The IST conference is the annual networking event and showcase covering research and development in information society technologies (IST). IST 2004 is organised by the European Commission in co-operation with the Dutch Presidency of the European Union.
Networking sessions complement the conference and exhibition and contribute to one of the prime objectives of the European Commission's research policy: to encourage forward thinking collaborative initiatives that support the development of the European Research Area. The sessions bring together people who are interested in a specific topic in order to discuss project ideas, research activities and business partnerships. They are less formal discussion groups than the official conference workshops, encouraging active participation and lateral thinking.
The expected outcomes of the networking sessions include:
- Focused dialogue on a concrete subject
- Personal contacts that will foster future activities within the European Research Area (ERA) objectives
- Scheduling of consortia building meetings
- Ongoing discussions via Web interfaces
- Exploratory workshops