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Web technologies for West Balkan countries

Final Report Summary - WEB4WEB (Web technologies for West Balkan countries)

The field of semantic web technologies is one of the fastest developing fields within the IST Thematic Priority, while at the same time this field is almost completely neglected in West Balkan countries. The main objective of the WEB4WEB project was therefore to establish a regional Center of Excellence for semantic web technologies within the oldest and the biggest research institute in ICT area in the whole West Balkan region - the Mihailo Pupin Institute (MPI) from Belgrade.

To begin with the project successfully identified the most prominent EU research centres, universities, Networks of Excellence, etc., identified the most relevant web sites, journals, magazines and conferences in the field, observed the activities of W3C standardisation body, assessed the newest products of the most respectful vendors in the field, followed the publications in respectful international journals and conferences and tried to identify priorities and trends in the field of modern and semantic web technologies.

Following this the project embarked on their networking activities. They established contacts with the most respectful NoEs, research centres, international organisations and researchers in the field. Young researchers took part in eight summer schools where they made contacts with distinguished EU researchers in the field. Six distinguished professors and researchers from EU visited MPI and gave their lectures during the training courses organised by MPI. MPI team members visited Fraunhofer FIRST Institute from Berlin and University of Pavia and created conditions for some future cooperation on joint research projects and exchange of researchers. During the project MPI researchers participated in the work of five local or regional conferences and six renowned international conferences in the field, where they made contacts with the leading EU researchers. Furthermore, during the project MPI has participated in the preparation of 10 Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) project proposals related to semantic web and other advanced web technologies, two of which have been already approved for granting by the EC.

Our junior researchers participated in the work of eight summer schools, which were organised by EU NoEs and IPs (e.g. Knowledge Web, REWERSE, SENSORIA), research centres (e.g. Athens Information Technology, AIT) or associations (e.g. Extended Database Technology, EDBT). Six distinguished researchers were invited to give their tutorials on Semantic Web and other modern Web technologies and four of them participated in the first training course organised within the international workshop, while two of them took part in the second training course.

The activities on WEB4WEB semantic web portal, encompassed the development of the WEB4WEB semantic web portal http://www.Web4WeB.org updating its contents, implementation of e-collaboration tool, mailing lists and discussion forums, and WEB4WEB ontology-based content management. One of the objectives of the WEB4WEB semantic web portal is to serve as the demonstrator of the capabilities of the semantic web, since it integrates ontologies with wiki-based knowledge management. Therefore, it provides an example for the West Balkan ICT community as how to exploit the latest semantic web technologies.

Dissemination activities in local language included the organisation of the regional workshop on modern web technologies, publication of six papers on local conferences, eight papers on international conferences and workshops, one editorial for the international workshop in semantic web and other modern web technologies, two papers in local journals, five papers in international journals and 1 book chapter. Furthermore, two papers are submitted, but not yet accepted for publishing in high-impact international journals. As part of dissemination activities MPI has established a cluster of distinguished research and educational institutions and their representatives from the whole West Balkan region in the field of semantic web and other modern web technologies. This cluster of research and educational institutions will serve not only as means for regional cooperation and dissemination of knowledge, but also as a core for initiating the proposals of new regional and international research projects. All activities defined within the dissemination and exploitation plan have been successfully performed.

Based on the above summarised activities of the WEB4WEB project, a co-ordinator may conclude that MPI reached all goals planned on the project and that the WEB4WEB project itself was very successful.

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