Prima Pagina
Reg. Tribunale Lecce n. 662 del 01.07.1997
Direttore responsabile: Dario Cillo


[ON-NS&T] Project

By: Paolo Manzelli LRE@UNIFI.IT
and Giacomo Petrini


Pre-proposal for the IST call 4 FP6-2004-IST-4 (dead Line 22/MARCH/2005)

MAIN OBJECTIVE: 2.4.10 - Technology-enhanced learning;

CONNECTED OBJECTIVES: 2.4.8 - Cognitive System

Title: Identification of suitable ICT solutions to support cognitive process dynamics, through research activities on companies context and an Open Network for New Science And Technology.

[ON-NS&T First Section- Research  description]

B-1.0 - Proposal abstract

See also in :

The evolving penetration and impact of ICT use is widespread and important for the European Knowledge based Society developmental strategy. However, the current level of digital training and the conditions of ICT interactivity still appear far for exploiting the full potential of this change. Therefore ON-NS&T activity’s project will be directed to enhance new understandings of the learning processes in a changing cognitive environment for ICT, by exploring links between neurology of human learning, advanced scientific cognition of the science of life and new ICT technologies and solutions. The ON-NS&T Consortium widely acknowledged that cognition dynamics is intertwined in the ICT context and extremely sensitive to it; in fact ICT environment became a major component of the context within which cognition occurs. Technology’s interaction with cognition is so extensive that it perhaps can modify the brain physiology of learning. Therefore the ON-NS&T research will be devoted to explore the relationships between ICT innovation and dynamics of cognitive process, particularly of the new cognition-related technologies, as an important factor to be taken into account in the Knowledge Society development.

Therefore the ON-NS&T project will explore the co-evolution between ICT and cognitive process looking at the modifications of the working brain through studies of functional Magnetic Resonance in a way that can be open more conscious activities favouring the development of “connective intelligence and management”, more suitable to share scientific knowledge and resources and to enhance personalized e-learning innovation models and strategies for individual and organizations.

The analysis of mental processes (from a cognitive sciences and neurological point of view) of people involved in a working context and involved in learning activities, will give input and the necessary data to identify the suitable strategies, methods and software tools to support an effective enhancing of e-learning based on integrated knowledge. This aim will include the adaptation of existing technologies as well as the development of new solutions. This approach can be summarised with the acronym “Mental Ergonomics Integrated Research and Technology ” (M.E.R.I.T), that include the aim to drive technological choice by knowledge of mental processes. These results will be achieved activating an integrated consortium including specific and complementary skills and expertises so that a collaborative confrontation will produce the formulation of effective solutions in reinforcing competitiveness and solving societal problems.

To disseminate and to enhance a cross sector fertilization on the ICT & Cognitive Research results it will beactivated a collaborative working network of stakeholders through an innovative use of web-learning integrated systems. The research team, that it will be activated by the ON-NS&T consortium, will carry out specific analysis, experimental test and international confrontations

           An "auto -evaluation" of the  project  will be realised opening the ON-NS&T research  to an “Scientific Advisory Reference Board ” (S.A.R.B.) composed by world's leading experts with high academical qualifications for taking  into account an  auto-evaluation process . Till now board members are the following : Prof. Giuliano Avanzini Dept. Neurosciences , National Neurological Institute “C.Besta” Milano (IT), Prof. Giacomo Rizzolatti, Dept.Human Phisiology University of Parma ,Dr. Dorina Bianchi, Graduate in Farmacology and Neurology (actual position . Deputy of Italian Govern for Health and Equal Opporunities) , Dr. Alessando Musumeci ( Director of e.Learning Strategies of the Italian Ministry of Education), Dr. Fulvio Obici ( Responsible of Communication Sector to SME’s  for improving Structural European Fonds in the Sud of Italy) . In the next future if the project will be approved the S.A.R.B. will be internationalised.

 B-1.1 Scientific and technological objectives of the project and state of the art

On general poin of view to develop a knowledge-based society it is necessary grow up new forms of ICT suitable solutions based on the understanding of the different forms and strategies that can link advanced cognitive and neurological sciences with ICT technology enhanced-learning.

