The future design of the Internet of Things applications will depend on the development of advanced platform architectures for smart objects, embedded intelligence, and smart networks. Most of today's IoT systems are mainly focused on sensors, whereas actuation and smart behaviour will be the key points in the future.
Novel interfaces combined with artificial intelligence and flexible self-organising platforms are promising areas. Smart agriculture, smart cities, smart industries as well as sustainable reverse logistics, smart water management and smart grids are strategic IoT areas for the EU.
In order to support IoT innovation, Europe promotes the idea of open and easy accessible IoT platforms. The European Commission recently launched the 'IoT European Platform Initiative (IoT-EPI)’ to build a vibrant and sustainable IoT ecosystem in Europe. This platform will also create a link with the Alliance for Internet of Things innovation (AIOTI), an initiative which aims at connecting the biggest European IoT key players and creating the largest IoT association in Europe. The AIOTI builds on the work of the IoT European Research Cluster (IERC), grouping together the IoT projects funded by the 7th European research framework programme (FP7), as well as national IoT initiatives.
The European Union also participates in international research and policy discussions in order to advance the technology. International calls for joint proposals are foreseen under the Horizon 2020 programme, in order to further promote global research cooperation in the field.
The 2016-2017 Work programme of the Horizon 2020 (page 65) offers details on the Europe's current research priorities on Internet of things.
IoT Large Scale Pilots (LSPs) for Testing and Deployment
The European Commission recently launched a call for proposals on IoT large scale pilots in the areas of wearables, assisted living, connected vehicles, smart cities, smart agriculture and water management supported by Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.
The EU supports LSPs that further develop the technology and respond to the needs of the future dynamic IoT systems in terms of scalability, heterogeneity and complexity.The important investments on Internet of Things technologies, which have already been taken at EU and Member States levels, flag the next big step towards fast deployment of IoT, a series of IoT large scale pilots.
The pilots will not be designed as a purely technological exercise. They will deliver IoT practical solutions in terms of applicable technology and standards. Privacy and security, business models, usability as well as other legal aspects and societal challenges are also important factors.