Some 650 R&D actors and policy makers from industry, research organisations, academia and public authorities participated in the fourth European Co-summit organised by ITEA 2 –the EUREKA software-intensive systems and services Cluster – and the ARTEMIS Joint Undertaking (JU) on embedded software in Helsinki, Finland on 25 and 26 October. While the conference focused on the importance of cross-border co-operation in research and development, the ever-growing project exhibition demonstrated clearly the solid results of such efforts with a special focus area on information and communication technology (ICT) for clean technologies.
“Cross-border co-operation in research is crucial,” emphasised ITEA 2 Chairman Rudolf Haggenmüller. “And we are open to co-operation beyond the ICT community, particularly through interactions with other EUREKA Clusters to meet common societal challenges such as in clean technologies.”
However, it is equally important to ensure fast exploitation of results as ably demonstrated by the ITEA 2 ITEI project which developed a body of knowledge for a systematic approach to innovation already being exploited in education and training. ITEA 2 also supports the newly formed European expert Group CREATOR which brings together Institut Telecom, Sirris and VTT to boost ICT innovation efforts of European companies.
Close collaboration between ITEA 2 and the ARTEMIS JU has ensured a complementary approach to embedded software and software-systems and services research in Europe and helped develop a critical mass to boost competitiveness and the wellbeing of society. “We are strongly committed to working closely and have now formed a high-level umbrella group to align strategic issues and identify gaps between the two organisations,” explained Klaus Grimm, President of the ARTEMIS Industry Association.
Both organisations concentrated on strategic issues in the last year with the launch of a new Strategic Research Agenda by ARTEMIS and the preparation of an ITEA ‘living’ road map which can be constantly updated to focus ITEA’s efforts as it moves towards ITEA 3. During the 2011 event, a meeting of the ITEA Directors Committee involving public authorities confirmed support for the road towards the third ITEA programme. This was warmly welcomed by Rudolf Haggenmüller.
On Day 1, Jouni Hakala, State Secretary for Economic Affairs, Ministry of Employment and the Economy, opened the conference with Finland’s strong commitment to the ICT sector and its importance for the national economy. Finland supports both ITEA and EU programmes but sees a need for a new generation of funding instruments that builds on their expertise.
A keynote presentation from Ken Sakamura, Professor of the University of Tokyo and CEO of the YRP Ubiquitous Networking Laboratory demonstrated the importance of real-time operating systems in national emergencies such as the 2011 Japanese earthquake and devastating tsunami. He also pointed out that although embedded systems cannot produce energy, they can help efficient use and reduce wastage.
A panel session on cross-border research co-operation re-emphasised the importance of ICT in saving energy and in developing clean technologies – such as the Green Touch Consortium of leading ICT industry, academic and research experts dedicated to creating a sustainable Internet and increasing ICT energy efficiency by a factor of 1,000 over five years. Priorities should be for the ICT industry to cut its own energy use particularly in data centres where renewables should suffice to provide power. Political commitment is also essential as there is no time left for rehearsals in tackling climate change.
Parallel sessions covered healthcare, automotive and security. And a student master class was held for masters and doctoral students in co-operation with the University of Helsinki, Tampere University of Technology and Aalto University.
Day 2 focused on the ITEA and ARTEMIS communities. ITEA 2 Vice Chairman Philippe Letellier outlined the changes expected in ITEA 3: “We will keep the same values but the new programme will be more agile with its living roadmap offering a dynamic shared view of future challenges, shorter times from project ideas to project starts and greater exploitation of the links with other clusters – both at European and national level.” The new roadmap will propose challenges from the projects and ITEA community, gather state of the art from the projects and open discussions with experts from other programmes to help evaluate the level of innovation in projects and aid consortia in ensuring the level of innovation delivered.
Rudolf Haggenmüller and Willem Jonker, CEO of EIT ICT Labs, discussed co-operation between ITEA and EIT ICT Labs to improve the use of research results in Europe. “I strongly support this collaboration to create a vivid ecosystem for ICT innovation and speed exploitation with concrete results,” said Rudolf Haggenmüller.
Some final thoughts came from Cecile Dubarry, Director of the Service for Communication and Information Technologies at the French Ministry of Economy, Industry and Employment. “National competitiveness clusters play a key role as efficient tools and we see EUREKA Clusters as a natural partner,” she said. “We support co-operation between ITEA and ARTEMIS and welcome ITEA 3.”
2011 ITEA Achievement Awards
The ITEA Achievement Awards reward high-level technical contributions based on real European collaboration providing significant results while promoting ITEA and its aims. The standard of ITEA 2 projects finishing in 2011 was particularly high, according to Philippe Letellier, explaining the difficulty of selecting the winners of the 2011 ITEA Achievement Awards. “We’re very proud of all three short-listed projects and it was hard to differentiate between them,” he said. The result was two joint Silver award winners – UseNet and Metaverse1 – while the Gold award this year went to MULTIPOL.
The 2011 Gold award winner was:
- MULTIPOL which delivered a full authorisation chain with mechanisms to solve the challenge of easy multi-domain access-rights management. This balances security and agility to enable safe access to business applications across organisations. Business potential is high with fast exploitation – such as Cassidian’s legal-enquiry use case and Evidian’s new identity and access manager – with positive first customer feedback.
The two 2011Silver awards went to:
Metaverse1 focuses on the connection between virtual and real worlds. Key outcomes included a generic architecture supporting sensor/actuator/robot integration, avatar modelling and hybrid communications. The most important result however was the ISO/IEC 23005 standard evolved through a great involvement of the project in MPEG-V. Use cases prefigure business in virtual travel, serious gaming and virtual presence.
- UseNet developed an open architecture providing a horizontal approach to the vertically fragmented machine-to-machine (M2M) market. Its great innovation is the M2M Internet; separating services from infrastructures, dramatically increasing the potential market for M2M deployments. UseNet played a major role in the new ETSI M2M TC standard. Highlights include fast exploitation of the Ouman centralised remote control service system for building automation, Fagor monitoring of domestic appliances, Bull and Thales tracking and geo-localisation of vehicles and the ALU 5580 Home Network Manager evolution.
Project results dominate
The Co-summit has become increasingly dominated by its project exhibition which provides an unrivalled opportunity to showcase the results of collaborative ICT research in Europe. Some 76 ITEA and ARTEMIS projects presented their results with achievements and demonstrations. A special focus area on clean technologies involved relevant ITEA and ARTEMIS projects as well as the EUREKA ACQUEAU water and EUROGIA+ low carbon energy Clusters. Other exhibitors included several national competitiveness clusters, Tekes, EIT ICT Labs and EUREKA.
The prize for the best and most understandable ITEA 2 project went to DIAMONDS, based on votes cast by participants. This project is developing a new, model-based approach to software testing with applications in multiple industries – such as banking, transport and telecommunication.
The Co-summit was supported by Tekes, the City of Helsinki and NOKIA. Special thanks go to the City Of Helsinki and Markkuu Raitio, IT Director, for the networking buffet in the City Hall on 25 October.
About ITEA 2
ITEA 2 (Information Technology for European Advancement) stimulates and supports innovative and pre-competitive R&D projects that will contribute research excellence to Europe’s competitive Software-Intensive Systems and Services (SiSS) sector. SiSS are a vital growth engine for Europe’s economy and a key driver of innovation in Europe’s most competitive industries – such as automotive, aerospace, communications, healthcare and consumer electronics. ITEA 2 and its predecessor ITEA have a proven track record with major achievements and results in these industries.