A major policy objective of the European Union is the achievement of the “Lisbon agenda” aiming to develop knowledge for growth in competitiveness, employment and sustainable development. All of those goals can be enhanced through a permanent e-learning system that is no simply based on the transfer of the disciplinary knowledge of the industrial society, but is coming from a multidisciplinary integration of advanced sciences inside the need and strategy of worldwide development, aiming to fit the best correspondence of future European Knowledge Society.

Henceforth “Reinvigorating” the Lisbon agenda is a key goal of the European Commission for the coming years and it implies, as a priority, the identification of suitable ICT solutions to support cognitive process dynamics, through research advanced activities in cognitive and neurological sciences oriented to find innovative application on ICT, i.e. by means organizing an European Open Network for New Science and Technology (ON-NS&T), for enhancing learning through trans-disciplinary contents and integrated science methods applied to ICT interactive technologies.

The general aim of the ON-NS&T Consortium will be to ensure that humans feeling and ICT can work in harmony, with the technical equipments, in an harmonious application able to take in account different cultural contexts and societal needs of development of human resources analysed in respect of the fundamental individual neurological and cognitive characteristics.

Starting from the state of the art of e-learning models and platforms, including the recent studies of the neurological knowledge of mental process dynamics, it will be possible to identify new requirements for more effective generation of ICT for enhancing e-learning. The analysis of mental processes (from a cognitive sciences and neurological point of view) of people involved in a working context and involved in learning activities, will give input and the necessary data to identify the suitable strategies, methods and software tools to support an effective enhancing of e-learning based on integrated knowledge. The ON-NS&T research will be devoted to explore the relationships between ICT innovation and dynamics of cognitive process, particularly of the new cognition-related technologies, as an important factor to be taken into account in the Knowledge Society development.

To disseminate and to enhance a cross sector fertilization on the ICT & Cognitive Research results it will be activated a collaborative working network of stakeholders through an innovative use of web-learning integrated systems.

The research team, that it will be activated by the ON-NS&T consortium, will carry out specific analysis, experimental test and international confrontations to achieve the following objectives:

·          to explore interactions between the neurology of the individual learning for enhancing innovative e-learning strategies.

·          To encourage cognitive trans-disciplinary research and launching technological-enhanced learning innovations.

·          To strengthen the integration between cognitive and ICT advanced research and innovation in an enlarged Europe, enabling Science Editors to improve their competitiveness by the development and introduction of innovative e-learning products and technologies.

·          To reflect first, in mid-term, about the challenges posed by the permanent education based on the advancement of the science of life in a mixed formal and informal learning settings. Second in longer term aiming to build on and advance the inter-relationship between neurological research advanced cognition and e-learning processes innovation and exploit links to other disciplines.

·          To improve cultural innovation trough a pervasive dissemination processes of understanding the science of life, opening a wider and faster “ICT” exchange of ideas in promising fields of bio-technology.

In a short the ON-NS&T partnership consider the following metaphor and basic criteria of project development: as well as during industrial society a great effort was devoted to the “Ergonomic Research” to study the man-machine body’s interaction (Physical Ergonomics), now a day the full realisation of the knowledge society needs a collaborative European effort to develop and disseminate an innovative “Mental –Ergonomics” research on cognitive sciences, based on advanced neurological studies and their integration with the more appropriated ICT methodologies of interactive communication (i.e. Networking management and mutual Web-learning).

“Physical Ergonomics” is based on physiological studies applied in working places related to near working distances of the body’s motion; differently “Mental Ergonomics” is no mechanical, so that an extensive program of neurological and cognitive research need to be applied to the ICT in an extended cultural environment for enhancing creative performances of workers (e-workers, or tele-workers) in a suitable system of mutual e-learning.

In a literal definition, the word Ergonomics was derived from the Greek “ERGON”, meaning work; and “NOMOS”, meaning laws or regulation, so that “Ergonomics” denote the science of regulating work and therefore means a knowledge systems-oriented to enhanced the working effectiveness into a specific context, that nowadays it is referring to the intellectual work in relation to technology-enhanced learning.

Therefore for enhancing e-learning strategies ON-NS&T project extends the research goals of “Mental Ergonomics” across all aspects of human technological communication, organisational and decision making activities. As a matter of facts today, the advancement of “Cognitive aspects of Ergonomics”, must be incorporated in the context of developing Knowledge Society, and therefore the research and technological objectives are more concerned with mental processes, such as perception, memory, reasoning, and behavioural response, since they affect interactions among humans and other elements of a ICT enhanced learning system.

