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The Warsaw Voice » Society » November 29, 2012
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ICT Proposers’ Day in Warsaw
November 29, 2012   
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Andrzej J. Galik, the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) coordinator in the seventh Framework Program and the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Program, and the European Commission’s expert for the Program Committee, talks to Witold ¯ygulski.

The ICT Proposers’ Day, held in Warsaw Sept. 26-27, was the first time the event took place in Poland. What were the aims?
By becoming the host of the largest ICT event of the year, Poland got an exceptional opportunity to draw the attention of Polish scientists and enterprises to two competitions launched this year by the Directorate General for communications Networks, Content and technology, the European commission’s directorate, which deals with ICT under the seventh Framework Program and the complementary Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Program (CIP). The ICT Proposers’ Day also facilitated direct contacts between partners across the EU and between associated countries and “third countries” such as Argentina, the United States, China, India and Japan. It was also an opportunity to direct foreign scientists’ attention on Poland.

Our idea as organizers was to hold the conference as a purely working project. There were no opening and closing sessions nor were there any politics-related speeches. All we organized were sessions on specific topics to enable participants to present their own ideas on how to carry out different projects and help them get in touch with potential partners via the conference website. The participants were also able to arrange 15-minute bilateral meetings with partners of their choice.

To what extent were the goals accomplished?
The ICT Proposers’ Day conference in Warsaw set new records in all respects. It was attended by almost 1,700 people, including 300 participants from Poland. We held 54 sessions and almost 1,900 bilateral meetings took place. Judging from previous conferences, almost 20 percent of those meetings will lead to international cooperation which, in turn, may result in joint research projects.

What do you consider to be the biggest success of the Warsaw conference?
The feedback we have so far received from some of the participants shows the new form of the conference, the active involvement of Polish scientists, who gave speeches during most sessions, the professional organization and the Polish hospitality were all welcomed by conference participants from abroad. We have heard many kind words from those for whom this was their first encounter with Poland. Their idea of Poland changed dramatically when they saw Poland as an efficient organizer and a partner with considerable research potential.

How can the ICT Proposers’ Day stimulate the growth of Poland’s ICT sector?
Our task was to bring together the research and industrial potential of the ICT sector in Europe and countries working with Europe and then encourage the exchange of ideas and facilitate contacts and, possibly, joint projects. The rest is up to the conference participants, their motivation, activity and ability to make the most of all the contacts and knowledge gathered during the conference. The participants have recently taken a poll to rate the conference and we cannot wait to see the results.
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