The 'Web technologies for West Balkan countries' (Web4web) project was established to set up a regional Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Semantic Web technologies within one of the region's oldest and biggest research institutes in information and communication technologies (ICT), the Institute Mihailo Pupin (IMP) in Belgrade. Project partners worked to raise awareness and assist the faster uptake of the Semantic Web and other advanced Web technologies and standards in Western Balkan Countries. They also endeavoured to boost the level of competence of all the region's stakeholders and contribute to sustainable research development for the region's better integration into the European Research Area (ERA). To start with, the EU's most prominent research centres, universities, Networks of Excellence (NoEs) and other institutions were identified along with the most relevant journals, websites, conferences and related events. Team members also observed the activities of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standardisation body, assessed latest products from respected vendors, and followed publications in international journals and conferences. A major effort was made to identify trends and priorities in the field of modern and semantic Web technologies. Progressing to networking activities, Web4web partners worked to establish contacts with research centres, NoEs, international organisations and respected researchers. Young researchers participating in summer schools established contacts with distinguished European researchers, while professors and researchers visited IPM, giving lectures during training courses organised by the institute. IPM team members and researchers visited other EU institutes and also took part in conferences ranging in outreach from local to international standing. Such activities helped establish contacts with leading EU researchers and set the groundwork for future cooperation on joint projects. During the project, IPM also contributed to the preparation of several Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) project proposals, of which two have so far already been approved. Other project activities included developing the Web4web semantic Web portal, and implementing an e-collaboration tool, mailing lists and Web4web ontology-based content management, among other applications. The portal offers itself to the west Balkan's ICT community as an example of how to exploit the latest semantic Web technologies.
Web technologies for West Balkan countries
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