“Mental Ergonomics” is known as well as a very powerful multi-disciplinary field of research especially working on the concept of “cognitive restructuring intervention”, for improving cognitive therapies on mental health. Hence looking on the state of the art of “Mental Ergonomics” we can see that a number of interesting technological ICT applications has been recently developed especially on robots guided at distance by the eye’s movements of conductors. A very interesting example of such ICT application is the so called “Mental Ping – Pong”, a computer simulation of the ping-pong game where the person move the ball using only eye actions for exercising and restructuring proper mental health functionality. “Mental Ergonomics“ hence has a large potential of ICT applications by means extending the concepts and the methods of best practices in this multi-disciplinary field of research and application technology.

“Mental Ergonomics Integrated Research and Technology” (M.E.R.I.T.) will be the acronym for the applications of the ON-NS&T Consortium, that will become known by means an integration of various disciplines, composed by neurology, biological sciences, bio-technology, bio-information …, generating a large integrated science field. As a consequence “M.E.R.I.T cognition and technological program” can be referred to the science of fitting “e-work” environments of the modern communication technology to people, by means exploring scientific cognitive dynamics on a neurological bases, to produce new forms of conceptual modelling and communicative strategies about long distance contacts and relationships between individual persons and their organizations. This can be possible prevail over the state of the art of “Mental Ergonomics”, though the MERIT approach for advancing the traditional e-learning methods and enhancing new e-learning perspectives through long life dynamical and interactive models and processes.

The application of M.E.R.I.T. Cognition and Technological Program, that will be made by the ON-NS&T Consortium will be focused on organizational “mental ergonomics communities” based on the agreement to the ON-NS&T proposal of stakeholders, that work together to share the optimisation of socio-technical e-learning systems, to test their organizational structures, policies, and ICT innovation processes. Relevant topics of MERIT program will include mental workload, decision-making, skilled performance, team’s cooperative work, new work paradigms, virtual working organizations, quality management of human-computer interaction, and, from the point of view of bettering individual mental health, it will concern, human reliability, work stress as these may relate to human//ICT system interactions innovation and e-learning design optimization.

In conclusion the “Mental Ergonomics” applied research on the understanding of interactions among humans and ICT interactive systems, by the way of ON-NS&T Consortium, can help European Educational Systems to develop new ICT solutions as weel as professions favouring teachers to apply neurological knowledge, cognitive science principles, scientific information data and methods to design the strategies more appropriated to optimise human well-being and overall long distance ICT systems performances.

Ultimately “M.E.R.I.T” applications of the ON-NS&T project, can be addressed to favour a large impact on the living system of European citizen by means of a deep dissemination of research results, in a way that can contribute to better the individual consciousness of mental health and can help the design and evaluation of tasks, jobs, products, environments and systems in order to make them compatible with the needs, abilities and limitations of people on understanding and reinforcing their role in the context of development of the European Knowledge Society.

In conclusion the Scientific and Neurological “Cognition and Technological Program” of ON-NS&T Consortium, will get the focus on the applications in e-learning of Neuroscience and Educational Cognitive research, so that can be useful in a number of collaborative studies of “Mental Performance” including also some aspects of “Bio-medical Information”, that in their complexity can be functional to evaluate the cognitive impact of Future Emerging Technologies that are currently developed for bettering living and working processes.

Augmented MERIT Program will be focused on two main areas: cognition and assessment of practical applications, that will be focused especially on important aspects of the decision-making procedures to develop attractive e-learning interactive processes within a new conceptual appropriate cognitive and technological integrated approaches able to favour the contemporary transformation of the industrial society in the future European Knowledge Society.

Main contributions of this Neuroscience and Educational Cognitive research in e-Learning field comprise: 1) a better understanding of the social interactions within the e-Learning processes including the new roles of learners and teachers (specially important considering new peer to peer learning and team centred models); 2) enrichment of the learners’ behaviour modelling techniques, based not only on the analysis of administrative and education tracking information but on cognitive capabilities and learner personality; 3) better decision making systems based on simulators; 4) improvements of the man-machine interfaces adapted to each learners knowledge capabilities; 5) advances in techniques for determining the best aggregation/granularity level when creating learning objects.

