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Success stories

A number research teams from the Western Balkans are / have been involved in EU-funded research projects both as coordinators and partners. The opinion and 'experience' of the respective team leaders is outlined below.

Power plants Robustification based On fault Detection and Isolation algorithms
Acronym: PRODI (224233)
Title: Power plants Robustification based On fault Detection and Isolation algorithms
WBC R&D organisations: School of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Belgrade
Acronym: PRODI (224233)
Title: Power plants Robustification based On fault Detection and Isolation algorithms
Project period: 2008-04-01 - 2011-03-31
Project type: STREP
Project coordinator: School of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Belgrade
WBC R&D organisations: School of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Belgrade
Keywords: power plants, fault detection, robustification, fault isolation

Q1: Why did you participate  into  FP7?

We decided to participate in the FP7 Programme for a variety of reasons: it offers the opportunity to cooperate with EU's eating research institutions, enables us to, within a consortium work on bigger and more interesting problems, while it is also a significant source of funding.

Q2: How did you find partners?

Most of the partners we work with are the people that we have a prior friendship and history of cooperation: people we meet at conferences, as well as researchers from Serbia who work in the EU

Q3: Have you continued with cooperation with your project partners when project was finished?

Yes, we continue our cooperation with almost all of the project partners through joint research, exchanges, and new project proposals

Q4: What benefits you can claim for FP7 participation?

It provides an opportunity to take part in the state of the art research, and provides funding that we are not able to otherwise find.

Q5: What have you found as the barriers?

The major obstacles are a combination of the difficulty to enter strong consortia (coordinated by other institutions), a lack of experience in preparation of FP7 proposals (although the theory is well explained in an abidance of events), and a lack of a deeper understanding of the scientific trends in ERA.

Q6: Are you participating in other EU projects?

Yes, we actively take part in the FP7 Programme, and continuously submit new proposals.

Q7: Have you been an FP7  project evaluator?

No, but I would like to become it, as it gives a good insight on the proposal evaluation process and we can benefit from this experience.

 

Interview of

Prof Željko Djurović, PRODI project coordinator - Head of the Signals and Systems department, School of Electrical Engineering, University of Belgrade, Serbia (zdjurovic@etf.rs)

 

 



Universal open platform and reference Specification for Ambient Assisted Living
Acronym: UniversAAL (247950)
Title: Universal open platform and reference Specification for Ambient Assisted Living
WBC R&D organisations: Ericsson Nikola Tesla (Croatia)
Acronym: UniversAAL (247950)
Title: Universal open platform and reference Specification for Ambient Assisted Living
Project period: 2010-02-01 - 2014-01-31
Project type: Large-scale integrating project (IP)
Project coordinator: STIFELSEN SINTEF
WBC R&D organisations: Ericsson Nikola Tesla (Croatia)
Keywords: Consolidated European AAL platform, runtime support, AAL services, development tools, community building and standarization

Q1: For how long you have been involved in EU funded activities?

We started in FP6 as a partner on the project MPOWER. In FP7 we have been partners in  projects ImPrESS and universAAL.

Q2: Why did you join FP7 projects?

FP7 is a good opportunity for doing research which otherwise we would not be able to conduct. It is also and excellent opportunity to work with established and well known academic and industry researchers from EU. This ways we also make a knowledge transfer and via project dissemination results we have opportunity to be present and viable in the market. Finally, FP7 projects offer free research findings, which is important as well.

Q3: How did you find consortia partners?

Using our personal and company’s network. Once we got reputation of being good partner, it was easier to get more offers.

Q4: Have you continued cooperation with project partners after project was finished?

Yes, we have cooperated again on new project proposals. Actually, work on MPOWER project open the door for us to work on universAAL project.

Q5: What have been the biggest challenges for you regarding work on FP7?

It would be of great help if we have had in Croatia a national IT strategy which clearly defines priorities and themes. That way we would know which direction we need to follow.

FP7 project are demanding in project preparation and administration in terms of time. But on the other hand it is a good opportunity to make a new partnerships and meet new researchers . Those new connections can bring other joint projects, not necessarily FP7, so that way we make new partnerships, which otherwise would not be possible.

Q6: Have you been involved in other EU projects apart from FP7?

