The Institute of Computer Science (ICS) is one the six institutes of the Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH), a major national research centre partly funded by the General Secretariat for Research and Technology of the Hellenic Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs. The mission of FORTH-ICS is to perform high quality basic and applied research, to promote education and training, and to contribute to the development of the Information Society, at a regional, national, and European level. Since its establishment in 1983, FORTH-ICS has had a long history and recognized tradition in conducting basic and applied research, and playing a leading role, in Greece and internationally, in the field of Information and Communication Technologies.
- Has achieved excellence by establishing a balance among its various activities, and in particular: (i) basic and applied research, (ii) development of large scale applications exploiting the results of research, (iii) development of products and services, (iv) cooperation with other research institutions and the private sector, (v) participation in national and European research and development projects, as well as in collaborative projects with industry.
- Is highly competitive at an international level, and many of its activities are carried out in the context of European collaborative research and development projects, which emphasize the development of Information Society Technologies and infrastructures in a number of domains of national importance and regional interest.
- Is a protagonist in the sector of Information and Communication Technologies in Greece. Its activities cover important research and development topics in the framework of the emerging Information Society.
- Contributes to the economic, social and technological development of the Region of Crete through international collaborative activities and, in particular, through its participation in programmes addressing the South-East Mediterranean area. In this effort, FORTH-ICS collaborates closely with local authorities and organizations.
- Places special emphasis on education and training, by providing a significant number of scholarships to undergraduate and postgraduate students and by training numerous professionals in cutting-edge Information and Communication Technologies.
LABORATORIES, PROGRAMMES & DEPARTMENTS
FORTH-ICS comprises laboratories, each of which conducts basic and applied research in thematic areas in the field of Information and Communication Technologies. The Laboratories of FORTH-ICS are staffed with specialised scientific and technical personnel and possess state of-the-art equipment. Activities cover important research and development areas, taking into consideration new perspectives, emerging fields of research and technological challenges worldwide.
Besides its laboratories, FORTH-ICS has established horizontal interdisciplinary Research and Development Programmes in the domains of Ambient Intelligence and Information Security. These Programmes constitute connecting threads for the activities of the individual laboratories and provide opportunities for defining interesting new problems. Additionally, FORTH-ICS has four departments which are focused on providing specialised services. In the context of its Ambient Intelligence Programme, FORTH-ICS is creating a large-scale, state-of-the-art Ambient Intelligence Facility, unique of its kind, which will act as a research nexus for studying and developing, under a human-centred perspective, related technologies, and for assessing their impact on the individual, as well as on the society as a whole.
The continuous effort of improving the quality of our work has led FORTH-ICS in certifying our research activities alongside with products and services provided, according to the requirements set by ISO 9001:2000 quality management standard.
REGIONAL AND INDUSTRIAL OUTREACH
FORTH-ICS has adopted an evolving strategy towards promoting the commercial exploitation of R&D results by providing services, licensing specific products to industrial partners, contracting with industrial partners to jointly develop new products, and participating in start-up / spin-off companies and joint ventures.
A successful example of a spin-off is FORTHnet, a pioneer company in the internet and telecommunications sector in Greece, which was founded in 1995 and has been listed on the Athens Stock Exchange since 2000. FORTH-ICS has played a major role in the development of the Science and Technology Park of Crete (STEP-C) and is now establishing a new dynamic framework for technology transfer and collaborative activities with companies based at STEP-C, by providing consultancy, support and training services, and the maintenance of computer networks.
Given its substantial technological know-how, FORTH-ICS is often requested to assist with the study and preparation of operational plans for the Region of Crete and the Regional System of Health of Crete. FORTH-ICS has played a key role in the RITTS-Region of Crete Project, funded by the European Commission, which concerned the technological development of the island of Crete, and promoted innovation and technology transfer between the academic and research institutions and the local industry. FORTH-ICS is also the registry for the country-code top-level domain [.gr] since1989.
FORTH-ICS is internationally recognised and has received several citations in scientific journals. FORTH-ICS researchers have received international recognition for their work in the form of prestigious awards and prizes. Moreover, they have been invited as keynote speakers to major international conferences, have organized major international events, participated in editorial boards of international journals and conference programme committees, and been elected or appointed to various senior advisory boards and committees. The scientific achievements of FORTH-ICS have been the subject of extensive reports in the mass media. Additionally, renouned personalities and senior politicians at European and national level and scientists around the world have made verbal and written references to the world-class excellence of the scientific work conducted by the Institute. FORTH-ICS is a member of ERCIM, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics.
Members of FORTH-ICS participate and, in many cases, play a leading role in various ERCIM activities and Working Groups, as well as research roadmap projects, funded by the European Commission, in scientific areas of strategic importance for Europe. FORTH-ICS also hosts the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) Office in Greece. W3C is an international consortium aiming at defining guidelines, software and tools for the future development of the World Wide Web.