As a matter of facts Scientific advanced research and ICT integration is the main source of new knowledge communication, so that such Cognition and Technological MERIT Program of ON-NS&T project, can be seen as well as the major field of integrated trans-disciplinary research for its socio-economic application; indeed such integration is at the heart of the Knowledge Economy and Society which is currently developing at high speed and on a global scale.

The progress of the ON-NS&T project work will be measured against the previous M.E.R.I.T. program’s applications that will be made in verifiable and measurable form, by means in advanced cognition reports and technical innovation regarding as well as the centre of gravity the strategic objectives requested by the CALL 4 (2.4.10) on Technology-enhanced learning, but also concerning some aspects of Cognitive System (2.4.8), and only in part connected also with: Integrated Biomedical Information for better Health (2.4.11), and Strengthening the also with Integration of the ICT research effort in an Enlarged Europe.(2.4.13).

B-2.2 Relevance to the objectives of the IST Priority

The relevance of the ON-NS& T project on the IST Priority of the Call 4, is focused on the Strategic objective 2.4.10 as a “centre of gravity” but also it will be developed in relation to general objectives addressed in the call 4, and some complemented ICT objectives especially concerning objective 2.4.8 - Cognitive Systems and some others previously cited.

The relevance on ON-NS&T proposal can be subdivided in “Scientific and Technological Relevance” and “Societal and Policy Relevance”.

B-2.2.a - Scientific & Technological (S&T) Relevance

The S&T relevance concerns the ability of ON-NS&T Consortium to follow the need of European Knowledge Society growth by means of exploration of the interaction between e-learning of individual and organization, in order to develop an integrated research. This integration will be achieved by means of a comparison among current and emerging ICT on the light of the advances of Neurological and Cognitive science studies, aiming to define ad integration of contents and methods that can mutually enhance the e-learning processes for the individual and for the organizations.

As a matter of facts the scientific & technological relevance of the ON-NS&T. proposal need to be seen on both aspects: from the one hand, in the light of advanced consideration of “Mental Ergonomics”, the project can identify, as a result, better methodologies of application of ICT to human learning dynamics, and, from the other hand, the Project Consortium will develop a strategy of M.E.R.I.T. research application activities, suitable for the development and dissemination of new integrated contents and best practices, able to enhance the utilization of ICT in various long distance and long life contexts in Europe.

Some considerations can express the Scientific & Technological Relevance that can be realised from the ON-NS&T European Project by means a researches on the comparison and assessment of  traditional learning systems and ICT educational methodology.

The discovery of “mirror neurons” in the frontal lobes get a reflection about the potential relevance to human brain evolution and hence for the creative methodology of learning. Scientists that have discovered a remarkable system that they call “mirror neuronal system” that explains how modelling/mimicking process it is central to much human learning. Scientists all over the world are also exploring the relationship between “mirror neuron’s activity” and our ability to imagine our own planned actions, in a way that can be empathetic, and can develop articulated speech and other forms of communication. “Mirror neurons” may thus eventually help to explain many teaching and e-learning ICT advancements in which cognitive and methodological modelling provides teachers and students to be connected with an effective behavioural interactive patterns. Those applications are till now experimented to follow and also to help the overcoming of some disabilities (such as autism) in which children can't read the minds of others.

Therefore taking attention to the important function of “Mirror Neurons”, that theoretically allow also ‘virtual’ (off-line) information to be processed in computational ICT virtual models, it will become possible to enhance e-learning processes by means of the development of computer simulation models based on "imitation learning strategy" in a way that will provide a unifying framework between ICT applied on educational field and Human Learning potential. This ON-NS&T research can help to explain an evolution of mental abilities of intuition and creativity that have previously remained unexplained and inaccessible to innovative experiments. Anyway “Mirror neurons” obviously cannot be the only answer to all these possibility of evolution of human learning in an ICT innovative methodology and contents, that will be based on computer “virtual reality imitation” in enhancing e-learning strategies. As a matter of facts ON-NS&T research M.E.R.I.T. applications on the neurological and cognitive sciences relationships will be purposeful also among the changes of the relationships between short working memory and long term permanent memory domain trying to acquire a new skill in the information society.

Episodic short memory processes are a source of great relevance the ON-NS&T research on e-learning innovation because using ICT speech or writing tools brain can generate a new process of comprehension, that can favour the flexibility of brain functions. In fact it is easy to understand that the brain exercise today, by means the use of ICT in “Internet”, a large informational amount and this supports to utilise more than before the short time memory instead of the long term memory brain’s processes. Therefore the results of the integrated research of the ON-NS&T consortium may have a good relevance as a catalyst in science and technology, for improving new skills of flexible learn-ability growth of individual and organization on e-work and web-learning interactive exchange of information management and mutual learning strategies.