We participated in TEMP and currently in CIP PSP HEERO. As big company, in the future we see ourselves involved in many EU or transnational projects but only if they are in line with our company’s strategy. The reason for that is that as an industry partner, we are entitled on 50 funds and we need to make u the rest. Due to that fact it is not feasible for us to be involved in projects which are not in compliance to our strategy.

Q7: Which are your main markets?

Via Ericsson corporation we are present on global market. In terms of ET Croatia, we are part of Western Europe region. Our primary markets Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro.

Q8: How do you cooperate with young researchers from Croatia? Do you cooperate on regular basis with Croatian leading academic ICT institutions?

We have tradition of cooperation with academic community for 60 years and we are proud on joint accomplishments.  We made agreements of cooperation with FER  Zagreb, FESB Split  and Technical faculty in Rijeka.  With those academic partners we have been working work on the joint projects. Students are motivated to attend our Summer School where they learn how to conduct research and until the prototype phase. 

 

 

Interview of

Dr Darko Huljenić, Manager for Technology and Scientific activities at Ericsson Nikola Tesla, Croatia (darko.huljenic@ericsson.com)

Intelligent light management for OLED on foils Application
Acronym: IMOLA (288377)
Title: Intelligent light management for OLED on foils Application
WBC R&D organisations: Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, University of Zagreb (Croatia)
Acronym: IMOLA (288377)
Title: Intelligent light management for OLED on foils Application
Project period: 2011-10-01 - 2014-09-30
Project type: STREP
Project coordinator: IMEC
WBC R&D organisations: Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, University of Zagreb (Croatia)
Keywords: Electronics, computing and intelligent systems

Q1: What is your experience with  FP7?

I consider FP7 projects are the entrance into the advanced, strategic research projects that will have an impact on the economy of EU countries and the Balkans region in the near future and it is naturally worth participating in this type of projects. This participation is extremely important for the universities from less developed countries for building their own research potential.

Q2: When did you start and how   did you find partners?

The partners from the consortium have found me. I have participated earlier in an FP6 project (acronym ROBUSPIC), which finished in 2007, in which the present coordinator was one of the partners. My team has obviously done a good job in that FP6 project. After my FP6 project has finished, my team continued to cooperate with two partners from the project, the company ON Semiconductor and the university KU Leuven, both from Belgium, on other research projects financed directly from the industry.

Q3: What  have been benefits of FP7 project work for you and your team?

The most important benefit of a participation in FP projects is direct transfer of knowledge from more experienced research partners. Also, enlarging the research network of my team is of great importance and it forces my PhD students to perform on the level of other project partners, which means that we can not indulge in feeling the best in our small village; we are forced to compare with the best in Europe and world in general.

Q4: What barriers you have faced with?

There are three major obstacles. The first barrier is a large initial threshold that has to be mastered; the threshold in terms of the lack of knowledge how to prepare a proposal, the lack of partner network and the lack of self-confidence that a research team from a small country and not so well know university can efficiently participate in a strategic  European project. The second obstacle is very low level of research investment and consequently low research output and research quality in general. The era when research could have been done only by a pencil on a sheet of paper has long passed away. However, by far the worst barrier is the fact that local industry, almost as a general rule, does not invest in research to improve their products.

Q5: Have you been involved in other EU or international projects?

I always either participate or plan to participate in international project since 2003. At the moment I am also involved in an industry funded project with a company ON Semiconductor in Belgium.

Q6: Have you been an FP7  project evaluator?

I have never been an evaluator for FP7 projects.

 

Interview of

Prof.dr.sc.  Adrijan Barić, Department of Electronics, Microelectronics, Computer and Intelligent Systems, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, University of Zagreb (Croatia) (adrijan.baric@fer.hr)

 

Embedded Computer Engineering Learning Platform
Acronym: E2LP (317882)
Title: Embedded Computer Engineering Learning Platform
WBC R&D organisations: Faculty of Technical Sciences, University of Novi Sad (Serbia)
Acronym: E2LP (317882)
Title: Embedded Computer Engineering Learning Platform
Project period: 2012-09-01 - 2015-08-31
Project type: STREP
Project coordinator: Faculty of Technical Sciences, University of Novi Sad (Serbia)
WBC R&D organisations: Faculty of Technical Sciences, University of Novi Sad (Serbia)
Keywords: Technology-enhanced learning

Q1: When and why did you enter into FP7 ?

