The Faculty of Automatic Control and Computers (Romanian name: “Facultatea de Automatică şi Calculatoare”, A&C) is part of the largest technical university of Romania, University “Politehnica” of Bucharest. A&C itself is the most important faculty in the domains of Information Technologies and Control Systems Engineering in the country, both by number of students and by its existing research potential. The Faculty of Automatic Control and Computers is already well known as a national pole of excellence in Intelligent Information Technologies. As a result, A&C has well established contacts with many EU and international research units.

The idea of the ERRIC project emerged as a result of A&C’s sustained efforts over the last number of years to enhance the overall excellence of A&C research and education activities. In today’s global economy, A&C now finds itself competing with other universities and research entities across Europe to attract and retain the best students in the face of both limited human resources and financing. Gaining a sustainable competitive advantage in today’s research environment is intimately linked with both the quality and visibility of the entity.

The ERRIC concept is to leverage, support and further develop the existing high quality human and material resources of A&C with the goal of achieving international recognition for the Faculty as a world class research excellence pole in a complex domain, Intelligent Information Technologies, which require the synergetic gathering of several research areas converging to support the development and deployment of such systems. Moreover, A&C blossom to its full research potential and promotion of its excellence in research at European and international level have the capacity to attract high quality international researchers, financial resources at national, regional and European level, and make A&C an active contributor to the European Research Area (ERA).

Based on our SWOT analysis of existing competence and experience, the main goal of the ERRIC project is to empower A&C’s existing excellence in research by unlocking its significant research potential and enhancing its national and regional leadership position in selected areas of Intelligent Information Technologies (IIT): agreement technologies, semantic and collaborative technologies for the web, advanced Grid technologies, large scale distributed system services, and adaptive intelligent control. In order to achieve this main goal, the following specific objectives have been put forth.

Strengthen Core Research Excellence

  • Strengthen the research and technological innovation capacities of A&C in above mentioned areas of Intelligent Information Technologies by:
    • increasing the quality and number of published papers and participation of A&C permanent staff to high quality scientific events: more than 60 scientific papers on IIT, accepted for publication in journals and conference proceedings, will be developed as a result of project’s activities;
    • hiring of 6 experienced researchers to perform research in specific topics relevant to IIT, and an experienced research manager;
    • expanding the current research infrastructure: (a) develop a new Laboratory of Ambient Intelligence: after 24 months the AmI Laboratory will be operational with all necessary technical equipment installed and running flawlessly; (b) upgrade the HPC resources of A&C by almost doubling the capacity of the NCIT to reach an estimated performance in benchmarking of 2 TFlops.
  • Reinforce the A&C research potential by supporting and mobilising A&C human resources through 132 trans-national two-way secondments of A&C research staff by the staff of the 11 EU partnering organizations, towards exchanging know-how and experience, and building long-term cooperation relationships.
  • Establish an ambitious research agenda and the Roadmap of A&C RTDI to significantly develop its research potential in the strategic selected research areas and bring A&C research activity to the highest European level.
  • Improve A&C’s ability to respond to ICT related socio-economic needs in Romania and Europe by orienting the research topics towards these needs, in interaction with the project Advisory Board.

Networking, Community Building and Strategic Partnerships

  • Make A&C an international gateway to access IIT research results through ERRIC Knowledge E-Environment (KEE) and ERRIC portal; web traffic will be used to measure the impact of these developed resources.
  • Establish and adequately resource strategic partnerships and wide-ranging collaborations between A&C and high excellence research units across the EU through the European Network of Excellence and Partnership in IIT, including common organisation of scientific events, cooperation agreements between institutions, common R&D project proposals, throughout the duration of the project and beyond.
  • Build the capacity of A&C for a better collaboration with high tech companies towards valorisation of high potential research results, including the organisation of the A&C Brokering events; more than 30 companies from Romania and abroad will be contacted and invited to join the Network.

Promotion, Visibility and Dissemination

  • Organize 18 high quality scientific events and 4 dissemination events, in cooperation with the partnering organizations, focused on knowledge sharing and network building, to raise international awareness of A&C research capacity.
  • Promote A&C scientific research excellence and increase its visibility by the publication of A&C research book and the elaboration of the A&C dissemination, promotion and awareness plan and package (DPA package).
  • Disseminate scientific information and results of A&C research by publishing a book with selected research contributions of A&C staff, which were enabled by ERRIC activities, in an internationally recognized publishing house.