FoCAS @ ICT 2013

ICT 2013


Event Title:
FoCAS on multi-disciplinary approaches for smart, green and integrated transport

Event Date: Thursday 7th November 2013

Event Time: 18:50 – 19:35

Event location: Vilnius, Lithuania, Room H1C

The FoCAS networking session was held on Thurs 7 Nov at the ICT conference in Vilnius, Lithuania. The topic considered how multi-disciplinary approaches can be advantageous to research, especially when addressing societal challenges. The ICT priority of smart, green and integrated transport was used as an example. The audience of approximately 35 persons represented a range of interests and provided useful comments and feedback.

FoCAS project partner Alois Ferscha, from the Institute for Pervasive Computing at JKU in Linz chaired the session and the invited panel included:

A video of FoCAS at ICT2013

A video of discussion highlights

Narankar Dulay – Allow Ensembles

Vashti Galpi – Quanticol Project

Nikola Serbedzija – Ascens Project

Linh Truong – Smart Society

Kim Larson – Cassting

Franco Zambonelli – Sapere Project


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Underlying Horizon2020’s vision is the assumption that breakthrough solutions can emerge from multi-disciplinary collaboration. This networking session organised by FoCAS will specifically consider how multi-disciplinary approaches can best be used to address societal challenges, and will also identify some limitations. One ICT priority (smart, green and integrated transport) has been selected to demonstrate some principles for the multi-disciplinary approach. Asking appropriate questions initially can often be as important as finding optimal solutions, and this session will consider which disciplines should be included to tackle smart, green and integrated transport, and what each can effectively contribute, and how. Research boundaries are rarely hard, and yet it is often at the interface between disciplines, where potential complementarity, and possible conflict, can arise. Synergy is expected from collective expertise but an integrative process needs to be carefully managed.

Anyone with an interest in smart cities, green transport, optimised systems will be interested in this networking session, as it sketches out some key competencies for future research consortia to consider. In addition, this session puts the multi-disciplinary approach under the spotlight to ask whether synergistic outputs necessarily emerge by bringing disciplines together, or whether greater consideration should be taken in designing the consortia and their respective expertise from the outset. Too often research groups are formed due to other priorities, and this session welcomes participants who are keen to safeguard excellence in science, so that potential research partners and research fields are carefully evaluated for critical competencies before they are approached.

This will be an openly participative session organised by FoCAS and aimed at raising important issues for researchers to consider. A review of potential research disciplines that can contribute to smart, green, integrated transport will be highlighted during the session, drawing on experience from projects in the FOCAS Proactive Initiative. But more importantly, discussion will review how different disciplines not only offer a range of skills and expertise, but sometimes fundamentally different approaches to research. And these differences can throw up potentially exciting methodologies, but also can lead to difficulties. Communication can be a key challenge for diverse fields; does terminology mean the same things, do researchers from different domains really speak the same language? If multi-disciplinary research is to add value to Europe, these gaps need to be bridged. Hopefully this session will get people thinking and talking.

More than 4000 researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs, industry representatives, young people and politicians are expected in Vilnius. The event will focus on Horizon 2020 – the EU’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation for 2014-2020.

ICT 2013 includes: conference, exhibition, networking sessions, investment forum and activities for students and young researchers.

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