European Union Commission recently announced several new programme calls for research and innovation.

I was positively surprised that among many research areas, EU Commission takes particular interest in big data & analytics and actively tries to find businesses potentially interested in participating.

A few weeks ago, I received an email from European Union Commission regarding new call in their research programme:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I would like to inform you, or remind you in case you are already aware, of a funding opportunity targeted to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), though participation is *not* restricted to SMEs only.

In a nutshell, the call for proposals is intended to support SMEs acquire the competences and resources they need to develop innovative content and data analytics services. The motivation behind this call for proposals is to support European SMEs in their innovation efforts involving language or data technologies. In both cases the emphasis is not so much in advanced, long term, research as much as in the judicious deployment in practically motivated situations of novel techniques and/or resources that up until now have not been tested in the field.

You will find complete information on the call in the links posted below.

So what is FP7?

FP7 is the short name for the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. It is one of main funding research instruments in Europe. FP7 started in 2007 and runs until 2013, announcing every couple of months new calls. Total budget of the programme is over 50 billion Euros.

FP7 calls cover various research areas ranging from Energy, Biotechnology through Transport, Security, Environment up Health and other domains. Among these you can find Information And Communication Technologies (ICT) calls, which I are going to explore deeper.

What is important to say is that all of programmers are aimed at co-operation – they require at least two or three european entities (SMEs, education or research bodies, organisations etc.) to apply and work on single project.

FP7: ICT Calls.

Disclaimer: Please note that I publish here only excerpts that are related to analytics and big data. For complete information, please follow the links to specific call information.

1. Call 10 – Objective ICT-2013.4.1 Content analytics and language technologies

Signature: FP7-ICT-2013-10
Deadline: 2013-01-15

Cross-media content analytics

Innovative methods and tools for mining unstructured information embedded in text, speech, audio and video for the purposes of context‐aware interpretation, correlation, aggregation and summarisation, turning information into usable understanding and actionable knowledge. Special emphasis is placed on social and collective intelligence from multilingual sources. Projects shall achieve broad coverage with efficient semantic interpretation. Of specific interest is the ability to capture sentiment and represent concepts and events, identify relations and similarities, interpreting time and space, within and across individual media, thus increasing our ability to detect and exploit otherwise hidden meaning across a range of applications.

2. Call 11 – Objective ICT-2013.4.2 Scalable data analytics

Signature: FP7-ICT-2013-11
Deadline: 2013-04-16

Scalable algorithms, software frameworks, visualization

– Novel algorithms, software infrastructures and methodologies for real time interaction, visualization, analytics and decision support applications over extremely large volumes of data (both structured and unstructured).
– Data types that are currently experiencing very high growth rates are of special interest including (but not limited to) 3D, biology, genomics, financial, geospatial, social networks, transportation, logistics, telecommunications, engineering, digital content industries and any type of data stream.
– Non‐traditional database and storage solutions and data integrity protection tools are solicited for the robust integration and interpretation of heterogeneous data sources such as static and streaming data.

How these programmes will work out?

I am really interested to see how these research initiatives will work out. Are we going to develop innovative technology? Is it going to become popular? Or adapted by business at all?

Unfortunately, we won’t find out until a few years from now (calls have at least 2-3 years time to market).

Personally, I do not have good experience, as well as I haven’t heard many good opinions on running businesses with EU funds (especially many failures in Innovative Economy Programme, run in Poland by PARP).

However these programmes are very tempting, exactly targeting my area of my interests and maybe I will consider applying for Call 11 (it’s too late to prepare a good proposal for Call 10). Want to partner up? Please contact me.

Further reading:

Blog post illustration credit: Marius B (mobile advertising/photography specialist)