The project PICASSO “ICT Policy, Research and Innovation for a Smart Society: towards new avenues in EU-US ICT collaboration“, funded under the European Union Horizon 2020 programme, will bring together EU and US prominent specialists with the aim of reinforcing EU-US ICT collaboration in pre-competitive research in key enabling technologies related to societal challenges of common interest – 5G Networks, Big Data, Internet of Things and Cyber Physical Systems – and to support the EU-US ICT policy dialogue.



  • PICASSO is co-funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme.
  • Start Date: 1st January 2016
  • Duration: 30 months
  • Total budget: 1,160,031 €, including a contribution from the European Commission of 999,719 €
  • Aim: Facilitate international partnership and support to ICT dialogues within high-income countries


By 2050, the world population is expected to have reached nine billion, 60% being older than 50. 75% of the population will live in cities, over 60% in small households. Thus, sustainable solutions to problems such as energy supply, logistics, health care, security, water and food supply need to be implemented worldwide.

ICT plays a crucial role in responding to the related economic and social challenges. These challenges are common for the EU and the US and affect citizens around the world. This is why they require global solutions.


The overall aim of the 30-months PICASSO project is to reinforce EU-US ICT collaboration in pre-competitive research and innovation in key enabling technologies: 5G Networks, Big Data, Internet of Things and Cyber-physical systems, and to support the EU-US ICT policy dialogue by specific contributions.

These areas were chosen because they are key enablers for tackling the societal challenges mentioned above and for higher productivity and better service, because large ICT research and innovation efforts in both the EU and the US are devoted to these areas and they are priority topics in various funding programmes in the EU and the US, and because there are relevant networks on both sides of the Atlantic.

The specific objectives of PICASSO are:

  • Objective 1: Enhancement of ICT cooperation focusing on the pre-competitive research and innovation between EU and US industry and academia in ICT fields of common interest related to the societal challenges.
    Target group: ICT companies, and those who are involved in industry-driven projects

  • Objective 2: Provision of specific contributions to the EU-US dialogue on ICT policy, standardization and regulatory issues in the ICT sector as one of the key drivers of sustainable and inclusive growth.
    Target group: Policy makers

  • Objective 3: Propose new avenues and develop strategic initiatives in core ICT technology areas: 5G Networks, Big Data, Internet of Things and Cyber Physical Systems, related to societal challenges, aiming at facilitating EU-US ICT collaboration between industry and academia.
    Target group: Policy makers, funding agencies, multi-stakeholder platforms, and networks


PICASSO will provide a forum and a collaborative platform for ICT communities and ongoing EU (H2020) and US-funded projects, cluster and other networks, focusing on key enabling technologies – 5G Networks, Big Data and IoT/CPS as related to pressing societal challenges.

Industrial drivers and societal needs will be analysed, policy gaps highlighted and ways forward proposed, trends and most important topics for the future will be proposed and discussed, involving the ICT industry in EU and US.

A tool named “CROSSROADS” will be prepared to support interested companies as well as other organizations – research institutes, business support organisations … – in exploiting collaboration opportunities. An Opportunity Report will be prepared, pointing out new avenues for EU-US research, innovation and policy collaboration, and a set of activities on both the strategic and the operational level will be implemented, oriented to the needs of ICT industry – e.g. proposing exclusive bilateral or open EU-US funding schemes, needs for standardization activities and interoperability issues, disseminating best practice examples, creating awareness of the policies and their differences between the EU and the US, providing information on collaboration and funding opportunities.

Specific ICT-related policy proposals will be developed and discussed with policy makers.


To achieve the project objectives, the PICASSO consortium mobilizes for the duration of the project and on a regular basis an outstanding community of ICT actors – representatives of the ICT industries from EU and US, domain experts, end-users and policy specialists, as well as representatives of the PPPs and research and innovation networks, both from the EU and the US. They are organized in four PICASSO EU-US Expert Groups that support the core consortium:

  • Three EU-US thematic ICT Expert Groups focus on the strategic ICT technology areas 5G Networks, Big Data, and IoT/CPS, in relation to the societal challenges. Each group will include prominent experts from the EU and the US.
  • The EU-US ICT Policy Expert Group includes highly experienced policy specialists from the EU and the US, with specific experience in Internet governance, cyber security, standards and interoperability, data privacy, and ethics.

The expert groups in the technology domains and the policy expert group will interact closely to identify policy gaps in the technology domains and to take measures to stimulate the policy dialogue in these areas. This will lead to a synergy between experts in ICT policies and in ICT technologies which is a unique feature of PICASSO.

The views of the groups will be integrated in joint working sessions in order to identify gaps and opportunities and to provide a map of challenges, open problems, and needs for future policies and strategic EU-US initiatives, both policy- and research-related. Cross-industry and cross-application findings will be captured thanks to the interactions within and between the groups.