Successful final reviews of 4 of our EU-funded FP7 projects

January 11, 2016

Four final reviews of FP7 projects led by Sigma Orionis (CAPS2020 or CATALYST) or in which Sigma Orionis is involved (ECIAO and FI-CONTENT2) recently and successfully took place. Sigma Orionis is very proud of these achievements.

CAPS2020, a flagship EC initiative on Collective Awareness Platforms for Sustainability and Social Innovation!

Collective Awareness Platforms for Sustainability and Social Innovation (CAPS) are ICT systems leveraging the emerging “network effect” by combining open online social media, distributed knowledge creation and data from real environments (Internet of Things) in order to create awareness of problems and possible solutions requesting collective efforts, enabling new forms of social innovation. Over the period 2013-2015 the EC supported a number of CAPS-related research projects, coordination actions and studies. CAPS2020 core mission was to organise the first two annual editions of the CAPS conference, a key gathering for any stakeholders active in the field. This objective came along with disseminating CAPS results and facilitating synergies between projects.

The project, driven by Sigma Orionis, was reviewed in Nov. 2015 and assessed as ‘excellent’ by the review panel team: “The CAP2020 project has not only contributed to the widespread of the CAPS initiatives and results but also supported the work carried out by other stakeholders (not part of the CAPS community) or from other EC Units. From this point of view the CAP2020 project should be considered a flagship experience, as an initiative which has not only successfully disseminated the results coming from EU-funded projects in this area, but also largely contributed to knowledge sharing, effective transfer of the know-how, and to the wider awareness of EC initiatives and policies, in the overall ICT domain. The inspiring principles (participation, interaction, openness), the processes used (e.g.: reviewing previous experiences to better perform the new ones, using creative processes to optimise results minimising cost/effort), and the type of activities performed (e.g.: interactive conferences, sprint book, etc.) have a high potential and could be transferred to other frameworks in which a coordination action is needed”.

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Follow: @CAPS2020eu

CATALYST, online debates will never be the same!

The CATALYST project (2013-2015) focused on developing open source tools facilitating online debates and interaction, starting from the assumption that online communities have been playing an increasingly important role in driving grassroots initiatives in the area of social innovation and sustainability. As such platforms develop, it is more and more difficult for community managers to ensure efficient debates among participants and to ensure progress towards collective ideation, decision and action.

The CATALYST project was coordinated by Sigma Orionis and implemented together with key technology and community partners: Imagination for People, Purpose, Wikitalia, the Open University, the University of Zurich in partnership with the MIT, and the Collaborative Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production. The project final review took place in Dec. 2015 and the final review report is still under elaboration by the review panel team. What was immediately clear at the meeting is that reviewers were impressed by the agile methodology followed by partners to develop the tools, which implied a continue dialogue with communities and led to effective tools, progresses in Collective Intelligence research and impactful debates. The value of the developed tools is demonstrated by the number of new stakeholders who are going to use them in the future, including the World Economic Forum and the City of Paris. Connect on the CATALYST website to discover the open source tools and use them!

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ECIAO, for a strengthened EU-China collaboration in Future Internet Research and Experimentation (FIRE)

Independent experts from the EC evaluated the results of the EU-China FIRE (ECIAO) FP7 project on the occasion of the final Review Meeting that took place in Brussels on in Sept. 2015 and concluded that the project was a “complete success”.

Despite the ambitious nature of the project designed to strengthen EU-China collaboration in the field of FIRE while supporting IPv6 deployment, the three experts highlighted the “good quality of work” conducted by the consortium from August 2013 to July 2015, and praised the whole team for the “high level of partners’ engagement”.

Sigma Orionis, both responsible for developing the ECIAO cooperation platform for European and Chinese researchers to exchange experiences on FIRE and for leading the project dissemination activities, was congratulated. According to the reviewers: “Project activities have been disseminated well and the attention paid to promoting the outputs of the project is much appreciated”.

The EU-China FIRE initiative generated significant achievements and the reviewers acknowledged that “documentation and public outputs are to a high quality”. According to the assessment panel appointed by the EC, “these achievements clearly demonstrate that the EU-China FIRE project has been carried out by a very good consortium with well performing partners”. Overall, it was agreed that the project delivered social, political, scientific and technical impact way above and beyond expectations. To learn more on the EU-China FIRE project’s achievements, visit

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Follow: @EUChinaICT

FI-Content 2, driving innovation at the crossroads of content, media, networks, and creativity

The FI-CONTENT 2 FP7 project, part of the Future Internet Public-Private Partnership (FI-PPP), ended in October 2015 after a 31-month collaboration between 28 partners (including - to name a few - Sigma Orionis, Technicolor, Walt Disney, Orange, and BBC).

