Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

CIRCLE Report Summary

Project ID: 665564
Funded under: H2020-EU.1.2.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - CIRCLE (Coordinating European Research on Molecular Communications)

Reporting period: 2015-06-01 to 2016-05-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The area of Molecular Communications seeks to leverage biological phenomenon at the molecular level such as inter cell communication, usage of immune system, bacteria DNA transfer, neuronal signaling and calcium signaling to build a communications infrastructure for nano-scale devices that can be deployed and coordinate sophisticated operations within biological systems such as the human body. Within this highly multidisciplinary area, disparate islands of research are emerging with little coordination. The CIRCLE project, which has been funded by the European Commission, aims to harmonize these islands of research in Molecular Communications across Europe by providing a structured research agenda to accelerate convergence and advance breakthrough research within the area.

The CIRCLE project has 6 objectives:
1) Harmonize heterogeneous islands of research in Molecular Communications across Europe by providing a structured research agenda through the collaborative specification and continual refinement of a research roadmap.
2) Stimulate guided learning for young researchers entering the area of Molecular Communications, through improving efficiency of knowledge acquisition in key disciplines.
3) Build a structured community across Europe of research leaders and collaborators working in the area of Molecular Communication.
4) Accelerate the exchange of knowledge and best practice between researchers with Europe and internationally, focusing on Molecular Communications.
5) Facilitate a staff exchange program between partners within CIRCLE focusing in particular on young researchers.
6) Reduce the barriers for entry into the area of Molecular Communications for high tech SME through the collaborative specification and continual refinement of an industry engagement roadmap.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The CIRCLE project has had a very eventful first year with a number of planned activities having taken place. As mentioned above, the aim of CIRCLE is to harmonise the Molecular Communications community within Europe and provide a structured research agenda to accelerate convergence and advance breakthrough research within the area. The main areas of activity focused on setting up the appropriate infrastructure support tools for the Molecular Communications community, including a code repository, a discussion forum along with a website and mailing list (WP2). With the appropriate infrastructure in place, various services have been offered to the community to promote exchange of knowledge and best practice such as establishment of a staff exchange program, issuing of news letters to the community (WP3). The consortium have developed a number of concrete outputs in this regard for the community, such as a review of all known Molecular Communications simulation tools, a formal specification of a Molecular Communications Markup Language, a thorough review of the active Molecular Communications research community and a taxonomy of molecular communications terms and topics (WP4). CIRCLE has also organised the 1st Workshop on Molecular Communications in Cambridge UK on 11th, 12th April 2015. This workshop saw over 40 attendees from academia and industry participate in discussions related to the CIRCLE objectives, being young researchers in Molecular Communications, a future vision and research roadmap for Molecular Communications and also how to stimulate industry engagement with molecular communications (WP1). Finally a broad set of dissemination, communication and awareness activities have taken place to highlight the objectives of CIRCLE to the wider stakeholder community through invited lectures, PhD school courses, publications, news letters, radio interviews, newspaper press releases and conference sponsorship.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The main outputs that can be categorised as progress beyond the state of the art for CIRCLE are as follows:
- MolComML - A Molecular Communications Markup Language
- MolCom Simulator ToolKit (initial specification)
- Workshop on Molecular Communications (a venue for discussion and advancement of the european and international Molecular Communications community)
- A Molecular Communications code repository
- A CIRCLE discussion Forum for news, adverts, research challenge discussion, etc.
- An online focal point and presence www.fet-circle.eu

The expected potential impact of the activities carried out in CIRCLE so far is quite clear and well aligned to the objectives of the project. The infrastructure and activities that have taken place will develop critical mass within the Molecular Communications community to encourage stable growth, harmonisation of best practice, dissemination and exchange of expert knowledge, improved entry into the molecular communications research discipline for young researchers, encourage collaboration through staff exchanges in the 2nd year of the project.

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