Design And Technology Workshop 2005

A call has been issued for papers for a two day workshop on game design, technology and culture, forthcoming at Liverpool John Moores University, 8-9 November, 2005.

This is a joint academic industry conference and the deadline for full paper submission is the 31st August, 05. Full details below.

********

The Third Annual International Conference in Computer Game Design and Technology

A two-day event of lectures, tutorials and exhibitions on Computer Games Research and Development

Venue : Liverpool Mariott Hotel, Queen Square, Liverpool, L1 1RH, UK

Call for Papers

Programme co-Chairs

Madjid Merabti – Liverpool John Moores University

Newton Lee – ACM Disney

Abdennour El Rhalibi – Liverpool John Moores University

Researchers in game design and technology will have the opportunity to present their work in these sessions. The subjects and areas of interest cover, but are not limited to:

1. Game Artificial Intelligence (pathfinding, learning, agents, …)

2. Real Time Physics and Animation

3. 3D Modelling Graphics/Animation Techniques

4. Game Character Emotion and Social Interaction

5. Tools development for Game Engineering and middleware

6. Mobile Gaming.

7. Advanced/Innovative Interaction Design

8. Ambient Intelligence for Entertainment

9. Augmented, Virtual and Mixed Reality

10. Art, Design and Media

11. Cultural and Media Studies on Computer Games

12. Education, Training, and Edutainment Technologies

13. Human Factors of Games

14. Interaction design

15. Interactive Digital Storytelling

16. Media Theory

17. Networking (technical and social) in computer Entertainment Applications

18. New Genres, New Standards

19. Security (technical and social)

20. Social Computing and Presence

21. Sound and Music

Authors are invited to submit full or short papers for presentation at the conference. Full papers (no more than 10 camera-ready pages in the IEEE format detailed on the IEEE web site). Short papers are an opportunity to present preliminary or interim results and are limited to 5 camera-ready pages in length.

Papers will be peer reviewed by at least 3 independent reviewers, will published in the conference proceedings and the best paper will be recommended for publishing in the ACM Computer in Entertainment Journal.

Best Presentation award – The best paper presentation will be awarded the 2005 computer best-seller book recently published by Berkshire Publishing: HCI Encyclopaedia in 2 volumes.

Timeline of Important Dates for authors

Paper Submission: 30 August 2005

Notification of Acceptance: 21 September 2005

Camera-ready Papers due: 15 October 2005

Registration by Authors due: 15 October 2005

Please submit your paper via email in PDF or Word format.

More info:

Conference Home.
http://www.cms.livjm.ac.uk/gdtw/GDTW2005/default.htm

CFP
http://www.cms.livjm.ac.uk/gdtw/GDTW2005/CFP.htm

Gdc Europe

For those who can’t afford or didn’t have the time to make GDC this year it may be worth checking out the European event. The 5th Annual GDC Europe will take place from the 30 August to 1 September, 2005 event in London, UK.

Industry veteran and Sony executive Phil Harrison and Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi will deliver keynote addresses on 31 August and 1
September respectively.

IGDA members receive a 10% discount on conference pass pricing. Early registration rates expires 3 August. IGDA membership will be verified.

Register and more info at:
http://www.gdceurope.com/

Design And Technology Workshop 2005 – 2

A call has been issued for papers for a two day workshop on game design, technology and culture, forthcoming at Liverpool John Moores University, 8-9 November, 2005.

This is a joint academic industry conference and the deadline for full paper submission is the 31st August, 05. Full details below.

********

The Third Annual International Conference in Computer Game Design and Technology

A two-day event of lectures, tutorials and exhibitions on Computer Games Research and Development

Venue : Liverpool Mariott Hotel, Queen Square, Liverpool, L1 1RH, UK

Call for Papers

Programme co-Chairs

Madjid Merabti – Liverpool John Moores University

Newton Lee – ACM Disney

Abdennour El Rhalibi – Liverpool John Moores University

Researchers in game design and technology will have the opportunity to present their work in these sessions. The subjects and areas of interest cover, but are not limited to:

