NAMIC, the National Alliance for Medical Image Computing, was funded by NIH as part of the NCBC program. NIH's intention was to build a computational infrastructure to support biomedical research. The program was designed with a mandatory sunset after 10 years. For NA-MIC, this deadline was reached in June of 2014. In addition to important progress in algorithmic research, NAMIC produced a computational platform for medical image computing, called the NAMIC kit. NAMIC resulted in the creation of a community of algorithm researchers, biomedical scientists and software engineers using the NAMIC kit. This community meets twice a year in an event called Project Week. Project week is organized by Tina Kapur and Ron Kikinis, with help and input from the community.
Project Week is a semi-annual event which draws 80-120 researchers. The participants work collaboratively on open-science solutions for problems that lie on the interfaces of the fields of computer science, mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering, and medicine. In contrast to conventional conferences and workshops the primary focus of the Project Weeks is to make progress in projects (as opposed to reporting about progress). The objective of the Project Weeks is to provide a venue for this community of medical open source software creators. Project Weeks are open to all, are publicly advertised, and are funded through fees paid by the attendees. Participants are encouraged to stay for the entire event. In June of 2014, the 19th instance of Project Week was held at MIT in Boston.
Project Week activities: Everyone shows up with a project. Some people are working on the platform. Some people are developing algorithms. Some people are applying the tools to their research problems. We begin the week by introducing projects and connecting teams. We end the week by reporting progress. In addition to the ongoing working sessions, breakout sessions are organized ad-hoc on a variety of special topics. These topics include: discussions of software architecture, presentations of new features and approaches and topics such as Image-Guided Therapy.
Plans for 2015 and Beyond
Given the vibrant community present at Project Weeks, we intend to continue to organize the events every 6 months. Several funded projects use the Project Week as a place to convene and collaborate. These include NAC, NCIGT, QIICR, OCAIRO. We intend to continue the tradition of openness and accessibility for Project Week. The next events in this ongoing series will occur in Salt Lake City, Utah in January of 2015, followed by one in Boston, MA in June of 2015.
Relevance to MICCAI
Project week brings together scientists and engineers in the field of Medical Image Computing, both investigating novel methodologies and using tools based on those methods for biomedical research. While highly relevant to the MICCAI community, the activities during Project Week are complementary to other activities endorsed or sponsored by MICCAI. Endorsment by the MICCAI society will also make the relation between NAMIC and MICCAI explicit and will prevent confusion in that regard.
Plan of Action
We intend to approach the MICCAI society and to apply for an Endorsement of Project Week. For rules, see here.
Email from Daniel Rueckert on Aug 17 2014:
Date: Sun, 17 Aug 2014 19:28:05 +0000 From: Rueckert, Daniel To: Ron Kikinis CC: Tina Kapur, Janette Wallace, Alison Noble, "Pluim, J.P.W."
Dear Ron, Tina,
we are pleased to confirm that the MICCAI society is happy to endorse your "NAMIC Project Week” as a MICCAI endorsed event. ....
Best wishes, Daniel & Josien