It is a measure of the importance of the software industry that it provides EUR 180 billion of added value and employment to more than 2.75 million people. SINTEF ICT collaborates with all industrial sectors, including outside the software industry, although in most of our projects software is the main component of our products. SINTEF thus acknowledges the importance of software and software engineering in contributing to the advancement of products and services which are the foundation of our industries' innovations and competitiveness. This will become more evident as both the industrial and public sectors adopt advanced software infrastructure and applications in their efforts to interconnect and become more service-oriented.
Software represents the pen and paper of our digital age. In its “ISTAG” report, the EU Commission has highlighted the relevance of software to the European economy and society as a whole, and has termed it a Key Enabling Technology (KET). As a KET, software is defined as essential to wealth generation and socioeconomic development due to its ability to accelerate innovation in industry, business and the public sector, and for its contribution to social innovation.