1. Game Artificial Intelligence (pathfinding, learning, agents, …)

2. Real Time Physics and Animation

3. 3D Modelling Graphics/Animation Techniques

4. Game Character Emotion and Social Interaction

5. Tools development for Game Engineering and middleware

6. Mobile Gaming.

7. Advanced/Innovative Interaction Design

8. Ambient Intelligence for Entertainment

9. Augmented, Virtual and Mixed Reality

10. Art, Design and Media

11. Cultural and Media Studies on Computer Games

12. Education, Training, and Edutainment Technologies

13. Human Factors of Games

14. Interaction design

15. Interactive Digital Storytelling

16. Media Theory

17. Networking (technical and social) in computer Entertainment Applications

18. New Genres, New Standards

19. Security (technical and social)

20. Social Computing and Presence

21. Sound and Music

Authors are invited to submit full or short papers for presentation at the conference. Full papers (no more than 10 camera-ready pages in the IEEE format detailed on the IEEE web site). Short papers are an opportunity to present preliminary or interim results and are limited to 5 camera-ready pages in length.

Papers will be peer reviewed by at least 3 independent reviewers, will published in the conference proceedings and the best paper will be recommended for publishing in the ACM Computer in Entertainment Journal.

Best Presentation award – The best paper presentation will be awarded the 2005 computer best-seller book recently published by Berkshire Publishing: HCI Encyclopaedia in 2 volumes.

Timeline of Important Dates for authors

Paper Submission: 30 August 2005

Notification of Acceptance: 21 September 2005

Camera-ready Papers due: 15 October 2005

Registration by Authors due: 15 October 2005

Please submit your paper via email in PDF or Word format.

More info:

Conference Home.
http://www.cms.livjm.ac.uk/gdtw/GDTW2005/default.htm

CFP
http://www.cms.livjm.ac.uk/gdtw/GDTW2005/CFP.htm

Gdc Europe – 2

For those who can’t afford or didn’t have the time to make GDC this year it may be worth checking out the European event. The 5th Annual GDC Europe will take place from the 30 August to 1 September, 2005 event in London, UK.

Industry veteran and Sony executive Phil Harrison and Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi will deliver keynote addresses on 31 August and 1
September respectively.

IGDA members receive a 10% discount on conference pass pricing. Early registration rates expires 3 August. IGDA membership will be verified.

Register and more info at:
http://www.gdceurope.com/

Another Generation At E3

What’s coming?
Monday started the week off with a bang; Sony Computer Entertainment’s pre-E3 press conference was always expected to reveal the new PlayStation console, what was delivered just wasn’t expected. Graphics, planned specifications, and claimed performance for the PS3 overshadowed Microsoft’s Xbox 360, and Nintendo’s Revolution, as the talk-of-the-show for the remainder of the week. Although deep scepticism clouded many minds, it was mostly of those who had not seen the PS3 footage.

At the event, Sony showed in-game videos of near modern film CGI, apparently recorded from PS3-like architecture. Two were highlighted as running in real time, one of which was a version of EA’s ‘Fight Night’, where the impact of a punch on one boxer’s face showed ripples through his face, as well as showing detailed facial expressions, such as fear and rage.

Other eyebrow raisers were ‘Eyedentify’ – using Eyetoy to put the player into the game; ‘MotorStorm’ – crazy car and bike race through a mud filled track; ‘Formula 1’, and ‘The Getaway’ (screen test) – both just looking stunning, F1 with the addition of stunning crashes, and ‘KillZone’ – with such an amount of detail, cries of ‘render’ and ‘fake’ can still be heard on internet forums. Although later in the week there was somewhat impressive 360 games running on the show floor, and behind close doors,
the 360 is at this point outclassed by the PS3.

On the matter of the PS3 videos, while also referring to the running Xbox 360 games at E3 (on development kits), Michel Cassius, Senior Director Xbox Platform & Marketing in Europe said, “it’s not about fancy technical demos that we could have done years ago, we can do that, we can (do) technical demos. That’s no problem. We can do nice videos – anybody can do that”, adding that “Not everyone can have games, real stuff, happening”.

But it wasn’t just at the cores of the consoles where the PS3 topped the 360, it boasts connectivity to seven wireless controllers out-of-the-box using Bluetooth to 360’s four, and support for up to two high definition televisions to 360’s one (but how many people have even one HDTV?).

