eTEN is a European Community programme providing funds to help make e-services available throughout the European Union.
Advances in technology are transforming almost every aspect of our lives. In particular, developments in telecommunications are having a profound impact. In the new Information Society, businesses and governments are able to provide more and more services electronically. In turn, individuals are given greater choice and opportunity, for example to pursue computer-based courses of study, or to receive online health advice. Electronic or e-services are also helping people to become more involved in their communities, for example by letting them know what is happening in their local area.
The launch of new e-services is a major decision for the people who provide them, requiring preparation and planning to weigh up the costs and benefits. Businesses and public authorities all want to know that their investments will reap rewards. They want to see better services resulting for the consumer and the citizen.
The success of e-services can be especially difficult to predict when they are provided in more than one country. There may be language difficulties. There may be differences in culture and in legal and administrative environments. There may be problems in making computer applications compatible with each other. Customer service, maintenance of information or physical stockpiles, delivery, marketing and promotion may also need to be adapted to local conditions.
This is where eTEN comes in.
The European Community eTEN programme helps to stimulate the deployment of innovative, trans-European e-services of social or economic interest. These services are intended to contribute to growth within the European Union, employment, social cohesion, and to help everyone participate in the new knowledge-based economy.
The eTEN initiative is geared to supporting services – it does not provide funding for building infrastructures. eTEN can provide financial support to consortia that propose projects for specific Trans-European e-services It focuses particularly on the critical launch phase, before a service has become established. The prior validation phase of an e-service is financially assisted, where assumptions about the operating costs and the potential revenues, savings and public benefits of a service are put to the test, before a decision is taken on whether to proceed with deployment. This phase typically lasts up to 18 months, and uses demonstrations or pilots of the proposed service, user feedback and peer reviews.
eTEN can provide:
- Up to 30% of the costs of deployment, for the initial rollout of a new service;
- Up to 50% of the costs of market validation for a service, showing its technical and economic feasibility and benefit to end-users. This enables public authorities and investors to make informed decisions on whether to bring the service to market, based on a thorough analysis of the economics involved. In no case, however, can eTEN funding exceed 10% of the estimated initial investment cost of the project as a whole.
| eTEN – stimulating e-services to help make Europe more competitive, and to improve people’s quality of life
The Scope of eTEN