Periodic Reporting for period 1 - CEZAMAT-Environment (CEZAMAT-Environment - Self-Organizing Networks for Real-Time, Wireless Monitoring ofNatural Environment)
Reporting period: 2015-06-01 to 2016-05-31
Since last decade EC has observed increasing differences among Member States in terms of research and innovation performance. Among many reasons for those disparities lack of critical mass of science and insufficient number of scientific institutions on high level of excellence seemed to be the most urgent problem to be solved.
As a respond to those problems European Commission decided to start “Teaming for Excellence” competition. The aim of the call was to create high level Centre of Excellence in those countries which innovativeness level is not satisfactionary.
It was stated that by increasing number of Centres of Excellence with high scientific potential in those countries that has low factor of innovation may result in achieving slow but sustain innovative growth.
Moreover, spreading scientific excellence from more advanced countries to member states that struggle with low innovation of their economy may help those countries to overcome financial crisis that may happen in Europe. This will help those regions to become more competitive in national and international markets.
In the first phase of the competition beneficiaries in partnership with Partners of Excellence had to prepare high quality business plan for the new Centre of Excellence. This report is about realisation phase one of the project CEZAMAT-Environment.
All the partners were in constant contact by e-mail and phone but main progress in project realisation was conducted during project meetings when partners could discuss final shape of the business plan and exchange their experience and good practices. During the period of project realisation 6 meeting was held: Warsaw – Kick-off meeting (2nd June), Warsaw (22nd October), Grenoble (27th-28th January), Dresden (14th-15th May), Płock (11th-12th May), Grenoble (24th-25th May).
All the partners workout and signed Consortium Agreement in which all the tasks and responsibility for the work packages were evenly distributed between consortium members.
NCBR was designated to the project consortium as a government body that will ensure governmental support for the new CoE. NCBR’s role in the project was to provide compliance with grant and consortium agreements, ensure that all deliverables submitted to EC are highest possible quality, serve as a communication point with EC. However NCBR was not directly involved in each technical tasks (apart of several exceptions, stated in the proposal and confirmed in SGA).
From NCBR project coordinators were assigned. The first coordinator was Ms. Joanna Misiewicz, responsible for submitting the proposal for “Teaming” phase 1, preparing grant agreement with European Commission and working out consortium agreement between partners. For the first few months of the first phase of project Ms. Misiewicz organised the management structure in consortium and the first kick-off meetings.
In December 2015 she was replaced by Mr. Jan Osiński. Mr. Osiński continued project progress by organising consortium meetings and conducting discussion between partners. He was responsible for final shape of the business plan and proposal for the second stage of the “Teaming for Excellence” competition.
During project realisation it was also decided that the NCBR will remain project partner in the 1st stage. Once the project is successful in the 2nd stage, the NCBR will withdraw its participation from the consortium.
CEZAMAT Sp. z o.o was the main beneficiary of the consortium and leading entity. The Project leaders were assigned from this institution. First project leader was Prof. Bartosz Grzybowski. According to his vison and his team, the first proposal for the teaming phase 1 was created and successfully passed evaluation. Together with partners, they were responsible for preparation work packages and Gant table. Despite his engagement in project realization during the meeting in Warsaw it was said that according to his obligation in his current office in Korea he is unable to commit to the project in satisfactory level. After long talks with Partners of Excellence about future consortium shape the Steering Committee made a decision to engage into the project Prof. Tomasz Woliński – Head of Optics and Photonics Division of the Faculty of Physics, Warsaw University of Technology, who was involved in the initial activities of the teaming phase 1 cooperating with CEZAMAT. The change of the project leader significantly influenced on its final shape. A new vision of the project was presented to partners during the first meeting in Grenoble in January 2016. All partners accepted Prof. Woliński as the new project leader and approved his new vision of CEZAMAT-Environment. Prof. Woliński and his team were responsible for adopting changes into project, preparation of the rest of the deliverables and creation of the final version of the business plan.
CEA-Tech (Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives) and Fraunhofer ( Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Angewandten Forschung e.V,) are two Partners of Excellence in the CEZAMAT-Environment project. Their main role was to advise to the polish partners in order to transfer best practices and solutions into the new Centre of Excellence. Partners together with CEZAMAT and NCBR were working out the final shape of each deliverable and report.
The Environmental Internet we propose to develop will entail large-scale team effort – in other words, the challenge cannot be tackled by any individual research group or even by several groups but working independently. The achieve the Center’s objectives a critical mass of scientists and engineers must be unified around one common goal – this is precisely how we envision the Center to operate, under one roof, in a highly collaborative fashion, and with cross-fertilization between multiple disciplines.
The project results will engage Mazovia and Poland on a unique path of innovative growth. As well as technical innovations will give rise to a family of hi-tech products that are unique, we assume to impose scientific-business relations allowing to establish first in Poland unit for excellence that will cooperate and support industry in wide scale. With every technology that is both innovative and unique, there is a strong possibility for commercialization, for creating a cluster of spin-offs, and for expending the original know-how into a technology in which a given country/region specializes. Through our research, we aim to position Mazovia and Poland on a global map as a leader of environmental monitoring for the 21st century. Our technologies will provide the first example of a technology that originated from Poland to gain world pre-eminence.
To achieve these ambitious goals and to foster Mazovia’s economic growth, CEZAMAT-Environment will from its inception
(i) protect the intellectual property it generates;
(ii) popularize its inventions through both professional and popular press/media;
(iii) seek institutional and private/VC investors for establishing spin-off companies and
(iv) sign licensing agreements with external organizations.
It is through these spin-offs originating from our Center and licensing agreements that various modalities of the Environmental Internet will ultimately be commercialized establishing a significant number of high-tech jobs located in Mazovia and, ultimately, also sustaining the Center financially beyond the five-year period of EU funding (details of the commercialization strategy are described in the Business Plan part of the Proposal).
The vision and the mission of our Center are well aligned with the EU-promulgated Smart Specialization Strategy of the Mazovian region (http://s3platform.jrc.ec.europa.eu). The Strategy selects five industrial sectors (chemistry, medicine, agriculture, energy, IT) and five leading technologies (biotechnology, nanotechnology, IT, photonics, electronics) as the focal points of Mazovia’s innovation-based economy of the future. Our proposal responds to four of these technologies (chemistry, agriculture, IT, photonics) and all lead-technologies. Furthermore, the Strategy delineates four Specialization Areas of which three are directly related to CEZAMAT-Environment activities: “Safe Foods,” “Intelligent Management Systems” (including “smart networks” and “resource-efficient systems”) and “Quality of Life” (including “Human Health”). Indeed, the Environmental Internet we propose to develop will be a smart network continuously monitoring Mazovia’s soil, forests, and orchards to detect and counter any threats that could adversely impact quality of food and/or human health.
Additionaly realisation of the project bring additional value if it comes to increase level of cooperation beatween Polish scientific institution and institutions from more advance in terms of innovativens countries. Exchange of best practices beatween partners of excellence will surely increase standards of conducting research in Poland.