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Knowledge and interface technologies

2.5.9 Collaborative Working Environments

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IST Call 5 Preparatory Workshop on "Collaborative Working Environments"

Date: 13 April 2005
Location: Brussels
Organised by the New Working Environments Unit - DG INFSO, European Commission.


Information and Overview


The main objective of this workshop is to set up a forum to people active and/or interested in Collaborative Working Environments for consolidating and structuring emerging ideas in line with and in support of the objectives in the Strategic Objective "Collaborative Working Environments" of the IST Work programme 2005-2006.

The workshop is open to industrial and research organisation from Collaborative Working Environments R&D domain and adjacent domains, as well as for all the relevant stakeholders on the technological value chain: from technological pillars providers to collaboration enabling platforms to application developers and final users.

Expected Outcome

With your active we are looking forward to shaping the future of EU RTD relating Collaborative Working Environments and to strengthen RU's competitiveness in this technologically challenging area.

At the end of the workshop, participants are expected to have a clear understanding of the IST Work programme 2005-2006 related to "Collaborative Working Environments", and will have set up an early network of contacts for the elaboration of potential proposals.

Rational for action

Business and distributed collaboration have been changing radically over the last years. Business environments demand increased flexibility, interconnectivity, and autonomy of involved systems as well as new coordination and interaction styles for collaboration between people. The latest trends in distributed and mobile collaboration technologies allow people to move across organizational boundaries and to collaborate with others within/between organizations and communities. The ability to query the company's distributed knowledge base and to cooperate with co-workers is still a requirement, but new paradigms such as Service-oriented computing (e.g. Web Services), increased pervasiveness, and mobility enable new scenarios and lead to higher complexity of systems. Some questions include: How to enable users to retain their ability to cooperate while displaced in a different point of the enterprise? What is the role of context and location in determining how cooperation can be carried out? How to provide support for ad-hoc cooperation in situations where the fixed network infrastructure is absent or cannot be used? How will Service-oriented computing change collaborative software?

Software architectures for distributed and mobile cooperative communities must support the fundamental requirements for distributed cooperation: efficient information sharing across a widely distributed enterprise environment; constant and timely update and placement of the distributed knowledge base with many different sites acting both as potential users and potential providers of information; shared access to a set of services. The approaches and technologies for supporting these new ways of work are still the subject of research. Nevertheless, they are likely to "borrow" concepts and technologies from a variety of fields, such as workflow systems, groupware and CSCW, event-based systems, software architecture, distributed database systems, mobile computing, robotics, virtualisation systems, peer-to-peer paradigm enriched with sharing abstractions in which each network node is both a potential user and provided of information for the rest of the community and so on.

Structure of the workshop

The workshop was split into 3 working groups:

  1. Integrated activities. Objective of this session: to integrate innovative concepts, methods, core collaboration services, and tools for collaboration into validation applications, including testbeds and large demonstrators. These research activities will cut across 3 layered tasks: 1. collaboration services as part of an upper-layered middleware, 2. Collaboration tools, 3. validating applications.
  2. Specific and targeted research. Objective of this session: to investigate emerging alternatives to pave the way for additional technological advances and breakthrough innovations.
  3. Coordination and supporting activities. Objective of this session: To promote joint research activities with national programmes, and collaboration with international research and standardisation activities.

Additional Information

  1. Description of the Strategic Objective "Collaborative Working Environments" .
  2. Ongoing work at the New Working Environments unit in relation to this workshop

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