Joint CELTIC Eurogia Proposers Day in Madrid
On 29th January, the first joint CELTIC and EUROGIA Proposers Day took place at Nokia Bell Labs in Madrid. The registered participants from both Cluster communities came together to discuss new projects ideas for ICT-based end-to-end solutions in different vertical sectors (CELTIC) and green energy technologies (EUROGIA). Experts presented new insights on recent technological developments in Artificial Intelligence and information on funding opportunities. Proposers presented twelve new project ideas in a pitching session. The Proposers Day stimulated new project proposals on disruptive technologies in the areas of ICT and energy, which were submitted in the Joint CELTIC Eurogia Call that closed in spring.
The event was opened by the CEO of Nokia Spain, Mr Ignacio Gallego, and Mr Álvaro Villegas from Nokia Bell Labs, Spain. Welcome addresses were given by Ms Juana Sanchez from CDTI, Mr Pierre Besse from EUROGIA, and Mr Jari Lehmusvuori, CELTIC Vice-Chair and head of department at Nokia Bell Labs in Finland, who also moderated the event.
Mr Diego Lopez from Telefonica gave an inspiring keynote on AI with the title “Building the Golden Closed Loop – AI and Networking”. He explained that the key issues of AI are not so much the AI engine but the data used to feed it and the resulting action flows – the most intelligent AI engine will only be as good as the data used to analyse.
Pierre Besse, Vice-President of EUROGIA and Peter Herrmann, CELTIC Office director presented how easy it is to submit a project to the Joint Call. Both presented the eligible subjects of their respective Cluster and explained the requirements for a successful project proposal and how the online submission tool can be accessed. In addition, they explained the evaluation process for proposals by technical experts and Public Authorities.
Panel of funding bodies
An important part of the Proposers Day was the panel of the funding bodies from Spain, Canada and Luxembourg.
Ms Juana Sanchez from CDTI in Spain explained the CDTI bottom-up approach that is well aligned with the philosophy of EUREKA Clusters. She also explained how the application process for public funding via the open CDTI call works. She recommended that proposers should not forget to check the funding availability for each partner in each country involved in a proposal.
Mr Kasturi Narayanan from the National Research Council of Canada presented his organisation’s Industrial Research Assistance Program. This program addresses SMEs with up to 500 employees operating in Canada. The main objective is to generate growth of companies through innovation. Mr Alexander Link explained the EUREKA Perspective program for companies in Luxembourg. This program addresses small and large companies. He explained the key steps for obtaining public funding in the context of EUREKA Calls and gave his recommendations on what companies have to do, to receive public funding.
Business panel session
Ms Maria Luisa Arranz from Nokia, coordinator of CELTIC project UNICRINF, talked about the achievements of the project and about the live emergency demonstration which was shown at the Port of Valencia before the CELTIC Event in June 2019 (see UNCRINF article in CELTIC News 2/2019 and video of the demo at youtu.be/b2wFQ6eB6Zo).
Mr Oscar Chabrera Villarreal from Vilynx, Spain presented the SME-led CELTIC project E3 and two other CELTIC projects that have helped ViLynx to get into the AI and video business. Today ViLynx is growing and is also active in the US. The project also allowed the consortium to learn about the needs of the healthcare sector, as four hospitals and one medical institution were participating.
Mr Jari Lehmusvuori from Nokia Bell Labs, Finland presented the CELTIC flagship project SENDATE that addressed secure networking for a data center cloud in Europe. It brought together about 80 partners in four countries, and it had a budget of €70m. Among the highlights are several world records, like the world’s first 100 Gb/s safe quantum transport over 2,800 km and the world’s first aggregation and reception of 400 Gb/s super-channel with a single photodiode. The project also developed an architecture for the different data center types, the first security architecture ever. It established an open ecosystem for open source software projects, too. Thanks to SENDATE, European suppliers are back in the business of data centers.
Ms Sophie Theys from Bureau Veritas reported about the benefits of being a member of the Eurogia Board, which is active in building and participating in an industry ecosystem of strategic importance to Bureau Veritas. She also illustrated the impacts of the Eurogia projects, such as CO2FieldLab, to develop new innovative services, such as new standards for the assessment of CO2 sequestration sites on society and the environment.
Ms Hülya Akınç from Enerjisa explained her company’s active participation in EUROGIA. She showed how Enerjisa gets benefits by proposing projects to the Eurogia ecosystem in order to develop innovative products and services strategic to Enerjisa. She illustrated this impact by describing the EnergyNext project for the asset management of distribution lines through the country using drones, which considerably improves energy efficiency and costs of maintenance services.
Panel participants (from left): Jari Lehmusvuori from Nokia (Finland), Oscar Chabrera from Vilynx (Spain),
Sophie Theys from Bureau Veritas (France), Hülya Akınç from Enerjisa (Turkey), Maria Luisa Arranz from Nokia (Spain),
and moderator Pierre Besse from EUROGIA
Project idea pitches
Another core element of the Proposers Day was the pitching of project ideas. 12 proposers presented their ideas on a wide range of ICT and energy topics. The presentations led to productive discussions, which were moderated by Christiane Reinsch from the CELTIC Office.
The discussions were continued in the weeks after the Proposers Day via the CELTIC Consortium Building Web Sessions, which led to the formation of new project consortia.