Unprecedented EU project turnout for Simula

Simula Research Laboratory has been granted four projects through the EU-financed Horizon2020 programme, the largest historical investment in research and innovation by the EU.

Simula is the coordinator of three projects and technical coordinator of the fourth, and the financial frame of all four projects totals approximately 124 MNOK. The most competitive calls for proposal have a success rate of about 5.7% granted projects. Overall, Simula has achieved an unprecedented 40% success rate, as four out of ten projects have been granted, in comparison with the global success rate of 12.8%. By participating in this call for proposal, Simula has ensured its participation in the development of ICT-related research and technology in Europe in the years to come.

The good results came about due to comprehensive and goal-oriented efforts, says Managing Director of Simula, Aslak Tveito. “Simula’s task is to perform and promote research and innovation at a high international level, and EU and Horizon 2020 is a natural source of financial support. The grant of these four projects is the result of hard work and a focused long-term effort, and this proves that we are capable of delivering research at a very high level in Norway”. Tveito noted the encouragement towards EU applications coming from the Norwegian government and the Norwegian Research Council early on: “We recognised the signals coming from the government and the NRC, and we initiated the process of securing EU research funds.” Tveito points out that the collaboration with the Research Council’s EU experts was important during the application process: “For many of our researchers this is the first time they have ever applied for research funds from the EU, and the learning curve has been a steep one. We are therefore very happy about the fact that we secured four projects. We appreciate the close and constructive collaborative process with the Research Council.”

Tveito further emphasizes the importance of continuing national projects, and using these as platforms for EU-applications. Simula today coordinates a large research centre by the name of The Centre for Resilient Networks and Applications (CRNA): “It is part of the CRNA mandate that we shall apply for additional funding from the EU, and it is with great pleasure that I can report that we have been very successful in the first big Horizon2020 call for proposals. CRNA sent out three project applications, all for the role of coordinator, and all three projects were granted. I would especially like to mention the MONROE-project, which entails that the measurement infrastructure that we have constructed in Norway will be extended to Italy, Spain, and Sweden.”

Responses

The Minister of Research and Education, Torbjørn Røe Isaksen responded to the news with the following statement (our translation): “There is fierce competition over these project assets, and I would like to congratulate Simula. This should be an inspiration and motivation for other researchers in Norway to participate more in the European collaborative research effort.” The director of the Norwegian Research Council, Arvid Hallén has the following comment (our translation): “If we are to raise the bar of Norwegian research in an international context, we must approach the matter internationally. Norway has many capable research instances, and they should realise what great opportunities Horizon2020 can offer. Therefore it is great that Simula sets an example and shows us all that it is possible to succeed in the competition for EU research funds.”

 

The four projects

U-test

Dr. Shaukat Ali at Simula is the technical coordinator of the project.

Our daily life has become increasingly dependent on Cyber-Physical Systems (CPSs), and applications in safety/mission critical domains such as healthcare, handling systems, oil and gas and maritime all run within this framework. The U-test project aims to develop new methods to test these types of systems, and hence increase their dependability and safety, which will ideally lead to a more robust societal communications infrastructure.

 

MONROE

Dr. Özgü Alay at Simula is the coordinator of the project.

There is a strong need for objective data about stability and performance of Mobile Broadband (MBB) networks, and for tools to rigorously and scientifically assess their performance. In particular, it is important to measure and understand the quality as experienced by the end user. Such information is very valuable for many parties including operators, regulators and policy makers, consumers and society at large, businesses whose services depend on MBB networks, researchers and innovators.

MONROE proposes to design, build and operate an open, European-scale, and flexible platform with multi-homing capabilities to run experiments on operational 3G/4G Mobile Broadband networks. The main objective of MONROE is to use the platform for the identification of key MBB performance parameters, thus enabling accurate, realistic and meaningful monitoring and assessment of the performance of MBB networks.

 

NEAT

Dr. David Ros at Simula is the coordinator of the project.

The NEAT project wants to achieve a complete redesign of the way in which Internet applications interact with the network. Our goal is to allow network "services" offered to applications – such as reliability, low-delay communication or security – to be dynamically tailored based on application demands, current network conditions, hardware capabilities or local policies, and also to support the integration of new network functionality in an evolutionary fashion, without applications having to be rewritten. This architectural change will make the Internet truly “enhanceable”, by allowing applications to seamlessly and more easily take advantage of new network features as they evolve.

 

POPART

Dr. Håvard Espeland at Simula is the coordinator of the project.

Tomorrow’s technology for visual effects will be developed in Norway, in collaboration with the leaders of the European film industry, as a result of the EU-project POPART. In modern film production, animated effects are used extensively, to the degree that the audience now expects this as an aspect of large Hollywood productions. In European contexts, animation is used considerably less, due to the smaller budgets, and the fact that digital effects are associated with high risk investments and sizable expenses. Through the EU-project POPART we are developing a product where it will be possible to preview digital effects on set, and POPART further aims to heighten the efficiency of postproduction work considerably.