Finally the research on CO-EVOLUTION of BRAIN & ICT will open a multidisciplinary section dedicated to the evolution of “conscious brain”, .i.e. to the growing up of conscious strategies of mental changes for enhancing the appropriate e-learning models and networking ICT architectures able to improve the transformation of a passive role of training forward an interactive role of persons and organizations in a multicultural sharing construction of research in the field of the interface between Neuropsychological research and ICT innovation, aiming to collaborate to the improvement of the European Knowledge Society.

Also the Scientific & technological relevance ON-NS&T. project is purposeful in a long term can be obtained by the contribution to a new understanding of learning processes as a consequence of the research oriented on exploring links between a large field of subject coming from different disciplines as well as Biochemistry, Biology and Genetics and Post Genomics, and Neurology (including psychology and pedagogy), that today can play a major explanatory role in the understanding of a number of human features of creative learning through favour the mastering of ICT communication mental abilities. In this way the ON-NS&T proposal can develop an advanced cognitive sciences production, for improving a great effort and strong synergies based on M.E.R.I.T activities dedicated to the popularization of the results obtained exploring links between brain-learning potential, and scientific and humanistic cognitions and ICT.

Focus of those multi-disciplinary actions and dissemination activities will be the innovation of formal and informal settings of education in Europe, especially giving the centre of attention to the METHODS OF EUROPEAN KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT development where the applications of the “Mental Ergonomics Integrated Research and Technology  (M.E.R.I.T) applications of the ON-NS&T project, will exploit the shared and integrated contents and innovative pedagogical methods between e-learning innovation and knowledge management for improving competitiveness in the development of European Knowledge Society.

Finally ON-NS&T project Scientific & Technological relevance on integrating and strengthening the European IST- Research Area, will come from the determination of opening during the work program a strong collaboration with the research institutions and companies working for improving “Future and Emerging Technologies (FET)”, aiming to render accessible a multitude of services and applications through easy-to-use human / ICT interfaces ensuring the co-evolution of technologies and their applications.

Therefore ON-NS&T Program research, exploring models for cognitive traits such as affect, consciousness or theory of mind, can effectively give important results on Cognitive sciences advancements giving at the same times, across the Work Programme development, a complemented research into ways of endowing a high-quality co-operation with artificial systems production favouring an high-level of understanding human’s neurological capabilities, typically perception, memory processes, learning, thus enabling artificial-technologies for developing e-learning versions, with the help of robotics and automated reasoning and problem-solving, that will be relevant for dealing with complex real-world simulation systems.

B.2.2b - Societal and Policy Relevance - Connecting Brain Processes to Educational Policies and Practices

The ON-NS& “Societal and Policy Relevance” comes from the work program M.E.R.I.T activities of Science disseminations of new e-learning models, oriented to favour a change of cultural environment, for enhancing and undertaking to the European citizen advanced research in neurology and cognitive science applied on ICT, in a way that innovation processes can be more open, with wider and faster exchange of ideas, people and resources.

Henceforth the ON-NS&T social and policy relevance emerges in addition from the new promising fields of integration of neurological and cognitive sciences that can be important in exploring the links between e-learning in an advanced trans-disciplinary cognition integrated development that also will look to the technological developments and pose new possibilities and innovative models for renewing and sharing educational policy and practices in Europe. It implies during the ON-NS&T work-program an application research operating within the framework of long-term research into the theory and applications of neural nets and computational intelligence and its dissemination to get a feedback that guarantee the understanding of potential users of ICT.

In this context of integrated scientific and technological research, innovative cognition about an advanced interactive policy system of social e-learning will be organized on specific dimensions and models of e-learning situations / Ages / groups / Specific Subjects (employees of European SME), all oriented to emancipate work-conditions in European Knowledge Society.

In conclusion, following the recent advanced neuroscience and cognitive science construction, it will be obtained a great Social and Policy Relevance of ICT innovation through emphasizing and favouring the acquisition of consciousness about the interactive nature of e-learning functions, that can be obtained developing a methods of e-learning able to consider that brains develop, mature and operate in the context of interacting with the other people by means a mental simulation of the ICT environment where new promising fields are emerging at the cross-over between ICT and neurological and cognitive sciences by means an integration with other disciplines such as biochemistry, biotechnologies, and sciences of life.

