Recapitulation of the PROVISION Training Network
24 October 2017
PROVISION was an Initial Training Network (within the framework of Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions) of leading research organisations (University of Bristol, University of Nantes, HHI Fraunhofer Berlin and RWTH University of Aachen) and industrial organisations (BBC, Netflix, Technicolor, Vitec and YouTube).
The ITN’s research goal was to perceptually optimize video compression. During the four years of the project 18 early-stage and 4 experienced research fellows were employed. In University of Bristol, 3 early-stage research fellows were recruited, two of which are pursuing a Ph.D., Miltiadis Alexios Papadopoulos and Mariana Afonso. Also, an experienced research fellow, Dr. Angeliki Katsenou, was recruited the last two years of the project.
Overall, PROVISION has been very successful in both its training and research objectives. Every six months all partners were participating in meetings were the research progress was reviewed and the fellows had the chance to interact. The training weeks were also carefully designed to offer joint training to the fellows. The successful training of the fellows could be assessed by the impact it had in their career. Particularly, fellows that have finished their Ph.D. during PROVISION or were post-doctoral fellows have been employed by video technology industrial stakeholders, like Apple, Nokia, Technicolor, HHI. The rest of the early-stage research fellows continue with their Ph.D. studies or received contract extensions in their research institutes. Two of the experienced research fellows that decided to follow an academic pathway have been awarded prestigious fellowships.
In terms of research achievements, the PROVISION fellows have been very active with more than 38 research papers published in the top-ranked conferences, like IEEE International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP), Picture Coding Symposium (PCS), International Conference on Multimedia and Expo (ICME). In many of these conferences, PROVISION fellows won best paper awards or challenges. Moreover, 4 special sessions were organised around the topic of video compression in these top ranked conferences. Several of the fellows often participated and contributed in the standardization meetings. The achievements record was nicely concluded with the two of the fellows, Mariana Afonso from Bristol and Uday Thakur from Aachen, awarded as winners of the video coding challenge in IEEE ICIP2017.