Some conclusions from the Smolenice event

The event in Smolenice can be retrospectively seen from different perspectives: scientific one, as a place to learn and discuss issues related to East-West co-operation, as a bridge to build contacts between CEE participants and Western SME's, and finally as an occasion for organisation of fringe meetings.

The main scientific value of the event lies in the organisation of the Workshop fulfilling all high standards of scientific quality. The Workshop on: Design Methodologies for Microelectronics attracted over 90 submissions, out of which an international Programme Committee has selected 30 as regular papers and 26 as posters. Rejection rate was that high, so the accepted papers were fulfilling sever requirements. Professional proceedings were printed.

A special session on European co-operation consists a characteristic element of the BENEFIT events. It fully concentrates on the methodological issues related to building pan-European collaborative projects. On one hand, it informs participants on European Programmes open to Central and East European (CEE) countries, on the other, it monitors experience, but also obstacles the CEE participants of pan-European projects are facing. In this respect, the session on co-operation is also a valuable source of feedback information for the Commission, hopefully. The one-day session in Smolenice was conducted by Manfred Horvat, director of BIT office, an Austrian governmental agency responsible for building East-West co-operation in general.

The Smolenice event has experienced in addition a collaborative action with Austrian partners taking advantage of geographical closeness of both capitals. The Special Day at the Vienna University of Technology was conceived as a Special Day devoted to building contacts of more industrial character. It was organised by Kurt Judmann from Vienna Univ. of Technology and from Austrian Computer Association as a technology transfer session in which CEE participants were presenting their solutions and/or prototypes with offers for co-operation. This day was thought more as an experiment, and as an experiment generates conclusions which require more deep study. It has demonstrated that industrial contacts, or contacts between East European research establishments and West European SME's require professional preparations including search for appropriate SME's in West, and perhaps some market investigations, done in advance.

Taking an advantage of presence of many EUROCHIP/EUROEAST participants in Smolenice, BENEFIT has organised a meeting for the EUROEAST project and a working session adjacently to the Event. This enabled many participants of the Workshop and both special Days to learn about the mission of EUROEAST project and conversely of BENEFIT.

Over 120 participants, a keen interest of the Slovakian mass-media in the event, and the comments the Organisers have received after the event, prove that the event in the Smolenice castle was very successful. No other event in the areas covered by BENEFIT offers participants such versatile possibilities for stimulation of scientific and technical collaboration. It has resulted in many new, fruitful contacts among participants. New initiatives were born there, to name only plans of harmonisation of future BENEFIT and EUROEAST actions. Important also is that the experience gained is being accumulated by the BENEFIT project, and is used for preparation of the following events of the Concerted Action for the benefit of the East and West microelectronics and signal processing communities.

Adam Pawlak, October 1995