Behind closed doors at the EA stand, the company was again showing some of the most mind-denting next generation games, at least graphically speaking. This time is was Xbox 360 titles, besides a ‘Need for Speed’ game, all were sports titles. The next generation part? From the blades of grass in the Tiger Woods game, to the detail of stadiums, clothing, players’ faces, and in some cases the detail of the audience.

image2

Nintendo released their own unexpected surprise, saying that their entire back catalogue would be made available for download on their sleek Revolution console, the prototype shown was not much larger then three CD cases, however the lack of specifications posed the question were Nintendo really in the ‘next generation’ race.

This generation
Whatever about the next generation, ‘Black’ was one of the games that showed there is still much life in the current systems. The PS2 and Xbox first person shooter, by the now EA-owned developer Criterion, looks set to translate their Burnout formula to the shooter genre. It is set for release in February 2006.

Besides the Revolution, and their minuscule redesigned GBA, Nintendo looks to have a repeat of the Pokémon craze on their hands with Nintendog for their handheld DS system. In all practicalities it’s an advance version of Tamagotchi where the player looks after their virtual pet, and just another use for the DS’s touch screen (petting virtual dogs).

The Movies, Lionhead’s slightly the Sims-look-alike simulator, is turning out to be quite complex. From hiring actors, dealing with their problems (weight, relationships, addictions), building studio lots, to actually making a film, and saving it. Having a hit or not, depends on originality, profits, current events and popular culture of the day – the in-game timeline goes from the 1920s to the present year.

Irish Presence
The Irish presence was for the most part contained in the private meeting rooms of the Kentia hall, hidden away under the main South Hall. Havok had their own rooms, while Enterprise Ireland housed DemonWare, Nephin Games, and Starcave Studios. DemonWare replaced their GDC limo with an open-top bus rambling around the outskirts of the LA Conference Centre.

Thursday night saw Sony Computer Entertainment Ireland hosting their ‘Irish Dinner’ at a restaurant on Sunset Boulevard for the second year running. The event moved from last year’s packed (cramped) one-long-table affair, to just across and down the strip to a more spacious venue for an even greater crowd, again a mixture of competitors, publishers, developers, middleware providers, retailers, distributors, and journalists – from Microsoft, and EA, to Gamestop, Smyths, Xtra-vision, to the Star and the Evening Herald.

Havok, as well as having over 50 games on the show floor using their technology including ‘Age of Empires III’, ‘Perfect Dark Zero’, ‘Destroy all Humans’, and ‘Rainbow Six: Lockdown’, the middleware company confirmed their support for the PS3, stating they will optimize their products for the new console. In a release at the start of E3, Jeff Yates of Havok said, “We realize that game developers are facing an enormous challenge to keep up with player expectations, while trying to manage the transition to next generation multi-core game platforms. Havok products reduce the risk and costs game developers are facing, by offering production-tested, cross-platform solutions that free up the creative talents of game developers, while taking advantage of the unique power of new game systems”.

Nephin Games’ Alan Duggan told us that for them GDC was about publishers and distributors, while E3 had a lot more to do with licensing of brands, “some distribution partners, but primarily the focus has been on brand owners”. “We’ve had a brilliant week”. “We’re combining two hot topics at the moment, which is mobile gaming and mobile marketing”, Duggan said, the mixture is “putting us in a sweet spot at the moment”. On their future games, “With out giving too much away”, after their recent Kickboxing game more fighting games are lined up, along with a racing game.

Keith Killilea of the Galway-based Star Cave Studios was – as he was at GDC – busy with publisher meetings, “We’ve pretty much talked to every publisher,” Killilea said, sounding somewhat exhausted – it was Friday and the first warning to leave the conference centre had sounded over the intercom. Star Cave recently acquired three indie studios, Staridia in Brazil, Cellien in the US, and Single Cell in Australia, all three of the studios were at E3 with Starcave. The company has kept most of the staff, and currently have two first person shooters in development, ‘Illumina’ and ‘Terra: Formations’ both using the Torque game engine. Formations will feature RTS elements.

With 12 employees currently on the payroll, they plan to expand to 20/25 in the next few months. “Most of the new crew coming on board will be going to Galway” explained Killilea, “there’s a lot of Irish guys and girls abroad” who want to move back to Ireland. “A year ago Star Cave Studios was only a dream”, he said, while on the subject of games development in Ireland he ambitiously states, “We’re going to be no. 1”.

