The broad objective of the SIENA project is to increase take-up of Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) by European business. It is recognised that although Europe research is strong in this area, industrial uptake lags behind the USA and Japan. The project emphasis is therefore on the application of the technology rather than its development. It will particularly help suppliers who are small innovative SMEs technology suppliers or users.
The major objectives of SIENA are as follows:
1. To assess the current state of the market for ANNs, including both the supply side (tool vendors, system builders etc.) and the demand side (end-user companies). The assessment includes an analysis by country (or region) and by industry sector, since the picture is unlikely to be homogeneous across all of these.
2. To increase awareness of the potential benefits which the use of ANNs can bring to business in Europe, in terms aimed at managers and senior technologists in companies. This includes pointers to the ways in which firms can secure advantages from the technology; this would include reduction in manufacturing costs, increase in product quality, faster time to market, and so on.
3. To encourage suppliers of ANN technology in Europe by raising the market consciousness and creating a "demand pull". Firms contributing to the project will obtain access to results which can be used for their own future planning.
4. To develop material which can be used in achieving immediate project objectives and which may also provide a focus for future initiatives. In particular, case studies drawn from existing practice and experience.
5. To prepare the ground for future European initiatives in this area. The experiences from this project will be valuable for input to planning future programmes in the same area. The project may also lay the foundations for a network of application specialists across Europe to complement the largely academic links which exist at present.
The main results of SIENA will be as follows:
- Generally increased awareness of ANN technology and its potential for application in European business.
- Material which can be used to inform interested parties about the application of ANNs, such as an extensive set of case studies.
- A report which summarises the current and predicted state of the market for ANNs within Europe.
- Dissemination of findings from the project, including presentation at one or more major conferences and electronic dissemination via the World Wide Web.