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Home  > Emerging Technologies  > News  > Launching of the Future Internet Forum in Prague

Launching of the Future Internet Forum in Prague

 - 12/05/2009

Logotipo do Future Internet Forum (FIF)The launch meeting for the FIF – Future Internet Forum was held on 12 May 2009, focussing on R&D and innovation policies to enable Member States and Associate Countries to exchange best-practices and experience, to overcome fragmentation of efforts and to seek to forge cross-cutting synergies for programmes and initiatives financed at national and EU level.

The Future Internet Forum’s role and responsibilities dovetail with those of other existing groups and fora, such as the National ICT Research Directors Forum, the i2010 High Level Group, the CIP-PCP Committee, the FP7 ICT Committee (ICTC), the FP7 IST Advisory Group (ISTAG), etc. (Portugal is represented at the first three by The Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC), and represented at the first two by the President of UMIC), with whom the FIF shall endeavour to encourage regular collaboration and information exchange.

20 countries took part in the Future Internet Forum launch, including Portugal, which was represented by the President of The Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC). The Future Internet Forum (FIF) is comprised of representatives from the Member States or Associate Countries with initiatives or activities on the Future Internet. Its members are high-level representatives from the competent ministries or public or private sector experts who have been specifically mandated to represent national initiatives or programmes related to the Future Internet.

From an R&D and innovation perspective, Future Internet policies in Portugal have recently been covered under the following initiatives:

  1. “Partnerships for the Future”
  2. “Meetings with the Scientific Community in Portugal”
  3. “National GRID Initiative (INGRID)”
  4. New Generation Networks (RCTS and Community Networks)
  5. “R&D Consortia”.
  1. The Partnerships for the Future initiative was launched in 2006 aiming at developing Knowledge Networks and has since grown under the Commitment to Science for Portugal’s Future which was unveiled in the Portuguese Parliament in March 2006 by the Prime Minister. It forges ambitious international partnerships between scientific institutions, universities and enterprises and the world’s leading universities and scientific organisations. Public calls for tender are opened in the scope of these programmes in topics of particular strategic interest. These have to involve at least two Portuguese institutions, at least one company and a partner foreign institution. Every programme set up in the scope of the “Partnerships for the Future” initiative includes advanced ICT aspects pertaining to the Future Internet.
    • MIT – Portugal Programme (launched on 11 October 2006), with MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology, focussing on: Engineering Systems, particularly in the areas of: Sustainable Energy and Transport Systems; Product Development and Design Engineering, with particular emphasis on electric vehicles, stem cells and Tissue Engineering for New Regenerative Medicine.
    • CMU – Portugal Programme (launched on 27 October 2006), with Carnegie Mellon University, focussing on: Processing and Information Networks, including software engineering, information networks, information security and computer language processing; Sensor Networks and Technologies; Public Telecommunications and Technological Innovation and Mathematics Policies.
    • UT Austin – Portugal Programme (launched on 2 March 2007), with the University of Texas at Austin, focussing on: Digital Content, Advanced Computing, Mathematics, and stimulating activities for marketing science and technology by the UTEN – University Technology Enterprise Network, which was set up under this Programme and involves 14 Portuguese universities and several scientific institutions. Its goal is to encourage competitive development on the global stage and a sustainable marketing infrastructure for Portuguese technology based on the experience of the IC² Institute (Innovation, Creativity, Capital) and the Austin Technology Incubator of the University of Texas at Austin.
    • Fraunhofer – Portugal Programme (launched on 18 de April 2007), with the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft and focussing on setting up the 1st Fraunhofer Institute outside Germany in Porto – the AICOS – Fraunhofer Portugal Research Center for Assistive Information and Communication Solutions, in operation since May 2008.

  2. The “Meetings with the Scientific Community in Portugal” initiative was jointly launched in 2007 by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education and the Council of Associate Laboratories. It consists of an open forum with annual meetings that are well attended, involving scientists, research institutions and companies.

    On 12-13 April 2007, the 1st Meeting with the Scientific Community in Portugal: Science 2007 was opened by the Prime Minister and closed by the Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education. It included, among others, specific sessions on ICT, Engineering Systems, Robotics, Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Aeronautics and Space.

    On 2-4 July 2008, in addition to those areas dealt with at the 1st Meeting, and among many others, the 2nd Meeting with the Scientific Community in Portugal: Science 2008 examined the following themes:

    The 3rd Meeting with the Scientific Community in Portugal, 29-30 July 2009, was opened by the Prime Minister and closed by the Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education. Future Internet topics were omnipresent at this meeting, which followed on from previous years with the following sessions: eScience; New Generation Networks; Cyber-Physical Systems for Environmental Intelligence and Critical Infrastructures; Spoken and Written Word Science and Technologies; Human-Machine Computing and Interactive Digital Content; Medical Imaging and Advanced Computer Systems for Clinical Diagnosis; Mathematics Applications for Clinical Diagnosis and Health; Sustainable Energy Systems and Transport; Electric Vehicles and New Forms of Mobility; Ocean Exploration and Diagnostic Technologies and Systems, Nanoscience, Nanotechnology and Nanomanufacturing.

