Ss. Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje
Skopje, Macedonia

The Saints Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje the largest university in the Republic of Macedonia. It was named after the Macedonian brothers Cyril and Methodius, also known as the 'Apostles to the Slavs', enlighteners who developed the precursors to Cyrillic script used today in most Slavic languages. More than 50,000 students study at the Skopje University, including some 700 foreign students. Furthermore, the teaching and research staff number 2,390 people; this is further supported by over 300 members in the university's institutions. The primary language of instruction is Macedonian, but there are a number of courses which are carried out in English, German, French, Italian and minority languages. Wikipedia.

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Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.5.1 | Award Amount: 8.81M | Year: 2013

Independent living of senior citizens is one of the main challenges linked to the ageing population, due to the impact on: (a) the life of the elderly people, (b) the national health systems, (c) the insurance companies, (d) the relatives and (e) the care-givers. Senior citizens may suffer from a number of diseases, including the decline in cardiopulmonary conditions, weaker muscle functions and a declined neuromuscular control of the movements, which result in a higher risk of fall and a higher vulnerability for cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. With respect to cognitive functions, senior citizens may suffer from a decline of memory function, less ability to orientate and a declined ability to cope with complex situations. Mild dementia is another disease affecting this population, which requires either the institutionalization or the constant support from care-givers.eWALL will be an affordable, easy-to-install prefabricated wall that can be mounted on an existing wall and includes, into the background, all the ICT technology needed to enable a number of services for the senior citizen to cover the major ontologies of Active and Healthy Ageing. The project will carry out high-risk and multi-disciplinary research and will have a large-scale demonstrator exercise for validating the concept with solid clinical evidence. This will include both technical-, user- and legal-evaluation, to measure with advanced tools and methodologies the impact on the QoL. The eWALL system will extend the state-of-the-art of Assistive Platforms and will significantly increase the independent living of seniors. The project will also perform socio-economic studies to deliver recommendations for the health sector that will result in mid- and long-term benefits for the sustainability of national health systems.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: KBBE.2013.1.4-01 | Award Amount: 2.17M | Year: 2014

The important climatic, environmental, socio-economic and land-use changes taking place at global, regional and local levels, pose new challenges for meeting the multifunctional demands on European forest resources, and for their sustainable management. In the European Union the formulation of forest policies is in the competence of the Member States and although the Treaties of the EU make no provision for a common forest policy there are a high number of EU policies and directives affecting European forests and the forest-based sector. Thus the current forest policy environment is fragmented, complex and sometimes contradictory. Furthermore, European forests consist of a wide diversity of forest ecosystems and tree species which provide different goods and services that are affected differently by climate and land-use changes. Therefore, a proper understanding of such regional differences is needed for the creation of mutual understanding on sustainable forest management (SFM) and multifunctional forestry, providing a solid basis for policy decisions. In this complex context, research-based information and knowledge should be the basis for developing adaptive management tools and models, new innovation frameworks and coherent policies to ensure implementation of SFM and thus the multifunctional role of European forests. However, European forest research is with only a few exceptions - still fragmented and enhanced co-operation and coordination of research activities carried out at regional and national levels is urgently needed. In this context, reinforcing scientific cooperation on European forests through a transnational ERA-NET, which will also build new cooperation arrangements with EU neighbourhood regions, will reduce fragmentation and maximise the impact of research activities on SFM and multifunctional forestry.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.9.5 | Award Amount: 2.29M | Year: 2014

The need for machine learning (ML) and data mining (DM) is ever growing due to the increased pervasiveness of data analysis tasks in almost every area of life, including business, science and technology. Not only is the pervasiveness of data analysis tasks increasing, but so is their complexity. We are increasingly often facing predictive modelling tasks involving one or several of the following complexity aspects: (a)structured data as input or output of the prediction process, (b)very large/massive datasets, with many examples and/or many input/output dimensions, where data may be streaming at high rates, (c)incompletely/partially labelled data, and (d)data placed in a spatio-temporal or network context. Each of these is a major challenge to current ML/DM approaches and is the central topic of active research in areas such as structured-output prediction, mining data streams, semi-supervised learning, and mining network data. The simultaneous presence of several of them is a much harder, currently insurmountable, challenge and severely limits the applicability of ML/DM approaches.The proposed project will develop predictive modelling methods capable of simultaneously addressing several (ultimately all) of the above complexity aspects. In the most complex case, the methods would be able to address massive sets of network data incompletely labelled with structured outputs. We will develop the foundations (basic concepts and notions) for and the methodology (design and implementation of algorithms) of such approaches. We will demonstrate the potential and utility of the methods on showcase problems from a diverse set of application areas (molecular biology, sensor networks, mutimedia, and social networks). Some of these applications, such as relating the composition of microbiota to human health and the design of social media aggregators, have the potential of transformational impact on important aspects of society, such as personalized medicine and social media.

