Programme collaborate with other research groups within PSI, and there are particularly strong links with the Information and Citizenship and European Industrial Development Groups. In addition, links with similar research groups in Europe, China and elsewhere are being established.

Current Work Programme

  1. IMO 
    The Information Programme currently has two major research contracts with the European Commission and these represent a substantial proportion of the information team's research days. The first is to provide research and reports on behalf of the EC's Information Market Observatory (IMO). The information team produces an annual report on developments in the information market for the IMO, as well as regular Working Papers on more specific aspects of the European information industries. It also contributes to and coordinates some of the other qualitative and quantitative research projects funded by the IMO. The IMO work has already run for four years and will continue until December 1995.
  2. PUBLAW 
    The second major EC project is PUBLAW 3. This is concerned with the relationship between the public and private sectors in the information industry and the commercialisation of government-owned information by private sector information companies. Citizens' access to government information is an important element of the PUBLAW 3, and the information team is working closely with the Information and Citizenship Group on this question. The project began in November 1994 and will run until September 1995.
  3. DSS 
    PSI has recently started a second program of research for the Department of Social Security (DSS). Following its well-received report on "Organisational Structure and the Development of Information Systems Strategies," we are now investigating how organisations like the DSS develop guidelines for the planning and management of their information systems. The project explores the area of how knowledge is developed and conveyed within organisations, both formally and informally. This project will continue until June 1995.
  4. Coopers & Lybrand 
    The subject of knowledge within organisations is also a feature of some work that PSI is carrying out for the management consultancy firm, Coopers & Lybrand. It looks at why and how organisations buy consultancy services. It appears that in many cases consultancy firms operate as intellectual extensions of their clients. The process by which this is achieved and how it can be improved also forms part of the study.

Information and Citizenship Group

Information is an essential part of the infrastructure of citizenship. It enables people to participate in democratic processes, and to hold institutions to account for their actions. Citizens also have a legitimate interest in the information that is held and recorded about them as individuals. And in a complex society people need information in order to make use of the services and benefits to which they may be entitled, and to make choices. 
Without access to information, people are denied these rights and opportunities. Access to information is becoming increasingly important within the UK and at European level. In the UK the development of the Citizen's Charter, the Code of Practice on Open Government and the publication of performance indicators for public services have all raised questions about the information people need and want, and how they should receive it. 
Since it was set up in 1994, the Information and Citizenship Group has been concerned with many asppects of citizens' access to information.
  1. Evaluation of the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985 
    This study explored the extent to which local authorities practice open government. The Act gave the public and elected members rights of access to meetings of local authorities and to papers about their policies and decision making processes. The study investigated how this works in practice and the extent to which the Act contributes to accountability and local democracy.
  2. Citizens' access to legal services 
    The Group was commissioned by the Legal Aid Board to research innovative ways of delivering legal services. At present, legal aid funding is limited to traditional one-to-one advice by a solicitor. It is often argued that voluntary and community organisations, offering different forms of service, such as telephone helplines, or work with local groups like tenant associations, can be more effective in meeting some legal needs. We are evaluating a range of these 'alternative methods'. 
    The franchising of legal aid services is a major development. During 1994 the Legal Aid Board prepared for a pilot project which will further extend the franchisinng scheme, by allowing non-solicitors to offer legal aid for the first time. PSI was commissioned to draw up a set of standards for these non-solicitor agencies, such as Citizens Advice Bureaux and other advice centres. The standards are intended to ensure that non-solicitors can offer a service which is equivalent to that provided by legally trained staff, and thus provide a guarantee of quality to the public and the Legal Aid Board. 
    During 1995 our involvement with citizens' access to legal services will continue. We are monitoring the pilot project and evaluating it against the Lord Chancellor's objectives for legal aid: to provide accessible services, of defined levels of quality, targeted towards those in greatest need, while controlling costs. We are also developing guidelines and outcome measures for the representation of clients at tribunals, a service which is not currently available through the legal aid scheme.
  3. National Disability Information Project 
    This was a three year project, which ended in 1994, which involved both members oof this group and other colleagues at PSI. The Department of Health set up the project with the aim of improving the provision and quality of information for disabled people at both local and national levels. During the three years a great deal was learnt about the most effective ways of delivering and improving access to information for disabled people, their carers and service providers. These lessons will inform the continuing and future development of services.
  4. Information and Citizenship in Europe 
    We are working with partners in four European countries to carry out a Europe-wide study of citizens' needs for information, and the most effective ways of meeting these needs. This study, funded by the European Commission, will conclude with a conference in Luxembourg in September 1995.

Observer

European Information Industry 
Association (EIIA)
Name: David R. Worlock, President of the Council
Address: 104a, St. John Street 
UK - London EC1M 4EH
Country: United Kingdom
Fax: + 44 . 71 . 4 90 47 06
Phone: + 44 . 71 . 4 90 11 85
Name: Lennard Scharff, Executive Director
Address: Bôite Postale 262 
L - 2012 Luxembourg
Country: Luxembourg
Fax: + 3 52 . 34 98 12 34
Phone: + 3 52 . 34 98 14 20

Observer

European Association of Information 
Services (EUSIDIC)
Name: Barry Mahon
Address: B. P. 14 16 
L - 1014 Luxembourg
Country: Luxembourg
Fax: + 3 52 . 25 07 50 - 2 22
Phone: + 3 52 . 25 07 50 - 2 20
E-mail: B.Mahon@dm.rs.ch

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