Strategic partnership (WP5)

Integrating the VEGA research group into a powerful and strategic partnership was another goal of the VEGA project. One of the main pillars for this goal is the complete integration of the VEGA group into the core activities of INTUITION Network of Excellence, the FP6 project IST 507248. Another important direction is the integration into the NoE related to Robotics. The latter is cooperation driven and relies at this moment on the promotion of projects in cooperation with the Robotics scientific community, represented in VEGA consortium by CLAWAR Thematic Network.
A third important direction for the strategic partnership of the VEGA research group is the establishment and development of a partnership at national level as well. In this respect, a new generation of research programmes launched at national level offered the opportunity to participate at competitions and WIN important RTD projects that will allow the continuation of the growth further after the VEGA contract completion

National projects approved and running as result of the project VEGA achievements

Three important national projects have been won in competition by the VEGA group in 2006, as follows:
1. Project MERVI: Virtual Reality Collaborative Environment for pre-operatory planning in Orthopaedics, 2006-2008 Partners: University Transilvania (coord – Prof Doru Talaba), Univ. Politehnica Timisoara, Siemens and NR Tech (a SME from Brasov). Budget: 450000 Euro. The goal of the project is to develop a system of planning the surgical intervention in CAVE like virtual environment which could be also useful for training purposes. The work is ongoing.
2. Project VIRPE: Virtual Reality in Product Design, 2006-2008. Partners: University Transilvania (coord – Prof Doru Talaba). Budget: 147.000 Euro. The goal of the project is to develop a CAD system using a multimodal interface with 6 channels (3 for input and 3 for output modalities). The work is ongoing.
3. National Research Platform TRIMA: Techniques and Technologies of Virtual Reality applied in Engineering, Medicine and Art, 2006-2009. Partners: University Transilvania (coord – Prof Gheorghe Mogan and Prof Doru Talaba). Budget: 850000 Euro. The aim of the project is to support the evolution of the VEGA project into a technological platform at national level. It is a project devoted especially to the development of the centre infrastructure. The work is ongoing.
4. Project IREAL – Haptic Feedback Interface for Virtual prototyping in immersive environments (coord. Prof. Doru Talaba), 2007- 2010, 330.000 Euro (single contractor). This project has as objective the development of a new concept for virtual prototyping of products destined to human handling by using haptic feedback for the product evaluation instead of abstract requirements. The work is ongoing.
5. Project TOMIS Virtual Reality for the 3 dimensional reconstruction of the historical sites. (coordinator Univ. Ovidus of Constanta, Univ Transilvania – partner, contact person. Prof. Doru Talaba), 2007-2010, budget UTBv 100.000 Euro
6. Project VESTA –System for Active Spine Rehabilitation. (coordinator Siemens, partner Univ Transilvania, contact person Dr. Silviu Butnaru), 2008-2011, budget UTBv 180.000 Euro).

ERA projects

At European level, while the results of the first FP7 ICT call have not been favourable for the proposals in which the VEGA group participated (1 IP, 1 NoE and 1 STREP), the group continued the participation in the proposal preparation and submission. Thus a NoE proposal on Robotics has been submitted by the CLAWAR Network and foresees a very important involvement of the VEGA group – to be the WP leader and coordinator of the proposed European Virtual Institute in Robotics.
Out of this, the VEGA group is participating in a CA proposal addressing the “Science and Society” priority – project VIRGEN – Virtual Reality training of New Generations of students in order to make science popular among the young people..
It can be concluded that the VEGA group is very active at European level, having already built a network with distinct partnership branches very active in the main relevant areas, i.e. Virtual Reality (Intuition NoE) and Robotics (CLAWAR NoE). Both are important Networks of Excellence in the two fields relevant for VEGA and the VEGA group has a central involvement within their activities.