European Commission to invest £1.8bn in embedded computing


European Commission to invest £1.8bn in embedded computing

Ian Grant

The European Commission is setting up a £1.8bn pool to fund a 10-year research and development project into embedded or "pervasive" computing in the hopes of capturing a larger slice of a market growing at 14% a year and already worth £45bn.

The deal cleared by the European Commission last Friday brings together 10 member states under the Artemis umbrella. In a statement, the European Commission said computers are increasingly embedded in consumer goods such as cars, credit cards, passports, planes, phones, factories, washing machines and televisions, among others. It said that by 2010, more than 35% of a car's value would be found in embedded computers.

It said more than four billion embedded processors were sold last year. The global market was worth £45bn and had an annual growth rate of 14%. "This is the commercial opportunity to be addressed by the £1.8bn of research invested during the next 10 years," the statement said.

Viviane Reding, EU commissioner for information society and media, said, "More and more, useful applications affecting the daily life of consumers rely on such embedded systems. Also, the new Airbus includes many embedded technologies from fly-by-wire to cabin pressure control."

To speed up access to the money, the EC is changing the way it funds research. The commission and member states will set up a public-private partnership to pool their public funding with universities and industry, including many innovative SMEs. This will consolidate many highly fragmented research initiatives under the new "open" Artemis consortium.

Artemis presently includes Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Industry members include ABB AB Corporate Research, AIRBUS, Ardaco, AS, AVL List GmbH, Critical Software SA, Daimler AG, Ericsson AB, Finmeccanica-Società per azioni, Hellenic, Aerospace Industry SA, Infineon Technologies AG, Inspire AG, Nokia Corporation, NXP, Philips Electronics, Siemens AG, ST Microelectronics, Telelogic AB and Thales Corporate.

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