Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) get increasingly integrated and embedded into our everyday environment. By becoming connected and intelligent, today’s embedded systems evolve to cyber-physical systems.
Embedded ICT – from components to cyber-physical systems (CPS) – gain in importance more than ever, not only for the ICT supply industry but also for all major mainstream sectors of the economy. This represents a great opportunity for the European industry, and its leadership in building safe, secure, reliable, small size, low power, real time responsive embedded ICT systems. In particular, Europe is well placed in professional electronics and embedded systems in its strongholds like manufacturing, automotive, aerospace, health and energy.
Embedded ICT will soon become mainstream. The core ICT devices that were so far confined to boxes (PCs, smartphones, tablets, etc..) are increasingly embedded in all types of artefacts, making “smarter” our homes, offices, factories, cars, trains, public spaces, cities and also our clothes. These devices are also imore and more often connected to the Internet, making the “Internet of Things” the “Internet of Everything”: of individuals, communities, and all types of smart artefacts (including sensors, actuators, robots). “Smart everywhere” is actually on its way to become reality, reprensenting an estimared value of more than 850 B€ for the embedded ICT market.
Maximising the value from the move to a “smart everywhere society” will depend on our capacity to accelerate the integration of electronic components, smart integrated systems and embedded software in all types of products and services. The wider embedding of ICT in products and artefacts will have a major impact on uplifting Europe’s innovation capacity across the economy from traditional industrial and professional service sectors to emerging consumer sectors.
The “smart everywhere” vision drives the development, evolution and disruptions across the ICT field from the Internet of Things, smart cities and homes down to nano-electronics. A critical path in future developments will be the “co-design” approach across vertical value chains from nano-electronics and smart integrated systems up to embedded software and cyber-physical systems. It’s challenge for Europe to further develop such design approach, which is essential to uplift our innovation capacity and competitiveness across the economy, and also to address key societal challenges.