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The renewed EU Sustainable Development Strategy sets out a single, coherent strategy on how the EU will more effectively live up to its long-standing commitment to meet the challenges of sustainable development. Some of the key priority challenges are: climate change and clean energy, sustainable consumption and production, and conservation and management of natural resources. These issues pose significant challenges for designing and managing the human environment in a sustainable manner. Even though there is significant research on the development of Wireless Sensor Networks technologies and on Civil Infrastructure Reliability and Management, most of the research activity is fragmented and there is not any significant activity in performing multidisciplinary, intersectoral structured research for developing integrated smart and dynamic systems for effective management of the built and natural environment. The aim of the ‘SmartEN’ ITN is to fill this technology gap and push innovation through the development of an initial research and training network that will focus its activities on the development, effective integration and increased utilisation of emerging technologies in wireless sensors, communications and proactive management, targeting key issues of current interest to the European Union and internationally.

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The aim is to take forward the state-of-the-art in the development, integration and application of sensor technology in the specific sectors of Wireless Sensor Networks, Sensor Signal Processing, Non Destructive Evaluation and Smart Proactive Management for the benefit of the human environment. The proposed network is uniquely qualified to achieve this with partners of world-class complementary expertise, infrastructure and facilities and an effective research and training programme.
The consortium consists of partners with established experience in civil and electrical engineering related disciplines. Seven academic research institutes, two governmental research and testing centres and six industrial enterprises will be engaged in a multidisciplinary research training network with the aim of education the next generation of high qualified researchers and project managers in the area of smart management of the human environment.
The industrial partners will be instrumental in defining research requirements and evaluating the research output. Furthermore, the proposed infrastructure will promote technology push, customer pull synergies through its planned training management using the cohort of Early-Stage Researchers (ESR) as an interface between academia and industry. Each ESR will be recruited for 36 months and register for a PhD degree at one of the ITN’s academic partners. The high proportion of ESRs has been specifically chosen, on one hand, to match the level of industrial and end-user participation in the network and, on the other, to ensure successful intersectorial transfer of newly created knowledge. Experienced Researchers (ERs) will be given one year contracts and will be assigned with tasks to promote transfer of knowledge (ToK) between the partners. The training and ToK activities of this ITN are adapted to the targeted researchers and are designed to meet the requirements of the proposed research programme. The proposed ITN entails a high level of transnational collaboration through the participation of partners from eight European countries and a limited number of exceptional visiting scientists from the USA, Japan, Australia, China, Hong Kong, and the UK.

 

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The project is funded by the European Commission under the FP7, People action.