Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP7

FORE-MONT Report Summary

Project ID: 315970
Funded under: FP7-REGPOT
Country: Montenegro

Final Report Summary - FORE-MONT (Fostering innovation based research for e-Montenegro)

Executive Summary:
Fore-Mont (Fostering innovation based research for e-Montenegro) is EU project, supported through Coordination and Support Action funding scheme, addressing FP7-REGPOT-2012-2013-1. It has been implemented over the period 2013-2016 and its only beneficiary was the University of Montenegro (UoM), through its Faculty of Electrical Engineering (FEE) which is an actor of excellence for education and research in the field of ICT in Montenegro.

Fore-Mont has aimed at strengthening the UoM(FEE)’s excellence by improving its research infrastructure, as well as by fostering its human resources and long-term partnerships. The main objective of the Fore-Mont project has been strengthening the development of University of Montenegro’s innovative research performances in Information and Communication Technologies and applications. The major tool of the project was establishment of the Research Centre for Info-Communication Technologies (Centre), at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering (FEE). Through its operation, this Centre has been enabling better results of its researchers when working on a crucial project’s topic: building a sustainable strategy, knowledge, and infrastructure to be able to support the development of e-Society for Montenegro.

The Fore-Mont project relied on 5 partners from 5 different countries all over EU: Centre for TeleInfrastrukture (University of Aalborg), CEA-LETI from Grenoble, Erticsson Nikola Tesla Zagreb, Institut Jozef Stefan and iMINDs. Apart from that, the project was supported by 8 entities, from state authorities to SMEs, industries or regional organisations.

Measurable project’s objectives are: the acquisition of important pieces of equipment; the implementation of a new centre dedicated to joint research; the hiring of three experienced researchers (one dedicated to the Intellectual Property development plan); intense incoming and outgoing mobility trainings; participation in international conferences; organization of 1 regional conference; organization of workshops; participation in scientific and industrial events to promote the project steps and results. More information about the project activities can be found on http://www.foremont.ac.me.

The project outcomes are visible through successful and long term research cooperation with international partners, successful internal consolidation and recognition of the new Centre as the leading research entity in the country for the ICT, when it comes to the advanced solutions for info-communication infrastructures, smart applications and e-services. This project has also facilitated UoM(FEE)’s integration into ERA, through becoming the major actor in ICT innovative research at national/regional level and a competent partner for Horizon2020 projects.

Project Context and Objectives:
The Fore-Mont concept and objectives were defined considering the national/international socio-economical environment, the top position of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering (FEE), University of Montenegro (UoM) in the Montenegrin academy as well as the SWOT analysis of its activities/capacities.
Thus, the Fore-Mont project aimed at strengthening UoM (FEE)’s excellence, through the reform of the organization and the management of the research activities in the field of ICT, by improving the human resources and the research infrastructure capacities. Most of all, the project targed contribution to the UoM (FEE) sustainable development towards an internationally recognized, state of the art research and education centre. The final objective of the project was to enable UoM (FEE) to contribute in developing e-Society in Montenegro and to provide innovative research contribution in implementing advanced solutions for info-communication infrastructures, e-services and applications at national and European level.

The specific project objectives, which facilitated achievement of the final goal, were strongly interlinked and they have been defined in the following manner:
Objective 1 - Research infrastructure: The improvement of the research infrastructure through the establishment of a new Research Centre for Info-Communication Technologies which will benefit of the improvement of laboratory equipment provided through Fore-Mont.
• The major part of this objective was covered by the project activities in the first 18 months. After that the organizational consolidation of the Research Centre for ICT was in focus, including setting up the laboratory test beds based on the equipment acquired in the 1st phase of the project implementation.

Objective 2 - Human and research capacity: By improving the human capacities, the UoM (FEE) will improve its competences in ICT research as a consequence of an exchange of knowledge with high-experienced researchers. This will be facilitated by a high policy of mobilities and trainings provided in collaboration with the international partners, as well as the recruitment of experience researchers with competences relevant for the achievement of the new Centre’s research strategy. HR policy of the new Centre will also be defined in order to contribute towards sustainability of the project efforts.
• This objective has been fully addressed throughout the project duration, by organizing incoming (from the international partners to UoM(FEE)) and outgoing (from UoM(FEE) to international partners) mobilities. 3 internal training sessions were organized. Based on the recruitment procedures applied in hiring the researchers through the Fore-Mont project, HR policy of the Centre and FEE has been defined, in the extent allowed by the fact that the FEE is part of the public university.

Objective 3 - Innovative contribution: UoM (FEE) has to develop, through the implementation of Fore-Mont, its potential in innovation based research, providing an environment for the creation of innovative advanced applied solutions in info-communication infrastructures and e-services supported by them. Intellectual Property (IP) manager and IP management policy and internal training will contribute to achieve this objective.
• This specific objective has been very important since it had a direct impact on the project main objective. It has been handled throughout the project implementation. The hired expert in the field of Intellectual Property has been contributing in defining and adopting principles of IP management, Through the work on IP development plan and particular trainings and workshops the level of knowledge and IP awareness has been significantly improved.

Objective 4 - UoM(FEE) visibility and integration into the ERA: Fore-Mont has the objective to raise UoM (FEE) visibility at national, regional and international level through participation at conferences and organization of workshops and special conference sessions. Thus, long-term partnerships with well-established and well-known research centres will be enabled. Fore-Mont will also stimulate the integration of the University of Montenegro and its Faculty of Electrical Engineering into the ERA and thus increase its participation in EU collaborative research projects.
• This objective has been handled throughout the project duration. The project and its results were presented and promoted at three international conferences and three and at three industrial events, thus increasing the visibility of the UoM(FEE) and offering opportunities for the integration into the ERA. Three workshops were organized thus contributing towards better visibility at the national level and creating conditions for sustainable knowledge in the Centre.

The major tool of the project has been the implementation of the new Research Centre for Info-Communication Technologies in order to create a synergy between the research groups dedicated to ICT at the UoM's Faculty of Electrical Engineering. It has been planned to enable that these different research groups start working together, targeting a crucial topic: building a sustainable strategy, knowledge, and infrastructure to be able to support the development of e-Society for Montenegro. At the same time, in that manner it was intended to create the leading national and regional centre to offer the adequate range of materials and skills, for all relevant stakeholders in Montenegro and South-Eastern Europe area.

Montenegro has understood the possibilities of the ICT impacts on all the sectors of the society. ICT as a mechanism to stimulate the national economy is the strategy developed by the Ministry for Information Society and Telecommunications. There, it is clearly stated that the real development of an e-Society requires the collective efforts of all interested parts: national authorities, agencies and departments, scientific and research entities, private sector, all users and the overall community. That is where the Fore-Mont project has found its links with the overall development of Montenegro, since the priorities for the development and implementation of ICT in Montenegro are highly related to the subject and the expected impacts of Fore-Mont project.

In that context, the UoM (FEE) through the Fore-Mont project has been showing its ability to provide efficient solutions at different levels, by its interdisciplinary organisation, its skills and knowledge additionally improved through the implementation of the Project.

The newly established Fore-Mont Research Centre for ICT and its laboratory have created a platform for achieving state of the art research related with advanced innovative solutions for info-communication networks and e-services engineering. Bringing an innovative dimension in its research activities, the objective of the Centre has been focused on building a sustainable strategy, knowledge, and infrastructure to be able to support the development of e-Society for Montenegro, but as well to offer this range of materials and skills for all South-Eastern Europe area and to enable better integration of the Faculty into ERA.

Before the Fore-Mont implementation the research activities at the UoM (FEE) were characterized with a lot of individual efforts and a lack of structured approach within the different research groups and laboratories. The research groups directly involved in ICT research had high competences but their activities were not coordinated or coherent enough to have real impact on applied solutions crucial for e-Society development. The Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Montenegro, has been recognized by the excellence of its scientific production which was highly theoretical, lacking the focus on innovative dimension. In such circumstances, the Faculty had not elaborated its Intellectual property development plan to manage its Intellectual property and increase its innovation capacity as well as not obtained any protection of Intellectual property rights for research results and applied solutions. Also, there was not any patent or patent application for innovative research results. Thus, the policy with Fore-Mont has been to adapt scientific and technical activities in a synergetic way, to be able to create a new strategy, deeply developed around a complete range of relevant skills. Also, developing appropriate intellectual property policy and defining procedures and measures for the protection of intellectual property from researches activities were important goals of the Fore-Mont project.

