Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP6

NISIS — Result In Brief

Project ID: 013569
Funded under: FP6-IST
Country: Germany

Technology follows nature's example

European researchers have studied examples taken from nature in their search for exciting new technologies.
Technology follows nature's example
Nature has often been an inspiration for artists, while providing scientists with some of their best ideas. The application of biological methods and systems found in the natural world to the development of engineering systems and modern technology is known as biomimetics. Examples include radar and sonar, which imitate the echolocation used by bats to find their prey.

The 'Nature-inspired smart information systems' (NISIS) project coordinated multidisciplinary studies and research activities into the development of advanced information systems. The initiative supported more than 60 research institutes based in industry and academia across Europe that have studied biomimetics in order to develop innovative technologies.

Three focus groups investigated the theoretical and technological aspects of nature-inspired systems in the fields of data technology, networks, and systems modelling optimisation and control. Overall integration of the initiative's work has been overseen by the Integrated Technology Board (ITB), the result of which has been the NISIS roadmap and links with other existing networks.

Annual symposia have been organised by the project to showcase the latest developments in nature-inspired systems with intelligent technologies. The focus has been on the integration of life and applied sciences (and engineering) to smart information systems that can be used to solve problems in the real world. Researchers also investigated nature-inspired systems that coordinate perception, reasoning and action to pursue multiple goals while acting autonomously in a fast-changing environment.

Scientific competitions have been an effective means of motivating scientists to develop new ideas for centuries and the NISIS project has been no exception to this tradition. NISIS competitions have been organised by the committee responsible for technology transfer, which normally concentrates on technological concepts and algorithms.

Studying biological organisms and systems in order to address scientific and engineering challenges has helped researchers to develop ground-breaking technologies that help Europe to compete in the global marketplace.

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