Based on the experience in education of embedded computer engineers and, especially, on use a unified education platform since 2006 we initialized the start of a project to develop and to incorporate the unified education platform for education in field of embedded computer engineering at more EU universities. The FP7 project was an ideal framework to realise such initiative together with other EU academic and industrial partners.

Q2: How did you find project partners?

Needs for embedded computer engineers in Europe are dramatic. Therefore, it stays in the focus of education at many EU universities. A structured approach could significantly speedup this process. Therefore, it was not difficult to find academic partners as well as industry partners. The project consortium includes 9 partners from 7 countries (4 partners from WBC – HR and SRB) – 5 of them are academic partners, 2 of them are RD institutes and 2 of them are SMEs.

Q3: What have been benefits of FP7 project work for yourself, your team and institution?

All project results will be directly incorporated in the running engineering study programs at the faculty. Regarding their quality and relevancy we expect to achieve significant improvements.

Q4: What barriers you have faced within your institution or on the national level support?

Faculty of technical sciences is strongly focused on research in education in different fields of engineering, et al. computer engineering. Generally, in this field all activities have to be globally valued – national level could be only interesting in the sense of infrastructural support. A lot of drawbacks, typical for transition countries, could be pointed out. But, our approach is not to wait for global changes but to make progress where we can do something with own activities. Therefore, such common projects are one of the best choices.

Q5: What is your motivation to get involved in EU or international projects?

In my opinion it is the right way to exchange experiences and to improve own research and education activities. Also, it is a chance and challenge for positioning in EU academic communities and on EU markets.

Q6: How would you improve cooperation between WBC and EU research teams ?

Our approach is proactive: not to wait for systematic initiatives on government levels, more to use own networking in academic and industrial communities to establish common projects and initiatives.

Q7: What would you suggest to increase cooperation between industry and academy. Can you tell us about any example from your country /region?

We have a bit specific approach, perhaps defined by local conditions in Novi Sad. It is a full integration of education, research and commercialization activities. In last twenty ears the policy of our faculty allowed additional engagements of the faculty staff members by founding start-ups and spinoffs based on education and research activities. It resulted in almost 70 companies employing almost 2000 engineers. As a good example is the RT-RK (www.rt-rk.com) company (20 years activities) employing almost 400 engineers (full-time) and operating on the global market in the field of consumer SW development and applications. The model is stabile today having clear benefits for both sides: the company provides to the faculty actual orientation in engineering education and research accompanied with modern equipped labs for students, and the faculty provides to the company fresh engineers with needed skills. It is achieved through a shared engagement of the core team in education and commercial projects.

 

Interview of:

Prof. Dr. Miodrag Temerinac - Project coordinator (miodrag.temerinac@rt-rk.com)

  • Position: Head of computer engineering and communication group, Faculty of Technical Sciences, University Novi Sad (Serbia)
  • Research Domain: electrical and computer engineering

 

 

Embedded Computer Engineering Learning Platform
Acronym: E2LP (317882)
Title: Embedded Computer Engineering Learning Platform
WBC R&D organisations: RT-RK Computer Based Systems, Novi Sad (Serbia)
Acronym: E2LP (317882)
Title: Embedded Computer Engineering Learning Platform
Project period: 2012-09-01 - 2015-08-31
Project type: STREP
Project coordinator: Faculty of Technical Sciences, University of Novi Sad (Serbia)
WBC R&D organisations: RT-RK Computer Based Systems, Novi Sad (Serbia)
Keywords: Technology enhanced learning

Q1: When and why did you enter into FP7?

We’ve been active in writing FP7 project proposals since 2008 as we recognized FP7 programme value through forming a network of partners from the EU as well as allow­ing us to actively research and develop within our areas of interest. Embedded Computer Engineering Learning Plat­form project was accepted in year 2012.

Q2: How did you find project partners?

Through previous established links and through other part­ners on the project.

Q3: What have been benefits of FP7 project work for your­self , your team and institution?

