Acronym for European Strategic Programme for Research in Information Technology. There have been three ESPRIT programs: ESPRIT I, 1984–87; ESPRIT II, 1987–91; ESPRIT III, 1991–94. They were funded by the European Community, and formed major components of the Community's successive R&D Framework Programmes (I, II, and III respectively).
Under Framework IV, 1995–98, the ESPRIT label was dropped and the program went under the name RTD Programme in Information Technologies (RTD is short for Research and Technological Development). Subsequent programs were Framework V (1998–2002) and Framework VI (2002–06); the current program, Framework VII, is due to run from 2007–13.
See also ESSI.
http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/home_en.html The Framework VII programme home page