myCerth information management system
Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH)
The challenge addressed by the new information management system ‘myCerth’ is that there is no alternative IT system that integrates all the necessary information regarding the financial and administrative procedures invoked by the management of R&D projects. Research organizations differ from other service sector companies in the market and thus general purposed software does not cover all the needs of a research centre. In addition most external consultants are not familiarized with the processes of a research organization due to their limited hands-on experience with such organizations. Personnel, for example, may stay in the organization for a short period only, travels a lot, and is geographically distributed. Moreover, the implementation of R&D projects, especially in public organizations, involves a lot of paperwork and bureaucracy, due to the fact that funding is subject to reporting and auditing. In addition, as funding sources vary significantly from one project to another (national, international, services etc), it is of crucial importance to link all expenses to the appropriate funding source for auditing and management reasons. Finally, it is also worth noting that funding is distributed to many project managers who have to report back to the administration, thus creating the need for a distributed management system, with remote access capabilities.
The information management system 'myCerth' is a tool that was designed to be able to organize and present all financial, administrative and informational data generated daily in a research organzation.
‘myCerth’ is a SAP-based integrated software solution for research oriented organizations, completely developed in CERTH during the last 4 years. ‘myCerth’ is an integrated information management system, which includes:
• Rational resource management
• Standardization of the financial and accounting procedures
• Establishment of a paperless environment
• Bureaucracy decrease
• Diffusion of information in and out of the organization
• Presentation of in-house research / Diffusion of information
‘myCerth’ takes advantages of a built-in workflow engine which facilitates the transformation of all the internal documents of the center into electronic workflows which can subsequently be subjected to automatic validations. Workflows are forwarded by the system to the appropriate users that make all the necessary actions and electronically sign the documents.
Some advantages of the ‘myCerth’ IT system are:
• Deep know-how on the operations of a Research Centre
• Specialized fields and reports
• User friendly windows
• Internet Browser work environment
• Open architecture
• Limited cost of adaptation
• Compatibiliy with SAP and other ERPs
Applications (existing / potential)
The ‘myCerth’ IT system has been designed to be applied in Research Organizations (Universities and Research Centers). However, it can be also applied in enterprises and industries that implement research projects or generally different technical projects. Furthermore, the concept of integration the management and financial/accounting procedures can be applied (after the necessary customization) in almost every organization (private or public).
The applications of ‘myCerth’ can be generally categorized as follows:
• Human resources (personnel contracts, payroll, working hours, etc)
• Management of R&D projects (management of project documents, technical annexes, project financial balances, personnel timesheets, etc)
• Accounting procedures (travels, purchase orders and payments, financial balances, etc)
• Other (management of scientific information, software/hardware management, etc)
Additionally, ‘myCerth’ provides all the necessary tools for monitoring and managing all the financial data at various levels of detail (projects, project groups, units, Institutes, Centre) in an integrated way. All the available reports can be taken in real time, thus, facilitating prompt and accurate use of funds, management and expenditures planning within the Research Organization.
Technical feasibility of product deriving from R&D
‘myCerth’ IT system has already been applied in two Greek research Centres. No further research is needed. However, new modules and applications are being added continuously and thus new versions are being released every three-four months. Additionally, we should point out that the installation of the ‘myCerth’ IT system in each research organization entails significant customization work, depending on the operation of each organisation.
Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH)
IT Unit of CERTH
6th km road Charilaou Thermi, P.O. Box 60361 GR57001 Thermi – Thessaloniki
Tel: +30 2310 498139
Fax: +30 2310 498110
About IT Unit of CERTH
The Centre for Research and Technology – Hellas (CE.R.T.H.) is the largest research centre in Northern Greece. It is a non-profit entity organized legally under private law, under the auspices of the General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT), of the Greek Ministry Education, Lifelong Learning and Religious Affairs.
CE.R.T.H. was founded in March 2000, with the mission to carry out basic and applied technology-oriented research and to develop new products and services with industrial, economic and social impact, with special emphasis in exploiting research results and in providing services for the R&D support of production process and the financial and social development especially in the fields:
a) Energy and Environment
b) Environmental Friendly Technologies for Solid Fuels and Alternative Energy Sources
c) Chemical and Biochemical Processes and Advanced Functional Materials
d) Informatics and Telecommunications
e) Land, Sea and Air Transportation
f) Agrobiotechnology and Food Engineering
g) Biomedical Technology, Informatics & Engineering, Biomolecular Medicine & Pharmacogenetics
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