Favouring the mobility of researchers, particularly at post-doctoral level, and the setting up of trans-European networks are among the most effective ways to offer to young researchers the best possible education in an appropriate and stimulating scientific and technical environment. Such an action constitutes also a platform on which the technical and industrial competitiveness can durably develop.
The networking and mobility
concepts seem particularly adequate in the case of Robotics, where wide
technological and methodological knowledge has to be integrated.
Following these ideas, the proposal of establishing in the framework of the Human Capital and Mobility programme the ERNET - European Robotics NETwork - was launched during a meeting in Nice, May 1992. Then, a working group with Prof. H. Tolle, Prof. C. Canudas De Wit, Prof. C. Bonivento and Dr. C. Melchiorri prepared the basic documents focusing structure, scope and operational mechanisms of the network.
With minor adjustements, the
proposal was accepted, with contract number ERBCHRXCT930381, and the project
was officially started on December 1st, 1993, with a duration of 24 months
and a funding of 750,000 ECU. In 1995, it has been extended until November
The key point of this initiative relays on the proposal of research projects made by each laboratory, and on the interest to participate by post-doc researchers or doctorate students from laboratories of other countries within ERNET. This mechanism is facilitated by an established electronics data-base procedure.
In order to suitably develop also in Europe the robotic technology, which constitutes a key factor in the development of new production techniques in industry as well as of advanced solutions in non traditional areas such as space, agriculture, underwater, operation in dangerous environments, large efforts are required from both a technological and a methodological point of view, with a particular emphasis on integration concepts of different disciplines (electronics, mechanics, control theory, mathematics, computer science).
In this general scenario the idea of the European Community to strengthen the direct links between European laboratories by financing the exchange of researchers is especially adequate for the area of Robotics. Therefore, the European laboratories participating to this action are engaged in creating, in a structured and coordinated way, a European network, called ERNET (European Robotics NETwork), in order to establish cooperation by exchanging post-docs and researchers working on their dissertations.
The network collects 28 laboratories
from 10 European countries, as follows: Belgium (1), France (5), Germany
(4), Italy (9), Netherlands (1), Portugal (1), Spain (2), UK (2), Austria
(1), Switzerland (2). These laboratories are organized as one Coordinator,
8 Contractors and the remaining laboratories as Associate Contractors.
In particular, with the indication
of the scientist in charge:
The cooperation within ERNET is organized according to the following flexible scheme.
The scheduling of the project is outlined in the following way:
The project proposals presented
by each ERNET participant are here listed, grouped by research areas.
In total, 73 projects have been proposed, subdivided in 25 research areas.
Detailed description of the projects along with the laboratory profiles,
can be obtained from the authors on request or on the electronic data-base.
The research areas are ordered according to the number of projects presented
in each field. For more details.
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