SEOUL, KOREA – 3DLife is a European Union funded project that aims to integrate research conducted within Europe in the field of Media Internet. 3DLife aims not only to foster the creation of sustainable and long-term relationships between existing national research groups but also to ultimately lay the foundations of a Virtual Center of Excellence in Media Internet. This project is a consortium of 7 world-class institutions - Queen Mary, University of London, Dublin City University, Heinrich Hertz Institute, Fraunhofer, Informatics & Telematics Institute, Korea University, MIRALab, University of Geneva and Télécom ParisTech – pushing forward new paradigms for realistic, effective and autonomic media communication and interaction via Internet.
Sustainable European Competence Center
The consortium partners have established a sustainable European Competence center called Excellence in Media Computing and Communication (EMC2). EMC2 is a 3D media processor for the Internet, social networking, immersive environments, augmented reality and 3D broadcasting. This provides a framework to bridge the gap between industrial players and academic research groups; enabling industries to benefit from and influence academic research, and enabling researchers to know and respond to market opportunities. Its specific functions are academia-industry matchmaking and technology transfer to SMEs, provision of educational services for entrepreneurship, and shaping of national and European research agendas.
“We raise funds from the industry to enable EMC2 to continue as a non-profit company. In exchange, members are allowed to gain access to various services we offer. Companies are provided with a matchmaking service, enabling them to connect with new business and research partners. They receive invitations to international workshops and demonstrations of technology research, and also have privileged access to selected outcomes of research,” Gaël Richard, professor at Télécom ParisTech told Korea IT Times. He visited Korea last month to give a lecture on Smart Audio in the Smart Media International Workshop, “Smart on Smart,” where industrial players in the IT field share and discuss future directions of the smart environment.
All persons and entities interested in having access to the service provided by EMC2 including teaching, access to computing, research, database resources, and access to the top level of researchers in the field of 3D media can be members. Becoming members for EMC2 would be very beneficial even for members outside the EU. Among the consortium, Korea University is the only Asian institution. “I am encouraging Korean companies to participate in this project. They can learn new services and technologies, and promote their products in European markets. Companies can also take full advantage of a network of the consortium made up of prestige universities and research centers. Korea University is expecting and working hard to attract more Korean businesses to be members of EMC2 and benefit from it. This Smart Media Workshop is part of this business model. We introduced EMC2 and various technologies for smart environment to Korean audiences,” told Kim Hyoung-joong, a professor of Korea University.
What is the Erasmus Mundus program
Erasmus Mundus is an EU-funded program promoting collaboration in education and research, between European institutions and abroad. The program sets up partnerships, scholarships for joint Master’s and joint Doctoral degrees. Within 3Dlife, a new kind of doctoral degree program, combining top-level scientific 3D research with mobility between at least two Higher Education Institutions and with training in transversal skills including in entrepreneurial training, enabling PhD researchers to take their ideas and research findings into the market place and even start up their own technology companies.
Professor Richard is a coordinator of the Erasmus program within the 3Dlife project. “What we plan to do is to go beyond the traditional framework for PhD studies. One of the problems we face is that the PhD is offered in one university. Research is also done in only one university and with one supervisor. Often when students graduate, they have no knowledge of research practices and no experience in management and entrepreneurship. Therefore research may not be transferred and may not be sufficiently international. The goal of the programme is then to place all students in an international framework (they will be obliged to attend at least two different universities during their PhD, and receive two diplomas) with a dedicated learning program in transversal skills,” told Richard.
“As learning is concerned, we plan to include lessons in transversal skills such as economics, entrepreneurship, innovation, and communication. This way, they are not only researchers but they can possess the skills to start their own business company after graduation. This will be a completely integrated framework which means students applying for a joint PhD will not only register for one university but to central joint PhD office” he said.
Professor Kim added “In the past, entrepreneurship was not emphasized in Europe and Korea unlike the U.S. Research indicated that a vast majority of job employment comes from SMEs and not from large companies. One of goals for the program is to foster students to start their own business after obtaining a PhD. Even though the tuition fee of Korea University is expensive, students with excellent grades and English proficiency can study with a full scholarship. Since students coming from this program are qualified and competitive, they could all qualify for this scholarship.”
“Erasmus Mundus is the name of the program by European Commission from which we can obtain the funds to start this activity. Our goal for the future is for this joint PhD to run by itself from fees obtained by EMC2 members. We expect that funds from members will allow the services to continue. We believe that this joint PhD will provide a model for other institutions in Europe and other countries. This will make it easier for researchers to become entrepreneurs, and benefit technology industries in those countries. EMC2 hopes more remarkable PhD students benefit from the Erasmus Mundus program in the future.”