The European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics recently increased its numbers to 18 following the addition of two Polish universities, the University of Warsaw and the University of Wroclaw. The two universities formed a consortium of their own in a move to become the Polish branch of the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics, or ERCIM, network which fosters international research cooperation in ICT. Poland joins Hungary and the Czech Republic as the third country from the 2004 ascension states to join the network. The newly established branch, the Polish Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics, or PLERCIM, hopes to serve as a conduit for increased cooperation between Polish researchers and their European colleagues.
PLERCIM extends ERCIM’s reach further east and is expected to increase the network’s impact in New Member States. PLERCIM hopes to eventually welcome other universities and research centres in Poland into the network, further ensuring that Polish ICT research remains in step with research trends in other parts of Europe. Another principal objective is to maintain open lines of communication with industry.
|Poland’s induction broadens ERCIM’s scope
Professor Jerzy Tiuryn from the University of Warsaw and president of PLERCIM stressed the importance the newly forged research ties will have for international cooperation in general and the EU’s 7th Research Framework Programme (FP7) in particular. ‘ERCIM should give the scientific community of Polish mathematicians and informaticians a stimulus to foster engagement and international cooperation with leading European research institutions. This engagement is anticipated on several levels: access to high-quality post docs; involvement in the existing research working groups of ERCIM; a possibility of creating international working groups within ERCIM in the scientific areas of mathematics and informatics which are strategic for the Polish research institutions; and easier involvement in international research teams in connection with FP7’
As ERCIM adds to its ranks, it expects to raise Europe’s
profile as a hotbed of ICT research. Keith Jeffery, President of ERCIM, pointed
to streamlined cooperation with the EU as a way of shoring up Europe’s reputation
in the world of information technology and applied mathematics. ‘Our linking
of European resources creates a force of more than 12 000 researchers who can
work together in different areas of research. As the front door to European informatics
research, ERCIM is making a big difference for Europe maintaining its lead in
advanced ICT, in particular through our management of projects funded by the
European Commission and our advice to both the European Union and national governments
on ICT strategy.’
Since it’s inception in 1989, ERCIM has established and developed a number of initiatives to advance IT research in Europe. The organisation has spearheaded a number of initiatives for young researchers, including the Alain Bensoussan Fellowship Programme and the Cor Baayen Award for up-and-coming researchers. They have been extensively involved in the EU’s Framework Programmes and are Europe’s representative to World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the 441-strong body that develops international standards for the World Wide Web.