ICT Communities

The work carried out under the PICTURE project, revealed a growing need to facilitate and enhance interaction among ICT research and industrial actors from the EU and the EECA region in areas of common interest so as to address common societal challenges. This is in-line with the Europe 2020 strategy: "cooperate on the basis of mutual benefit to create win-win situations and facilitate access to external resources of knowledge as well as to new and emerging markets".

This challenge was addressed by the PICTURE consortium through the facilitation of direct interaction among key ICT actors from the EECA countries and with representatives of European Technology Platforms (ETPs). This interaction will further be enhanced under the formation and operation of the "ICT Communities" in ICT areas of particular mutual interest and added value. The objectives are:

  • to link and bring together leading ICT R&I teams from both regions and
  • to strengthen the cooperation among ICT-oriented ETPs and similar structures and interested stakeholders and interested stakeholders from the EECA countries

The Communities will focus on the following ICT areas:

Big Data Software Services 2   Interactive Content Media Creative Industries 2
High Performance Systems 2   Photonics 2


  • High Performance Systems Open or Close

    High Performance Computing (HPC) plays a pivotal role in stimulating Europe's economic growth. HPC is a pervasive tool allowing industry and academia to develop world-class products, services and inventions in order to maintain and reinforce Europe's position on the competitive worldwide arena. HPC is also recognized as crucial in addressing grand societal challenges. "Today, to Out-Compute is to Out-Compete" best describes the role of HPC.

    HPC will enable

    - to boost European competitiveness in science and business
    - to facilitate the provision of innovative solutions to tackle grand societal challenges in Europe such as climate change, better healthcare, predicting and managing large scale catastrophes and energy-efficiency
    - to foster international cooperation in research and industry.

    Major challenges addressed:

    At the System Architecture level:

    - Future HPC platform architectures
    - Energy cost and power consumption
    - I/O latency and bandwidth (memory, interconnect, and storage)
    - Concurrency and data locality
    - Extreme scale from sub-component to total system
    - Resiliency, Reliability, Availability, Serviceability (RAS)
    - The "storage gap" between storage and compute performance

    At the System Software level:

    - Scalability, modularity, robustness
    - Capability for virtualisation
    - Extensive system monitoring
    - Increased system heterogeneity
    - Awareness of data-movement cost

    For the programming environment:

    - Hierarchical models
    - Data distribution and locality
    - Performance analytics
    - Emergence of new parallel algorithms
    - Awareness of data-movement cost
    - Application code migration and re-writing Related to new HPC usage models:

    > Explosion of data volumes ("Big Data")
    > Increasing heterogeneity of data
    > HPC workloads in cloud computing

    (Source: The European Technology Platform for High Performance Computing, )

    An industry-led initiative, a European Technology Platform (ETP) for High Performance Computing will define research priorities for the development of a globally competitive HPC technology ecosystem in Europe. It will propose and help to implement a Strategic Research Agenda, while acting as the "one voice" of the European HPC industry in relations with the European Commission and national authorities.

  • Photonics Open or Close

    Following the paradigm of the rapid evolution of electronics that followed the invention of the transistor in the late 1940's, over the coming decades photonics will impact most areas of our lives, revolutionising societies and industries around the globe. Photonics will enable:

    - The development of the future internet infrastructure with multi-terabit capacity, able to leverage new products and sophisticated services that fully exploit this connectivity, nurturing radically new IT services and business models in all areas of human activities;

    - New manufacturing processes with extraordinary quality that will allow mass customisation, rapid manufacturing and zero-fault production bringing a major competitive advantage to European manufacturing industry;

    - Radical new approaches to Healthcare moving from the current, cost-intensive treatment after onset of a disease, to the detection and prevention of the disease at the earliest possible stage, resulting to greater patient survivability, less intensive treatment regimes, and significantly reduced post-treatment care costs;

    - The transition in lighting from incumbent technology to low energy consumption, digital technology, built around LEDs, OLEDs, sensors and microprocessor intelligence that will lead to substantial reductions in lighting energy requirements.

