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i3net 1999-2000
Brief report of activities

i3net was launched in September 1996 to spawn and support research programmes in future interfaces to information and communication for ordinary users, and to build a new community among research workers concerned with novel approaches to design, technology and user involvement. The first i3 research programme of 13 projects in inhabited information spaces and connected community was launched in July 1997. The second i3 research programme, experimental school environments, followed in the autumn of 1998 and consists of 12 projects into the long-term future of learning environments for 4-8 year old kids. Since then, a number of excellent individual research institutions have applied for, and received, i3 community membership. The i3 community now includes +300 researchers from approx. 105 companies, research organisations and design institutes from all over Europe.

This report covers i3net's fourth year, 1999-2000. As in previous years, we have made plenty of experimentation in order to find new ways for the i3 community to collaborate and express itself to the world of scientific, design and industrial colleagues, the press and the media, and the broad population. Some highlights are the appearance of i3 in Time Magazine and on Sky Channel; the interest in i3magazine expressed by a professional publishing house; a rapidly growing i3 partnership programme; and the collaboration with a film company to launch an i3 web TV channel. We haven't forgotten our successful old ways, of course, such as being together for the spring days and for this annual conference. A more detailed account of events follows under the task group presentations below. See also http://www.i3net.org

i3net works through coordination at the Natural Interactive Systems Lab in Odense, Denmark, the coordinating group (CG) which decides on strategy, launches task groups and monitors everything, and the task groups which implement strategy. i3net has two full-time staff in Odense working to support the CG and the task groups, and to develop and test novel ideas and approaches; a professional i3magazine editor (in Edinburgh); a professional external communications task group leader (in Brussels, July 1999-June 2000); a partnership manager in The Netherlands; and outsourcing of major tasks is being widely used for, e.g., video production, interactive web site creation and maintenance, consultancy, and visual identity work. The i3 community is effectively being run by the community for the community. Everyone with the drive and motivation it takes is more than welcome to join the numerous initiatives that are being implemented or propose new ones waiting to be done.

What follows is their work, and these are the people who are, or were, involved in i3 community building during 1999-2000. Warm thanks to all of you for the ideas, thoughts and efforts you are devoting to the creation of a unique community!

Coordinating group 1999-2000-2001 (CG)

The CG has had five one-day meetings since the i3AC'99 in Siena: 6.12.99, 29.2.00, 25.5.00, 12.7.00, 12.9.00.

The people: Riccardo Antonini, Alberto Bianchi, Niels Ole Bernsen (coordinator), Ulrich Hoppe, Rossella Magli, Giorgio De Michelis, Richard Millwood, Alan Munro, Richard Noss, Ana Paiva, Patrick Purcell, Thomas Rist, Duncan Smith, Marco Susani, Manfred Tscheligi, Jakub Wejchert (observer for the Commission).

Next CG: The pre-conference deadline for next CG candidate proposals is 9.9.00. So far, the following 11 candidates have been proposed for the CG 2000-2001: Riccardo Antonini (I), Alberto Bianchi (I), Mimo Caenepeel (UK), Ulrich Hoppe (D), Irene McWilliam (NL), Giorgio De Michelis (I), Alan Munro (UK), Richard Noss (UK), Ana Paiva (P), Patrick Purcell (UK), Thomas Rist (D).

Task groups 1999-2000 (TGs)

Annual conference '00 TG

The people: Nanett Mosumgaard, U. Southern Denmark, Odense (DK), local organizer: Bo Gustafsson, U. Jönköping (S), programme committee: Giorgio De Michelis, U. Milano Bicocca, (I), chair, Ulrich Hoppe, U. Gerhard-Mercator, Duisburg (D), Lena Wiland Möller, U. Jönköping (S), Marilyn Panayi, U. Southern Denmark, Odense (DK), Richard Millwood, Ultralab, Essex (UK), Thomas Rist, DFKI GmbH, Saarbrücken (D), Alan Munro, U. Napier, Edinburgh (UK), Mimo Caenepeel, U. Edinburgh (UK). The achievements: this i3AC2000 in Jönköping with more than 200 attendees, including teachers from the ESE projects.

Annual conference 2001 TG

The people: local organiser: Jeffrey Shaw, ZKM, U. Karlsruhe (D), Nanett Mosumgaard, U. Southern Denmark, Odense (DK), others to be determined. The plans: organise a successful i3AC2001 in Karlsruhe 12-14 September 2001.

Disappearing computer

i3 community people have provided substantial support to the preparation of the disappearing computer programme: call dissemination and brokerage, design, hosting at i3AC2000.

External communication TG

The people: contact person: Svend Kiilerich, U. Southern Denmark, Odense (DK), Mimo Caenepeel, U. Edinburgh (UK), Richard Millwood, Anglia Polytechnic U. (UK), Marc Blasband, Compuleer, Zeist (NL), Helena Tobiasson, KTH, Stockholm (S). The achievements: a series of publications and broadcasts on i3 and i3 projects across Europe. Workshop during i3 Spring Days 2000 in Athens. The plans: high-quality, high-volume i3 communication to the world in collaboration with a press agency. A Europe-wide narrowcast i3 web TV channel on i3-related advanced research.


