The overall aim of E-CLIC was to stimulate innovation through the establishment of eight new European collaborative innovation centres for broadband media services, and to develop the capacity for growth and employment across the North Sea Region through collaboration in a North Sea cluster.
Broadband access is essential to the prosperity and future development of Europe's rural regions, and broadband media services are a prerequisite for effective business and a must for the growth of jobs on which regional economies depend.
The European Commission has declared access to broadband as an important aim in the i2010 initiative. Broadband availability is a prerequisite for the provisioning of broadband services. These value-added services are perceived as the engine for stimulating economic growth and new impetus to the IT sector.
Broadband allows individuals and businesses to communicate and access services regardless of their geographical location. By its very nature, broadband bridges distances and is particularly beneficial to the development and attractiveness of remote and rural areas. Broadband internet services are among the fastest growing sectors in the worldwide economy, and rural and peripheral regions have great opportunities to fully participate in the development of these services.
The ambition of the North sea Region is to gain top position in Europe as the most advanced region in the development and provisioning of innovative broadband services. Building on the successful Interreg IIIB project BIRD (Broadband Access for Innovation and Regional Development), the E-CLIC partners launched an initiative of supporting innovation, development and provisioning of innovative broadband services.
E-CLIC moved forward by stimulating services that made use of the increasing availability of ample bandwidth and other infrastructural facilities. A crucial instrument for attaining this position was the establishment of a connected ring of collaborative innovation centres.