Three programs given STPC grants


The three programs granted funding are the following:

1. Icelandic Institute for Intelligent Machines
Icelandic Institute for Intelligent Machines (IIIM) is a new research laboratory organized from the ground up to act as a catalyzer for innovation and research. IIIM's primary focus is artificial intelligence and simulation technologies - fields with broad application and in increasing demand worldwide for manufacturing, consumer products, virtual worlds and games, climate and energy research, policy-making, and numerous other fields and industries.

IIIM is funded through sponsorship from industrial and academic institutions, through competitive research funds and through technology consulting.

Its internal research organization builds on a unique open access principle, where all subscribing members have access to all research at all times which enables them to use state-of-the-art technology in their enterprises. Sponsors come from various fields such as robotics, food processing, manufacturing, energy research, finance and investing.

IIIM's industrial members provide challenging practical questions to the Institute, while universities provide doctoral students, post docs, and faculty employees. The Institute's 3-9 year horizon helps bridge between industry's typical 3-year product horizon and the >9 year theory horizon in academia.

IIIM targets a 60/40 ratio between externally and internally motivated research projects, respectively, internal projects helping to ensure synergy between ongoing research projects.

The IIIM will thus connect industrial innovation and scientific discovery and enable exploration of applied research problems in wider contexts. With its mixed funding, intellectual property and management scheme IIIM presents a powerful framework for (a) bridging between academia and industry, facilitating flow of ideas, people and software, (b) creating a new foundation for supporting collaboration between parties from different fields and for investors to participate in advanced research, (c) exploiting synergies of input from a diverse set of institutions to catalyze innovation and (d) providing Iceland with a source of education in advanced technologies in fields that in the near future are poised to become as important as the personal computer.

2. GEOthermal Research Group - GEORG

The world's economy is founded on non-renewable energy from fossil fuels, which are not only in a limited supply but also a leading source of carbon dioxide (CO2) contributing to climate change. To reduce impact of climate changes it is necessary to find alternatives to carbon based fuels. When it comes to energy usages Iceland is unique as large part of the energy originates from renewable energy. The solution will be based on developing a portfolio of solutions that can be applied either globally or locally.

Geothermal energy can be an important part of the solution. Significant expertise and experience in sustainable harnessing of geothermal power is concentrated in Iceland. In this grant proposal a formation of a Research Cluster in Geothermal Energy is proposed

that creates formal and close collaboration between players in design, research and harnessing of geothermal resources to strengthen scientific and technical knowledge in the field. Establishment of such research cluster is vital for Iceland to sustain the current position in the forefront of the geothermal field and to create stronger base for entrepreneurship and high tech industry in fields associated with the cluster. An increased knowledge of sustainable energy in Iceland could lead to an energy independent state and therefore serve as a role model for other societies. The contribution of the cluster is summarized in the following four main objectives:

Make Iceland a leading country in geothermal energy
Make Iceland energy usage sustainable
Reduce global carbon dioxide emission by strengthening the geothermal power sector
Create platform for entrepreneurship and export for Icelandic companies in the field of geothermal energy

The Research Cluster plans to attain these ambitious objectives by increasing substantially research, innovation, education and knowledge sharing in the field of geothermal energy in addition to create a new innovative way for education organization, research institutions, private companies and stakeholders to work together.

3. Center of Excellence in Gender, Equality and Diversity Research

The proposed Cluster of Excellence is divided into three main categories under the heading of "The Icelandic Model": 1) History, Society, Culture; 2) The Labour Market and Natural Resources; 3) International Relations and Development.

Gender equality agendas constitute an important part of Icelandic identity and image abroad. The knowledge and expertise in this field - accumulated in Iceland over the years - has attracted considerable international attention. The "Icelandic Model" is already a site of reference, especially with respect to its originality, innovation, and efficiency.

The state of knowledge is strong in the first category of the Cluster, but rapid social changes underline the need for further expansion and development of the equality model. With the two other main categories, the model will be studied and developed by doing research of the labour market and natural resources and in connection with new Icelandic agendas in international relations and development projects.

The Cluster will be a venue for collaboration between scholars, research institutes, government institutions, and private enterprises, in Iceland and abroad. The main purpose of the Cluster is to enable Iceland to take the lead in research, innovation and practice in categories of equality work in which Icelanders have shown the most expertise and in which they enjoy a high degree of credibility.

The Cluster is also meant to stimulate new thinking and methods in gender equality, with the aim of making Icelandic society an even more active and dynamic "laboratory" in this field. No less important, the purpose is to adjust the Icelandic Model to new challenges fuelled by the ever increasing globalization of the economy, by new representations of multi-culturalism in society through the redefinition of the nation, and itschanging age structures.  

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