The surplus from this year's operations will be transferred to next year's budget September 2000 through August 2001.

Future probes

The people: the CG. The achievements: a series of completed future probe investigations. The plans: more future probes.


The people: Mimo Caenepeel (editor), Mark Samouelle, U. Edinburgh (UK), Niels Ole Bernsen, U. Southern Denmark, Odense (DK). The achievements: three magazine issues 1999-2000. The plans: make i3magazine compulsory reading for investigators and users of intelligent information interfaces world-wide. Create a partnership with a publishing house.

Internal communication technology TG

The people: Niels Ole Bernsen, U. Southern Denmark, Odense (DK), i3net web manager: Laila Dybkjær, U. Southern Denmark, Odense (DK), Richard Millwood, Anglia Polytechnic U. (UK). More people to join after i3AC2000. The achievements: workshop during i3 Spring Days 2000 in Athens. The plans: connect the i3 community by increasingly powerful electronic infrastructure.

IST conferences

The people: Svend Kiilerich, U. Southern Denmark, Odense (DK). The achievements: support for the i3 area stands at IST'99 in Helsinki. The plan: support i3 stands at IST'00 in Nice.

New members

The people: Alan Munro, U. Napier, Edinburgh (UK). The achievements: vetting of membership applications prior to CG decision. The plan: more new members.

Organisation contacts

User Interfaces for All organised a well-attended workshop at i3 Spring Days 2000.

Partnership TG

The people: leader: Marc Blasband, Compuleer, Zeist (NL), Mimo Caenepeel, U. Edinburgh (UK), Svend Kiilerich and Niels Ole Bernsen, U. Southern Denmark, Odense (DK). The achievements: i3 start-ups, new research projects, workshop at i3 Spring Days 2000, workshops at this conference. The plans: help exploit i3 project and community member site results. Launch new research projects. Making everybody less surprised by the future.

Schools web site TG

The people: Duncan Smith, Crystal Presentations Ltd, Birmingham (UK). The achievements: establishment of the Schools web site. The plan: closed in August 2000.

Workshops TG

The people: leader: Thomas Rist, DFKI, Saarbrücken (D), Alan Munro, U. Napier, Edinburgh (UK). The achievements: organisation of i3 Spring Days 2000 in Athens, April 2000 (14 workshops) with local organiser Manolis Koutlis, Computer Technology Institute, Patras (G). Handling of members' proposals for i3net-supported workshops at any time. The plan: organisation of successful i3 Spring Days 2001 on 4-6 April 2001 in Porto, with Pedro Pinto and Secundino Correia, CNOTINFOR, Porto (P), as local organisers and Thomas Rist as OC chair. Handling of members' proposals for i3net supported workshops at any time.

The future

Important parts of the future have been presented in the plans sections above. We want a powerful i3 exhibition presence at IST'00 in Nice, 6-8 November 2000; we look forward to Spring Days 2001 in Porto, i3AC2001 in Karlsruhe, and to proposals for i3 workshops adjacent to major international conferences. We believe that i3magazine will continue its impressive readership expansion and look forward to yet another leap in i3 visibility due to the web TV and the press agency. We expect spectacular successes from the partnership activities. Just as important as any of these points is our expectations to the contributions to the i3 community from the disappearing computer colleagues. They have their negotiations with FET in Jönköping the day before i3AC2000 and have been cordially invited to join the conference. At the 12 September CG, 2000, a proposal is tabled inviting all disappearing computer people and partner sites to join the i3 community. Taking the risk of anticipating a unanimous CG decision, we would like to warmly welcome the dc colleagues.

The people doing all the activities described above not only strive for your satisfaction with what they accomplish. They rely on you throughout - for information updates, feedback on plans, critique of their web sites, proposals for workshops, contributions to publications, new future probes, unsolicited news, events and success information to be communicated to the world, and, above all, new ideas for things to do whether or not these ideas fit existing TGs, procedures, or plans. The i3 community not only aims to do innovation in research, it has also demonstrated that it cannot avoid inventiveness pervading whatever else it does. So, never hesitate to contact the people named in this report to explain what's on your mind!

Next steps not addressed above include:

  • i3 summer school 2001, contact, e.g., Alberto Bianchi at i3AC2000;
  • i3 book, contact, e.g., Ulrich Hoppe or Giorgio de Michelis at i3AC2000;
  • contacts for mutual benefit with similar organisations world-wide, such as NSF, Telecities, other European networks of excellence, such as ELSNET and AgentLinkNet;
  • political impact building;
  • Central and Eastern Europe;
  • designing the future of i3net by proposing a new 3-year phase to the Commission;
  • anything YOU can convince the CG to initiate.

On behalf of everyone mentioned above
Niels Ole Bernsen, i3net coordinator, 6 September 2000

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