The Polish Information Processing Society (PIPS) is a Warsaw-based, nation-wide association, registered on 22 May 1981 as No. 397 in the Register of Associations held by the Voivodeship Court in Warsaw, Seventh Civil and Registry Division. One of the objectives of the PIPS, as stated in its Statutes, is to support the scientific and technological activities in all areas of informatics and to perfect the methods of its effective use in the national economy (§ 8, Clause 1 of the PIPS Statutes). Other objectives of the Society, as set forth in its Statutes, include facilitation of communication in the professional circles, popularisation of informatics and specific IT applications among the general public, enhancing its members knowledge and professional ethics and similar influence on other individuals active in IT-related areas as well as representation of the Society s members, their opinions, needs, interests, and rights in relations with the public, with the local and central government and with other associations in Poland and abroad.
Members of the Society, pursuant to § 11 of the PIPS Statutes, are individuals who have graduated from a computer-sciences or a related faculty or have a degree in information technologies or their applications, also any other college or secondary-school graduates whose occupation, for at least 3 consecutive years preceding admission to the Society, was closely related with information technology, as well as students at computer-sciences or related faculties, third year of studies or higher. The members background is mostly that of higher-education and research institutions all over the country, also manufacturing industries and public administration.
At present, the Society s membership includes approximately 1200 IT specialists nation-wide, with 5 full time employees.
The Society achieves its objectives through ongoing educational activities, i.e. by organising courses, conferences, lectures, exhibitions, domestic and foreign study trips, technology shows, competitions, also by publishing and popularising the areas of knowledge covered by the Society s official range of activities under the relevant laws. It also organises congresses, conferences and other scientific and technological events, both in Poland and abroad, supports inventiveness in information technology and co-operation with relevant Polish and foreign business entities, institutions, committees and scientific and technological societies, political and occupational organisations within the areas covered by the Society s official range of activities. Additionally, the PIPS has some achievements in the introduction of computer sciences to schools, in the reviewing of customs tariffs on IT products, in the determination of the strategies for the further development of computer sciences and information technologies in Poland, as well as in the standardisation of legislation.
Apart from numerous teleconferences, some of which have became permanent fixtures in the calendar of telematics events in Poland, PIPS organises two competitions on a regular basis: the PIPS National Competition for the Best Master s Thesis in Computer Sciences and the Jerzy Trybulski Competition for the best IT application projects implemented in the national economy. The Society also runs an IT College (Policealne Studium Informatyki) in Wrocław.
In 1992, the PIPS was the first organisation from the post-communist countries to become member of the Council of European Professional Information Societies (CEPIS).
Pursuant to its Statutes, the Society s activities have been delegated to its Branches, Regional Circles, and Specialised Sections. At present, the following units are active within the organisation:
The Polish Information Processing Society has considerable interest in the further development of the data-transmission technology and industry in Poland. The Society should be the liaison between the worlds of science and business and foster good-faith transfer of technology which would stimulate increased innovativeness in the economy and make Polish institutions of higher education more attractive in order to counteract the progressive brain drain of our country by foreign business and universities. One of the opportunities for such activity would be the creation of scientific-and-industrial consortiums and stepping up Poland s participation in the 5 EU Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration (5 FP), in particular in the second thematic programme Information Society Technologies (IST).
Employment and forms and techniques of activity
The Polish Information Processing Society s operations are based on the active involvement of its members. With approximately 1,200 IT specialists nation-wide in its ranks, the PIPS employs only 5 people. In 2001, no increase in the level of employment is anticipated in connection with the new operations as an industry-specific contact. If needed, any additional tasks will be performed under specific-assignment contracts or the existing employees salaries will be increased adequately to reflect the extended range of their responsibilities. Some of the tasks will be outsourced under the Polish Public Procurement Act.
Four meetings are scheduled in order to disseminate some information on the IST programme, all to complement the regular PIPS conferences: the PIPS Spring School in April in Świnoujście, the PIPS Alpine School in June in Szczyrk, the Software Engineering Conference in September in Świder, and the PIPS Autumn Meetings in late November in Mrągowo.
At the PIPS Headquarters in Warsaw, a special database is going to be set up, to contain information on IST participants, project reviewers, institutions and individuals in Poland who are interested in joining the IST programme, as well as foreign institutions looking for co-operating partners. The database is going to be compatible with the central database being developed at the National Contact Point for the 5th FP at the Institute of Fundamental Technological Research, part of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IPPT PAN). Automated data exchange between the two databases will be possible. If the database includes any personal data, it will be in full compliance with the Polish Personal Data Act.
The PIPS website will be updated with information on the IST programme, any and all competitions either currently underway or scheduled, annual programmes,
project types, all related projects underway, and institutions in search of collaborators to join their projects. Other information to be included will
pertain to contact points and other sources of information as well as opportunities for joining electronic discussion forums/mailing lists.
Additionally, a new electronic discussion forum/mailing list is going to be set up to distribute updates on the IST programme, such as competition announcements, changes in regulations, procedures and documents, invitations to join projects, etc. This list should be separated from the
existing PIPS discussion group, but in the early stages it will be possible to use both sites.
In order to propagate information to a wider audience, some of the European Commission documents are going to be translated into Polish. This applies mostly to documents pertaining to the legal and financial requirements.
If required, feasibility studies will be prepared for the purpose of internal evaluation of the projects prior to submitting them to the European Commission, and also in order to ascertain the availability of relevant knowledge in the world as well as the prospective markets for the outcome of the proposed projects.
Experience gained during participation in European research programmes (EU, COST, EUREKA)
The Polish Information Processing Society has participated in three European Union programmes. As one of the scientific co-ordinators, PIPS took part in two Esprit programme projects as part of the 4th Framework Programme: in Project No. 1010 CRATE (Collaborative Research in Information Technology June 1992-September 1994) and in Project No. 20288 CRATE 2 (May 1998-November 2000). Apart from these, the PIPS has been a subcontractor in the INSPIRE project (Initiative for Software Process Improvement - Regions Exterieures April 1997-March 1999), as part of the ESSI programme.
Activities undertaken so far in terms of propagation of information,training and matching collaborating partners
Ever since its foundation in 1981, the Polish Information Processing Society has been successful in organising various conferences, seminars, and meetings for training purposes both for scientists and for representatives of the manufacturing industries. Some of the major events were:
Resources (offices, hardware, website)
The Polish Information Processing Society has permanent offices in Warsaw and Katowice. As regards all other PIPS centres, their offices are situated in buildings owned by various higher-education institutions or companies. All offices have at least the basic hardware (PCs, printers, etc). Additionally, the PIPS is using the Polska On-Line server, where the PIPS website is based. The website is supervised by one of PIPS members who is also a member of the academic staff at the Lublin University of Technology. The PIPS also has its own discussion forum/mailing list, managed by another PIPS member, who is an academic at the Institute of Mineral Resources and Energy, part of the Polish Academy of sciences in Krakow.
Other experience gained during co-operation with the European Union (e.g. participationin evaluative or advisory bodies of the European Commission)