GEO-CRADLE brings together key players representing the whole (Balkans, N. Africa and M. East) region and the complete EO value chain with the overarching objective of establishing a multi-regional coordination network that will (i) support the effective integration of existing EO capacities (space/air-borne/in-situ monitoring networks, modelling and data exploitation skills, and past project experience), (ii) provide the interface for the engagement of the complete ecosystem of EO stakeholders (scientists, service/data providers, end-users, governmental orgs, and decision makers), (iii) promote the concrete uptake of EO services and data in response to regional needs, relevant to the thematic priorities of the Call (adaptation to climate change, improved food security, access to raw materials and energy), and (iv) contribute to the improved implementation of and participation in GEO, GEOSS, and Copernicus in the region. In this context, GEO-CRADLE lays out an action plan that starts by inventorying the regional EO capacities and user needs, which in turn leads to a gap analysis, the definition of region specific (G)EO Maturity Indicators and common priority needs. Through showcasing pilots, it demonstrates how the priorities can be tackled by the GEO-CRADLE Network, and provides the roadmap for the future implementation of GEOSS and Copernicus in the region, building on the GEO-CRADLE Regional Data Hub, which abides by the GEOSS Data Sharing Principles. To maximise the impact of GEO-CRADLE activities, well-defined Communication, Dissemination and Stakeholder Engagement strategies are proposed. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will be used for the quantified assessment of the impact, identifying potential enabling or constraining factors, while pursuing realistic but also ambitious exploitation scenarios. For efficient project coordination, the project management is assisted by a regional coordination structure, and active liaison with EC, GEO and UN initiatives.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: OCEAN 2013.2 | Award Amount: 6.07M | Year: 2013

The COMMON SENSE project will contribute to support the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and other EU policies (e.g. Common Fisheries Policy), providing easily usable across several platforms, cost-effective, multi-functional innovative sensors to detect reliable in-situ measurements on key parameters by means of methodological standards. This proposal will focus, by means of a multidisciplinary and well-balanced consortium on eutrophication, contaminants, marine litter and underwater noise descriptors of the MSFD. This proposal will first provide a general understanding and integrated basis for sensors cost effective development (WP1 and WP2). Within the following WPs (5-8) the project will design and develop new generation sensors focused on the detection of: (1) nutrient analytes by utilising well-established colorimetric chemistries for phosphate, ammonia, nitrate and nitrite (2) low concentrations of heavy metals (Pb, Hg Cd, Zn and Cu), (3) surface concentration of microplastics (4) underwater noise by means of a bespoke acoustic sensor pod. These sensors, developed onto modular systems, will be integrated into multifunctional packages (WP4). Innovative transversal sensors (e.g. temperature, pressure, pH and pCO2) will be also integrated to provide the variables with a comprehensive reference frame. The Common Sensor Web Platform will be created (WP3) aiming at bringing a more sophisticated view of the environment implementing the sensor web enablement standards but optimising e.g. data acquisition, access and interoperability. The sensors developed will be interoperable with existing and new observing systems and they will also be field tested (WP9) by means of different platforms (e.g. research vessels, racing yachts, buoys). Dissemination and exploitation activities (WP10) will enable to transfer knowledge and technology resulting from the project to be used with commercial, scientific, conservational and strategic purposes.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: WIDESPREAD-3-2014 | Award Amount: 2.00M | Year: 2015

The objective of the NCP_WIDE.NET is to create a transnational network of National Contact Points (NCPs) for Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation under Horizon 2020 in order to facilitate trans-national co-operation between NCPs, with a view to identifying and sharing good practices and raising the general standards of support to applicants, taking into account the diversity of actors, including newcomers, that make up the constituency of WIDESPREAD part. Project is targeted towards the Widespread NCP Forum - officially nominated WIDESPREAD NCPs in EU Member States and Associated Countries - including experienced and less experienced NCPs. Expected impacts of the proposal aiming at ensuring quality standards of services, lowering entry barriers and increased applications to Horizon 2020 will be reached through a portfolio of dedicated meassures. The overall logic of the proposal is based on the improving and leveling of the NCPs capacities to deliver services of high quality standards, enhancing transnational collaboration between applicants, delivering complex information on WIDESPREAD activities and promoting the Network itself. The implementation of the proposal includes following tailored actions: internal trainings and mentoring based on benchmarking, support to WIDESPREAD expertise through development of guides and reports, transnational collaborative events for stakeholders such s brokerage events and joint workshops, actions dedicated to newcomers, networking activates, dissemination actions, complex source of information (Project Portal one-stop-shop) and promotion activities. Proposal addresses the work programme in terms of supporting and leveling NCPs capacity in delivering services of high quality standards. The project will contribute to more balanced development of ERA, spreading of excellence in research in all European regions and widening participation of research centers and stakeholders from weaker regions in H2020.