The benefits of the FP7 project work for myself, my team and institution, respectively are:

  1. Collaboration with other project partners and exchange of ideas
  2. Improved education efficiency in lab, with strong ac­cent on hands-on experience
  3. Reduction of the time and cost for education of engi­neers in the field of real-time embedded system engineer­ing and more interaction between the education and fur­ther R&D in embedded systems

Q4: What barriers you have faced within your institution or on the national level support?

Initially, the biggest barrier was learning how to create a budget according to the FP7 programme guidelines and having support within the University accounting depart­ment. As FP7 programme was more accepted and dis­seminated at national and University levels we jointly went through the learning process.

Q5: What is your motivation to get involved in EU or inter­national projects?

Collaboration with other EE partners and funding which otherwise would not be available to develop innovative ideas.

Q6: How would you improve cooperation between WBC and EU research teams?

Possibly, thorough exchange of people and longer stays at different EU or WBC institutions.

Q7: What would you suggest to increase cooperation be­tween industry and academy. Can you tell us about any example from your country /region?

At our University strong links exists between companies and Universities. Many spin-offs were founded based on innovative ideas. This route could also be explored within this project to further commercialize Embedded Comput­er Engineering Learning Platform.

 

Interview of:

Prof. Dr. Nikola Teslic (nikola.teslic@rt-rk.com)

  • Position: Deputy General Man­ager, RT-RK Institute (Novi Sad, Serbia) 
  • Research Domain: Design of complex digital system

 

 

 

Embedded Computer Engineering Learning Platform
Acronym: E2LP (317882)
Title: Embedded Computer Engineering Learning Platform
WBC R&D organisations: Ruđer Bošković Institute (Croatia)
Acronym: E2LP (317882)
Title: Embedded Computer Engineering Learning Platform
Project period: 2012-09-01 - 2015-08-31
Project type: STREP
Project coordinator: Faculty of Technical Sciences, University of Novi Sad (Serbia)
WBC R&D organisations: Ruđer Bošković Institute (Croatia)
Keywords: Technology enhanced learning

Q1: When and why did you enter into FP7?

My interest in to EU projects is dating nearly a decade back. Croatia was not a candidate for the EU, but we still managed to become members of the SEE GRID project, first EU FP 6 project was funded in Croatia. It was a great challenge and opportunity to develop Grid infrastructure and applications together with the other partners. From then regularly participate in the creation of project proposals and so far I’ve had success as a member of a consortium of 15 EU FP6 / 7 projects. My concern over the project’s are co-operation at EU level, the creation and transfer knowledge and technologies as well as establishing the advanced research infrastructure.

Q2: How did you find project partners?

I found the project partners mainly through former partners and international contacts. In several cases, I used Cordis partner’s search utilities. I visited all Proposer and Open days and I have used the benefits over Ideal-ist. On several occasions my Centre wrote project proposal as coordinator, and we assembled a consortium knowing quality of the institutions and individuals.

Q3: What have been benefits of FP7 project work for yourself , your team and institution?

Gain by working on the FP 7 project is extremely large. Experience working in a consortium is the basis of modern integration in scientific work. We are building a modern network computing research infrastructure, Grid compute facilities and scientific Cloud services (acting at the level of the ERA). In this respect, the benefit is transfer of eScience technology and incorporation into fourth paradigm for scientific research. SEE GRID had a very big impact in the development of participating countries. I believe that the EU projects have a large influence on the strategy and progress of the institution as a whole.

Q4: What barriers you have faced within your institution or on the national level supports?

Yes, there are certainly problems. There is a lack of experience, support and understanding. Each institution should have a well-trained project management office. Project should have a professional administrative and financial management support. Executors of project objectives should have effective stimulation.

One of the main problem is that we who work on EU projects can not reach EU levels of income as a result of our own quality and competitive implementation. So, unfortunately, doing the same job in the consortium sometimes we are paid more than 2 times less. I think that it is necessary to change the stimulatory mechanisms at the ministerial level.

Q5: What is your motivation to get involved in EU or international projects?

My personal motivation is to be present and active within the ERA. I’m trying to build through EU projects eScience technology and improve the technological basis of scientific research in my institution. Also I spread throughout the country especially in the field of establishing modern research infrastructure by ESFRI roadmap and ERIC regulations. I think that’s the basis of the effective high quality scientific development and production. Croatia as future new member state of EU must follow all standards and strategic aspirations.