  3. The National Grid Initiative (INGRID) was designed by The Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC) and launched in April 2006. UMIC organised a forum on INGRID in November 2006, followed by the opening of a public call for RDT in GRID computing projects by the Science and Technology Foundation (FCT). Consequently, there are currently research projects in: (i) computer simulation and analysis of high energy physics data such as those that will be produced by CERN’s LHC experiment and through plasma physics and nuclear fusion, (ii) forecasting changes in Portugal’s coastline, (iii) forest fire simulation, (iv) mapping atmospheric pollution, (v) simulating protein structures, (vi) image data repositories for medical applications, (vii) medical imaging. Meanwhile, the national GRID infrastructure has developed rapidly, reaching 1,778 CPUs, 996 Terabytes disk memory and 2 Pentabytes long term robotic magnetic tape memory in June 2009 (when INGRID started in April 2006, the figures were a mere 70 CPUs, 22 Terabytes disk memory and virtually no magnetic tape storage capacity).

  4. A cycle of stakeholder meetings was held by The Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC) on New Generation Networks, looking at installation and operation of New Generation Networks (NGR) and related broadband services. These meetings were held in July 2006 (Advanced Services Over Broadband), July 2008 UMIC to Meet with All Community Broadband Network Promoters) and February 2009 (UMIC brings together Community Broadband Network Promoters for Workshop) and involved the main players in setting up the few initial, and thus far the only, NGNs in Portugal. All these NGNs were developed under guidance from UMIC, more specifically:
    • The evolution of RCTS – Science, Technology and Society Network, managed by the FCCN – Foundation for National Scientific Computation and funded by The Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC) into a NGN based on the former conventional National Research and Education Network (NREN) which is currently the only large effectively operational NGN in Portugal, with the FCCN’s own dark fibre serving roughly 80% of the higher education system at 10 Gbps and connected by redundant ring to the Spanish NREN, and local access by mobile broadband in all higher education campuses and supporting an impressive range of advanced services, most of which have been developed over the last two years:

      • Immersive video-conferencing rooms;
      • National GRID Computing Junction with more than 1,100 processors, 600 Terabytes disk memory and 2 Pentabytes robot magnetic disk memory installed at a new 400 m2 data centre;
      • RCAAP – Portuguese Open Access Scientific Repository incorporating all the country’s institutional repositories, it was inaugurated on 15-16 December 2008 at the 3rd Conference on Free Access to Knowledge where open, free access to knowledge was discussed. It already includes 15 university institution repositories, whereas a year ago there were only 6 institutional repositories nationwide, which were not interconnected;
      • Zappiens – High Definition Video Repository with digital management of Copyright or Creative Commons licenses of scientific or cultural interest;
      • VoIP – Voice over IP for the entire National Higher Education System with significant savings for telephone communications;
      • High definition video-conferencing and web-casting services for the scientific system and higher education system;
      • Portuguese Web Archive;
      • Online Knowledge Library (b-on), planned in 1999 and available from 2004, through which people in scientific and higher education institutions can access whole texts of scientific articles, and which saw 5.2 million downloads in 2008 – two and a half times more than in 2004;
      • e-U: Virtual Campus, incorporating all public higher education institutions and private member institutions in one single virtual campus in a groundbreaking way for a country on the worldwide level. This campus is accessible by wireless by means of a national user authentication system. It began to be installed at the end of 2004 and saw the lion’s share of its growth from the 2nd semester of 2005 on;
      • I.T. Security supported by CERT.PT, the first computer security incident response team in Portugal to have international accreditation, and the only team between September 2002 and July 2007.
    • 4 Community Networks in remote rural areas over dark fibre with more than 1,000 km cabling and active equipment to operate at 10 Gbps as open multi-operator networks built in the second half of 2008.

  5. The “R&D Consortia” initiative was launched by the opening of a public call for proposals in March 2009 by the Science and Technology Foundation (FCT) and The Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC). These “R&D Consortia” have to be set up as not-for-profit associations with an independent legal identity. They have been designed to link State Laboratories, Associate Laboratories and other Research Units, universities and companies around a small number of topics for strategic interest R&D application, some of which are of particular relevance for R&D in ICT, including: Ocean science and technology, natural risks, nuclear physics and advanced computing, space science and technology, and security.

For information on the Future of the Internet movement in Europe, go to the European Future Internet Portal and the EC website on the Future of the Internet

Photograph of representatives of participants at the Future Internet Forum launch meeting.

Fotografia dos representantes dos participantes na reunião de lançamento do Forum da Internet do Futuro

Last updated ( 25/08/2011 )