    - Photonic sensing and imaging contributing to a greener environment by advanced pollution detection, and enabling higher levels of security and safety through the use of sophisticated surveillance technology and detection of unauthorised goods.

    (Source: Photonics - Our vision for a Key Enabling Technology in Europe, Protnics21 ETP, 2011)

    Photonics21 is the European Technology Platform for photonics representing the majority of the leading photonics industries and relevant R&D stakeholders along the whole economic value chain throughout Europe. It develops the European photonics strategy for future research and innovation in Europe, coordinates photonics R&I priorities and provides input to the European research framework programme Horizon 2020.


  • Big Data Software and Services Open or Close

    In recent years, Big Data has become a major topic in the field of ICT. It is evident that Big Data means  business opportunities, but also major research challenges. According to McKinsey & Co1 Big Data is “the  next frontier for innovation, competition and productivity”. The impact of Big Data gives not only a huge  potential for competition and growth for individual companies, but the right use of Big Data also can increase productivity, innovation, and competitiveness for entire sectors and economies.This is in line with  the targets set out in the Europe 2020 Strategy aiming to foster a sustainable, smart and inclusive European  economy, where the EU-flagship the Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE) has the overall aim to create a  sustainable and economic European digital single market with a number of measures directed at the use of data sources in Europe (NESSI White Paper, December 2012).

    In this context, NESSI, the Networked European Software and Services Initiative, provides input to the EU Institutions on research actions and technology matters of particular importance to the software domain, and the overall aim is to enable the software and services sector help vitalize the great potential of the European economy and society. NESSI gathers partners and members from all over Europe, both from industry and academia, and engages in close dialogue with the European Commission and other stakeholders on several topics of specific relevance to NESSI - such as Big Data Value, Cloud Computing and Software Engineering.

    NESSI takes an active role in addressing future challenges of Europe, by offering research oriented software and services based solutions, while at the same time working for ensuring that enough resources are invested in leading-edge industrial and academic research for innovative technologies in the software and service domain. Europe has to turn its outstanding R&D potential, its infrastructure and its technological environment into successful product development and marketable products in order to maintain its competitive edge.

  • Interactive Content Media and Creative Industries Open or Close

    A vast amount of content is becoming available on demand, both through storage in the home and  on request over many different networks from content producers and aggregators. There is an  explosion in social networking internet sites, where content is a form of communication in its own  right, reflecting the fundamental human drive to communicate. These new services will need new  internet structures and intelligent universal terminals, together with new object-based methods of  representing real or imagined worlds and manipulating those representations.  

    Although technology can be – and is – used to create barriers, it more often creates new  opportunities, new applications, new services that can transform people’s lives and create wealth  for all. It is those applications of technology that the NEM Initiative would like to encourage to fulfil its vision for 2020. (Strategic Research Agenda “Networked and Electronic Media” European Technology Platform, NEM).

    The NEM Initiative is one of the recognized European Technology Platforms (ETPs) of Horizon 2020. The NEM ETP aims at building sustainable European leadership in content, media, and the creative industries. The European Technology Platform is to be a key player in Interactive Content & Media and the Creative Industries, operating within the European innovation ecosystem to help turn Europe into an Innovation Union. ‘NEM’ will therefore take a holistic view, identifying the pathway to commercial deployment of research, providing strategic insights into market opportunities and needs, and mobilising and connecting innovation actors across the EU in order to enable European companies and stakeholders to gain competitive advantage in global markets.
    The NEM main functions are:

    1. A strategy function: provide a coherent business focused analysis of research and innovation bottlenecks and opportunities related to societal challenges and industrial leadership actions and develop strategies to address these;
    2. A mobilising function: mobilise industry and other stakeholders within the EU to work in partnership and deliver on agreed priorities;
    3. A dissemination function: share information and enable knowledge transfer to a wide range of stakeholders across the EU