Since 1984, the year that the European Union implemented the first Framework Program for Research and Technological Development, the impact of R&D in the European political agenda has maintained a sustained growth driven by the results of scientific and technological projects promoted by these Framework Program.
The last framework program under development is known as Horizon 2020 (H2020) that will be run during the 2014-2020 period and is defined as “the most ambitious program of research and innovation launched by the European Union (EU), and it is expected to result in further progress, discoveries and worldwide primacies, turning great ideas emerged from laboratories in market products.” Horizon 2020 has a budget close to 80,000 million euros, and defines three priority areas: “Excellent Science”, “Industrial Leadership” and “Societal Challenges”. Ultimately, a program attempts to streamline the process of transferring the results of scientific research to the projects of technological innovation in the form of new products and services.
If we focus on industrial and business point of view, it should be noted that two of the three priority areas that are the backbone of the H2020 program are precisely the industrial leadership (not to be invested over 13,000 million euros) and other orientation of the results toward certain needs of society (challenges of society).
This whole scenario makes the Framework Program H2020 a leverage for European industry opportunities in which, moreover, the sector of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) play a very important role, which can be used in strengthening the strategic actions such as: technological innovation, competitiveness, and internationalization.
As an example of this thesis, we put the first two projects H2020 in which our company, Advanced Systems of Technology (SATEC), will participate from January of 2017 and how it aligns with the three strategic actions exposed.
The RECAP project (Reliable Capacity Provisioning and Enhanced Remediation for Distributed Cloud Applications) is a project submitted to one of the announcements areas for ICT of the H2020 program as a RIA (Research and Innovation Action) and aims to the generic development of the next generation of applications and systems provisioning and remediation based computing model called “Fog Computing “(also edge and cloud computing) through research advances focused on optimization, simulation and automation such as:
- Applications modeling in fog/edge/cloud Computing architectures: Complex infrastructure models of deployment and application behavior, dynamic distributed applications.
- QoS modeling in fog/edge/cloud architectures in the application and component level (application and infrastructure).
- Modeled automatic workloads: monitoring (hardware and software) orchestration, distributed clouds.
- Optimization systems of infrastructures of data centers: planning, decentralized monitoring, systems of load shaking, tools of management and system control.
- Simulation of scenarios FOG / EDGE / CLOUD in a large scale: orchestration of decision making support, storage, file systems, networks, etc.
- Rehabilitation of systems and complex distributed networks: process automation of detection and correction of errors (standard network infrastructure and maintenance of QoS).
Indeed, the definition of the project is very generic and so focused on technical aspects, some very new and unheard of, at first glance, it might seem that this is a project is very academic and hardly manageable for an industrial partner. But in fact, that’s not the case, and we can turn it into a good example of a business strategy in terms of internationalization, innovation, and competitiveness that we have developed taking into account the aspects that we expose below.
Firstly RECAP, as most of the projects funded by the European Commission program H2020, proposed and developed by consortia of companies, universities, and technology centers in various European countries. The RECAP consortium comprises 9 partners from 5 countries: 3 universities, 1 research center, 2 SMEs and 3 large companies (one of them is SATEC).
The first step to boost the internationalization is precisely the participation in a consortium well-balanced not only by the diversity of the participating countries but also by the roles of other industrial partners. The collaborative efforts between partners and complementary actions proposals offer good chances to get new contacts and potential opportunities in the markets of the countries of these partners.
Similarly, the process of dissemination of the project results, explicitly defined as an activity of the project in the form of documents, publications, lectures, workshops, etc. constitute a fundamental activity in the processes of marketing of the company with international component provided by the set of participants.
Perhaps the component is more complicated to manage and develop. The innovation is developed from the investigation proposals defined by the academy. Our role as an industrial partner in this aspect focuses on researching, studying and understanding the new market needs or weaknesses of existing products and services for which the proposed research can provide the sufficient foundation to renew and improve our portfolio. Specifying in RECAP project, SATEC parts from the research proposal of FOG / EDGE computing, and analyzes the impact of the massive development of the IoT / IoE (Internet of Things / Internet of Everything) and the potential need of customers (carriers, utilities, etc.) to give solution to the problems that will surely cause inconveniences in the near future. In short, we seek the commercial application of the investigation results in now products and services, followed by an innovation cycle, planned in a reasonable time frame.
Our competitiveness goal is two-fold. First, we keep a full alignment with the processes of innovation in terms of the transformation of the results of R & D of the project in solutions and specific services that can be marketed. SATEC’s strategy in this regard is to maximize the effort in the definition and development of use cases within the project. In RECAP, for example, we define a realistic use case in the field of smart cities. We establish a set of features in which the Fog and Edge technologies are developed in the project will involve significant improvements and, above all, allow us to anticipate technological changes that will happen. Ultimately, we encourage a differentiation (we are already working on developing Fog computing in the age of Cloud computing). Finally, the financial backing provided by the program H2020 represents a fundamental boost to allow companies to assume the costs and risks typical of innovative initiatives.