Following the fact that Research Centre for ICT has been a major tool in achieving such policy, and according to the project Action Plan, activities related with attaining full operability of the Centre were performed in two phases:

• 1st Phase: Implementation of a new centre dedicated to innovation based research in the field of ICT: Research Centre for Info-Communication Technologies.
• 2nd Phase: Gather research efforts of the staff and the skills of the three research groups involved in ICT research in the new Centre.

Thus, the infrastructure conditions for the operation of the Centre were provided first, including the adequate space and equipment. Then, the strategy adopted in gathering research efforts of the researchers in the Centre was implemented, having in mind the identified directions of the Fore-Mont research strategy.

Following such approach, based on synergy of the involved research groups, and the integration of the two ICT experts and an IP manager hired through the project, new joint research activities were developed in the Centre, fully enabling the shift in the UoM (FEE) research strategy towards working on the solutions that will be instrumental in contributing towards development of e-Society in Montenegro.

Through numerous activities performed in the project’s WP1 to WP5, the UoM(FEE) has consolidated strategic partnerships at national level, as well as at European and regional level, and developed the new ones. One of the major Fore-Mont objectives was to develop and strengthen the collaboration of UoM(FEE) with the partners through building a joint research agenda.

Gathering different ICT competences within the Centre, and increasing the cooperation with the partners, the FEE has created new research agenda which has been developed having in mind requirements of better e-Society deployment in Montenegro. Further on, the conditions for sustainability of partnerships were created through joint research agenda of such cooperation platform, which has been created in two phases: identification of the research thematic areas and the research work on the topics identified as the ones with high-potential for collaboration and innovation. First, thematic areas of the joint research agenda were identified in a manner to ensure a flexible collaborative platform that fosters high-level capacity building, innovation and industrial partnerships. Such interdisciplinary platform has been considered as a precondition for enabling researchers to put time, energy, and focus on research topics rather than organizational details, while research would be carried out in interdisciplinary teams on a problem solving base. In the second phase, after defining the new axes of joint research, by gathering research skills and expertise in the Centre, in cooperation with the partners, the Research Centre for ICT initiated and has performed cross/multidisciplinary breakthrough ICT research activities. Scientific excellence of the UoM(FEE) as well as its innovative potential, has been improved offering new contributions towards better e-Society deployment in Montenegro.

Following such approach, the research activities developed and performed in the Research Centre for ICT will be leading towards establishing a long-term collaboration for the UoM (FEE) and facilitating its integration in the ERA. Many activities have been implemented to build partnerships: international conferences, regional conferences and workshops. Through exchange of skills, knowledge and expertise, the Research Centre has enabled development of advanced ICT-based solutions and introduction of innovative dimension in the FEE’s research in the area of ICT. At the same time, the Center strengthened Montenegro’s position in ERA, becoming a gateway for Montenegrin research institutions to international partnerships and cooperation as well as platform for strengthening national competiveness in the ERA.

Thus, numerous activities performed within the project ensured successful achievements of all its objectives. The Fore-Mont ensured successful internal consolidation based on reorganization and improved research infrastructure; improved human capacities through gaining new knowledge and skills increased innovative dimension of the research; successful and long term research cooperation with international partners; increased the visibility of the new Centre as the leading institution for innovative research in ICT in Montenegro, and as a major player for the future research within the ERA. That is already having a visible impact since the Centre has already started contributing towards developing e-Society, in the sense of state-of-the art technological solutions for smart applications and services like: e-government, e-health, smart environmental protection, smart cities, smart buildings, e-business...

Project Results:
In order to fully respond to numerous challenges related with the development of sustainable innovative and applied research that will enable better deployment of e-Society in Montenegro, it was necessary to restructure UoM (FEE) research capacities in the field of ICT. Different research groups (telecommunications, digital signal processing, multimedia systems) were not only the best ones, in terms of scientific productivity, at the FEE but they could be considered as such in the whole scientific environment of Montenegro. Still, their research efforts were not sufficiently coherent or coordinated, thus lacking much better impact they could provide when innovative solutions and the transfer of knowledge and solutions are considered. Therefore, fostering their research activities through the synergy of research topics and subjects and the development of the innovative dimension is what has been planned to be done through the Fore-Mont project.

The main results of the project are:
1. Improved research infrastructure, through organization of the new Research Centre for Info-Communication Technologies. This centre has benefited from:
- New equipment provided through Fore-Mont;
- Human capacities from the recruitment campaign;
- High skilled staff from the three research groups who have been additionally trained during the project by the international partners.

2. Innovative contribution: UoM(FEE) has developed, through the implementation of Fore-Mont, its potential of innovation based research, with an ultimate goal to be granted patents. IPR management procedures were set up. The awareness of the importance of IPR and the culture of pursuing protection were also created. Fore-Mont has provided conditions for producing advanced innovative applied solutions in info-communication infrastructures and e-services supported by them. Some of these results have been protected by patents while there is a number of them which entered the procedure for IP rights protection.

3. Improved human capacities: Through Fore-Mont, the FEE improved its competences in ICT research as a consequence of an intensive exchange of knowledge with high-experienced researchers at partner institutions and many activities of the project aimed at knowledge improvement. This has been facilitated by a high policy of mobilities and trainings provided in collaboration with the international partners.

4. The research activities of the Fore-Mont project were focused towards new research fields and the setup of experimental test beds. Thus, new research strategy has been created as a joint platform for developing collaborations with project partners. The fact that new research topics were identified and fully embraced by the Fore-Mont researchers definitely proves that the main objective of the project is fulfilled. The published papers, and the ones under preparation, increased the researchers’ scientific value in the new fields. The achieved level of current research work has much better potential for future funding.

Despite the fact that the project was CSA, significant research efforts were performed in order to create the environment which would respond in an effective manner towards attaining the results given above. Since the objective was to gather research skills in the Research Centre for ICT and focus the research activities around advanced innovative solutions for internet based info-communication networks and e-services engineering. In that way, with the work on the performance (reliability, quality of service, energy consumption) improvement of the future info-communication networks, as well as on the high performance multimedia signal processing and e-service engineering, the research activities of the Research Centre for ICT were taken as a foundation for providing an open platform for interaction with the larger research community, industry and society. Consequently, it has become possible to apply the research results and solutions into different advanced e-services and multimedia smart applications, in the fields like: environment, agriculture, transport, health, administration, creating thus the conditions for the development of e-Society in Montenegro, as a final goal of the Fore-Mont project.

To that aim, the process of building the new research agenda of the Centre has been very important. It has been performed in two phases:
1. identification of thematic areas in the joint research agenda in a manner to ensure a flexible collaborative platform that fosters high-level capacity building, innovation and industrial partnerships.
2. by gathering research skills and expertise in the Centre, in cooperation with the partners, the Research Centre for ICT initiated and has performed cross/multidisciplinary breakthrough ICT research activities.

In that manner, scientific excellence of the UoM(FEE) as well as its innovative potential, has been improved offering new contributions towards better e-Society deployment in Montenegro.

When it comes to the main thematic areas of the Centre’s research agenda, the issue of future internet based info-communication networks, crucial for fulfilling high demands required for providing new e-services and applications, has been recognized even at the stage of the Fore-Mont proposal. Following the fact that this type of communication infrastructure will actually represent a global system interconnecting physical and digital objects, where object-object and object-user interaction is potentially made available, it is clear that the most significant step from the Internet towards the Future Internet (or Internet of Things) is the inclusion of the non-computer physical objects, emphasizing the importance of interfacing with the physical world. In those circumstances, the future internet based info-communication networks (wired and wireless) are expected to have enormous number of heterogeneous end users and will be able to support large traffic streams, with the sufficient level of quality of service, reliability, and energy and spectrum efficiency. Therefore, the initial approach in working on the joint research agenda was to structure the collaborative activities in the following directions: technological solutions for high capacity internet based reliable wired and wireless networks; new networking concepts; wireless sensors networks; advanced data capture and processing techniques; service and application development (service oriented architecture and cloud computing).

