ERCIM News No.38 - July 1999

CLRC - AlphaGalileo, a new internet press centre, was formally launched by the UK’s Minister for Science, Lord Sainsbury, at the British Association’s Festival of Science at Cardiff University on 7th September. It was introduced in France on 7th October at the British Council, in the presence of Edouard Brezin, Chairman of the CNRS administrative council and Sir Michael Jay, British Ambassador to France. It is a project run by the British Association for the Advancement of Science and supported by the Office of Science and Technology and a number of Research Councils. The project manager, Peter Green, is now based at CLRC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. Over the next 18 months, AlphaGalileo will develop into a multi-language service for communi-cating the best of European research to journalists world-wide. The web address is:

Piet BeertemaCWI - Piet Beertema, one of the Internet’s founding fathers, was knighted on June 9 (Ridder in de Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw) for his pioneering achievements in the development of the Internet in The Netherlands and in Europe. In the eighties a predecessor of the Internet was developed at CWI, in close cooperation with research institutes elsewhere in Europe, which served the research community in Europe. Beertema played here a pivotal role, through close contacts with colleagues in the USA. Later on he founded and managed the Internet Domain Registration for The Netherlands, which became a working model for registries abroad. When in 1995 the growth of the Internet made clear that registration as well as handling other aspects could not any longer be a one-man business, the foundation Internet Domeinregistratie Nederland was created. When Beertema transferred his duties early 1997 to this foundation (in which he keeps playing an important role), almost 10.000 names were registered (now 77.000).

Paks nuklear power plantSZTAKI - Paks nuclear power plant becomes the first VVER 440 type plant modernizing its safety system by using the most recent methods in control theory and I&C technology. Siemens and SZTAKI contributed to the modernization and refurbishment of the complete reactor protection system (RPS) of the nuclear power plant Paks, Hungary over the past two years. By August, 1999 the refurbishment of the first unit is to be completed. While Siemens provided a state-of-the-art distributed multi-processor-based I&C system, the SZTAKI’s team was entrusted with the complex task of the verification and validation (V&V) of the new system. The subject of V&V was the verification of hardware and software design both in activity and on document level. The verification of the testing methods provided by Siemens, moreover, the elaboration of the test cases independent from the supplier were also parts of the project.

SZTAKI - A co-operation agreement has been signed between SZTAKI and the Faculty of Information Technology, Péter Pázmány Catholic University, Budapest to establish an external Department on Information Techniques at the SZTAKI and to take part in a Science-Technology-Education Center organized at the Faculty with research laboratories and leading companies. Other external university departments at the SZTAKI are the Department of Decisions in Economy (Budapest University of Economic Sciences), the Department of Information Sciences (Eötvös Loránd University of Sciences, Budapest) and the Department of Integrated Production Information Systems (Technical University of Budapest). Furthermore, SZTAKI and the Faculty of Transportation, Technical University of Budapest run a joint laboratory, the Dynamics and Control Systems Centre.

INRIA - Claude Samson, Research Director at INRIA Sophia Antipolis has been awarded the 1999 Michel Monpetit award from the French Academy of Sciences for his remarkable contributions to the mechanical and mathematical modeling of complex robots (in particular, mobile robots and walking robots), as well as the command and stabilization of such robots, which has been a source of difficulty in nonlinear mathematics.

INRIA - Odile Lausecker at INRIA’s Multimedia Department of the Scientific Information and Communication Service received the Grand Prix of the Research Film Festival in the category ‘Illustration of Reseach for Industry’ (Nancy, March 1999). Her film ‘Le Loria’ is a guided tour of the Lorraine Research Laboratory in Computer Sciences and their applications. The institutional aspect of the presentation was deliberately downplayed. A young actress gave the audience a new perspective of Loria by introducing six research teams and their industrial partners. INRIA received the prize for the second consecutive yar.

Linus TorvaldsVTT - Linus Torvalds, creator of the operative system LINUX, guested a seminar aimed at young researchers and students on May 20, 1999 and hosted by VTT together with Helsinki University of Helsinki. The highly inter-active occasion covered subjects ranging from technological questions to philosphic issues. The entity was held together by the three motivational stages: survival, communication and entertainment. Even technology and its development passes through these stages, which is important to keep in mind when developing innovations.

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