Risteska Stojkoska B.L.,Ss. Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje | Trivodaliev K.V.,Ss. Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2017

Although Internet of Things (IoT) brings significant advantages over traditional communication technologies for smart grid and smart home applications, these implementations are still very rare. Relying on a comprehensive literature review, this paper aims to contribute towards narrowing the gap between the existing state-of-the-art smart home applications and the prospect of their integration into an IoT enabled environment. We propose a holistic framework which incorporates different components from IoT architectures/frameworks proposed in the literature, in order to efficiently integrate smart home objects in a cloud-centric IoT based solution. We identify a smart home management model for the proposed framework and the main tasks that should be performed at each level. We additionally discuss practical design challenges with emphasis on data processing, as well as smart home communication protocols and their interoperability. We believe that the holistic framework ascertained in this paper can be used as a solid base for the future developers of Internet of Things based smart home solutions. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: EINFRA-9-2015 | Award Amount: 3.30M | Year: 2015

In the last decade, a number of initiatives were crucial for enabling high-quality research - by providing e-Infrastructure resources, application support and training - in both South East Europe (SEE) and Eastern Mediterranean (EM). They helped reduce the digital divide and brain drain in Europe, by ensuring access to regional e-Infrastructures to new member states, states on path to ascension, and states in European Neighborhood Policy area in total 14 countries in SEE and 6 in EM. This VI-SEEM proposal brings together these e-Infrastructures to build capacity and better utilize synergies, for an improved service provision within a unified Virtual Research Environment (VRE) for the inter-disciplinary scientific user communities in the combined SEE and EM regions (SEEM). The overall objective is to provide user-friendly integrated e-Infrastructure platform for regional cross-border Scientific Communities in Climatology, Life Sciences, and Cultural Heritage for the SEEM region; by linking compute, data, and visualization resources, as well as services, models, software and tools. This VRE will provide the scientists and researchers with the support in full lifecycle of collaborative research: accessing and sharing relevant research data, using it with provided codes and tools to carry out new experiments and simulations on large-scale e-Infrastructures, and producing new knowledge and data - which can be stored and shared in the same VRE. Climatology and Life Science communities are directly relevant for Societal Challenges. The driving ambition of this proposal is to maintain leadership in enabling e-Infrastructure based research and innovation in the region for the 3 strategic regional user communities: supporting multidisciplinary solutions, advancing their research, and bridging the development gap with the rest of Europe. The VI-SEEM consortium brings together e-Infrastructure operators and Scientific Communities in a common endeavor.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 2.79M | Year: 2013

iMODE-CKD integrates multi-disciplinary expertise in proteomics, metabolomics, transcriptomics, bioinformatics, pathology, and clinical science from leading academic and industrial investigators, establishing a unique training platform on biomarker research and Systems Biology. Special emphasis is placed on the application of a wide range of omics and bioinformatics techniques to clinical research. This educational scope is placed in the context of a significant research objective: to improve quality of life of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and diminish the severe health and economic burden imposed by this disease, by providing better diagnostic and prognostic means. Established CKD has been selected based on the accumulation of existing molecular data, and complementarity to active European programs focusing on early stage CKD in the context of diabetes and hypertension, in which participants of the consortium are actively involved. The main objectives of iMODE-CKD are: - Training young scientists to become the next generation of true translational multidisciplinary researchers exploiting multiple -omics technologies to their full extent. - Training young scientists in Systems Biology approaches to decipher molecular pathology and understanding clinical phenotypes. - Identifying and validating molecules involved in progression of renal complications trough clinical omics in established CKD. - Understanding the molecular determinants of established CKD through integrative Systems Biology. iMODE-CKD provides the opportunity to train young researchers not only in the different fields of -omics research, but also in -omics data evaluation, combining of datasets from different -omics traits, and exploiting both, data and literature, to enable the generation of in silico models of the molecular pathology of specific diseases. Such approaches will also enable development of new and specific drugs; and pave the road towards stratified/personalized medicine.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: EE-04-2014 | Award Amount: 1.48M | Year: 2015

MENS is a project conceived in order to provide an enhance the NZEB skills of building managers such as engineers and architect through a series of accredited training activities developed by 9 universities and 3 market players. MENS aims: - To increase the knowledre and skills of at least 1800 building managers (engineers, architects) in NZEB design and construction, out of which 50% would be women or unemployed. - To create and implement a new education and training program for such professionals in 10 countries, under the European Qualifications Framework provisions and based on desired and common learning outcomes of Level 7. - To create and implement an innovative, interdisciplinary education and training program with an integrated approach, focusing on real case studies - To accredit courses using the formal procedure in each country and assign ECTS credits. - To enhance and support the development of a professional network in Europe specifically focused on retrofitting of housing stocks towards NZEB. A connection with over 250,000 stakeholders and market players. - To provide working opportunities to unemployed professionals, by bringing them closer to possible employers and improving their qualifications, at a percentage of 30% of those attending. - To continue the education and training courses for at least 5 years after the end of the project based on concrete sustainability plans agreed by University partners. - To result in energy savings and/or increased use of renewables of at least 28,96 GWh/year. MENS is developed through 3 sets of training activities: national accreditation professional courses; e- learning and webinars: and case studies experiences around Europe and it involves involves major universities and stakeholders either directly or as Associated Partners engaged with LOS. MENS finally benefits from a strong media promotional activity through a wide network of local TVs and RTBF.

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