The second phase in building the Centre’s collaborative research platform was focused on implementing new research agenda that would enable a shift in UoM(FEE) research, initiating cross/multidisciplinary breakthrough ICT research activities. Following the fact that ICT technologies rapidly evolve and different concerns constantly grow, the main objective of the work on research agenda was multidisciplinary approach to research and innovation of the Fore-Mont Research Centre which should ensure keeping the pace with emerging issues.

Thus, in close cooperation with partners, the Centre has been working on implementing its research agenda comprising the thematic areas chosen in the first phase and organized in a flexible collaborative structure that fosters high-level capacity building, innovation and industrial partnerships. The equipment acquired through the Fore-Mont project was crucial for the implementation of the research agenda as it has enabled setting up of the experimental facilities in the Centre’s laboratory, used for resolving some of the research challenges through their practical emulation and testing.

Using such approach, the Centre achieved impressive scientific, research and innovation results in implementing its research agenda centered on the following thematic areas:
1. generic deployment of IoT services,
2. network softwarization,
3. new signal processing algorithms for numerous applications,
4. advanced cooperative communications and MIMO systems based solutions for wireless part of Future Internet and/or 5G networks,
5. WSN implementation in precision agriculture services and applications,
6. human-centric sensing networks.
These topics enabled full synergy of the research skills in the Centre, improving significantly the scientific productivity of UoM(FEE) in the field of ICT research.

While the overview of the work done in each of the research agenda’s topics is given in the Fore-Mont scientific reports and deliverables, more detailed insight into the activities performed in relation with the first four topics listed above are given here. This is due to the fact that these thematic areas (topics) can be considered as major ones from the point of creating the Centre’s collaborative platform

1) Generic deployment of IoT
Internet of Things (IoT) concept has emerged and gained momentum over the past years representing a direction for converging on these novel opportunities. Historically, pioneering visions on IoT considered how various Wireless Sensor (and actuator) Networks (WSNs) would evolve in terms of acquiring IP reachabilit. Nowadays, surge of IoT applications (e.g. in transport, agriculture, medical, production...) is anticipated to be facilitated by an almost arbitrary synthesis of a grand scale population of Internet-connected small devices and/or clusters being connected to the global Internet. Consequently, Future Internet (FI) as a global transformation initiative for IP-based communications is to embrace the models and properties of the IoT as the novel Internet endpoints and domains.
The strategy behind the conducted work in IoT topics within the Fore-Mont embodies all of the project objectives. In essence, it aims to synergize the research capacities and nurture technological and societal impact both regionally and towards integrations with international initiatives and partners. Besides a wide range of other approaches, the Fore-Mont researchers considered the two visions as the converging paths towards IoT proliferation. The strategy for research agenda applies a practical approach by learning from the expanding of diverse WSNs already being implemented by some of the Centre’s researchers and, in parallel, focusing on building research and experimentation topics that would create targeted contributions towards IoT and Future Internet unraveling. The basic framework architecture is composed at the start of the activities as a synthesis of different IoT and sensor networks test-beds with centralized orchestration functions and applications development platforms. Hence, the research was positioned with regards to the outside experience, of the partners mainly, and momentum alongside the specific capabilities and requirements of the Fore-Mont project. The main challenges were then formulated as the needed enablers and functionalities for generic IoT deployment and services, being the focused set of goals of the work of Fore-Mont researchers. These are considered to provide the working ground for pursuing the project objectives in the area of IoT and Future Internet (FI).

Diverse network components and applications, in the Centre example, were due to particular deployment plans. The Centre’s researchers have started early pilot WSN implementations for agriculture and meteorological monitoring with plans for further expansions, internal testing of components and planned progress in other areas such as smart cities, transport, health, administration. The development has been carried out via collaborations with academic partners, industry, SMEs, for enhancing productions or monitoring. The objective can be summarised in the framework architecture, being the primary objective of integration that includes groups of various WSNs, independent sensors/”things”, connected via Internet using different wireless technologies, to a local-area network hosting a development platform. The objective is on a centrally coordinated system of heterogeneous components for advancing technologies, deploying new applications, commercialisations, expansion of components, in parallel with, conducting targeted research and evolving towards transformation into IoT as part of the FI.
The Fore-Mont researchers organised the work on this research topic in conformance with the project objectives and bearing in mind the practical ambitions and scope. The challenges related with this particular topic are long term and visionary challenges and are formulated from a generic, wider and collaborative context. Collaborations were directed both internally between the research groups and capabilities in the University and as an outreach towards national and international partnerships:
1) Programmability: the concept stands for all components where active reprogramming of codes is possible by interventions of the system or by autonomous reaction of devices. It is considered as a critical aspect of the integrated coordination. Elements such as RFID tags might be passive and not subject to expansion of programed codes, but variety of sensors/actuators, gateways might accommodate for degrees of active participation in the system. Research can reveal the hardware requirements and performance trade-offs of procedures for software inputs and access to each functional level of devices.
2) Orchestration: this generic term accommodates for control and management aspects and is based on the extent of programmability. Interventions in ranges of functional aspects of the systems would be of paramount importance for achieving its integration. Concepts of Software Defined Networking (SDN), developed also in the Centre, would provide a starting point for the tools needed, i.e. brake-up of the functional/plane separations in systems. We distinguish between the main functional aspects involving orchestrations:
• Operational parameters: these include data transmission periods, data content, energy-related parameters, wireless transmissions, etc. All operational parameters should be subject to proactive and coordinated adjustments.
• Infrastructure flexibility: concepts such as “virtualisation” applied in standard networks would apply to IoT, e.g. sensor/actuator microcontrollers or entire cluster can be adjusted to changeable purposes in terms of the applications and users that make use of the hardware.
• Expedited Transport and Networking: In an integrated system, data flows would be controlled by both PHY/MAC and IP layer solutions. Available PHY/MAC solutions such as IEEE 802.15.4 would achieve greater integration if operational features could be further controlled (e.g. sleep time, addressing, routing entries, controllers/distributions...) or simplified in each device by relying on dedicated control. In the IP layer, control would expedite adaptations needed in IP for IoT in terms of: formats (e.g. 6LoWPAN), routing (IETF’s “Routing over power and Lossy (ROLL) networks” working group), content-awareness, stack layouts and further. An orchestrated system might solve the discrepancies between the layers and independent network segments. Another aspect is related to the transport layer such as adaptation of TCP that is designed for fixed networks, e.g. confirmations of packet losses, intermediate cashings and retransmission procedures. Solutions for reprograming the TCP mechanisms propose novel techniques or proxying.
• Optimising deployment: this issue is related to the operational parameters but observes broader sets that specify physical properties of wireless mediums. There are many mathematical algorithms that optimise planned deployment of devices positioning subject to numerous constrains and objectives. Recent progress in the PHY layer areas, such as modulation schemes, interference management, cooperative relaying are areas that could contribute to the precisions of optimisations.
3) Data processing: relevant techniques usually depend on the extent and diversity of data collections. Equally, many categories of data processing would fit as compliments to other challenges. Here we point out that as the system expands, in terms of volume of data and diversity of source and applications, data processing become more significant. Data in an integrated system undergoes various stages of interpretations, hence, data mining has already received significant attention in IoT applications. These problems also contribute to the emerging question of Big Data, but include many specific requirements: data collection, distributed and centralised processing (e.g. at intermediate points such as gateways, cloud...), real-time constraints, representations (e.g. semantics/ontologies, data graphs ...). Solutions can offer deductions such as: visualization of networks, operational anomalies, malfunction detections, faults, traffic estimates... Some applicable techniques include: compressive sensing, dictionary learning, fuzzy logic and machine learning.
4) Coherency of the technical solutions and application requirements: Impact of solutions is often subjective to the view of users and commercial success of applications. Considering needs of users (e.g. in agriculture plantations) is a tuning process for many technicalities and research.
The above given challenges were formulated as a path for adapting and progressing the scientific knowledge towards IoT areas subject to the existing backgrounds of the Centre’s researchers and students. These were considered to be significant directions for work once the practical IoT developments of test-bed and applications were suitably handled and researchers and students were trained and educated with IoT topics and technology.