Over this period, the consortium has produced a series of FIWARE enablers to foster European innovative web SMEs in the areas of Social Connected TV, Smart City Services and Pervasive Games. “All the developments have been nice and good” said the reviewers in Brussels yesterday, emphasizing the “very good” dissemination of the project as well as the quality and number of experimentations across Europe.

Some of the project developments have already found their way to the market through products and service offers, or has led to the emergence of standards (for instance in HbbTV). Besides the 36 scientific publications and 11 patents generated through the project, several results are also open source and already serve the European developers community.

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Follow: @FIcontent

Highlights from Lisbon: Sigma Orionis at ICT2015

October 29, 2015

Sigma Orionis is currently involved in key areas of the European R&D Agenda, such as Responsible Research and Innovation, International Cooperation and Creative Industries-led innovation. By reason of its implication in pacesetting projects and initiatives, the company was strongly represented at ICT2015, Europe’s most visible forum for ICT research and innovation. The event took place on October 20-22, in Lisbon, Portugal, and gathered more than 5740 visitors.

Supporting international scientific and technological cooperation

The CHOICE booth at the INCO village was a huge success for the International Cooperation Unit, considering also the special attention given by the European Commission on EU-China cooperation in ICT during this year’s ICT event.

Meanwhile, in the Transform exhibition area the FIRE projects, led by SmartFIRE, organised the FIRE QUIZ –contest: all event participants had a chance to win a tablet by visiting the FIRE demo booths to find correct answers for the quiz and learn more about Future Internet Research and Experimentation. The prize was awarded by Per Blixt, Head of the Experimental Platforms E4 Unit of the European Commission.

The e-Infrastructure related projects, Sci-GaIA and TANDEM (EU-Africa scientific and technological cooperation) joined forces with MAGIC to have a strong presence at the event, with a booth and a networking session on the theme of Global ICT Infrastructures for International Scientific Collaboration for 2020 and beyond. The networking session was opened by Aniyan Varghese from the e-Infrastructures Unit of DG CONNECT who stressed the importance of international scientific cooperation in this field. It ended with vivid debates on the deployment of research infrastructures at a global scale for 2020 and beyond. The booth registered high attendance and visitors have been engaged in live demos of open science platforms and repositories. Journalists of different international media among which the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera were present onsite and interviewed the projects’ delegation.

Check the full photo gallery on TANDEM website.

Enabling a Responsible European ICT Research and Innovation in Horizon 2020

Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) is an inclusive approach to Research and Innovation (R&I) to ensure that societal actors work together during the whole R&I process. It aims to better align both the process and outcomes of R&I, with the values, needs and expectations of the society.

The RRI-ICT Forum partnership, coordinated by Sigma Orionis and representing the “hub” for RRI and SSH in ICT-related H2020 projects, enjoyed a high visibility at the ICT2015 event while holding an exhibition booth, organising and participating in networking sessions on RRI, SSH and societal impacts of ICT research.

The exhibition booth on RRI in ICT, located in the EC village, represented the main information place for visitors to learn about RRI and SSH. It provided visitors with information about the RRI approach, its importance in ICT and the role of the RRI-ICT Forum project. Visitors could as well get their copy of the good RRI practices in ICT research guide, published by the RRI-ICT Forum project, providing practical examples of RRI practices and applications in different projects and ICT domains (smart cities, Internet of Things, e-agriculture, e-health, robotics and e-Infrastructure).

The networking session ‘Towards responsible R&I in ICT in H2020’ took place on October 21, 2015 and aimed at promoting the use of an RRI approach and the involvement of SSH in Horizon 2020 ICT-related projects and proposals.


Paving the way to a more effective ICT value chain from research to markets

The Creative and Civic Innovation Unit documents and elaborates novel ways to make technology transfer fast and effective, creative and impactful on society. The ICT2015 event saw the launch of the STARTS (Science, Technology and the Arts) which leverages in large part the legacy of the ICT & Art Connect project, coordinated by Sigma Orionis in 2013-2014.

Much of the Unit knowledge is currently applied in the framework of the #MusicBricks Innovation Action, which on the 20th October was presented on the main stage of the Innovate area by Sigma Orionis and the Innovation coordinator Stromatolite. Unexpected industries of application, new bricks added on the run to the tools suite, a high interest from industry players, new indicators complementing the TRL scale: #MusicBricks outcomes and methodologies can pave the way to further innovation ecosystems. #MusicBricks was also presented during the STARTS session (21/10), the offsite Music Creativity workshop (21/10) and the ‘Empowering Game-changer communities’ networking session. During the latter, inspired by CAPS, inputs and best practices for working with innovative communities and players (such as SMEs, creative people, civic society organisations) were presented by Sigma Orionis along with Dyne, T6 Ecosystems, Stromatolite and The Young Foundation.

