The EPIC Expert Visits
The EPIC Expert Visits were designed to explore the potential for joint RTDI cooperation in current and upcoming ICT areas such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, machine learning and transport. The main interest was to explore the potential for RTDI cooperation fostered by providing direct financial support to domain experts - namely scientists, researchers and innovators - from the EU, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore with concrete ideas for international ICT cooperation and potential partners.
In a nutshell, the aims of the action were:
- to organise expert trips investigating the collaboration potential in a specific topical ICT field,
- to advertise EU RTDI excellence and stimulate interest in EPIC, and
- to help test grounds for research projects and other actions with an emphasis on longer-term research cooperation including joint labs and longer exchange visits.
Experts were invited to submit applications in four separate calls spanning 2017-2019. Successful applicants were tasked with exploring bilateral collaboration opportunities in both directions for each of the three pairs EU-Australia, EU-New Zealand, and EU-Singapore. The main impacts and follow-up activities reported by the experts were as follows:
- Most trips went beyond just a basic visit to analyse potential fields and directions; the experts also often used the opportunity to establish concrete collaborations by starting to prepare joint publications. Several teams also collaborated on software or data and are planning further joint publications.
- The experts reported about gaining new insights and expansions of existing approaches into novel areas as a result of the interaction. Participants often linked up with larger research organisations and advertised collaboration between Europe and the partner country to a larger audience.
- Strengthened PhD/ student exchange collaborations were another outcome. Some experts interacted with students from the receiving institutions to discuss novel research ideas.
- Some visits even led to new contracts in the expert's region of origin, e.g. European researchers report about getting in touch with EU colleagues while overseas.
Below are some participant testimonials about the positive impacts and experiences which resulted from the EPIC Expert Visits: