Kickoff and First Open Forum Report


The VISIONAIR project proposes the creation of a European World Class Infrastructure about Visualisation and Interaction Technologies. This project was first submitted to the European Commission in respect of the Frame Program 7 – Capacities. It answers to the call to project INFRA-2010-1.1.29 « Advanced Digital Visualisation Facilities». The project is granted by the European commission to start on february the first in 2011. The kickoff meeting of this project was organised on March 2011 from the 9th to 11th. This document summuries this event and try to emphasize the main issues that have been discussed and that will requires actions.

FP7 Capacities Programme: Infrastructures
European program: INFRA-2010-1.1.29 Advanced Digital Visualisation Facilities

Program title: VISION Advanced Infrastructure For Research
Grant agreement no: 262044

Project starting date: 2011/02/01
Project duration: 4 years


File name Authors Institutions date
KickoffAndOpenForumReport-0 Frédéric Noël Grenoble-INP (2) 17/03/11
KickoffAndOpenForumReport-2 Sylvie Pitot / Cédric Eyraud IESA (1) / Grenoble-INP (2) 21/03/11

Organisation of the kickoff meeting and open-forum

The kickoff and open-forum were organised in Grenoble jointly by IESA and Grenoble-INP in the Viallet site of Grenoble-INP. An afternoon was organised inside the INRIA-Rhones Alpes building to get the opportunity to visit the VR.GRIMAGE.FR installation.

The event was organised in three days:

  • On March the 9th we focussed on general presentations of the project plus presentations and discussions of coordination activities
  • On march the 10th, the kickoff meeting was open to external visitors. It was the opportunity to promote the existence of this infrastructure. It was also the opportunity to present the technical ressources that will be provided by the infrastructure to research guests. Pr Hege from Zube Institute was invited for a keynote lecture which was the opportunity to provide an external point of view about the interests of the VISIONAIR infrastructure for external users (potential guests). A round table was also organised with E. Braux Head of Barco France, Pr. Hege,Pr. Van-Houten (CIRP President) and Pr. L. Desbat from the french ministery of higher education and research.
  • On march the 11th, the meetings focussed on joint research activities and trans-national access organisation.
  • Two other meetings were placed in the program. One meeting of the directory board and one of the orientation board.
  • Every presentations of the 3 days are annexed to this document and are shared through the VISIONAIR intranet.
  • 70 persons were registered to the kick-off meeting and 120 persons were attending the open-forum (cf. list of participants p.11).

A common vision about visionair

Strategic and long term issues

All along the discussions general issues were emphasized. Here is a brief list of important remarks heard along the discussions mainly during the Directory board meeting and general presentations:

  • VISIONAIR is a new infrastructure. Its main is to provide services before usual research activities of the consortium partners
  • Europe wants to develop a capacity of service to Research and must compete with Asia, USA, Japan and other advanced countries. By creating an infrastructure the members of VISIONAIR take part to a political action.
  • A major issue is to ensure a sustainable development. The impact of the infrastructure will be valuable on a very long term which could reach more than 20 years.

Trans-national access models

As for any European infrastructure, Trans-national access activities must become the backbone of VISIONAIR. We received comments and advice all along the 3 days specially in the general presentations and during the round table.

  • VISIONAIR must be connected with organised community (other infrastructures, HSPC community, etc). A direction could be to become the visualisation service of other infrastructures or specialised communities (biology, astronomy, medicine, etc).
  • Processed data in VISIONAIR must come from user communities. Astronomy, Biology communities already get a huge amount of information. VISIONAIR cannot be in charge to create and maintain huge visualisation data-bases. The aim of VISIONAIR is to be able to process information to offer to researchers new perspectives about their data.
  • Acquisition techniques are not the main point of VISIONAIR since these techniques are usually developed by other communities depending on their needs and specificity.

Visionair sustainability

VISIONAIR sustainability must be supported by the definition of a robust business model. Further investments funding must be found. The infrastructure depends on a constant evolution of technologies. Current installations will be quickly deprecated and will require to structure investments

  • "Europe pays for the glue" between already existing national efforts. VISIONAIR must create networking activities especially with national ministers more than research agency. We must be active in the national road maps.
  • During the directory board meeting, Hervo Pero mentionned that partners from some European countries (Greece, south Italy) can benefit from structural funds for further investments. The general case will require that every partner demonstrate to its notional founders (ministers, regions, research agencies, etc) the interest in continuing investments for the infrastructure. It is highly recommended to create networks with these founders at every national level.
  • At last but not least a Europan infrastructure must assess cost efficiency of research services provided through integration.

Financial and administrative aspects

IESA signed the Grant Agreement on February 8th and we were pleased to hear from Herve Pero that the Grant Agreement was signed by the European Commission too.

We are waiting for the return of the official hard copies.

Action : IESA will send a scanned version of Grant Agreement and dispatch FormsA for signature by all partners as soon as we receive the documents from the Commission.

Responsibility : IESA

Consortium agreement

The consortium agreement has been closed and the agreed version was distributed to every partners during the orientation board. The last changes before closure were recalled during the orientation board.

Possible action : If amendment were for background declarations we will investigate a potential amendment. Be aware that this will lead to a new signature by every partner.

Responsibility : every partner and Grenoble-INP to merge contributions if any.


The initial fund which will be received by IESA and will be redistributed to every partner on the basis of a equal rate of the four year funding. This proposal was approved by the orientation board.

Actions : IESA must clarify a point with EC about the obligation for the coordinator (only) to deposit pre-financing on an interest-yielding account and declare interest in 1st financial declaration. Interest would be deducted from future EC payment(s). IESA will inform every partner as soon as we will have an answer. IESA will transfer the partner pre-financing as soon as possible depending on the above discussion.

Responsibility : IESA

Financial reporting issues

The reporting issues may differ between activity types. For coordination, joint research and management activities a common method should be applied while a specific method will surely be defined for trans-national access (SUPPORT activities).

About support activities there is almost one known rule which was recalled during the directory board : The cost for Transnational accesses must be approved by every institute auditor and thus depends on the partner institution.

Actions : IESA and Grenoble-INP must clarify the reporting methods and as far as possible will provide templates to be used by partners.

Responsibility : IESA & Grenoble-INP

Another question was answered on an informal mode, concerning the insurance about SUPPORTING activities "if a guest must cancel his venue or has an accident during the hosted period what happens and what are the responsibilities?".

Actions : The question must be discussed with EC

Responsibility : IESA & Grenoble-INP

Timesheets: we need to clarify if personnels implied infrastructure access need to produce timesheets or not.

Actions : The question must be discussed with EC

Responsibility : IESA & Grenoble-INP

The coordinaors (scientific and financial) participate to the project review with the workpackage leaders and reviewers mandated by the commission and the project officer.

Actions : We must find if this list is restricted to the previious participants or if other partners could join.

Responsibility : IESA

Revision of GA and Dow

A process to allow revision of GA and Dow was discussed and approved by the Orientation Board. (See the corresponding slides in ANNEX)

Important date : end of November (2011) : proposal of amendments

Responsibility : IESA & Grenoble-INP to drive and merge the amendment proposals

Scientific and Science policy boards installation

A process to invite individual personalities for participation to these boards has been proposed and approved by the orientation board . (See the corresponding slides in ANNEX)

Important date : end of April (2011) : first list of proposals

Responsibility : Directory Board to discuss proposals and Grenoble-INP to manage invitations

Task responsibilities

Two incoherences were extracted from the description of work about responsibilities of task T3.2 (Interoperability) and task T9.3. The corresponding responsibility must be stated. The corresponding work package leaders are mandated to lead the discussions before the next directory board. A natural decision based on initial responsibilities, volunteer partner of global effort on the task is greatly encouraged.

Important date : next directory board (2011) : first list of proposals

Responsibility : Utwente for WP 3 and INRIA for WP9

Coordination, supporting and joint research activities

Coordination and joint research activities must support the creation and improvement of supporting activities.

Supporting activities : trans-national accesses

Trans-national access is the backbone of the VISIONAIR project. Many discussions were related to this activity. This report try to summarise with the issues which do not depend on a specific support work package.

VISIONAIR partners have the duty to invite the best researchers to use the infrastructures. This may not depend on the guest area. The relevance of the research project must be the main criterion

Action : The rules about the distinction between research from the Europe area and other areas must be checked. It is unclear if a minimal or maximal rate of European researchers as guest must be respected. A confirmation must be asked to the EC policy officer

Responsibility : Grenoble-INP

The selection process is a major challenge : the templates already exist and VISIONAIR should use existing templates.

Action : WP2 and Scientific coordinator should meet the policy officer to get feedback about existing templates and their relevance for distributed network.

Responsibility : Grenoble-INP to ask for a meeting and WP2

The capacity of service must be promoted by the VISIONAIR web site. WP2 must take into account this specification for the website development. Trade fairs should be considered as a auxiliary target in the range of communication vectors.

Action : WP2 must interact with TNA WP leaders to specify facilties e-map that will be hosted on the web site.

Responsibilities : WP2 and TNA WP leaders but also WP1 for task1.

Every partner must work to the presentation of its own installation on a service oriented mode.

The call to projects is a crucial point. During the final discussion between TNA WP leaders, no decision was taken about proposing either a call towards specific communities or issues or to open white call to projects. A compromise has also been proposed whith an open call identifying that some targeted projects would be appreciated. For project that may require several complementary facilities, the consortium should be able to build a broken down proposal.

Action : Indentifications of the communities that could be be specifically targeted in the first call


  • TNA WP leaders : to organise wp discussions
  • WP2 and scientific coordination to organise a common call

To identify the real potential services. We must define an ontology that should be used to present through a relevant data-base the proposed resources and the corresponding services. This ontology must take benefit of already defined material. The initial DoW document provide a first template. The DSW data base could be connected to the service data-base to help potential external user in building project proposal

Action : Identifications of the requirements and interoperability needs between DSW and TNA

Responsibilities : WP3, WP2, and WP8 leaders

Coordination activities

Several points have been highlighted during the discussions. This report does not detail internal work package discussions within every work-package but recall common and/or inter-workpackage recommendations.

WP2 must be quite split into two different actions :

  • the actions related to the selection process and call to project
  • the actions related to external promotion. We were clearly advised to organise promotion events when we will have enough innovative technology to demonstrate how impressive is the added value of VISIONAIR. To participate to exhibition should be delayed on behalf of Hervé Pero. We could also push some efforts from the corresponding task to increase effort on the selection process

Action : clarification of actions

Responsibilities : WP2 leader and Grenoble-INP before next directory board

DSW demonstration : an extended presentation of Digital shape Workbench was provided by CNR team. It is clearly important that other partners try to use this system and provide new specifications to the task 3.3 to ensure the adequate development of a complementary modules dedicated to the infrastructure. An ontology could be defined to identify the services provided by the infrastructure to help potential users to organise valid projects

Action : to provide feedback towards CNR for specifications of the needs

Responsibilities : CNR and every partners for feedbacks

The development of new services must ensure the interoperability of all the services proposed by the infrastructure. That does not mean that tools must be fully integrated and they could be distributed. However, a common graphic user interface look and feel should be developed to ensure a unique portal on the point of view of external users.

Action : to specifiy the graphic user interface and the connection models between services

Responsibilities : WP2 (Web site look and feel) and WP3 workpackage leaders

Technical points about internal communication must be improved. Visio-conference techniques must be defined. The use H322 (PSNC proposal) or/and polycom (Utwente proposal on the basis of Grenoble-INP system), or/and EVO (Grenoble-INP complementary proposal), tools and protocols have been proposed. Skype has been also suggested but some partners are not allowed to use it for confidentiality and security reasons. The main criteria is to ensure efficient communication. H322 should work fine but every partner does not have connection to this protocol. A mixed system with bridges may be found asap

Action : to define, test and promote a solution between every partners>

Responsibilities : WP3.1 task (Utwente,Grenoble-INP and PSNC should be involved

Joint research activities

Joint research activities have been discussed the last day. This report does not detail internal work package discussions within every work-package but recall common recommendations. The organisation of joint research actvities must respect the following specifications:

  • a JOINT research activity must be a collective work interesting several partners leading to a deployment on several installations from several partners
  • a research activity may be the deployment of a national research result within the infrastructure.
  • Joint research activities must improve the capacity of service of the infrastructure.

Action : Indentifications of main topics to be developed next year. Definition of the added value respect to the infrastructure services.

Responsibilities : WP9 WP10 and WP11 work package leaders

As discussed on administrative and financial aspects

Action : Finalize the task responsibilities

Responsibilities : WP9 work package leader


The 3 days seem to have promoted intensive discussions. It was the first opportunity of the infrastructure lifetime to bring together people, as well as distinct scientific communities. We guess that these discussions were mandatory to build a common understanding about VISIONAIR goals and C.E. expectations.several indicators show that it was a great success about this issue. Now job remains to be done and the hardest work will be to initiate collaborative and distributed efforts

List of participants to the visionair kick-off and open-forum

John Ahmet Erkoyuncu Cranfield University
Rajkumar Roy Cranfield University
Alain BERNARD Ecole Centrale de Nantes, France
Amine CHELLALI Ecole Centrale de Nantes, France
Gilles MARCKMANN Ecole Centrale de Nantes, France
Alain BOULZE Easifab, France
James OLIVER ENSAM ParisTech
Johann Habakuk ISRAEL Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionsanlagen und Konstruktionstechnik, Germany
Lars WOLTER Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionsanlagen und Konstruktionstechnik, Germany
Frédéric NOËL Grenoble INP, France
Guillaume THOMANN Grenoble INP, France
Yannick FREIN Grenoble INP, France
Cédric MASCLET Grenoble INP, France
Jean-François BOUJUT Grenoble INP, France
Philippe MARIN Grenoble INP, France
Clementine GLEIZAL Grenoble INP, France
Ewald MAAS Grenoble INP, France
Frederic VIGNAT Grenoble INP, France
Guy PRUDHOMME Grenoble INP, France
Daniel BRISSAUD Grenoble INP, France
Ahmed AOUKILI Grenoble INP, France
samira SADEGHI Grenoble INP, France
Gilles FOUCAULT Grenoble INP, France
Franck POURROY Grenoble INP, France
François BONNEL Grenoble INP, France
Anne MEYER Grenoble INP, France
jean-claude LEON Grenoble INP, France
Olivier LAVOISY Grenoble University
Pierre-Marie BOITEL Grenoble-INP
Maurice BOTREL Groupe Arts et Métiers Grenoble
Jérôme PAILHES Groupe Arts et Métiers PARISTech, France
Pierre-Olivier SANNER G-SCOP
Peter Tamas KOVACS Holografika
Fco. Javier IGLESIAS GRACIA i2cat Foundation, Spain
Artur SERRA i2cat Foundation, Spain
Sylvie PITOT INPG Entreprise SA, France
Henri-Marc MICHAUD INPG Entreprise SA, France
Bruno RAFFIN INRIA Grenoble Rhone-Alpes, France
Matthijs DOUZE INRIA Grenoble Rhone-Alpes, France
Eric AMAT INRIA Grenoble Rhone-Alpes, France
Georges DUMONT INRIA Rennes, France
Ronan GAUGNE INRIA Rennes, France
Thierry DUVAL INRIA Rennes, France
Gunilla SIVARD KTH, Sweeden
Björn THURESSON KTH, Sweeden
Danièle CENTANNI Laboratory LiPhy
Thierno Mamoudou Lamarana DIALLO LIESP
Aicha SEKHARI LIESP laboratory
franca GIANNINI National Research Council, Genova, Italy
Marco ATTENE National Research Council, Genova, Italy
Michela SPAGNUOLO National Research Council, Genova, Italy
walter TERKAJ National Research Council, Milano, Italy
stefano MOTTURA National Research Council, Milano, Italy
marcello COLLEDANI Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Marcello URGO Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Artur BINCZEWSKI Poznań Supercomputing and Networking Center
Maciej GLOWIAK Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center, Poland
Maciej STROZYK Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center, Poland
Andrzej MILECKI Poznan University of Technology, Poland
Damian GRAJEWSKI Poznan University of Technology, Poland
Daniel BÜNDGENS Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule, Germany
Anette VON KAPRI Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule, Germany
Jonny GUSTAFSSON Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
Torsten KJELLBERG Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
Mikael HEDLIND Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
Yehudit Judy DORI Technion IIT, Israel
Dov DORI Technion IIT, Israel
Andreas KOPECKI Universität Stuttgart, Germany
Florian SEYBOLD Universität Stuttgart, Germany
Daniel MESTRE Université de la méditérannée, France
Vincent PERROT Université de la méditérannée, France
Fred VAN HOUTEN Universiteit Twente, Netherlands
Eric LUTTERS Universiteit Twente, Netherlands
Winnie DANKERS Universiteit Twente, Netherlands
Roy DAMGRAVE Universiteit Twente, Netherlands
Hiske HEMMER Universiteit Twente, Netherlands
David SWAPP University College London, United Kingdom
Martin REED University of Essex, United Kingdom
Okung NTOFON University of Essex, United Kingdom
Eric SCHWEITZER University of Kaiserslautern, Germany
Christian WEIDIG University of Kaiserslautern, Germany
Loukas RENTZOS University of Patras, Greece
Dimitris MAVRIKIOS University of Patras, Greece
Terrence FERNANDO University of Salford, United Kingdom
Dulcidio COELHO University of Salford, United Kingdom
Hans-Christian HEGE Zuse-Institut Berlin