For growing such relevant consciousness and changing the cultural environment on ICT innovation the ON-NS&T working program, will be diffused and disseminated through well designed e-learning objects and reports on line on a series of issues as well as: ICTs multimedia in Science Education, especially focusing the constructivistic’s methodology of  Web- learning, mobile learning (m-Learning) technologies in education, and about more specific matters as Models for European Knowledge Economy Management (MEKEM) e-learning solutions, quality of integrated contents in distance and distributed learning systems; design of easy Human /ICT interactive visual interfaces.

Output description

Output mesurable characteristics

    SWOT analysis of the problems and on skills shortages needs emerging on exploring interactions between the neurology of learning of the individual (with specific attention to employees), e-learning innovation tools and strategies for  long life  education

    Report of about 100 pages in English language, available in paper(50 Copies) and electronic version

    Identification of Criteria and methods for the integration of sciences knowledge resulting from the experimental activities  to set up  virtual community  practices  design for collaborative knowledge creation.

    Report of about 100 pages in English language, available in paper ( 50 Copies) and electronic version

    Defintition of a method on How has to change people management for SME management in a context characterised for sharing knowledge, resulting from the experimental activities

    Report of about 100 pages in English language, available in paper and electronic version

    Identification of requirements of ICT for an effective e-learning, resulting from the experimental activities,  capturing  best practices  of integrated knowkedge construction

    Report of about 100 pages in English language, available in paper (50 Copies)  and electronic version

    Organisation of 3 international events in Italy, Spain and UK on cognitive processes, neurology and e-learning technology and their integration on ICT in virtual building advancd cognitive environments  to SME'S and Directors of Education. 

    Proceedings, for each event, in English language, available in paper and electronic version;

    Participation of about 50-70 international experts for each event.

    Web platform for testing ICT requirement identified and  assessment

  Semantic  parametrised infrastructure  set up for ICT and Education   short report on definition and description ( 50 Copies) 

    Trans European “ON-NS&T” on line collaborative Network

    Involvement of organisation representing at least all the EU ad Associated countries;

    Individual participation of about 100 international expert;

    Organisation of traditional and on line event.


B.3 Potential impact

The possibility of “better brains” has captured the attention of the press, policy authority, cognitive science and philosophy researchers. As a matter of facts advances in cognitive neuroscience and neuro-pharmacology are yielding exciting treatments not only for neurological diseases, but also for applying the cognitive technology enhanced learning for normal persons, looking at improving their brain flexibility and creativity. These potential on enhancing learning by means a better knowledge of the brain function and through a “mental ergonomics” research, certainly get beyond the “quality of life” interventions of citizen concerning, some questions related to the individual and others related to society complex transformation between the industrial society and the future knowledge society.

One of the foundation of Mirror Neurology ,  concerns the change of the dominant view in cognitive science, because the new discovery by Prof.  Giacomo  Rizzolatti of the University of Padua (It) puts most efforts in clarifying what are the formal rules de-structuring the old solipsistic, representational the Brain/Mind relationships.

The new Mirror Neurons Functional investigation of ON-NS&T project can give an high potential impact , that can open a new e. learning strategy about new possibility to grow up a dynamic social identity that can be  experienced with the multiplicity  of on line educational co-organization of social world.

In spite of the importance of neurological recent advancements with few exceptions, neurologists have not too much gave a contribution to the advances of cognitive sciences, despite the fact that Neuro-clinician research in medicine would be centrally focused on brain diseases of patients.

Therefore due to the attention and interest of people on the possibilities of bettering brains functions and enhancing learning for enhancing the quality of life of individual and society, the proposed ON-NS&T trans-disciplinary integration research is expected to get an explicit impact on quality of life that does not belong only within the clinical-pathologic advance, but can get an improved extension of intervention and impact to the quality of living systems of ordinary persons and of private or public organizations.