Finally the unit organised on behalf of the CRe-AM consortium the overcrowded networking session ‘Creative Industries and ICT: towards a future roadmap’, convening at the discussion representatives of the most important ongoing initiatives bridging ICT and creative industries, such as NEM, TISP, STARTS and Europeana Space.

Sigma Orionis’ team signs two new papers

September 6, 2015

The paper ‘Technology, Citizens and Social Change in the Framework of European Research and Innovation Programmes: Towards a Paradigm Shift’ will be presented at the GOODTECHS conference 2015 (Rome, 26th October) by our Creative and Civic Innovation Unit manager Marta Arniani. By leveraging Sigma Orionis long-standing experience in Europe funded projects, the paper presents the paradigm shift occurred in recent years in the approach to technology development within the European Commission funded Research and Innovation frameworks. A new approach attentive to social good, societal challenges and bottom-up users and stakeholders, but which presents at the same time some limitations. By highlighting the current trends, challenges and best practices, the paper identifies some avenues for making this approach even more impactful in the coming years. The paper will be published by Springer in the conference proceedings.

On another page, Sigma Orionis representatives are featured also among the contributors to the paper titled ’Quantum Information Processes in Protein Microtubules of Brain Neurons’, presented at the 3rd International Conference on Nanotechnologies and Biomedical Engineering and published by Springer in the proceedings. The paper focus on biologically ‘orchestrated’ coherent quantum processes in collections of protein microtubules of brain neurons, which correlate with, and regulate, neuronal synaptic and membrane activity.

Strengthening EU-MPC ICT policy dialogue and collaborative research towards H2020

January 15, 2014

News_EU-Med_Sigma-OrionisThe kick-off meeting of the MED-Dialogue FP7 Project (project period: 01/01/2014-30/06/2016) has been held held yesterday and the day before in Amman, Jordan. This meeting was convened by the Project Coordinator (Thies Wittig, IT Consult) and kindly hosted by the Princess Sumaya University for Technology (PSUT).

The MED-Dialogue initiative will mainly aim at enhancing EU-MPC (European Union - Mediterranean Partner Countries) policy dialogue and collaborative research in the field of ICT (Information Communication Technologies). The Partnership is composed of 4 European and 7 Mediterranean partners: IT Consult, Germany / Planet, Greece / Sigma Orionis, France / ATC, Greece / Ministry of Communications & Information Technologies, MCIT, Egypt / Université Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah, USMBA, Morocco / Institut Supérieur de Gestion et de Planification, ISGP, Algeria / Centre National de l’Informatique, CNI, Tunisia / Princess Sumaya University for Technology, PSUT, Jordan / Palestine Academy of Science & Technology, Palestine / National Council for Scientific Research, CNRS, Lebanon.

The consortium members widely discussed the detailed project activities/workplan (Work-Packages, WP and Tasks, T) and the main objectives of the initiative which are fourfold:

  • Support, through a flexible modular approach, the Dialogue between the EU and the Region by providing on demand customized and timely input solidly documented on all Horizon 2020 aspects;
  • Raise awareness on the Horizon 2020 first Calls for Proposals and assist the organisations in the Region to build proposals and identify partners in order to increase their participation in the Programme;
  • Support the EC in the preparation of the Horizon 2020 work-programme 2016-17, by identifying strengths and opportunities in the MPC (through identified and validated ICT priorities) for mutually beneficial cooperation;
  • Support the coordination of International Cooperation instruments in the Mediterranean region by exploiting synergies of running projects and make recommendations for future INCO activities under H2020.

Sigma Orionis was represented by Karine Valin, Managing Director: “We are very happy to be part of this partnership and we have good reasons to think that we will significantly contribute to the development of S&T cooperation in ICT between the two regions”. Sigma Orionis will contribute to a number of activities including: a position paper, the ‘MPC ICT Priorities/Vision 2014’ documents, a set of recommendations to the EC (Horizon 2020 ICT WP 2016-2017 + INCO strategy), links with the main ICT ETPs, H2020 awareness and training events, networking events for building consortia, cooperation strategy between all running EU-MPC projects, help-desk services, etc.

During the meeting, each Work Package (WP) and Task (T) leaders presented the activities to be carried on and agreed on a common strategic workplan for the coming months. Thorough and fruitful discussions led partners to express their full confidence in the capacity of the consortium to achieve its goals and thus to significantly enhance EU-MPC collaboration in the field of ICT.


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