First ITEA 4 Call launched!
2021 marks the start of ITEA 4, the new programme on software innovation under the umbrella of the Eureka Clusters Programme (ECP). The first Call of ITEA 4, ITEA Call 2021 for project proposals, was launched on 13 September in conjunction with the Online ITEA Project Outline (PO) Preparation Days, which were held from 13-16 September.
Like last year it was unfortunately not yet possible to get together with the ITEA Community physically, so ITEA took up the challenge again to translate the ambiance of the annual PO Days event to the virtual realm. The second consecutive virtual PO Days combined 4 days of informative sessions on ITEA, its upcoming Call, the submission process with the most important element of all: discussions on new innovative project ideas. Although most ITEA Community members prefer to meet in person for this purpose, they have proven again to be very agile and active in the virtual format.
Continued engagement in a refined online format
This year around 300 participants from 17 different countries benefitted from the refined online features to facilitate the online event and project creation. Besides the online posters, pitch sessions, online workgroup sessions, country information sessions and informative webinars a new chat and messaging system was introduced to improve the interaction.
As in previous years, Netherlands, Turkey and Germany were among the top three countries in terms of participation. Thanks to renewed funding opportunities, France saw a substantial increase in registrations again compared to previous years. With 60% returning participants and 40% newcomers, the Online ITEA PO Days confirm that the ITEA Community keeps growing and attracting new members while retaining the experienced project partners that can guide them.
This year, a record number of Public Authorities registered for the ITEA PO Days and 9 Country information session were scheduled. The high commitment level of the Public Authorities provided an important early dialogue between them and the project teams supporting alignment with national priorities and the best possible opportunities for funding that lead to high success rates.
Smart energy and AI strongly represented in the Challenges and Technology landscapes
As Smart energy has been recently added, ITEA now covers 8 key challenges also including Smart cities, Smart communities, Smart industry, Smart health, Smart mobility, Smart engineering and Safety and Security. With 8 project ideas out of 45 covering Smart energy, this new challenge immediately showed its relevance and the impact of this year's ITEA Customer workshop on this topic. Safety and Security was also addressed in 8 project ideas, while the other ideas were equally divided over the other key challenges.
As for the Technology landscape, AI remains a big topic in ITEA Call 2021, covered by 35 out of 45 ideas, even though a Eureka Clusters AI Call was organised earlier this year. Other technologies strongly represented in this Call are Digital Twin, Natural Language, IoT – sensor, UI, Robotics and Blockchain.
Four major achievements awarded with the ITEA award of Excellence
Next to initiating new innovative ideas, the Online PO Days 2021 also provided the opportunity to have a look at the great achievements of ITEA projects that were recently completed. On Wednesday 15 September, during the ITEA Award of Excellence ceremony, ITEA’s four most outstanding software innovation projects were celebrated. In the special webinar hosted by ITEA Vice-chairman Jean-François Lavignon, this year’s winners BIMy, EMPHYSIS, PARTNER and VMAP were proudly “handed over” the award by ITEA Chairwoman Zeynep Sarılar.
The online ceremony gave the recognition the winning projects deserve and offered each project representative the chance to step into the spotlight and share the goals, outcomes and the benefits with the online audience.
You can discover more on the four award-winning projects in the following news item: https://itea4.org/news/congratulations-to-our-2021-itea-award-of-excellence-winners.html
Join ITEA Call 2021
If you were not able to participate in the Online ITEA PO Days 2021, but you are interested in taking part in ITEA Call 2021, you can still check the project ideas in the ITEA Project idea tool which is accessible at the ITEA Community website https://itea4.org/community/idea/list/tool-36.html. Via this tool you can contact the project idea leaders via email in case you would be interested to join a Project Outline. In this overview you can see what kind of partners or expertise the projects are still looking for.
The final pitches presented at the end of the PO Days were of high quality and the first 23 Project Outlines for ITEA Call 2021 are already being prepared! We wish everyone good luck with the preparations of their project proposal and are at your disposal in case you need support.
If you missed the sessions, or if are ready for a replay, all of the session recordings are available online here. (Only accessible for PO Days participants).
We are hopeful to be able to come together in person next year. We know the Community is eagerly to meet again, face-to-face, benefitting from the rich and efficient networking opportunities that the PO Days bring.