Therefore an expectation of the ON-NS&T research project, oriented to contribute to new understandings of the learning processes by exploring links between neurological learning, advanced cognitive science and ICT, is really to be able to get a great impact on society throught the work-programs M.E.R.I.T activities and actions devoted to better-informed European managers and educators in a way that they can makes better decisions on the reform of management of the SME’s and on the programs of the education systems in Europe. A great impact of the ON-NS&T proposal is expected by means of favouring mutual ICT form of interactive communication covering individual at distance learning in the education system.

In addition the ON-NS&T activities will relate the outputs to the needs of management within SMEs, and particularly the Small and Micro sectors, where the communication of learning has impediments not found in larger firms, with their more mature frameworks allowing training and personal development within business planning. This conflict of cultures has marginalized knowledge transfer initiatives, particularly in the context of supplier led policies and it is essential to unravel the best learning models upon which e-learning will have significance. It is accepted that appropriate training is vital for management to move enterprises from lifestyle mode to growth, and e-learning theoretically should stimulate change provided the pedagogy, cognitive learning style and other factors explored in this programme are transposed into robust trainer practice. These innovative knowledge transfer models will enhance the knowledge economy strategy in Europe and particularly within accession countries bound by historically imposed classical learning approaches.

Therefore the ON-NS&T project on ICT integrated research will become a key pillar for community’s policy innovation and for improving European Knowledge Economy. This impact is expected to get a target on business and technical managers opening a method for adapting to the quickly evolving world of collaboration on knowledge Economy Management. The focus is on the integration of technologies for electronic collaboration and knowledge management utilizing cognitive factors and methods that would be realised during the ON-NS&T Working plan.

Henceforth the impact of ON-NS&T applied IST research addressing major societal and economic challenges that are concerning with the following issues:

- become skilled at about future trends of knowledge management strategies, and how individual or social and private organizations can take advantage of the integrated ON-NS&T research to cut cycle times, get products to market faster and manage distributed teams and projects in a virtual environment.

- Gain knowledge of strategies for teachers of education system, for improving e-learning communities to manage trans-disciplinary ON-NS&T research , expand their educational opportunities, in virtual environment based on advanced knowledge of brain understanding in an ICT context oriented to improve an human perspective of improving science and social creativity for bettering the quality of working life.

Those work program issues of the ON-NS & T proposal that can be able to generate a large impact on the deployment of European Knowledge society are the following :

·          the development and deployment of neurological and cognitive advanced information, by means a web-based interactive communication;

·          using integrated sciences results for improving an ICT knowledge based applications and enhancing e-learning at the European level;

·          setting models of “European Knowledge Economy Management” (MEKEM)

·          determining“ Mental Ergonomics” developmental  results, and diffuse and disseminate them in relation to  social, economic, environmental, legal and governmental visions, policies and guidelines.

These key approaches will include a collaborative stakeholder’s group organization, leading an innovative ICT Development to establish a Standard for e-authors and trainers to follow, that will strengthen Member State procurement policies and define more clearly the requirements for successful e-learning intervention and the sustained support of SMEs, Working in conjunction with policy makers and academic research teams and on-line dissemination organizations this in turn will add value to the efforts of public sector and private bodies engaged in skills training.

Finally the strategic impact of the proposed ON-NS&T project, covers the following related activities dealing with the “Science-ICT” interface:

·              Developing e-learning models and assessment as a reflection of “Mental Ergonomics” organizational design.

·              Connecting education and training systems for enhancing ON-NS&T research results.

·              Knowing patterns recognition Knowledge Society growing through the M.E.R.I.T applications of ON-NS&T strategy of enhancing e-learning.

·              Developing a WEB-Based trans-disciplinary literacy on neurology and cognitive science for improving knowledge based society in an economic open system.

·              Linking Knowledge Management plans of SME’s internationalization to neurological and cognitive science information.

·              Dissemination of ON-NS&T project about the relationship between technological advances and cognition.


This image was entered in
the Cross-Disciplinary Competition/Exhibition - 2004/2005
by Izumi Fukunaga

Neurons communicate at specialised structures known as synapses. Synaptic signalling occurs via the release of packets of small molecules, called neurotransmitters, which activate sensors on the receiving neuron. This picture shows an artistic impression of neurotransmitter release, in this case glutamate, at the cerebellar mossy fiber to granule cell synapse. Under some conditions, glutamate can 'spill over' to activate neighbouring cells. We have used detection of glutamate spillover to make the first measurement of the rate of glutamate diffusion in the space between neurons. This important, but elusive, parameter determines the strength of signalling between neurons.

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