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EU-Asia Pacific cooperation in ICT research to create a new roadmap for academia and industry

Europe’s digital innovation partnership with Australia, New Zealand and Singapore will address various global challenges and support spatial intelligence initiatives.

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From artificial intelligence and the Internet of things (IoT) to transport and geospatial data usage, digital technologies continue impacting societies at an unprecedented pace. With various opportunities in all these fields and the rising demand to use and share the vast amount of data that is available globally, strengthened collaborations between academia, industry and government agencies have become both a necessity and a challenge. The EU-funded EPIC project has been addressing this issue through various initiatives to improve cooperation between the EU and its major partner countries in ICT R&D. Covering Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, the project focuses on areas of high strategic importance at the policy and researcher levels. These include IoT, cybersecurity, ICT in transport, digital economy, next-generation internet and spatial intelligence. Project partners have made several recommendations in a series of policy briefs after a lengthy process involving several rounds of stakeholder discussions. Spatial intelligence One such policy brief looks at the future of Earth observation research cooperation between the EU and Singapore. It suggests that potential joint activities aimed at the development of spatial intelligence should include promising applications such as transport, and air pollution monitoring and mitigation. “Initiatives to foster deployment of processing and exploitation capacities for Sentinel satellites’ data, Copernicus services information and other Earth observation data would support the European Union’s intentions to cross-fertilise different data sets, encourage the development of innovative products and services and to maximise the socio-economic benefits of Earth observation data in Europe.” In the same brief, the EPIC project partners say Singapore and the EU should together explore “Earth observation data use-cases based on their respective existing developments.” They add that joint activities should “go beyond the sharing of satellite data,” and include research and innovation actions and “options for developing spatial intelligence marketplaces.” Technology and art Another policy brief examines the ways in which Australia and the EU can collaborate in art, science and digital technologies. Project partners recommend that there should be enhanced dialogue in these areas between various parties, including artists, citizens, researchers and scientists. They also highlight the benefits of inclusion, empowerment and cooperation, and point to the importance of increasing and diversifying funding opportunities for cooperation in arts and science. The EPIC (EU-Pacific Partnerships for ICT RDI) project is designed to foster Europe’s cooperation support actions in specific areas of ICT research in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. The initial themes targeted by the project include smart nations, resilient and sustainable cities, and open and digital science. The EPIC initiative builds on cooperation policy dialogues, analyses of research capabilities and recommendations from previous projects involving these countries. In addition to preparing policy recommendations and a handbook on Australia, New Zealand, Singapore programmes for EU researchers, the project team has organised events and meetings with stakeholders. These were aimed at strengthening the already existing synergies in R&D between the EU and the three target countries, and identifying new cooperation priorities and opportunities. For more information, please see: EPIC project website



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