Indo-Dutch collaboration in innovative ICT research further strengthened

NWO invests almost 2 million euros in five research projects with India

12 June 2015

Scientists from India and the Netherlands will collaborate with companies such as Honeywell, Tata Memorial Centre, Tech Mahindra and Salland Electronics on projects in the area of Big Data, Internet of Things and Serious Gaming. The projects will receive funding from the Indo-Dutch Joint Research Programme for ICT. In this programme the collaboration between scientists and industry in both India and the Netherlands is the key for innovation. For the five projects a funding of approx. 2 million euros has been made available by NWO Physical Sciences and the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) of the Indian Ministry of Communication and Information Technology. The companies involved have provided an additional 234,000 euros in cash and 549,000 euros in kind.

The public-private research programme Indo-Dutch Joint Research Programme for ICT focuses on practical and innovative ICT solutions realised from a fundamental and/or applied scientific approach. All of the projects focus on a question from one or more companies. The aim is to bring Dutch and Indian companies into contact with knowledge institutions in both countries. Together with the industrial partners, the researchers will work in an Indo-Dutch consortium. The project duration is about four years.

Top sectors policy

For the Netherlands, the programme ties in well with the top sectors policy in which nine top sectors have been designated to stimulate the innovative strength of the Netherlands. The three themes Big Data, Internet of Things and Serious Gaming are included within the top sectors High Tech Systems and Materials (HTSM) and Creative Industry. In HTSM, the ICT Roadmap describes the scientific challenges of the themes Big Data and Internet of Things. Serious Gaming is included in the ICT Roadmap and it is also one of the research areas under Creative Industry.


A number of 17 proposals were submitted as response to the call for proposals and the following five projects received funding from NWO Physical Sciences.

BIONIC: Big Imaging Data Approach for Oncology in a Netherland India Collaboration A.L.A.J. Dekker (Universiteit van Maastricht) en Prof. V. Rangarajan (Homi Bhabha National Institute, PtTheragnostics & MAASTRO Innovations)
BIONIC, a collaboration between academic, industrial and clinical partners wants to improve cancer care via a Big Data approach. Large quantities of patients' medical images from top cancer centres will be used with complete protection of privacy to develop decision-support systems. The researchers want to demonstrate that the use of these decision-support systems leads to better choices for treatment.

BIONIC unites academic, industrial and clinical leaders to improve cancer care using a Big Data approach for medical imaging. Vast amounts of patient image data from top cancer centres in the Netherlands and India will be used, in a privacy preserving manner, to develop Decision support systems. We will prove that use of these  decision support systems will lead to better treatment decisions.

COPAS P.J.M. Havinga (Universiteit Twente) en Prof.dr. J. Bapat (International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore)
The participants in the COPAS project want to realise an improvement in the energy efficiency, a reduction in the operational costs and at the same time an improvement in the comfort and safety of public and semi-public buildings such as hospitals, educational institutions and hotels. They want to achieve this by designing and evaluating methods and techniques in the area of decentralised and opportunistic wireless monitoring together with distributed Big Data analytics.

COPAS goes beyond current initiatives of smart buildings by targeting situations in semi) public places in which large groups of users exhibit unpredictable behavioural patterns and have no direct benefit. We will address large (semi)-public buildings such as hotels, hospitals and educational institutions. What is missing is an integrated approach, in which major elements of the technologies from Internet of Things, combined with advanced analytics and data processing techniques to effectively be cooperated to achieve an efficient and yet privacy aware building management.

The main objective of COPAS is to design methods in the area of distributed and opportunistic wireless sensing and distributed big data analytics to improve operational and energy efficiency, comfort, and safety of (semi)public buildings. Crosscutting concerns are privacy, reliability, safety and system optimization.

The Kumbh Mela Experiment: Measuring and Understanding the Dynamics of Mankind
Dr. A. Verma (Indian Institute of Science Bangalore) en Prof.dr. P. Sloot (Universiteit van Amsterdam)
In this research project, the researchers will develop advanced methods and algorithms that must support planners and managers of events in managing extremely large groups. They will develop essential components for a complete crowd management system, starting with the design and implementation of personal movement and position detectors and the analysis of the associated spatiotemporal data through to the computational models needed to study crowd dynamics.

In this proposal we plan to develop sophisticated methods and algorithms to aid planners and event managers in managing extremely large crowds. The project aims to deliver the core components of an entire crowd management solution, all the way from designing and building personnel devices for tracking movement, to the analyses of the associated spatio-temporal  data and the advanced computational models to help predict how the crowd may evolve.

Parallax: Lightweight Code Self-verification for IoT Devices H.J. Bos (Universiteit van Amsterdam) en Prof C. Hota (BITS, Pilani Hyderabad Campus)
The Internet-of-Things presents fascinating opportunities for the large-scale use of miniature devices in the physical world. Protecting these devices from unauthorised changes is vitally important for their uninterrupted functioning. This project will focus on the development of new fundamental knowledge and the use of this for the construction of instruments which ensure that these devices cannot be tampered with as well as for the conversion of offensive hacking techniques into defensive weapons.

The Internet-of-Things presents fascinating opportunities through the massive deployment of miniature devices in the physical world. Shielding these devices from unauthorized modifications is of paramount significance to their unobstructed operation. This project aims at developing novel fundamental knowledge and at applying it to build tools that ensure IoT devices cannot be tampered with, as well as at turning offensive intrusion techniques into defensive weapons.

Devices in a vulnerable network environment, therefore without sufficient security, can be hacked. So it is important to verify that the software has not been modified by attackers. In the Parallax project the researchers want to protect the software by means of invisible verification: the verification functions do not have any code but just like a parasite they make use of instructions that are already contained in the normal functions.
SAPPAO – A Systems Approach towards Data Mining and Prediction in Airlines Operations
Prof. dr. T.H.W. Bäck (Universiteit Leiden) en Dr. D.K. Saxema (Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee)
In the planning of flight arrivals and departures, 45 minutes extra per flight is included on average to compensate for unexpected factors such as weather conditions and flight backlogs. A direct consequence of this is that each day thousands of flights remain in the air for longer than is necessary. By analysing historical flight data and data about the actual arrival and departure times the SAPPAO project wants to optimise the accuracy and reliability of flight data. This could potentially yield savings of millions of euros by making more efficient use of aircraft, by reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, and by gaining time for passengers and airports.

On average, about 45 minutes of contingency time is added to scheduled flight time to account for the lack of predictability in flight operations, i.e. variability due to weather, congestion and other factors. As a result thousands of airplanes stay in the air every day for more time than strictly necessary. By analysing historical flight data and data on the associated disruptive events on the flight network, the SAPPAO-project aims to optimize the accuracy and reliability of predicting scheduled flight times, thereby potentially saving millions of Euro’s on better utilization of airplanes, decreased fuel consumption, decreased CO2--‐emissions, decrease of ambient noise and better use of time for passengers and airports.

About NWO

The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research is one of the most important science-funding bodies in the Netherlands and ensures quality and innovation in science. Each year NWO invests more than 650 million euros in curiosity-driven research and research related to societal challenges. NWO selects and funds research proposals based on the advice of Dutch and international experts from science and society. NWO encourages national and international collaboration, invests in large-scale research facilities, promotes knowledge utilisation, and manages research institutes. NWO funds more than 5600 research projects at universities and knowledge institutions.

Source: NWO


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