On the Irish games industry and government support, Killilea said that Enterprise Ireland “are doing some great things, but we still need for the government to allow Enterprise Ireland to help us out more”.

Star Cave’s flagship game is titled ‘the 14 Tribes’ and is based on the mythical Ireland of the folklore character Cuchulainn. As an action-adventure game for PC and Xbox, it should include leprechauns in some form or another, “it’s not based in Galway, but it includes the 14 tribes of Galway”.

Closing time at 4pm on Friday hits in a strange way. A mixture of sadness as they start to role the carpet off the floor, relief that the madness is over for another year, the dread of going headlong into LA rush-hour traffic (even for those who weren’t driving), and the anticipation of a year’s release of games, and at least one console launch. If E3 2004 was ‘the year of the sequels’then E3 2005 was ‘the year of the next generation consoles.’

Author’s Bio: Cian Ginty is the editor of the Irish computer games website Games Toaster [http://gamestoaster.com/ ], and former editor of Gamire.com. He can be contacted at cian.ginty@gamestoaster.com

Another Generation At E3 – 2

What’s coming?
Monday started the week off with a bang; Sony Computer Entertainment’s pre-E3 press conference was always expected to reveal the new PlayStation console, what was delivered just wasn’t expected. Graphics, planned specifications, and claimed performance for the PS3 overshadowed Microsoft’s Xbox 360, and Nintendo’s Revolution, as the talk-of-the-show for the remainder of the week. Although deep scepticism clouded many minds, it was mostly of those who had not seen the PS3 footage.

At the event, Sony showed in-game videos of near modern film CGI, apparently recorded from PS3-like architecture. Two were highlighted as running in real time, one of which was a version of EA’s ‘Fight Night’, where the impact of a punch on one boxer’s face showed ripples through his face, as well as showing detailed facial expressions, such as fear and rage.

Other eyebrow raisers were ‘Eyedentify’ – using Eyetoy to put the player into the game; ‘MotorStorm’ – crazy car and bike race through a mud filled track; ‘Formula 1’, and ‘The Getaway’ (screen test) – both just looking stunning, F1 with the addition of stunning crashes, and ‘KillZone’ – with such an amount of detail, cries of ‘render’ and ‘fake’ can still be heard on internet forums. Although later in the week there was somewhat impressive 360 games running on the show floor, and behind close doors,
the 360 is at this point outclassed by the PS3.

On the matter of the PS3 videos, while also referring to the running Xbox 360 games at E3 (on development kits), Michel Cassius, Senior Director Xbox Platform & Marketing in Europe said, “it’s not about fancy technical demos that we could have done years ago, we can do that, we can (do) technical demos. That’s no problem. We can do nice videos – anybody can do that”, adding that “Not everyone can have games, real stuff, happening”.

But it wasn’t just at the cores of the consoles where the PS3 topped the 360, it boasts connectivity to seven wireless controllers out-of-the-box using Bluetooth to 360’s four, and support for up to two high definition televisions to 360’s one (but how many people have even one HDTV?).

Behind closed doors at the EA stand, the company was again showing some of the most mind-denting next generation games, at least graphically speaking. This time is was Xbox 360 titles, besides a ‘Need for Speed’ game, all were sports titles. The next generation part? From the blades of grass in the Tiger Woods game, to the detail of stadiums, clothing, players’ faces, and in some cases the detail of the audience.

image2

Nintendo released their own unexpected surprise, saying that their entire back catalogue would be made available for download on their sleek Revolution console, the prototype shown was not much larger then three CD cases, however the lack of specifications posed the question were Nintendo really in the ‘next generation’ race.

This generation
Whatever about the next generation, ‘Black’ was one of the games that showed there is still much life in the current systems. The PS2 and Xbox first person shooter, by the now EA-owned developer Criterion, looks set to translate their Burnout formula to the shooter genre. It is set for release in February 2006.

Besides the Revolution, and their minuscule redesigned GBA, Nintendo looks to have a repeat of the Pokémon craze on their hands with Nintendog for their handheld DS system. In all practicalities it’s an advance version of Tamagotchi where the player looks after their virtual pet, and just another use for the DS’s touch screen (petting virtual dogs).

The Movies, Lionhead’s slightly the Sims-look-alike simulator, is turning out to be quite complex. From hiring actors, dealing with their problems (weight, relationships, addictions), building studio lots, to actually making a film, and saving it. Having a hit or not, depends on originality, profits, current events and popular culture of the day – the in-game timeline goes from the 1920s to the present year.

