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The MICE project, coordinated by UCL, addresses these requirements. It aims to provide multi-way integrated conferencing service between a number of European pilot sites, and link them to the appropriate communities in the US. MICE demonstrates a range of possible ways of interworking between the project partners who are using heterogeneous environments, rather than develop new systems or a special infrastructure. The intention is to interconnect up to half a dozen conference rooms, and up to a dozen workstations both by the ISDN and research networks, and to pilot multi-way conferencing services between them. The project has demonstrated multi-way conferencing between 11 sites in 7 countries within 8 months (though only four at a time), and will demonstrate multipoint with up to 4 simultaneous users from 12 sites in 7 countries within 12 months.
The initial partners in the MICE project are:
ULB (Belgium), INRIA (France), GMD (Germany), ONERA (France), Stuttgart U (Germany), NTR (Norway), Nottingham U (UK), Oslo U (Norway), SICS (Sweden), UCL (UK).
In addition, two National Research Network Operators (the German DFN and the British JNT) are associated with the project without funding. Both they and the CEC are planning to attach their own conferencing systems for interactions with ones provided in MICE. Others sites have asked to join the project, and the consortium would welcome further partners if the project is able to continue beyond the initial 12 month period.
The MICE project relies heavily on developments, expertise and facilities provided in other national and international projects; only the international aspects, the technology integration, and the operational coordination are financed by the CEC. Therefore, the project uses a range of existing conferencing equipment from other projects, which have a major bearing on the choice of subsystems used. With so many countries and public monies were involved, the project has, naturally, chosen to adopt international standards wherever possible.