The joint IT project of ELTE, BME and PPKE came to an end

The joint IT project of ELTE, BME and PPKE came to an end HU
The 3in consortium, led by the ELTE Faculty of Informatics, has established a new and already successful IT research network acknowledged at a European level. The results were presented by researchers from the three great collaborating universities at the closing event of the project.

The thematic research cooperation of Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE), the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME), and Pázmány Péter Catholic University  (PPKE), entitled 3in project and aimed at establishing innovative solutions in information technology and infocommunications, was completed successfully. The objective of the joint programme carried out by these three prominent universities was to create a successful research network in the fields of ICT and computer science at a European level.

The project supported by the European Union and co-financed by the European Social Fund was launched in 2017 and implemented from over HUF 950 million. The established research network offered an opportunity for the three partner universities to apply for Horizon 2020 and EIT Digital research and innovation grants with success. At the project closing event held on 26 November, the researchers participating in the project acquainted the audience with the basic research conducted, and presented the established research network and its role in applying for EU funding.

The success of the project was guaranteed by the outstanding knowledge base and experience of the consortium leading university (ELTE) and its partner institutions (BME and PPKE), their relations with other European institutions, as well as the portfolio focusing on EIT Digital research topics. The research covered software development methods, cyber security, IT systems, infocommunication networks, data science, and artificial intelligence. It rested on three pillars, which are the following:

Software Development and Information Security: Increase in the complexity of software systems should be also followed by the software development methods and tools promoting software development. This pillar of research focused on the production and quality features (especially cybersecurity) of software systems, which have a key role to play in all IT solutions.

Infocommunication Networks and Cyberphysical Systems: The services we use every day are backed by Internet of Things (IoT) devices, while the data are stored and processed by cloud-based applications which make them accessible anytime, from anywhere. This pillar of research was focused on IoT communication protocols, real-time cyberphysical systems, and developments aimed at increasing the efficiency of radio and cable network solutions.

Intelligent Data Analysis: This direction of research was based on machine learning, bio-inspired computational applications, and focused on the analysis, interpretation, and use of large-scale biological, GIS, and medical data. Researchers explored financial, educational, agricultural, and industrial applications, the interaction of human and machine intelligence, as well as the methods of multimodal machine learning.

So far, the findings of the research project have been disseminated in 173 publications (typically in English). The results achieved have contributed significantly to the fact that

the consortium was awarded twenty grants within the funding schemes of Horizon 2020, including EIT Digital,

over the past period. The consortium took part in the work of the Hungarian 5G Coalition and the Artificial Intelligence Coalition of Hungary, and actively contributed to the establishment of the National Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence and the National Laboratory of Quantum Informatics.

The project also supported young researchers at the early stage of their careers. Over the past thirty-nine months, more than 200 students received scholarships for longer or shorter periods. Furthermore, the students and young researchers could deliver over 300 scholarly papers at various events and conferences. Research has been launched at all the three institutions to study the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, develop medical devices, and help people who have been placed at a disadvantage due to the closures.

In the regions of Western and Central Transdanubia, places of research were established that managed to join the dominant research trends of European computer science, informatics, and ICT, with hubs at Martonvásár, Szombathely, Esztergom, and Balatonfüred. At Martonvásár, a well-equipped research centre was set up, which housed the Martonvásár  3in Research Group of the ELTE Faculty of Informatics. The research site will be offering a sound infrastructural background for researchers even after the end of the project. Their plans also included the development of a regional digital innovation hub. Supported by the present and other projects, the ELTE Savaria University Centre created significant research and teaching facilities in Szombathely. The launch of the undergraduate and graduate programmes in software engineering were aimed at meeting the requirements for qualified people in the area, particularly in the field of Industry 4.0.

The project has laid the foundation for the BME Balatonfüred Knowledge Centre to be opened in 2021, the meaningful launch of which is also fostered by the computing cloud positioned in Balatonfüred and the increasingly extended regional relations. In collaboration with the University of Pannonia, online lectures were held for secondary schools on the research topics of the project, and professional meetings were held with the leaders of companies and enterprises in the region.

Within the frames of the project, the research group of the PPKE Faculty of Information Technology and Bionics was launched in Esztergom. As part of this project, nine international conferences were held in the town, which were attended by guest speakers from leading institutions and companies of the world (Oxford, University College London, Microsoft), several of whom were subsequently involved in research collaborations. The research and collaborations launched during the project will help to further develop the research centre of the faculty in Esztergom with new projects.