Irish Presence
The Irish presence was for the most part contained in the private meeting rooms of the Kentia hall, hidden away under the main South Hall. Havok had their own rooms, while Enterprise Ireland housed DemonWare, Nephin Games, and Starcave Studios. DemonWare replaced their GDC limo with an open-top bus rambling around the outskirts of the LA Conference Centre.

Thursday night saw Sony Computer Entertainment Ireland hosting their ‘Irish Dinner’ at a restaurant on Sunset Boulevard for the second year running. The event moved from last year’s packed (cramped) one-long-table affair, to just across and down the strip to a more spacious venue for an even greater crowd, again a mixture of competitors, publishers, developers, middleware providers, retailers, distributors, and journalists – from Microsoft, and EA, to Gamestop, Smyths, Xtra-vision, to the Star and the Evening Herald.

Havok, as well as having over 50 games on the show floor using their technology including ‘Age of Empires III’, ‘Perfect Dark Zero’, ‘Destroy all Humans’, and ‘Rainbow Six: Lockdown’, the middleware company confirmed their support for the PS3, stating they will optimize their products for the new console. In a release at the start of E3, Jeff Yates of Havok said, “We realize that game developers are facing an enormous challenge to keep up with player expectations, while trying to manage the transition to next generation multi-core game platforms. Havok products reduce the risk and costs game developers are facing, by offering production-tested, cross-platform solutions that free up the creative talents of game developers, while taking advantage of the unique power of new game systems”.

Nephin Games’ Alan Duggan told us that for them GDC was about publishers and distributors, while E3 had a lot more to do with licensing of brands, “some distribution partners, but primarily the focus has been on brand owners”. “We’ve had a brilliant week”. “We’re combining two hot topics at the moment, which is mobile gaming and mobile marketing”, Duggan said, the mixture is “putting us in a sweet spot at the moment”. On their future games, “With out giving too much away”, after their recent Kickboxing game more fighting games are lined up, along with a racing game.

Keith Killilea of the Galway-based Star Cave Studios was – as he was at GDC – busy with publisher meetings, “We’ve pretty much talked to every publisher,” Killilea said, sounding somewhat exhausted – it was Friday and the first warning to leave the conference centre had sounded over the intercom. Star Cave recently acquired three indie studios, Staridia in Brazil, Cellien in the US, and Single Cell in Australia, all three of the studios were at E3 with Starcave. The company has kept most of the staff, and currently have two first person shooters in development, ‘Illumina’ and ‘Terra: Formations’ both using the Torque game engine. Formations will feature RTS elements.

With 12 employees currently on the payroll, they plan to expand to 20/25 in the next few months. “Most of the new crew coming on board will be going to Galway” explained Killilea, “there’s a lot of Irish guys and girls abroad” who want to move back to Ireland. “A year ago Star Cave Studios was only a dream”, he said, while on the subject of games development in Ireland he ambitiously states, “We’re going to be no. 1”.

On the Irish games industry and government support, Killilea said that Enterprise Ireland “are doing some great things, but we still need for the government to allow Enterprise Ireland to help us out more”.

Star Cave’s flagship game is titled ‘the 14 Tribes’ and is based on the mythical Ireland of the folklore character Cuchulainn. As an action-adventure game for PC and Xbox, it should include leprechauns in some form or another, “it’s not based in Galway, but it includes the 14 tribes of Galway”.

Closing time at 4pm on Friday hits in a strange way. A mixture of sadness as they start to role the carpet off the floor, relief that the madness is over for another year, the dread of going headlong into LA rush-hour traffic (even for those who weren’t driving), and the anticipation of a year’s release of games, and at least one console launch. If E3 2004 was ‘the year of the sequels’then E3 2005 was ‘the year of the next generation consoles.’

Author’s Bio: Cian Ginty is the editor of the Irish computer games website Games Toaster [http://gamestoaster.com/ ], and former editor of Gamire.com. He can be contacted at cian.ginty@gamestoaster.com

Blowaway Heads To The Windy City

If you bought Wired magazine this month and was flicking through their supplement on the Wired magazine ‘NextFest’ event you will a picture of the Irish table top game ‘Blowaway’, familiar to some as one of the projects presented at gd.ie’s second birthday.

