The first European and Indian e- Infrastructures conference was held at the Grand New Delhi, New Delhi, India during 14-15 December 2006, attracting over 250 research, industrial and academic delegates from ICT and its related domains. The august conference was organised by the BELIEF (Bringing Europe’s eLectronic Infrastructures to Expanding Frontiers) consortium. The BELIEF partners are from varied backgrounds and areas of expertise, spanning Europe, Asia, America and Latin America. The BELIEF Consortium possesses experience and expertise in community development, e-Infrastructure, networking connections and digital library development. The consortium shares complementary skills, international resources and links in the areas of e-Infrastructures.

The aim of this first of its kind event was to exchange information and views on how eInfrastructures are currently deployed in both Europe and India, with the objective of analysing how their increasing role is viewed in a business, educational, socio-political and scientific context. The two-day intensive discussions looked at promoting the sustained use of the EU-India link (Geant2 connectivity) and especially its use by new user communities.

The intellectually stimulating two-day programme was specifically targeted at industry and research experts and new users who wish to adopt eInfrastructures effectively within their workplace or research activities. The participants represented a rich mix of industry, government, research and academia, and NGOs. 14 EU-funded projects were showcased and there were key eInfrastructures stakeholders from Indian and European organisations. Though a majority of the delegates were from India, but there was sizeable representation of European and Latin American delegates too. The country breakdown of the participants showed that 78 percent were Indians, 19 percent were Europeans, and 3 percent were from Latin America and other countries.

The aim of this first of its kind event was to exchange information and views on how eInfrastructures are currently deployed in both Europe and India, with the objective of analysing how their increasing role is viewed in a business, educational, socio-political and scientific context.

Some of the speakers from Europe were representatives from CNRS-IN2P3 (France), Copenhagen Business School (Denmark), D-Grid (Germany), Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands), GEIE ERCIM (France), GRNET (Greece), INFN Cagliari (Italy), Infra Technologies (France), KTH (Sweden), Martel GmbH (United Kingdom), Poznan Supercomputing (Poland), RENATER(France) and University of Salerno (Italy). Additionally, officials of the European Commission and the European Union delegation to India were present to exchange information with the delegates, on opportunities for mutual and collaborative European funded programmes in R&D.

Indian representations included members from the Ministry of IT, ERNET India, Avanade Inc, Sullivan University, C-DAC Noida, Centre for Science Development and Media Studies (the NGO was a media partner), DELNET-Developing Library Network, IIIT Bangalore, IIT Bombay, Indian Institute of Statistics, Institute of Biomedical Technologies, National Informatics Centre, PlanetEDU Pvt.Ltd, etc.

The plenary and parallel sessionsexplored the concept of eInfrastructures with great introspection and detail. The topics discussed were:

�Connectivity and sustainability – new user communities for eInfrastructures (services) between India and Europe;
�Government delivered services – the current case studies, future plans and visions in India and Europe in the field of eInfrastructures;
�eHealth – the new opportunities for EU-India e-health cooperation using eInfrastructures;
�Scientific repositories – how can the EU best collaborate with India to create worldwide digital repositories;
�Digital divide � the eInfrastructures’ role in reducing the digital divide;
�Enabling business � what impact will eInfrastructures have on business in India;
�Distance and eLearning � harnessing the power of eInfrastructures;
�Mobile Grid – the convergence of eInfrastructures, mobile and grid technology.

Conference Highlights:

EU-IndiaGrid Project Session: The EU-IndiaGrid ( Project Sessiondiscussed priorities for training and interoperability between EGEE (Enabling Grids for E-sciencE) and Indian Grid infrastructures; and explored possibilities of pilot applications for this new infrastructure support project.

Belief Conference Promotional Zone: This promotional zone displayed highly relevant documentation, published by the European Commission and ERNET. The focus of this promotional area was innovative Grid-enabled technologies and e-Infrastructures, developed or being developed by Europe and India; national and international initiatives aimed at facilitating the adoption of these new, more powerful resources, and intensifying collaboration between the two regions and spurring innovation for mutual benefit.

Get In Touch Sessions: BELIEF offered all delegates the chance to participate actively in the conference and learn about the activities of various projects as well as FP7 opportunties. Each session comprised a series of 10-minutes presentations, focusing on project activities and ideas for eInfrastructure funding under FP7. The EuroIndia-IT projectwas on hand to offer expert advice on future opportunities under FP7, to foster further collaboration between India and Europe.
– Prachi Shirur

World Health Care Congress Europe 2007
The third annual edition of the World Health Care Congress Europe 2007 will be held during 26-28 March 2007 at the Fira Palace Hotel in Barcelona, Spain. It is presented with the lead underwriting support from Capgemini. Here it deserves a mention that Capgemini, which is headquartered in Paris and is a global leader in consulting, technology, outsourcing, and local professional services; working in partnership with clients to develop business strategies and technologies tailored to their unique requirements, has become the premier sponsor and the host of World Health Care Congress Europe 2007 for the third consecutive year.
Organised under the high patronage of the European Commission, the World Health Care Congress Europe is a major international forum which is expected to attract over 500 health leaders, who will share their best practices and successful initiatives for improved delivery and outcomes in Europe. The event is expected to attract the participation of an impressive array of thought leaders across the globe, which include health ministers, leading government officials, hospital directors, IT innovators, decision makers from public and private insurance funds, pharmaceutical and medical device companies, and health care industry suppliers.
The event will have four focused summits, which are:
�Chronic Disease Management and Patient Empowerment
�Implementing IT Systems
�Paying for Performance
�From Electronic Health Records to Personalised Healthcare
As a two-day networking opportunity, the event will feature visionary keynote addresses, controversial debates, dynamic panel discussions, and case studies. By attending the four summits,delegates will have a great opportunity to discuss pertinent issues in-depth and to determine actionable plans with healthcare leaders from around the world. It can be said that among other areas of the health sector, the mega event has the potential to generate greater awareness and initiatives in the field of eHealth too. The second World Health Care Congress Europe took place in Chantilly during 29-31 March 2006, and the event was a huge success.

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Related January 2007