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European Project "TARGET" successfully launched

Austrian research institutes successfully launch European project The Telecommunications Research Center Vienna (ftw.) and the Institute of Electrical Measurement and Circuit Design (EMST) of the Vienna University of Technology conduct and coordinate European research in amplifiers for mobile radio.

Vienna - The project "TARGET - Top Amplifier Research Groups in a European Team" has been launched as a collaborative project funded by the Directorate General of "Information Society" under the European Commission's 6th Framework Programme. The Telecommunications Research Center Vienna (ftw.) and Prof. Dr. Gottfried Magerl of the Institute of Circuit Design of the Vienna University of Technology have succeeded in creating a Network of Excellence in which 47 European research groups - including groups from three candidate countries for EU membership - will cooperate in researching amplifiers and microwaves. This makes TARGET one of the first and largest projects of its kind. To establish the Institute of Electrical Measurement and Circuit Design as a serious partner in the European research community Prof. Magerl received one million Euros to purchase high-tech laboratory equipment. This funding was provided to the Vienna University of Technology by the Austrian Council for Research. This has been a crucial factor in the launch's success. TARGET will receive funding of eight million Euros from the European Commission during the course of the project for cooperative research. The TARGET management will be coordinated by: Prof. Magerl who is responsible for all scientific matters and activities, and the Telecommunications Research Center Vienna (ftw.) will coordinate the project. Within the National Research and Innovation Plan of the Austrian Government the Austrian Council for Research and Technology provide Austria's Universities with 55.6 million Euros to invest in high-tech laboratory equipment. The Institute of Electrical Measurement and Circuit Design received one Million Euros. "By having this measurement and analysis equipment we were able to compete with the best European laboratories and became a serious partner" said Prof. Magerl at the start of the project. Dr. Knut Consemüller, from the Austrian Council for Research and Technology, regards the contribution as seed funding: "Within this European project transnational partnerships are evolving and will leverage the value of every Euro invested by the Austrian Government." Prof. Magerl, of the Institute of Electrical Measurement and Circuit Design, saw the need to conduct cooperative research at a European level in the field of amplifiers and microwave and hatched the idea of the TARGET project. Together with Prof. Dr. Tom Brazil, head of the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University College Dublin, he reviewed the European research situation in the field and concluded that Europe has some of the best research groups in the world, but has lacked frequent transnational cooperation. Prof. Magerl states: "The aim of TARGET is to improve the overall system: from the semiconductor material for the components to the circuitry in mobile devices and transmitters. Considering this aim it makes sense to conduct research at a European level." TARGET puts a special emphasis on application-oriented research. "The research results on how to improve the semiconductor material and the construction of transmitters," explains Prof. Magerl, "will be economically implemented into the product portfolios of the industrial partners." The management of TARGET was assigned by the European Commission to the Telecommunications Research Center Vienna (ftw.), which has experience in managing large cooperative research projects. In the course of the call only one out of four project proposals was selected. TARGET's core topics - amplifier and microwave research - are fundamental for broadband wireless access to IT services like UMTS, Digital Audio, Ultra Wideband, Wireless LAN, and Personal Networks. To send and receive signals under these new standards, optimal amplifiers are essential to attain maximal performance, in two respects: amplifier efficiency and linearity. For efficiency the base station amplifiers should reduce the currently high energy consumption. For linearity the signal should not be distorted. These two requirements are contradictory and one aim of TARGET is to balance them. The 47 partners - university institutes and industrial companies - will investigate different components: the composition of semiconductor material, the measurement and modulation of semiconductor devices, the design of amplifiers, and the construction of transmitters. For the first time all phases in the construction of transmitters are being jointly investigated. A groupware platform will help in regularly disseminating information to each partner; an internal forum will be created to facilitate regular scientific discussions; and an exchange programme for scientists and doctoral students in the Network will be created to ensure continued cooperation. In the creation of the "virtual centre of excellence" the laboratory equipment at the Institute of Measurement and Circuit Design will play a supporting role: all research groups have the opportunity to jointly use the research infrastructure. Tutorials, summer schools and special sessions at conferences will be organised to reach a broad audience. In sum, the project aims to establish itself as the centre of leading research in the field of amplifiers and microwave. TARGET itself will continue beyond the four-year funding period, using the next four years to spawn specific research projects and seeking their financial support from national and European funding bodies. Scientific Coordinator: ,O.Univ.Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Gottfried Magerl ,Institute for Electrical Measurement and Circuit Design ,Vienna University of Technology,E-mail: Coordinator of TARGET,ftw. Forschungszentrum Telekommunikation Wien Betriebs-GmbH ,Dipl-Ing. Dr. Markus Kommenda ,E-mail: Prof. Magerl of Vienna University of Technology and Dr. Markus Kommenda, director of ftw., would be happy to answer any further questions regarding the project. ,