Communications Networks, Content and Technology

Smart Systems Integration

Smart Systems Integration

Components (Unit A.4)

Smart Systems are autonomous or collaborative systems. They bring together sensing, actuation and informatics / communications to help users or other systems perform a role. By their very nature these systems combine functionalities. They may extract multiple functionalities from a common set of parts, materials, or structures.Smart Systems not only unite multiple technologies, they are strongly tailored to application sectors such as transport, energy, healthcare, security and safety, manufacturing. This knowledge-rich environment is fertile ground for a truly European manufacturing supply chain, and its involvement of agile, innovative, SMEs.The worldwide market for Smart Systems is currently worth €500 billion of which Europe has almost 30%. Each job this industry generates brings at least two more jobs in associated service activities such as design, software, information and telecommunication services.Our goal is to contribute to the development of a competitive eco-system for smart integrated systems (or integrated smart systems) in Europe, to become the ubiquitous building blocks of the digital economy through making them smaller, cheaper, autonomous and energy-efficient.

  • To support technology development to secure and reinforce European leadership in smart integrated systems
  • To support innovation in the development and use of smart integrated systems to strengthen the high-tech start-ups, SMEs and large corporations, from design to manufacture
  • To build a world-class innovation infrastructure with leading research organisations and companies embedded in strategic alliances, and to provide users and researchers easy access to these infrastructures
  • European strengths in several markets such as railway, power, automation, automotive, medical electronics
  • Leadership in specific sectors such as micro electro-mechanical systems
  • Fragmented smart systems markets with a large number of high-end applications and with high social value but limited sizes
  • High technology cost barriers for SMEs in niche applications (e.g. expensive manufacturing equipment, fabrication costs across multiple applications)
  • Gap from R&D&I to manufacturing
  • Multi-disciplinary competences available in Europe
The Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 (Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013) identifies a new generation of components and systems, i.e. engineering of advanced, embedded and energy- and resource- efficient components and systems, as a line of activity contributing to the leadership in enabling and industrial technologies.


Full-Time Equivalent: 
9.50 full-time equivalent (FTE)
Collaboration with other DGs or agencies:
ECSEL JTI (2014-2020): 1.2 B€ (EU) + 1.2 B€ (Member States) + 1.7 B€ (R&D&I actors) / H2020 (2014): 48 M€

R&D&I actions

Structured and excellent multi-disciplinary industrial R&D&I in the domain of smart systems integration

Timeframe: 2014-2020



Innovation: number of patents per 10 M€ funding

Target at least 3 patents per 10 M€ funding (2014-2024)
Baseline New approach

Dissemination and Use Plans from projects

Quality of results: number of peer reviewed publications from the projects

Target 6 scientific publications per million € (2014-2020)
Baseline New approach

Dissemination and Use Plans from projects

Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda with focused priorities

Target Strategic agenda for R&I in ECSEL and Horizon 2020 (2014-2020)
Baseline new approach

EPoSS European Technology Platform, Euripides² Eureka cluster


Take-up of new technologies by European application sectors

Industrial exploitation of smart integrated systems in various application domains

Timeframe: 2014-2020



Market growth in Europe (lead indicator)

Target European production of smart integrated systems to grow by 3% annually (2014-2020)
Baseline Current market of smart and integrated systems (2012)
Current €144 billion (2012)

- Market data from Yole Consulting (annual): market and technology reports- Market data from IHS Technology (annual)

Competitiveness of European stakeholders in smart integrated systems and availability of essential parts in the value chain in Europe to design and manufacture innovative solutions for societal needs and new markets




Target +400.000 direct and induced jobs in Europe (2020)
Baseline number of jobs in Europe (2012)
Current 760.000 (2012)

Market reports

Market share

Target 12% of worldwide production in Europe and 60% growth (2020)
Baseline production of smart integrated systems in Europe (2012)
Current 11% worldwide production in Europe (2012)

Market reports

Link to DG CONNECT's Top Level Targets

  • Europe 2020 - 3% of the EU's GDP should be invested in R&D, complemented by a future EU 2020 Headline Innovation Indicator
  • H2020 - By 2020, one third of all Europe's ICT business investment in ICT R&D in the EU should come from companies created within the last two decades