Generic properties of the Fore-Mont IoT system derive as a result of the formulation of design questions that resulted in the IoT system architecture, choice of technology and foundation for conducting research and innovations, this property signifies that the component of the IoT system developed in the Centre are to be useable and applicable to ranges of scenarios and uses. In practical terms this means:
1. Hardware components: the system is designed with various sensory/actuation hardware modules that are integrated into microprocessors with arbitrary processing powers (e.g. Arduino, Raspberry Pi), i.e. these form the IoT devices/nodes together with a chosen communication hardware module. Design requirement that was pursued was that the processing/storage capabilities of devices/nodes should be at a necessary minimum, to ensure that the system functions in diverse circumstance of hardware capabilities and suppliers. This practical resulted in Arduino-based nodes being the minimum benchmark requirement. Integration of hardware components for communication links (e.g. modules for WiFi, Cellular/GPRS, IEEE 804.15.4/ZigBee, Fixed-line Ethernet) was performed under the same requirement for minimal processing/price/storage power.
2. Classification of IoT devices: to achieve the generic properties of the IoT system, four basic classes of IoT devices/node were defined and implemented: gathering and processing device/node, and, IoT gateway and IoT decision gateway, Gathering and processing nodes are to be used as the sensory/actuation entities that are part of a cluster of nodes connected to the Internet via a gateway. The separation between the two is used to indicate the level of complexity of the connection layering (gathering node can stand as layer 2 node, e.g. using IEEE 804.51.4 configuration, while the processing node can attain IP address and use IP network layer communication), how data is processed and formatted (e.g. raw data or packed in specific formats such as JSON formats). Separation between regular and decision gateways indicates that in addition to the essential feature of IP connectivity, application-layer client/server functioning, web-level proxying, the decision gateway performs data processing and presentation. That it, the IoT decision gateway contains further data processing modules and is able to perform autonomous decision, e.g. in case of automation. Such a scenario can be applied in distributed IoT systems where localised implementations can have a degree of autonomy and data protection (e.g. in smart agriculture applications such as smart farms that can deploy a closed systems of IoT data gathering, actuation and processing). The four developed IoT devices/nodes are assumed to cover a comprehensive range of applications and suitable configurations.
3. Communication medium and configuration of IoT devices: configuration of IoT devices was performed for various communication technologies and setups. Devices/nodes are interlinked with IEEE 804.15.4/ZigBee/WiFi technologies in clusters of nodes or for direct communications with gateways. The gateways are trialled for interconnections with nodes/devices and for Internet connectivity via access points. The access technology for gateways' Internet connections included WiFi, Cellular, Fixed-line Ethernet. Again, the intention was to include the communication specifics in an all-encompassing generic manner to accommodate for various specific scenarios of the use and applications of IoT systems.
4. Software: the software developed in Fore-Mont for operations of IoT devices/nodes was in conformance with standards and available successful operation for IoT devices. Standards used are mainly IETF specifications (e.g. Constrained Application Protocol (CoaP), HTTP implementations and proxying at gateways...). The decision taken for not to identically apply available solutions in terms of open-source codes and not to apply a specific operating system for IoT devices/node, but purse a machine-level implementation of needed software procedures and algorithms (e.g. for communications between nodes and inside clusters). This specific style of implementation was considered appropriate for open, generic and unrestrained further development and for surpassing dependencies on a specific implementation software.
5. Internet Connectivity: a practical design decision projects such that IoT devices/node and/or gateways would connect as IP host to the Internet and act as “tiny” web servers. This means that the developed solutions can be deployed and utilised as independent and generic installations of IoT devices/clusters in the Internet without the dependency on centralised management platform. The dependency on centralised platform was provisioned and intended in the IoT system developed but via IP mechanisms of data communications, hence, system can be dost independent/distributed and centralised in term of data collections. In practical terms IP devices/node and gateways are reachable using the standard IP mechanism (with DNS name-to-address resolving of devices’ name that can be set by administrators, name chosen are subject to administrators preference) and typical and IoT-suited application protocols such as HTTP and CoaP using common Application Programming Interface/APIs such as REST.
6. Data Distribution: configuration of IoT nodes/devices and Internet connectivity model applied enables both independent distributions of data in the Internet as well as gathering the data at centralised servers/databases. Hence, data repositories can be setup at various locations and used for research and innovations purposes. Data storage is provisioned in the Fore-Mont solutions with advices on how to collect data (proactive or reactive models) and type of databases that can be used for data storage and input to application level. This constitutes the generic property of the data distribution model that can be tailored for further specific uses.
7. Operations and management: The proposed test-bed is designed to support both getting data on request (nodes acting as web servers) and receiving data periodically from nodes. To connect to test-bed, each node has minimal set of parameters that have to be set. Once the node has been connected to the network, these parameters can be changed over the air. The test-bed has defined commands for setting control parameters, sending parameters, getting node status, getting gateway/sensor information, etc. Each node can be managed from inside and outside of the network.

Following the described generic properties of IoT system components it can be derived that providing such a design, the applicability of the system and its components to many diverse purposes would be enabled. These purposes can be explained as multidimensional: from being applicable to many real scenarios of deployment and experimentation, to fostering many branching activities in the project such as research, innovations and collaborative actions. It can be concluded that this Fore-Mont approach has exactly achieved the expansion of diverse knowhow and offered synergies of expertise, internally and with the partners, providing the high-potential environment for building the targeted collaborative platform on the topic with high-potential of challenges and innovation.

Additionally, synergies of expertise inside the UoM(FEE) and among the Fore-Mont partners were considered from the start of the activities in IoT. They included continuous brainstorming and various research work, with practical and scientific implications. Consequently, this process revealed the breadth of expertise in the Uom(FEE) and has strengthen for collaboration either internally or towards the needed outside expertise, pursuing larger scale initiatives and projects. The ranges of expertises available internally can be described as scattered but comprehensive.
Initially network and communication expertise in the Centre was needed for understanding and projecting the communication models applicable and viable for the developed features of the IoT system. These also synergistically assisted the development of Software Defined Network (SDN) concept and its adaptations to Wireless Sensor Network (i.e. IoT) as well as other specific themes of work in the UoM(FEE) such as the work in BIO-ICT or Ambient Assisted Living.
Multipurpose of the IoT systems opened up practical consideration such as hardware assembly, operations control and generally understanding of the level of electronics and machine-level programming. This also provided synergies with the relevant expertise in the FEE . In fact, some long term considerations for the actuation and sensory applications of IoT systems, being stand-alone device configuration in scenarios such a smart home or smart agriculture, revealed further interactions beyond the activities of the Fore-Mont project. This particularly related to expert from mechanical engineering, that offers designs guidelines on the operational and control side of engagements of IoT devices use for actuations.
Besides the further plethora of opportunities, researchers have identified long term research directions (under the data processing research challenge) such as synergy of the signal processing expertise and IoT system development. Particularly, this area of research include data processing of rendered IoT data from centralised databases (similar to Big Data research), application of signal processing techniques in large scale IoT deployments (e.g. compressive sensing in traffic monitoring and smart city IoT applications, needed for reduction of data loads and efficient reductions and deductions of original data such as images). Many of these areas are long terms and are to be exploited upon the extension of IoT systems and use of Fore-Mont results (e.g. in future Smart City installations in Montenegro).
Being directly related to the impact of the Fore-Mont project's work on IoT, expertise in the Centre has expanded to novel areas of research. These have a practical and dimension of novelty that can be termed as areas of IoT deployment and holistic research on IoT solutions. A specific example of the former includes research interactions with the BIO-ICT project being the flagship project of the Centre and opening areas of IoT application such as smart agriculture. The research has involved particular exchanges with bio-science researchers, creating a targeted area for the multipurpose IoT solutions being investigated and developed. As regards the latter, researchers in the Centre have expanded pure IoT system development to areas such as Smart Cities contributing novel research ideas and concepts that have triggered collaboration initiatives and new paths and direction for IoT developments at a large scale. A resulting new research area, generated from the Fore-Mont project, has been termed as "liberalised deployments of IoT devices and services using horizontal enablers and functionalities". The proposal comes as a results of the work within the Fore-Mont project towards suitable IoT systems for rolling out in the cities in Montenegro, with models of engagements of diverse IoT service providers and devices. The idea also contributed to the global drive towards scalable and efficient data distribution, security and management and as such has generated a significant response and interactions with outside researchers.

