European University of Brittany (UEB)

At a Glance

  • Improved quality of interpersonal relationships
  • Reduced travel costs for students & researchers
  • Reduced carbon emissions

European research and teaching institute connects students, researchers with HD video communications

French based European scientific research and teaching institute connects students across 23 campus sites with top researchers with HD video communications.

The European University of Brittany (UEB) is a Public Scientific Cooperation Institution created in March 2007. Combining 23 higher education and research institutions all over Brittany, the UEB is the result of a long partnership between different structures of the Breton higher education network. The creation of the UEB, and its certification by the French government, demonstrates the wish of its members to pursue the collaboration between the higher education structures of Brittany.

The UEB offers a wide range of skills such as research, doctoral training and studies, technology transfer and innovation and European and international organisation of observatories to monitor student integration into working life, digital activities, and life-long learning. Its goal is to rank among the top 12 centers of excellence in France and in the top 40 of European centers.

Bridging the distance

The UEB comprises numerous geographically dispersed locations with up to several hundred kilometers separating some of its sites. Its 72,000 students include 8,500 people involved in research, 3,000 PhD students, and 149 research units.

To develop its educational and scientific potential, despite it highly dispersed student and faculty population, the UEB deployed innovative communication solutions among its sites. Its “UEB C@mpus” project was developed as part of a French Ministry of Higher Education (MESR) program. The core of the project is a digital development strategy that includes the integration of new technologies to develop collaborative practices and minimize the cost and hardship related to the distance between campuses. The MESR approval of the project resulted in the UEB becoming the first network of universities in Europe to install and operate three Polycom RPX immersive telepresence solutions.

A system to suit every need

To accommodate the wide range of user needs, the UEB deployed multiple levels of video telepresence solutions, some for individuals and smaller meeting rooms and others for larger venues. Polycom CMA Desktop video collaboration application for personal computers allows students and faculty to collaborate on-demand from almost anywhere. The Polycom HDX 8000 room telepresence solution has been installed in many UEB locations, and is ideal for the organization’s small group meetings, interviews and staff collaborations.

The Polycom RPX met the UEB’s requirement that a large-scale telepresence environment be as simple for a user as walking into a classroom, and as comfortable as sitting in an auditorium when participating in lectures.

In fact, the Polycom RPX immersive telepresence systems exceeded all expectations. UEB leadership appreciated the simplicity of booking a meeting through a concierge service, the ease of use for the end user, and the excellent environmental quality - spatial sound, cinematic screens, comfortable seating, warm wood tables, and individual screens for content. These were all key elements for UEB project meetings or training sessions that might span over several hours.

Positive assessment

The combined efforts of the integrator and the Polycom Global Services team were vital to the delivery and installation of the three telepresence suites in just ten weeks. The solutions were installed and configured in three geographically remote sites across Brittany. The first three RPX rooms were deployed in Brest, Lorient and Rennes. After an initial phase of testing, the UEB wanted to gather feedback on the facilities from users, before beginning to add additional rooms.

The evaluation revealed high levels of satisfaction with the quality of sound and visual comfort offered in the RPX rooms.

The assessment also helped identify needs and usages, and verify the match between them and the tools put in place. Usage of the systems falls into three categories:

• Collaborative work sessions for the research teams, often exceeding three hours in length and therefore requiring the comfort offered by an immersive telepresence environment. Requirements for frequent external connections are met by the open-standards architecture of the Polycom RPX system.

• Education, first and foremost with the doctorate courses; high-level training with small numbers of students utilizing innovative tools.

• Governance meetings that are numerous and often lengthy due to the large number of member
organizations that comprise the UEB group.

Moving forward

A strong presence during the open half-day demonstration in September and the very encouraging results from laboratory studies confirm the pertinence of the project, which will evolve in various directions:

• Increase the number of immersive telepresence rooms in the region
• Complete the set of tools with solutions for other needs such as tutorials and distance lecture
• Share these visual communication tools, so they are accessible from all UEB sites
• Maintain ease of use and further simplify access conditions, including pathways to the rooms, door keys, and access passes
• Increase the number of immersive telepresence rooms in the region
• Complete the set of tools with solutions for other needs such as tutorials and distance lecture
• Share these visual communication tools, so they are accessible from all UEB sites
• Maintain ease of use and further simplify access conditions, including pathways to the rooms, door keys, and access passes

The UEB anticipates this will contribute to its goal of achieving top ranking in France and Europe.

Learn More

To find out how Polycom solutions can help our organisation, visit us at www.polycom.co.uk or speak with a Polycom Account Representative.


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