In 2019, the European Commission revealed the plan to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent in 2030 by cutting emissions to at least 50% of their 1990 levels. What does this mean to the members of Inside (formerly known as ARTEMIS) and what are they doing to make it a reality? Paolo Azzoni of Eurotech shares his take.
Impossible to avoid
“The Green Deal represents something mandatory if I look at it as a citizen,” Paolo concedes. “But if we consider it from the planet Earth perspective, it is obviously an objective we cannot miss. Today, we are seeing just the very first effects of not taking care of green aspects. Technology certainly has an impact on the Green Deal, so we should try to exploit what technology can provide us with in order to decarbonise our activities and reduce the green impact. For me, this is fundamental and something we cannot avoid addressing.”
With Eurotech’s roots in the field of embedded computers, Paolo is also acutely aware of the role that Intelligent Digital Systems will play in meeting the Green Deal’s targets. “We work on this with the devices we develop,” he notes. “With our next ReliaGATE multi-service gateways, for example, we are aiming to provide ten times – maybe more – the energy performance of the previous version but only one tenth of its consumption. We can then work more generally on the software at many levels, trying to improve the ways we develop, compile and run it in order to reduce the computing power and energy required. There are many areas where you can practically impact the Green Deal from our part of the value chain.”
The business perspective
Although the Green Deal may feel like an obligation to some individuals and companies, Paolo is also keen to stress that it represents an opportunity for new and unique forms of research and innovation. “You are being pushed to deliver new products which will be attractive to your customers. In this way, you create value from the business perspective,” he says. “If we reach the state-of-the-art in this area, it will not be necessary to talk about strategic autonomy; we will be able to invade other markets and become frontrunners. This is something we have to invest in and in which Inside plays an important role.”
For an example of the intersection of business and sustainability, Paolo looks to one of his own motivations for working within this field: the new functionalities enabled by the growth of Intelligent Digital Systems. “Consider automated driving. Without the new functionalities provided by embedded intelligence, you cannot conceive of it. And when you can control something, you also have the ability to understand if that system’s activities are sustainable or not and see how to reduce the digital waste it generates.”
“You cannot realise these objectives alone. My company cannot ensure that the systems we develop have these characteristics; it’s a result of the joint efforts of the entire value chain, starting upstream with the components and ending downstream with the final application. These kind of requirements in a system cannot be addressed unless every stakeholder contributes, which is possible only if you have a community, network and ecosystem through initiatives like Inside.”