The achievements against the main formulated items of the Fore-Mont goals for IoT developments could be summarized as follows:
• Analyses of different scenarios for deployment of IoT devices and composition of service enablers
• Focus on solutions using standard IoT device platforms and equipment
• Investigation of solutions for generic, distributed and cloud-like collection, processing and storage of IoT data
• Implementation and evaluation in real test-bed scenarios, all relevant communication protocols for IoT devices
• Investigation of novel paradigms and ideas for routing
• Work on optimal solutions for the efficiency factors in IoT device-to-device and IoT device-to-user communications
• Research on models for service and data distribution, discovery and composition in novel IoT scenarios of deployment and enabling functionalities
• Designing and implementing IoT communication supporting features in the existing communication elements, Internet infrastructure and its routing elements

2) Software Defined Networking (SDN)
The concept of Software Defined networking represents another thematic area chosen for building the joint research agenda of the Fore-Mont Centre. This topic has been chosen since it enables service differentiation and efficient use of network resources and as a such could be considered suitable for synergizing with the research activities in IoT thematic area described above, thus providing better conditions for establishing the extensive collaborative platform, both inside the Centre and externally with the partners.
The traditional Internet architecture is based on set of complex, distributed control and transport protocols, designed to provide reliable communications between remote devices. The distributed control plane by time has reached very high level of complexity, making network management and performance tuning very hard and error-prone. To express the desired QoS (Quality of Service) and other network policies, network operators need to manually configure each individual network device separately using low-level and often vendor-specific commands. In addition to configuration complexity, networks have to deal with the dynamics of faults and adapt to load changes. Automatic reconfiguration and response mechanisms are virtually non-existent in current IP networks. Software-Defined Networking (SDN) is a new networking paradigm which is expected to overcome the mentioned problems of the traditional networks. A new concept which SDN introduces is decoupling of the control and the data plane. In SDN networks, all control functions are logically centralized in programmable entity - SDN controller. The separation of the network intelligence from the forwarding hardware allows easier deployment of new protocols and applications, straightforward network visualization and management, and automated adjustments of the network policies. Having in mind importance of SDN for accelerating innovation for Future Internet, Fore-Mont project, from its beginning, has been underpinning SDN research. The SDN-related research strategy applied in building the research agenda of the project can be summarized in three objectives:
a) Implementation of SDN test-bed in the Centre - The test-bed serves as multi-purpose experimental platform on which researchers can test their SDN applications or develop hardware solutions of SDN data-plane devices.
b) Development of SDN applications for QoS provisioning - This research is motivated by the increasing popularity of multimedia applications on the Internet, such as video conferencing and Internet telephony, which need performance guarantees in order to function properly. The focus of the research is on the QoS-aware routing and traffic engineering solutions for SDN networks.
c) Extending SDN research to scenarios relevant to IoT - The goal is to synergize networking and communication expertise with IoT developers in the Centre.
SDN test-bed in the Research Centre for ICT consists of: Pica8 switch, 4 workstations, 3 PCs and 3 NetFPGA cubes. Depending on their capabilities, these machines are used for different purposes. SDN controller runs at one of the workstations. The data-plane of the test-bed is dominantly based on software solutions of OpenFlow switches, installed on Linux OS. However, each of the PCs and workstations is equipped with programmable NetFPGA board, which allows implementation of hardware solutions of SDN devices as well. NetFPGA cubes are either used as OpenFlow switches or as powerful traffic generators in the experiments. Important part of the test-bed is Pica8 - high-performance commercial network switch which posses Layer 2 and Layer 3 switching capabilities and offers most complete OpenFlow standard support. With appropriate configuration, its ports could be grouped to virtually form multiple instances of OpenFlow switches. Thus, this single switch actually introduces a full network of OpenFlow switches to the test-bed. When it comes to the controller design, research has been based on PoX - open-source implementation of OpenFlow controller in Python. Beside the set of elementary scripts for traffic control, which make integral part of this software, Fore-Mont researchers with the expertise in SDN upgraded the controller with applications for QoS provisioning.
In SDN architecture network intelligence is shifted from the underlying hardware infrastructure to the centralized, programmable controller. This enables whole network to be treated as a single logical entity, thereby allowing flexibility in configuration and management, as well as optimization of network resources by dynamical, automated SDN application. In the Fore-Mont SDN test-bed communication between SDN controller and data-plane devices is achieved via OpenFlow protocol, which identifies traffic flows on the basis of matching rules dynamically or statically determined by the controller. Since available open-source OpenFlow controllers still lack quality of service support, we have proposed and implemented new SDN/OpenFlow controller design. The key functional blocks our solution involves are: i) Resource monitoring, ii) Route calculation, iii) Call-Admission Control (CAC) and iv) Resource reservation. Resource monitoring module is responsible for collecting and maintaining information about the current state of the network. Beside topology discovery functionality, which is already implemented in today's OpenFlow controllers, this module includes the function for traffic statistics gathering. The controller is programmed to periodically send special OpenFlow request messages for per-flow and per-interface statistics. Collected raw data are used to derive useful information - such as the bandwidth of the flow and link load, which are put at disposal to the Route calculation module. Route calculation module calculates routes for different types of traffic. It can run several routing algorithm in parallel in order to meet different requirements. Resource reservation module provides end-to-end bandwidth guarantees for priority flows by configuring output queues of the network devices. CAC module is envisioned to reject QoS requests if there are no conditions for QoS fulfillment, and send feedback information to the client.
In order to achieve synergy of communication expertise and IoT developers inside the Centre and externally with more partners, SDN research has been extended to topics relevant to IoT paradigm. Generally, SDN research has significant contribution to understanding and projecting the communication models needed by IoT system. In general, the IoT strategy of the Centre decupled research on communication solutions on two directions: one refers on communication in WSN networks, while the other deals with communication between WSN gateway and the Cloud platform. The importance of SDN for the first research scenario reflects in the fact that the decoupling of the control and the data plane in WSN network, according to SDN principles, allows easier deployment of new protocols and applications. Having in mind the Fore-Mont ambition to implement WSN test-bed infrastructure, adoption of SDN network design promises great perspective in development of innovative communication solutions for WSNs. In particular, our researches have shown that even partial deployment of software-defined functionality in battery supplied WSN promises significantly longer network lifetime when appropriate model of communication is used. The second research directions deals with communication between the WSN gateway and the Cloud platform. This research is motivated by arising problems of exponential increase in the volume and variety of data generated by IoT devices. Since SDN emerged as result of Future Internet initiatives, the logical step forward was to consider application of SDN to address resource contentions and improve quality of service in IoT environments. Targeting to design scalable IoT architecture which supports a high level of scalability, real-time data delivery and mobility, Fore-Mont researches investigated how SDN could be efficiently combined with Fog computing. Within the course of the project, a new model of IoT architecture has been designed, which combines together these technologies such that they compensate each other deficiencies. The focus was on addressing the challenges of Fog orchestration with SDN, and scalability issues of SDN with Fog computing.

