• Iris Hamelink

Creating Intelligent Digital Systems together: the how, what and why of Inside

Updated: Nov 29, 2021

Welcome to the industry association for R&D&I on Intelligent Digital Systems and their design tools! Before you is the first ever edition of the Inside Magazine, including all the info on our new name and renewed purpose, memories and stories from our trusted network, updates on the upcoming Brokerage Event and Key Digital Technologies (KDT) and much more. But what does all this mean for our members and scope? And for embedded systems in general? It’s about what’s Inside




A timely opportunity

The idea of a new name has been around for some time, but this year has proven to be a particularly good opportunity to formalise a change due to the concurrent switch from ECSEL to KDT. By the time of its conclusion, ECSEL is expected to have spearheaded around 90 innovative projects with about five billion euros worth of investment; KDT will build on this foundation to support the largescale transformation of all economic and societal sectors, including a major contribution to the Green Deal target of becoming the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050.

Inside intends to play a key role in this. By co-defining the general Intelligent Digital Systems R&I strategy for Europe, we aim to shape our future technologically, economically and societally – something we can only do with the help of our valued network. Like ARTEMIS before it, Inside is open to all larger corporations, SMEs (including start-ups), RTOs and universities in Europe, which can collectively build new partnerships and consortia, create new initiatives and acquire funding to push the ECS domain forward. The benefits are straightforward: in addition to gaining international recognition and access to the continent’s top experts, organisations can share risks and costs while solving the most important challenges of our time.

“The change was, I would say, a collective approach that was submitted very democratically to the existing organs of management of the association,” notes Inside President Jean-Luc di Paola-Galloni. “I have to say, there was an overwhelming majority – if not almost an unanimity – to change the name and then accept the name as Inside. When you promote yourself as Inside Industry Association, this should trigger some companies or universities that are not yet members to understand who we are, ask for more information and potentially become future members.”


What’s in a name?

Few may remember it today, but ARTEMIS was actually an acronym for Advanced Research and Technology for EMbedded Intelligent Systems. With the new name, however, we intend to make this focus on embedded systems clear in just a single word, as outgoing Secretary General Jan Lohstroh explains.

“This is strongly related to intelligence in software, which is not visible from the outside. If you work in hardware, you can put a chip under the microscope so people know what you’re talking about. It’s more abstract for our type of business. The new name should be intriguing and relate more to the invisible part of electronic systems which are inside. That’s how we got to this name. We’re still a strong community, just evolving into the next phase. Together, we are ushering in the digital age and that’s why our slogan has changed to ‘Creating Intelligent Digital Systems Together’.”

Jean-Luc nods his head. “What’s interesting about the name Inside is that it shows what we’re about in one word: the systems and applications that are not seen but are extremely important in the electronics value chain. With Inside and the link to the European Union, it’s a step to better identify ourselves. For newcomers, this is a much clearer and more enticing association to join.”


The wheel keeps turning

Such clarity is all the more important given the increasing complexity of our domain and our world. In 2018, the global ECS value chain was worth 52.6 trillion euros and the economic value of the embedded systems and embedded intelligence section is growing faster than the hardware section. This is the area that Inside seeks to address, but we do so in the face of growing competition from other regions and the need to retain our autonomy on European values such as privacy and sustainability. We envision a world in which all people can benefit from the support of Intelligent Digital Systems, a world constantly on the move through innovation led by our members: the Insiders.

In terms of parameters or scope, this means that Inside follows the path set by the ARTEMIS Wheel – now the Inside Wheel – which outlines the six technologies needed to create embedded intelligence and the six primary sectors in which this is utilised. “So,” Jean-Luc explains, “we will keep the big three European semiconductor companies that are interested in understanding what applications we’re working on and the link between hardware and software. The aim is to attract more members in the domains of artificial intelligence, edge computing, Internet of Things and systems of systems. Such companies are already present, but there is an interest in opening up these areas even more.”


Alive and alert

For Jan, the name change marks almost 17 years spent developing the organisation into its current form, as he discusses further in his joint interview with incoming Secretary General Paolo Azzoni. From 1 January onward, he will serve as an advisor for as long as is necessary and will help make Inside a success in its newest iteration. “It was a very interesting journey over the last couple of decades with a very big influence on society, business models and all companies in the world,” he concludes. “And it was a pleasure to have had so many contacts in many countries with different approaches, languages and cultures but to still be able to bring people together for the best of Europe.”

This name change is just the beginning of a new chapter in European ECS research and development. Looking to the future, we plan to reinvigorate ourselves through actions rather than words. “If you don’t revitalise yourself, particularly in an area which is going through a lot of evolution, you put yourself at risk,” concludes Jean-Luc. “First of all, I do want to keep a continuity. It’s very important to keep the people who were insiders of ARTEMIS! But, in a nutshell, rebranding the association at a time when the programme is also rebranding itself puts attention on the fact that we are alive and alert and that there is strong regional competition and cooperation around the world. As an organisation, we show that we are ready for the challenges ahead of us.”


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