It’s a question of regional development initiatives. In this regard, I’m trying to build bilateral and multilateral project initiatives. Until now we have cooperation with all countries in WBC region. We have very good relations and co-operative projects with Slovenia, Hungary and Serbia. This last E2LP project lead by prof. Miodrag Temerinac from Novi Sad is an example that it is possible to realize high-quality project initiatives from the WBC region. The resulting of ESR 15/15 is a great score. For the preparation of this project, we worked few years and we are proud of the achievement.

Q6: What would you suggest to increase cooperation between industry and academy. Can you tell us about any example from your country /region?

We have a tendency to integrate the industrial partner in EU projects. On several occasions, we have included several industrial partners but we were mostly facing to the SME partners. We believe that it is strategically important that the project results must be marketed through SMEs. Also it is very helpful to have the results of the EU project application to the market through a Spin Off companies.

 

Interview of:

Prof. Dr. Sc. Karolj Skala (skala@irb.hr)

  • Position: Head of Centre for Informatics and Computing, Ruđer Bošković Institute (Croatia)
  • Research Domain: Distributed and embedded systems, parallel computing, scientific visualisation and eScience technologies

 

 

Embedded Computer Engineering Learning Platform
Acronym: E2LP (317882)
Title: Embedded Computer Engineering Learning Platform
WBC R&D organisations: Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Zagreb (Croatia)
Acronym: E2LP (317882)
Title: Embedded Computer Engineering Learning Platform
Project period: 2012-09-01 - 2015-08-31
Project type: STREP
Project coordinator: Faculty of Technical Sciences, University of Novi Sad (Serbia)
WBC R&D organisations: Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Zagreb (Croatia)
Keywords: Technology enanced learning

Q1: When and why did you enter into FP7?

FP7 is one of the key programmes for European researchers and industry. I have been involved in several FP7 related activities for many years, from participation in projects, reviewing projects to being the national expert in FP7 ICT committee. The programme sets high research standards, encourages joint research and focuses on competitiveness of EU in dynamic world markets.

Q2: How did you find project partners?

Most often you find your project partners through contacts that you make while working on specific research topic in the past. For this project this was also the case.

Q3: What have been benefits of FP7 project work for yourself , your team and institution?

For any serious project you need larger research group supported by the industry that clearly sees the opportunity to make project results profitable or use it for general wellbeing. The most valuable benefits for us have been the same. In the project we have larger team and wider knowledge that enable us to create better solutions, and working with people from different countries and markets creates the opportunity for future projects.

Q4: What barriers you have faced within your institution or on the national level support?

So fare we were lucky not to have major barriers.

Q5: What is your motivation to get involved in EU or international projects?

The motivation is clear: world market is just too competitive, so only integrated ideas from wider community can actually result in successful projects. Without involvement in international projects you simply cannot create great products or services.

Q6: How would you improve cooperation between WBC and EU research teams?

Funding is always crucial and it does not have to be substantial but it should be well spent. The key goal should be that research that is funded even within WBCs must be focused to projects that are used by the industry, project preparation (costs associated with the submission of project proposals) should be funded in advance and that successful projects should be presented widely as examples allowing younger researchers to more easily grasp the idea how to successfully submit new projects.

Q7: What would you suggest to increase cooperation between industry and academy. Can you tell us about any example from your country /region?

This is often chicken&egg problem. Industry should invest in R&D, finance cooperation with academic institution and not look into short term benefits. In the same time academy should focus more on problems that are of interest to the industry and not focus only on something that can be published but is of no use to anyone. By talking as often as possible about possible cooperation, by doing smaller scale pilot projects and with the help of the projects like FP7 and other international and local funding schemes that focus on end results the level of cooperation can be increased. There are vast number of examples of that.

 

Interview of:

Prof. Dr. Sc. Mario Kovac (mario.kovac@fer.hr - http://hr.linkedin.com/in/marioko­vac)

  • Position: Faculty of electrical engineering and comput­ing, University of Zagreb (Croatia)
  • Research Domain: Computer architecture, Multimedia systems, e&m-health, Business models in ICT

 


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