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Smart grids have attracted significant attention lately, and one can even speak of a hype. However, much of the attention is paid to the distribution side and consumer interaction. Nevertheless, also at the transmission level important improvements can be achieved through farsighted and careful intelligent grid design and implementation. This paper identifies different research areas and their respective boundary interactions in order to enable a practical “Smart Grid” implementation in the European power system. Emphasis is placed on three essential aspects of the Smart Transmission Grid. First, the necessary evolution of synchrophasor measurement technology is discussed, as well as the limitations towards and its full integration into power system operation and control. An important aspect to achieve this full integration is the necessity to test and integrate any proposed solution in an open and transparent environment. Secondly, the IT, data and communications paradigm is critically discussed. And lastly, the key questions that are open to the transmission system operators are discussed, specifically regarding the coordination within the pan-European power system and its security. Going beyond the purely academic point-of-view, this paper specifically aims to bring a realistic approach towards research for the transmission network.