ERCIM News No.25 - April 1996

INRIA ­p; Alain Bensoussan, current president of INRIA has been appointed President of CNES (centre national d'études spatiales), the National French Space Agency. Alain Bensoussan has been President of INRIA since 1984. Under his chairmanship, his institute founded ERCIM in 1989 together with CWI and GMD.

INESC ­p; Descartes Prize - INESC and CNIG (Centro Nacional de Informação Geográfica/National Geographical Information Centre) were the joint winners of the 1995 Descartes Prize for the GIP-PDM application for the Computerised Management of Municipal Master Plans (PDM), which was a joint brainchild of the two institutions and developed by INESC. This is an annual prize sponsored by the Portuguese Administration with the objective of recognising the contribution of original works in the field of computer sciences or use of information systems and technology developed in Public Administrative Bodies and which represent either a new development or constitute applications of relevance to society in general and the Administration in particular. The results of the project will be made available to all local municipalities in Portugal and is a highly successful example of linkage between INESC's technical expertise and the needs of Public Administration. The GIP-PDM application permits a search of all documents and drawings associated with the PDM to be used for taking planning and construction decisions under PDM regulations and obtaining indicators on the evolution of changes in the use of land.

SINTEF ­p; The Norwegian research organization SINTEF has gone through a major internal reorganization. As of 1 January this year the different departments have been grouped in a small number of relatively independent institutes with a small central admini-stration as an umbrella organization. The present ERCIM related institute is called SINTEF Telecom and Informatics. The institute has about 120 employees. Most of the employees are based in Trondheim at the campus of the Norwegian University for Science and Technology, whereas the Department for Distributed Information Systems is located in Oslo.

CWI ­p; 'Images of SMC Research 1996' (430 pages, full-colour) is a book composed on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Stichting Mathematisch Centrum (SMC). CWI is the SMC's research institute. Four articles, written in a general vein by leading Dutch experts in mathematics and computer science, are followed by thirty-four contributions from CWI's research groups and SMC's national working parties in mathematics. The book is targeted at a readership with a background in mathematics and computer science. However, an attempt was made to present the subjects in such a way that also non-specialists can catch a glimpse of what is going on.

INRIA ­p; INRIA has signed a co-operation agreement with Renault in the domain of in-car automation and electronics. Work will be carried out, on one hand on reduction of fuel consumption and polluting emissions, and on the other, on the improvement of safety and comfort. The agreement is to last four years. The cooperation agreement will provide INRIA research work with an industrial application that is principally one of systems automation and software design. Under the reciprocal agreement, Renault will be able to make full use of INRIA research for the development of future products.

INESC ­p; A protocol of cooperation with the Pontificia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro was recently signed by INESC's Chairman, Professor José Tribolet. This is considered to be one of the best Brazilian universities and the objective of the protocol involves cooperation in technology transfer issues, namely the promotion of INESC's R&D products. The protocol represents what could eventually develop into a strategic partnership for activities in Brazil which is one of the markets in which INESC is most interested in internationalising its activities and in which AITEC (an INESC business development company) companies, such as SMD, have already made their mark. The mission to Brazil has helped to establish contacts with Universities, Business Groups and Public Bodies with the objective of opening up the market for the adopting or internal use of INESC products and technologies.

GMD ­p; Dr. Wolfgang Joppich, scientist at the GMD-Institute for Algorithms and Scientific Computing, has been awarded the medal of honour of the University of Ni], Yougoslavia, on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of its Department for Electrical Engineering. This medal is awarded every five years for outstanding contributions to the development of the Department. GMD and the University of Ni] cooperate in the use of multigrid methods, extremely fast computing methods, for process simulation. The Department for Electrical Engineering has developed a simulation program to be used in semiconductor technology. The program is based on multigrid methods developed by Joppich. During the last three years, the GMD-Institute which is headed by Prof. Dr. Ulrich Trottenberg has received seven scientific awards.

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