Editor’s Note: In a bid to develop the right growth model for Nigeria, the author examines some selected emerging and developed economies. Today, he takes a look at the European economy, not necessarily the EU. Understand that microelectronics covers embedded systems.
The European industry projected to invest more than N 22 billion per annum in embedded systems research and development by 2009. This is almost double what it invested in 2003. Because of the importance of embedded systems technology for key industrial sectors (from industrial automation and medical equipment to automotive and avionics), the European Commission has devoted a specific part of its Information Society Technologies (IST) program to embedded systems research.
From 2003 to 2006 alone, it has invested 140 million euro in collaborative projects between industry, academia and research centers (Kostas, 2006). These projects focus largely on systems design, safety- critical systems, embedded computing, middleware platforms, wireless sensor networks, and distributed and hybrid control systems.
Embedded systems were also one of the six “pillars” of ICT research in the European Commission‘s proposals for the 7th Framework Programme, that started in 2007. In 2004, the Technology Platform ARTEMIS (Advanced Research and Technology for EMbedded Intelligence and Systems) was set up. ARTEMIS is an industry-led initiative to reinforce the EU’s position as a leading global player in the design, integration and supply of embedded systems.
The driving force behind ARTEMIS is the vision of a society where all systems, machines, and objects have become digital, communicating, self-managed resources. These transformations are possible through advances in embedded systems technologies and their large-scale deployment, not only in industry and services, but in all areas of human activity. Such developments have a range of important consequences for society and the economy which include (Kostas, 2006):
- Life in our society and its safety and security will depend increasingly on embedded systems.
- The competitiveness of European industries, in almost all sectors, will rely on innovation capabilities in the area of embedded systems.
- Given the dramatically increasing importance of embedded systems to productivity growth, these technologies will be critically important in redressing the present imbalance in productivity growth between Europe, the US and Asia.
Maintaining a leading position in embedded systems technology will require significant investment in research and development that is focused on specific joint priorities. The European economy understands that and continues to play a major role in that regard.