04 Feb 2009

Knowledge Media Institute to lead five European projects, developing new IT initiatives

In collaboration with key European education and commercial partners, The Open University’s Knowledge Media Institute (KMi) will be leading five new EU funded consortia to develop a variety of information technology initiatives over the next four years, all designed to increase efficiencies from computing in business applications, and enhance education.
Already well represented and highly respected in the European Framework for Research, these latest grant awards totaling some €2.8m, place KMi firmly in the vanguard of IT research in Europe.
Open University Pro-Vice Chancellor, Professor Brigid Heywood says “the grants given to KMi are an indication of the reputation for excellence that the Open University and the KMi have secured in Europe through an innovative and successful range of collaborative intitiatives”.
“The Open University is amongst the best universities in the UK in the areas of research in computing,” Professor Heywood said.
“KMi is an exemplar of functional excellence in computing research and in the genesis and development of cognitive and learning sciences, artificial intelligence, semantic technologies, and multimedia.”
Open University staff in KMi will lead the design and delivery of key outputs for the five projects.
Dr Peter Scott’s team are coordinating STELLAR, an EU funded Network of Excellence. STELLAR will build capacity in international Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) research by de-fragmenting the market offers of the current stakeholders and creating communities of best practice.
Leading and directing the science in STELLAR, Dr Scott will identify ways to build upon, synergize and extend the valuable work already started in the previous TEL consortia in which KMi had significant presence.
Additionally, Dr Scott’s team will participate in ROLE, an Integrated Project aiming to develop a research platform designed to make the needs of the learner central to education. ROLE will help companies and education institutions personalise learning in a mass, structured way, with personalisation not done at the design level of learning services, but on the user's side - with the learner.
Professor Enrico Motta and his team will contribute to SmartProducts, a project to develop the scientific and technological basis for embedding proactive knowledge into smart products that are able to communicate and co-operate with humans, other products and the environment. Proactive knowledge encompasses knowledge about the product itself (features, functions, dependencies, usage, etc.), its embedding (physical and virtual environment), its users, and the specific use context.
Dr Zdenek Zdrahal and his team will participate in Tech-IT-Easy. This project represents the first of a new funding model from the EU, supporting SMEs directly with funding to research specific industry questions. Tech-IT-Easy aims to develop an IT tool, targeted to support SMEs operating in the electro-mechanical industrial sector, that will create a systematic approach to support the generation and management of the overall innovation process.
The goal of Professor John Domingue’s new project NoTube is to put the TV viewer back in the driving seat by developing a flexible/adaptive end-to-end architecture, based on semantic technologies, for personalised creation, distribution and consumption of TV and Internet content, understanding the needs of the “telewebber” and their concurrent interaction with broadcast and internet technologies.
Dr Peter Scott, Director of KMi, is proud of the institute’s record in securing research funding from the European Framework and building a strong portfolio of international partners from academe and business. “KMi has built a reputation based on delivery of exceptional research outputs in some key fields for the future of Internet computing. Our new generation of research projects builds on this excellence and will deliver significant results in these key fields.”
For further information on these and all other KMi research projects visit

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