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Advanced Communication Systems and Technologies

Final Report - ACOST (Advanced communication systems and technologies)

The ACOST project was aimed at supporting the development and publicity of the research excellence of the Department of Radio Electronics (DREL), Brno University of Technology in the field of space communications, microwaves, optoelectronics and mobile communications. The main goal of the ACOST project was to develop DREL as a recognised centre in research, technology and innovation in the area of communication systems and technologies.

The overall strategy of ACOST was to increase the knowledge and research excellence of DREL by strengthening its research capacity and the strategic networking with leading European Union research organisations, through renewal of the technical equipment for the strategic research areas and via strengthening the relations with the industry for better entrepreneurship, innovation and technology transfer. This strategy was implemented in the following work packages (WPs):

1. WP1, preparation of a long-term strategy for DREL
2. WP2, strengthening the human resources research capacity, consisting of WP2a, increasing the research mobility, WP2b, training and know-how exchange and WP2c, stimulation of employment
3. WP3, renewal of research equipment
4. WP4, conferences and workshops
5. WP5, dissemination of project results, and
6. WP6, overall management.

Within WP1 the strategy for further development of DREL was prepared and implemented. The work package was already finished by the end of the reporting period, with all the objectives being achieved.

Regarding WP2a, a total of 40 academic mobility visits were realised since the project beginning. The intensified contacts with European academic and research institutions brought results in the form of six new international research projects. The project also supported attending European research conferences by DREL members as part of WP2b. Seminars with experts from the industry were established as a regular activity. Thanks to extensive contacts with industry, 37 new collaborative projects were opened since the project beginning. In addition, eight new research positions opened for post-doctoral researchers because of WP2c, including two positions for females. Two positions also opened for senior researchers in the brain-gain programme.

WP3 included the upgrade of selected scientific instruments of the laboratories of experimental satellites, mobile communications and optical communications. WP3 had already finished successfully by the end of the reporting period. All three laboratories joined international research projects.

DREL was the main organiser of the international conference Radioelektronika, with this activity forming part of WP4. The conference proceedings were published in IEEE Xplore digital library. The proceedings were also indexed in the Thomson-Reuters Conference Proceedings Citation Index. In 2011, DREL also participated in organising the International Symposium on Microwave and Optical Technology (ISMOT conference) in 2011.

Finally, the industrial forum was established by WP5 to obtain feedback on the quality of research provided by the department. The most significant result in WP5 was the inclusion of the scientific journal Radioengineering, hosted at DREL, in the Thomson-Reuters Journal Citation Report with an impact factor of 0.503 in 2011.

The main strategic impact of the ACOST project could be presented as follows:

1. contribution to the research and technical development infrastructure (RTDI) capacity building in a European Union convergence region by strengthening the human resources and technology environment at DREL, by enhancing further research-industry collaboration and by fostering increased industry investments in research and scientific training
2. enhanced participation of the Czech Republic in the Seventh Framework Programme and integration into the information and communications technology (ICT) European Research Area (ERA) by networking with other research and academic institutions and industry and establishing new partnerships
3. better career and job opportunities for young scientists by matching the university curricula to industrial needs and including industrial specialists in PhD training
4. reinforcing the competitive advantages of the Czech Republic in communication systems and technologies and increasing the competitiveness of the industry of this sector in the European Union.

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