ICT collaboration landscape: drivers and needs

Within PICASSO an analysis of EU-US industrial drivers and societal needs/barriers was performed. As a starting point an analysis was performed of the ICT landscape in EU and US considering ICT, Policies, regulations, programmes and networks in the EU and US. Interviews were then performed with key industrial actors from large, mid-cap and SME companies from the EU and US in the Smart Cities, Smart Transportation and Smart Energy sectors. In total 150 key actors were approached for the questionnaire and 70 face-to-face interviews were conducted. The interviews focused on societal challenges and the application domains, but also including elements related to technological issues, needs, trends and funding needs. Information was also gathered on both industrial drivers and barriers to exploitation, e.g. regulations, lack of standards, lack of business models.

The analysis identified an impressive 101 recommendations for EU-US collaboration which demonstrates the sheer breadth of opportunities.  The recommendations are wide ranging and cover both general needs in terms of policy and standards, and also very specific technology needs linked with industry priorities, e.g. Industrial Internet Consortium, Industrie 4.0 and OPC-UA. There were, however, some common themes put forward by different industrial sectors in terms of the needs for standards for interoperability of interconnects, wireless communications, protocols and for data exchange. An overriding message was one of the need for data governance, clarity on data ownership and regulation for privacy and the strong need for security.

Notably there are key opportunities in the areas of Smart Cities and IoT/CPS which are rapidly developing areas and where there are common research, regulatory and standardisation needs. There are also great opportunities in the areas of Smart Energy and Smart Transportation, however, here there is existing regulation and legislation which needs to be harmonised.

In the societal domains a number of more pragamatic barriers were identified which need to be addressed. Key barriers include a need for demonstration at scale, the funding and political will to support this, and the needs for public acceptance which requires trust in data privacy and security.

For the underlying technologies which are the basic building blocks of future applications, e.g. 5G, Big Data and IoT/CPS, that have been considered by the PICASSO Expert Groups, there are many opportunties to work together. From a commercial perspective it is necessary to consider key areas where it is possible to collaborate at a pre-competitive level which would in future allow bilateral access to EU and US markets. Notably  and technology and products are sold on the world stage and collaboration in key areas would increase the competitiveness of EU and US companies in existing and developing markets.