European research activities are structured around consecutive four-year programs, called "Framework Programmes". The Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) sets out the priorities - including the Information Society Technologies (IST) priority - for the period 2002-2006. The IST thematic priority contributes directly to realizing European policies for the knowledge society as agreed at several EU Councils. The strategy is for an accelerated transition to a competitive and dynamic knowledge economy capable of sustainable growth, with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion. This requires wider adoption, broader availability and an extension of IST applications and services in all economic and public sectors and in society as a whole. IST are the key underlying technologies for easier and efficient knowledge creation, sharing and exploitation.