As OEMs, SMEs, universities and research institutes, it goes without saying that more can be achieved collectively than individually. But how do we harness the power of collaboration to create truly Intelligent Digital Systems? Paolo Azzoni, Head of European Technology Programmes at Eurotech, discusses the role that Inside (formerly known as ARTEMIS) plays in this.
Complexity and heterogeneity
“We’ve been active in Inside since the very beginning and have contributed in many ways, from the technological perspective with projects up to the governing and association aspects,” begins Paolo, who also serves as a Steering Board member and permanent guest of the Inside Presidium. As an example, he looks to Inside’s recent Eurotech-led whitepaper From Internet of Things to System of Systems, which offers a market analysis and future vision of IoT and SoS for ECS stakeholders.
“This is very useful for the community as it allows them to see what kind of impact we generated with our projects and covers a very large part of the ECS value chain, starting from sensors and actuators and all the technologies that allow the existence of the electronic components that digitise the physical world,” explains Paolo. “This study has been important for my business as the core focus of Eurotech is IoT and SoS.”
Projects like those outlined in the whitepaper have come at a time of growing system complexity, which is also a major motivation behind Paolo’s work with Inside. “The risk is that we will not be able to control such complex systems. These are also composed of very heterogenous constituent components and trying to control this heterogeneity is difficult in the chip and the device and when more devices are cooperating. What is the solution? Humans can’t be there all the time, so we need automation. In my opinion, this is what makes embedded intelligence crucial to the evolution of the ECS domain.”
The next generation
Questions of complexity are often exacerbated when there are further demands for long-lasting reliability in harsh environments, as is often the case in the industrial, transportation and security sectors. It’s here, however, that Paolo can clearly demonstrate the link between collaboration enabled by Inside and the innovative products brought to market by Eurotech: their ReliaGATE family of high-reliability multi-service gateways.
“We started with the project Arrowhead, which concluded in 2016. The prototype that we developed in that project has been further engineered to create ReliaGATE 10-11 and 10-12. With the new projects Arrowhead Tools and CPS4EU, which are currently ongoing, we are trying to develop the next generation of these products. Next year, we will most likely have the ReliaGATE 10-16 or 10-18 – the new generation of this gateway. And this is only possible through activities in these projects, which let us design a prototype using state-of-the-art technology and test it in a vertical application for practical feedback from the field. In many projects implemented in Inside’s history, the research results have been very positive and we’ve been able to further develop these results in real products.”