‘Blowaway’ was a DCU final year multimedia project which represented Ireland at EuroPrix in Vienna last year and this year was invited to attend Wired magazine’s NextFest in Chicago.

Well gd.ie has just learned that the team behind ‘Blowaway’ have secured funding and are heading off to represent DCU and Ireland in Chicago from the 24-26th of June.

We look forward to hearing how they get on.

More info: www.nextfest.net

Blowaway Heads To The Windy City – 2

If you bought Wired magazine this month and was flicking through their supplement on the Wired magazine ‘NextFest’ event you will a picture of the Irish table top game ‘Blowaway’, familiar to some as one of the projects presented at gd.ie’s second birthday.

‘Blowaway’ was a DCU final year multimedia project which represented Ireland at EuroPrix in Vienna last year and this year was invited to attend Wired magazine’s NextFest in Chicago.

Well gd.ie has just learned that the team behind ‘Blowaway’ have secured funding and are heading off to represent DCU and Ireland in Chicago from the 24-26th of June.

We look forward to hearing how they get on.

More info: www.nextfest.net

Ba (Hons) In Multimedia, Cit

BA (Hons) in Multimedia, Cork Institute of Technology.

This course encourages the development of individual skills and interests through the creation of exciting and innovative digital media products for delivery on the Web, TV, CD or DVD. This 4 year course incorporates aspects relevant to game design and development throughout its programme but also addresses the creation, design, management and distribution of a broad range of digital products and services and the technologies that underpin them. It teaches the principles and practices of media design and production including: graphic visualisation, digital imaging, video, audio, animation, computer programming and authoring, digital technologies and computer systems development.

Years 3 and 4 of the course include a game specific component which provides students with a strong theoretical context for developing games related projects in their final years.

Due to it’s multidisciplinary nature this course draws on the expertise of a wide range of disciplines involving staff from the Departments of Computing, Business, Social Studies, and Engineering as well as the Crawford College of Art & Design and Cork School of Music.

The BA (Hons.) in Multimedia course is also delivered in Germany under a franchise agreement with Fachhochschule Darmstadt providing excellent opportunities for students to exchange and collaborate on a European level.

Star Cave

Star Cave
Keith Killilea
n/a
Galway Technology Centre, Mervue Business Park, Galway City
Update : June 2005

Star Cave Studios Ltd., is a multi-platform computer games developer for PC / Mac / Linux / Mobile & Consoles. StarCave HQ is based in Galway city & we have development teams world-wide including Staridia (Brazil), Cellien (USA) & Single Cell (Australia).

StarCave is currently in a number of budget price range & full price range of PC / Console games with at least 3 big releases in 2005 & our major release of 2006 is the first “AAA” PC / Console game.

StarCave is a new games company offically opened our doors in June 2004. StarCave also held the first Galway Games Conference in 2004 while still less than 6 months old & has made many important alliances in Ireland & world-wide of game developers / publishers.

StarCave supports the continued development of the Irish Games Industry & we try to help with what we can with it.

Star Cave Studios is an Irish owned and Independent games studio of “A”, “AA” & “AAA” titles.

www.starcave.com
www.staridia.com

Ba (Hons) In Multimedia, Cit – 2

BA (Hons) in Multimedia, Cork Institute of Technology.

This course encourages the development of individual skills and interests through the creation of exciting and innovative digital media products for delivery on the Web, TV, CD or DVD. This 4 year course incorporates aspects relevant to game design and development throughout its programme but also addresses the creation, design, management and distribution of a broad range of digital products and services and the technologies that underpin them. It teaches the principles and practices of media design and production including: graphic visualisation, digital imaging, video, audio, animation, computer programming and authoring, digital technologies and computer systems development.

Years 3 and 4 of the course include a game specific component which provides students with a strong theoretical context for developing games related projects in their final years.

Due to it’s multidisciplinary nature this course draws on the expertise of a wide range of disciplines involving staff from the Departments of Computing, Business, Social Studies, and Engineering as well as the Crawford College of Art & Design and Cork School of Music.

The BA (Hons.) in Multimedia course is also delivered in Germany under a franchise agreement with Fachhochschule Darmstadt providing excellent opportunities for students to exchange and collaborate on a European level.