Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Future Vision: "Smart everywhere"

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.
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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.

Last updated on 31/03/2015


Marta Anna Bulik's picture
Marta Anna BULIK
Have you ever thought about your safety riding through a long tunnel, a road next to a very steep slope or strolling through ancient temples? If so, we have good news for you. Thanks to a collaborative research effort in the EU-funded GENESI project, the monitoring of the "health" of structures such as bridges, dams, tunnels or any buildings has become more affordable and reliable.
Marta Anna Bulik's picture
Marta Anna BULIK
When we are in the car, plane or train we are normally too busy to wonder how they work. We cannot imagine that many aspects of our everyday life, like different means of transport or factory plants, health and energy facilities are actually made possible by the integration of electronic equipment called embedded systems.
Jan Broenink's picture
Modern equipment (cars, airplanes, wafer steppers, automatic baggage handling) is nowadays highly computerized. While designing these, one needs deep knowledge of computer programming and how the machine itself behaves, i.e. the physical behaviour. These two sources of knowledge are quite different, and it is not easy to bring them together. This is a big obstacle in development of trustworthy systems.
Theodorus Denteneer's picture
Smart solutions for green buildings, eco-innovative technologies with focus on the user comfort and adaptation- all of these are nowadays challenges in the area of building automation and control system. Seamless collaboration of building systems such as blinding, lighting and HVAC-heating, ventilation, and air conditioning -adapting to season, time of day and building occupation, hold the promise of increased energy efficiency and improved user comfort and safety.
Andreas Eckel's picture
Andreas ECKEL
Ground-breaking safety-relevant technology used in safety-relevant data communication has successfully been developed within European Union (EU) funded research projects. Applications range from controls for airplanes, latest generation premium passenger cars, up to industrial equipment such as control for off-shore wind power turbines and many others.
Cristina Silvano's picture
Cristina SILVANO
Embedded computing touches every aspect of our lives: domestic appliances, mobile telephony, cars, aircraft, television, the internet, traffic management, security systems and power management, to name but a few! There are more embedded processors sold each year than in any other sector of the computing market, making it one of the major drivers of the IT economy. There are many times more embedded processors in place than people on the planet. It is also a field in which Europe is a global leader.
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