3) Contributions in signal processing
In working on issues representing research challenges when it comes to the concept of IoT deployment, considering the issue of reliable communications among the nodes, part of the Fore-Mont research efforts has been focused on solutions that can be provided applying the adequate signal processing algorithms.
It is well known that in most cases, constant power supply of nodes in wireless sensor networks (IoT networks) is unavailable and they operate on batteries. Buttery lifetime is mostly influenced by the communication between devices in the network. Power efficiency can be provided preforming optimization across all communication layers. Generally, the power can be saved by reducing the transmitting power. However, that might be a problem in heavy noisy environments. That is why, the Fore-Mont researchers worked on solving this challenge by proposing certain adjustments in the signal processing algorithms.
The focus was on parameter estimation of polynomial-phase signals (PPSs) and its application is fields of interests. PPSs have numerous applications in radar, sonar, wireless sensor networks, communications and biomedicine. Information of interest is embedded in parameters of the phase polynomial and the objective is to estimate these parameters. The estimation accuracy is proportional to the computational complexity. Therefore, low complexity estimators are less accurate than those requiring more processing time. Further on, in designing a PPS estimator, a compromise between the accuracy and possibility of real-time application has to be made.
Several issues in the PPS parameter estimation have been addressed: reducing computational complexity of highly accurate techniques, increasing accuracy of estimators with low complexity, improving parameter estimation of multi-component PPSs, signals with missing samples and signals affected by impulsive noise, as well as parameter estimation of non-uniform sampled signals. Both one-dimensional and two-dimensional PPSs were considered. As main performance measures, estimation mean-squared error (MSE) and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) threshold were used. The aim was to approach as possible as close to the Cramer-Rao lower bounds (CRLBs) and to expand the SNR operability range.
In wireless sensor networks, amount of data that are sent has to be as low as possible in order to save battery power. Multimedia data are the most demanding. Sometimes it is better to perform data processing on sensor node and than to send outputs to server on further processing. Line parameter estimation is very common problem in multimedia. Using line subspace detection algorithm (SLIDE), Fore-Mont researchers were able to transform image to a sum of FM signals that are further processed by PPS estimation algorithms.
Fore-Mont team also proposed interference suppression algorithm in direct spread-spectrum communications systems that resulted in improved QoE and BER performance. The proposed algorithm based on the QML estimator has a significant advantage over state-of-the-arts methods. Initial steps have been made in order to realize the QML method on chip.
The amount of data collected from sensors increases dramatically each day. It is very difficult to find useful information from that heap of data. Therefore, data mining is very attractive area. Fore-Mont efforts were in adopting classical signal processing tools in graphs theory in order to create cloud application based services for general purpose. Thus, spectral transformation techniques analysis on graph theory was performed. Also processing of huge amount of data is very computational demanding. Therefore, algorithm parallelization was one of important tasks.
Initial steps have been made in wireless sensor planning. Using intelligent search optimization algorithms, such as genetic algorithms, Fore-Mont researchers have been working on optimizing sensor positioning in order to reduce implementation costs as well as to reduce inter-sensor interference.

4) Innovative solutions in wireless communications
With ever increasing demands for multimedia services and web-related content and applications, high data rates followed by appropriate quality of service (QoS) are becoming one of the major features in the future wireless communication systems. Additionally, wireless networking of different type of devices, including those not usually considered computerized in nature, is of the crucial importance for achieving “beyond machine-to-machine (M2M)” communication concept, i.e. for upcoming Internet of Things (IoT) network. At the same time, creating reliable wireless connections in all possible environment types, where plethora of new applications will be realized, is the most challenging task in design of communicational part of future IoT network.
Following the fact that the Fore-Mont researchers have strong background and widely recognized results in the area of wireless communications, they have been engaged in working on solutions for addressing impairments introduced by wireless fading channels. Since the concept of cooperative communications enables energy savings through breaking the long links into shorter ones, it is clear that it can improve communication reliability through different types of diversities, extending at the same time the communication range and enhancing the system capacity. Thus, the research interest for cooperative communication and their implementation has been going from sensor networks, then to WLAN networks, WiMAX systems, LTE-Advanced systems, and nowadays to IoT networks. In the joint research work organized in the Fore-Mont Centre, new innovative solutions for performance improvement were proposed and examined, attained through cooperative communications and MIMO systems, in future mobile cellular, WMAN and WSN networks, and through this, for IoT networks which are in the centre of Fore-Mont research interest.
Cooperative communications assumes resource sharing among the cooperative nodes, which behaves as relay stations (RS) in information transmission from source (S) to destination terminal (D). In this way, long wireless links can be separated into two, or more, shorter ones for performance improvement and coverage extension of wireless network, or R stations can cooperatively transmit the same information toward D in order to achieve diversity gain.
The traditional MIMO concept, also known as collocated MIMO, assumes implementation of multiple antennas at transmitter and/or receiver in order to attain spatial diversity gain. MIMO architectures are effective in improving bit error rate (BER), system capacity, spectrum efficiency, etc., of wireless communication systems. Benefits of collocated MIMO may be combined with advantages brought by cooperative communications, if the relay nodes may implement multiple transmit and/or receive antennas, like it is the case in mobile cellular, wireless metropolitan area networks (WMAN), wireless local area networks (WLAN). However, in some wireless networks, like are wireless sensor networks (WSN), it is not feasible to implement multiple antennas on nodes, with enough separation among them in order to provide uncorrelated diversity branches. Thus, the concept of distributed, or virtual MIMO system, has gained significant research attention in recent period. It assumes that nodes, equipped with a single antenna, cooperatively transmit the same information toward D for improving the performance through providing multiple copies of the same signal which have experienced uncorrelated fadings.

As adopted relay solutions in IMT-Advanced systems allow implementation of multiple antennas at RS, the Centre’s researchers examined the possibilities for exploiting this additional level of freedom in designing innovative relay solutions. A new solution was proposed: OFDM DF relay system with transmit antenna selection (TAS) and ordered SCM on downlink (DL). It has been shown that such solution brings significant capacity enhancement and BER performance improvement in all examined scenarios assuming different type of fading channels on both hops. Another research track in dual-hop OFDM based DF relay systems was dedicated to assessment of influence of intercarrier interference (ICI) on the BER performance of this system. New cooperative relaying schemes for performance improvements of the virtual orthogonal space time block coding (OSTBC) and quasi OSTBC (QOSTBC) which is used for creating 4x1 and 8x1 multiple input-single output (MISO) channel were proposed. These spatial diversity techniques are important since they provide diversity gain without incurring extra costs of transmission time and bandwidth.

Relay stations and MIMO systems are not only important for providing broadband access and multimedia services for the users, but in the future IoT networks they are foreseen as data collection points from many smart grid sensors of neighborhoods in suburban and rural areas. That is why this thematic area has been included in the Fore-Mont research agenda contributing towards designing new and innovative cooperative solutions for IoT networks.

As it comes to scientific results of the Fore-Mont project it is worth mentioning that the Fore-Mont team have used the opportunity to test the chosen research directions by submitting a project proposal for the call “Pilot project Centre of Excellence in Montenegro” issued by the Ministry of Science of Montenegro and funded by the World Bank. As a leading beneficiary UoM(FEE), represented by the Fore-Mont research team, gathered a multidisciplinary and inter-sectoral consortium which also included the Fore-Mont collaborative partner CTiF-University of Aalborg. The submitted proposal “Centre of Excellence in Bioinformatics” (BIO-ICT) was directly linked with the objectives of the Fore-Mont project and after the strong selection procedure, the proposal has been chosen for receiving the grant at the level of 3.4 million euros, for the duration of three years (June 2014-June 2017).
With the major objective of the Centre of Excellence being related with the implementation of ICT based solutions in the field of agriculture, its research activities are directly related with the Research Centre for ICT and its achievements in the field of high-speed high capacity network infrastructures supporting smart applications. That is why it was agreed that it can be considered as a major achievement in building sustainable research platform for the Research Centre for ICT. Using the networking terminology, the Fore-Mont project could be considered as a “physical layer” while BIO-ICT would be an “application layer”, justifying that the shift in FEE’s research agenda has been successfully achieved.

Potential Impact:
Through the Action Plan and the work programme of Fore-Mont, the project included a set of measures to strengthen the research capacities of the UoM (FEE). Moreover, the synergy created by the implementation of the Research Centre for ICT dedicated to advanced solutions for info-communication networks and e- services engineering ensured a high level in innovation. Through these measures the Centre has been recognized as the leading research group in Montenegro for the info-communication technologies including infrastructures, smart multimedia applications and e-services, and internationally recognized reliable partner for this field of research.

Impacts of the Fore-Mont project implementation are visible at different levels: at the UoM(FEE) level, at the national/regional level as well as the global and EU level.

Through its various measures, the project attained the following direct impacts on development of the UoM and its Faculty of Electrical Engineering:

• The implementation of strong long-term partnership with well-established research centres has improved the knowledge capacity of the Faculty. The partners brought a high level of knowledge in innovation and research on ICT and the UoM (FEE) has been recognized as potential and high-skilled partner for future innovative projects. The partnerships have also enhanced the expertise of UoM (FEE) researchers through an efficient exchange of knowledge. The researchers involved in mobilities equally shared and acquired scientific expertise, strongly contributing to enriching the research knowledge of the UoM (FEE) in ICT innovation and applied solutions for smart applications and e-services. Also, the implemented internal trainings contributed to this increase of specific expertise and knowledge.
• The recruitment campaign launched during the Fore-Mont project provided new experienced researchers to the Faculty, bringing significant expertise and skills. Two ICT experts added value to UoM (FEE) personal expertise, integrating well with the researchers of the new Research Centre for ICT. They have been entirely dedicated to the implementation of the joint research agenda of the Centre, contributing in building the necessary synergy in the research on new info- communication infrastructures and e-services engineering.
• Fore-Mont enabled significant improvement of the UoM(FEE)’s research infrastructure, providing new equipment for the Research Centre for ICT. This equipment has been chosen and purchased with the aim to improve the capacity and efficiency of the laboratory installations in the Centre. Thus, new test beds were set, as a necessary precondition for testing the Centre’s results in applied solutions and innovative components for better e-Society deployment.
• The project had a significant impact on development of innovative component in ICT research performed at the UoM(FEE). Through partnerships and creation of new joint research agenda, all as well as through hiring IP manager, organization of internal training on IP issues and organization of national competition for the best start up ideas B4ICT, Fore-Mont enabled the Research Centre for ICT to reach new innovative solutions and results, which are adequately protected through patent granting mechanisms and publications.

At the national/regional level, the Fore-Mont had the social impact as well as the impact on the scientific development. Through the Fore-Mont project, the UoM’s Faculty of Electrical Engineering successfully applied to become the first national centre of excellence. Thus, in June 2014 started the implementation of the Fore-Mont flagship project “Pilot Project Centre of Excellence in Bioinformatics” (BIO-ICT), which is directly linked with the objectives of the Fore-Mont project and the elements of its research platform. This 3-year project, funded by the World Bank, responds to all requirements necessary for being labeled with “excellence”: scientific productivity is increased (publications, new patents); new international cooperation is established; relations with the industry and local SMEs are improved. BIO-ICT is bringing cutting edge ICT technology in the area of sustainable agriculture, monitoring of the crops, forest and water/sea ecosystems, development of techniques for controlling and reducing air pollution, analyses and standardization of food products, control of land quality and improvement in the area of public health. In order to deliver new products and services in the area of bioinformatics, BIO-ICT uses an ICT platform, developed in the Fore-Mont Center, to enable better life sciences research conducted by the researchers from the partnering institutions. With such multidisciplinary approach, with the real test beds offered through participating companies, new solutions in the field of smart agriculture are provided. Further on, the Fore-Mont project contributed towards increasing the overall knowledge through organization of three specific workshops with eminent speakers from abroad, and used each opportunity to present its research agenda and achievements at the scientific conferences organized in Montenegro. At the regional level, the Fore-Mont project, as well as BIO-ICT, served as a platform for consolidating partnerships with research entities from South-East Europe, and to create the new ones. Regional industrial and scientific events were attended by Fore-Mont researchers, where special sessions were organized, and demonstrations of results done. Also, in the frame of the project the Regional conference “ICT Services and Applications and Their Societal Impacts” was successfully organized on 29th and 30th September 2015 in Budva (Montenegro). Taking into account the aim of the project to enable to the Fore-Mont Research Centre for ICT to have an impact on ICT innovation research in the region of South-East Europe, part of the Conference was focused on the initiative dealing with the assessment of challenges related to establishing high-tech start-ups in SEE. Thus, the participants as well as invited speakers exchanged their experiences and discussed some of the ideas of junior Centre’s researchers dealing with applications targeting the improvement of citizens’ responsibility in SEE societies.

Additionally, when it comes to the social impact of the Fore-Mont project at national/regional level, it is important to mention that the project contributed towards fighting brain-drain. It has been done through the adoption of the new HR policy and the recruitment of experienced Montenegrin researchers from abroad. Additionally, through the increase of potential in the UoM (FEE), new opportunities for the research career have been created with the possibility to get involved in new research of high potential in innovation. Numerous dissemination activities (web portal, Open-days, presence in media ...) opened the scientific world to the general public and reduced the gap between the scientific community and the society. More specifically, some of the Centre’s results did have an excellent echo in general public at the national level. That is the case with the “Be Responsible” platform, developed by researchers of the Fore-Mont Research Centre for ICT. It represents an example of human–centric sensing network which, relying on the Info-Communication and Internet of Things concepts, aims to improve the communication between citizens, on one side, and government authorities, on the other side, with the purpose of resolving various problems encountered in a modern society. A widespread network of human-centric smartphone devices and PCs has been used as a valuable source of data collected and processed in order to trigger adequate actions upon problem resolving. In this way, citizens, acting as sensor operators and data sources, become a powerful factor in improving their society. The “Be Responsible” platform enables the people to report the irregularities in various aspects of their social life (grey or informal economy, misuse of government vehicles, ecology, traffic), and hence to take active part in resolving them. It promotes positive and responsible social and institutional behavior, which has to be nurtured in any society seeking progress. The number of submitted reports, as well as the money collected from the fine revenues and subsequently invested in projects of social good, undoubtedly prove that what could not be achieved through years of traditional government-led policy approach, has been achieved in months of citizens’ engagement. This particular application fully justifies the implementation of the Fore-Mont project as a tool for gathering FEE researchers working in the area of ICT and creating an impact on the society. The synergy of their skills and knowledge led towards creating new infrastructure solutions, applications and services which are directly in line with the major objective: development of e-Society in Montenegro.

At the global level, by the reorganisation of the scientific research in the field of ICT in the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, through the implementation of the Research Centre for ICT, the UOM (FEE) developed new axis for applied, innovative, research which will be a global benefit in contributing towards better e-Society deployment. Moreover, with the creation of a strong partnership with international research entities, and through the exchange of know-how and results from the Fore-Mont project with these partners, the scientific knowledge on ICT will be strengthen at the international level. At European level the impact is visible though the increased cooperation and networking with the partners and other institutions with the aim to better answer on challenges of Horizon2020 programmes, through joint projects structured around ICT and Future Internet topics at the first place. Thus, UoM (FEE) , through its Research Centre for ICT, actively participates in HORIZON2020 calls for proposal in ICT thematic area (three proposals were submitted with different set of partners) as well as in other calls on EU levels (Interreg programme).

Overall, the main impact of the Fore-Mont project is the possibility for the UoM (FEE) and the Research Centre for ICT to provide applied solutions with innovative components for numerous stakeholders: state authorities, education and training organisation, SMEs and industrial partners. Numerous project activities created environment for fostering the innovation based research activities through the synergy of research topics and subjects related to ICT and e-services. In that way, all the knowledge acquired from the mobilities, trainings, workshops, conferences, and the network established with internationally recognized research entities from EU, gave significant scientific support to the researchers of the UoM (FEE) to pursue their research efforts in future info- communication networks, engineering of smart applications and e-services, contributing in such a manner towards efficient e-Society deployment.

Fore-Mont main objective was to strengthen the excellence of UoM (FEE) and to improve its capacities to provide applied and innovative solutions for info-communication infrastructures and e-services engineering, through several activities.This objective has been achieved through close cooperation with the project EU partners and it required the implementation of a relevant dissemination plan all along the project duration targeting an audience as wide as possible. The dissemination plan has been based on five main components:

• The web portal was the central tool for promoting the project and its results. It presented the progress in project implementation, partnerships and collaboration results, events, news, agenda, publications, etc. The project web portal is accessible through the following domain name: www.foremont.ac.me. The official e-mail address of the project is foremont@ac.me, while the e-mail address foremontproject@gmail.com is used for official Fore-Mont YouTube channel and Google Analytics tool. The web portal has been referenced to international search engines and linked on the websites of some partner institutions and other institutions the UoM (FEE) have collaboration with. The website has been also promoted through all printed and online materials and publications. Statistical results of different activities related to the website promotion and referencing were continuously followed and analyzed. For performances and statistic evaluation of using the Fore-Mont website the Google analytics tools have been used. The web portal will ne maintained after the end of the project for further promotion of the Research Centre for ICT, its activities and results.

• Research Open Days were organized as public events to add to the project a larger dimension in order to promote its activities to a wider environment and offer an insight into UoM (FEE) research activities. The 1st Research Open Day was organized on May 28th 2014, marking the end of the 1st Phase of the project implementation, i.e. launching the newly established Research Centre for ICT while the 2nd Research Open Day was organized on 26th May 2016. Both Open Day events were excellent communication axis between UoM (FEE) researchers and visitors (UoM colleagues, partners, local stakeholders, SMEs, university students, high school students, media). Presentations and demonstrations for small groups of the Fore- Mont project, its main objectives and achieved results were organized. In that manner, and through media coverage, the visibility of the technological excellence of UoM (FEE) has been increased.

• Participation in scientific and industrial international events to promote the steps of the project and results, has been implemented through participation of UoM (FEE) in international events which had not only the scientific component but industrial as well. Thus, Fore-Mont was presented not only through a number of papers dealing with the issues related with the focus of the project research platform, but also through organizing special expo spaces (stands) where the concept and achievements of Fore-Mont were demonstrated to the participants and visitors. These events were: Global Wireless Summit – GWS 2014, Alborg, Denmark, May 2014 (papers and expo stand); IEEE Conference TELFOR 2014 (special session and expo stand); 21st Festival of Information Technology Achievements – INFOFEST 2014 (workshop and expo stand); IT (Information Technology) 2014 (special session); IEEE International Conference on Communication – ICC 2015 (expo stand); International Exhibition of Innovations – ARCA 2015 (expo stand); Festival of Information Technology Achievements – INFOFEST 2015 (workshop and expo stand). Beside these events, the Fore-Mont researchers participated at different scientific and innovation related events and conferences (with no additional costs for the Fore-Mont budget): IT 2015 – 20th International conference on Information Technologies, Žabljak, Montenegro (presentation of 2 scientific papers); WTS 2015 – 15th annual Wireless Telecommunications Symposium, New York City, USA (presentation of 1 scientific paper); IWIE 2015 – 1st International Workshop on Innovations and Entrepreneurship, Aalborg, Denmark (presentation of innovation idea for start-up and participation in a two day intensive training); MECO 2015 – 4th Mediterranean Conference on Embedded Computing, Budva, Montenegro (presentation of 1 scientific paper); TCP 2015 – 38th International Conference on Telecommunications and Signal Processing, Prague (presentation of 2 scientific papers); IEEE EUROCON 2015 – 16th International Conference on Computer as a Tool, Salamanca, Spain (presentation of 3 scientific papers); TELFOR 2015 – 24th Telecommunications Forum, Belgrade, Serbia (presentation of 4 scientific papers); TELSIKS 2015 – 12th International Conference on Advanced Technologies, Systems and Services in Telecommunications, Niš, Serbia (presentation of 1 scientific paper); WVITAE 2015 – 5th International Conference on Wireless Communications, Vehicular Technology, Information Theory, Aerospace & Electronics Systems (WVITAE), Hyderabad, India (presentation of 2 scientific papers); IT 2016 – 21st International conference on Information Technologies, Žabljak, Montenegro (presentation of 1 scientific paper); MELECON 2016 – 18th Mediterranean Electrotechnical Conference, Limassol, Cyprus (presentation of 1 scientific paper).

• Several press materials were published about all of the important project’s events. An important activity was also related to writing and publishing of newsletters, newspaper articles and promotions through TV shows. The publishing has been performed on national level, but also significant level of promotion at regional and international level has been achieved, as a consequence of participation to various international events. In total more than 48 appearances in different online and printed media was realized during the project implementation, while 6 project Newsletters were produced and all of them can be found on the project web portal.

• General Materials were created, promoting the project and its results through different general and specific scientific materials. These materials included leaflets, blocks, posters, roll ups... which have been distributed to the participants of different national, regional, international events where the project was presented. Also, two scientific reports were published, in order to summarize and better present scientific achievements of the Centre: Scientific Report 2013 – 2014 (ISBN 978-86-85775-17-8; COBISS.CG-ID 27272720; 50 pages; May 2015) and Scientific Report 2015 – 2016 (ISBN 978-86-85775-19-2; COBISS.CG-ID 30446608; 60 pages; May 2016).

From the activities of the Fore-Mont project, UoM (FEE) was able to develop new applied innovative solutions for info-communication networks and e-services engineering, which will be having a visible impact on the country needs in deploying e-Society. Additionally, the project has an impact also in the innovation in different other areas of RTD, other than direct applications of ICT solutions, because of the possibility of interaction between the current state-of-the-art in a certain number of domains that require ICT technologies and the future info-communication networks, multimedia smart applications and e-services. In that manner, the UoM (FEE) research results provide an open platform for interaction with larger research area. For example, it is already possible to apply the UoM (FEE) research into different advanced services and applications related with: environment, energy, health, media, transport, administration.... This innovative aspect increase considerably the impacts of Fore-Mont, as it has been proved through the implementation of its flagship project BIO-ICT, creation of socially responsible applications...

This newly developed innovative research potential, provided by Fore-Mont project and results, through the new skills, equipment and knowledge acquired by the UoM (FEE), has been supported by implementing a strong intellectual property strategic plan which created the opportunity for granting patents for innovative research at the UoM (FEE) (2 granted patents, 3 submitted applications for patent). In order to achieve such results, the innovation and intellectual property management at UoM (FEE) has been established for the first time through the Fore-Mont. Thus, an IP manager was hired with the task to create IP development plan. Apart from creating IP policy, the recruited IP manager was in charge of improving the current practises in Intellectual Property management and protection of rights in the UoM (FEE), enabling an environment for better innovative dimension of the Centre’s research. It is worth mentioning that the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, nor the University of Montenegro, before the implementation of the Fore-Mont project, had not recognized or protected any intellectual property arose at the University. Therefore, the draft of Intellectual Property Policy developed within the Fore-Mont is considered as a pilot project for the University of Montenegro as well as for the Faculty, and it will be used as a template for future University’s Intellectual Property Policy. Additionally, through a number of other supportive initiatives and activities of the IP manager, new knowledge was gained, suggestions and recommendations were provided, influencing positively the work on the IP policy and encouraged innovative capacities of the Centre’s researchers. Another positive outcome of the IP manager activities is the recognition at the level of UoM to create conditions for the sustainability of efforts in this area through the plans to establishment of the Technology Transfer Office. Thus, not only the efforts of the IP manager, but also the exchange of knowledge and practices with the project partners and speakers at the specially organized training on IP issues, enabled the Centre’s researchers to built the knowledge and skills to direct their work toward innovations and further exploitation of their results through commercialization.

List of Websites:
www.foremont.ac.me
Contact details:
Prof.dr Milica Pejanovic-Djurisic
Research Centre for ICT
Faculty of Electrical Engineering
Bulevar Dzordza Vasingtona bb
81000 Podgorica
Montenegro
E-Mail: milica@ac.me
Phone: +382 20 245 839

Contact

Milica Pejanovic-Djurisic, (Director of the Centre for Telecommunications)
Tel.: +382 20 245 839
Fax: +382 20 245 873
E-mail
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