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Interactive touch technology wins ITEA gold Achievement Award 2009

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The 2009 gold ITEA Achievement Award went to the SmartTouch project for its outstanding contribution to the programme of ITEA 2 – the EUREKA Cluster for Software-intensive Systems and Services (SiSS). The ITEA 2 Board particularly appreciated the simple touch and interactive user orientation of the platform and concepts developed, based on near field communication (NFC) short-range wireless connectivity.

“Promotion of NFC technology in many different applications enabled the consortium to succeed in rapid commercial exploitation of its research results,” said Philippe Letellier, Vice-Chairman of ITEA 2 during the awards ceremony at the end of the joint ARTEMIS & ITEA Co-summit in Madrid on 30 October.

The silver award went to the EPAS card project that has opened up the single European payment area and led to an ISO standard – the first for card protocols. And the bronze award went to the SODA embedded web devices project which has made a major contribution to the ‘web of objects’. The D-MINT model-based industrial testing project won the ITEA Exhibition award for the most convincing presentation of results in the ITEA exhibition, demonstrating applications across a range of industries.

All the projects honoured are clear indications of the strong role innovation in information and communication technology (ICT) is playing in the recovery of the European economy. They also reflect ITEA 2’s strong belief in the need for swift exploitation of collaborative research.

Signalling significant results for Europe

The ITEA 2 Board presents the Achievement Awards for high-level technical contributions based on real European collaboration that provide significant results while promoting the programme and its goals. Each year, these prestigious honours highlight highly successful projects that represent best practice. Major factors include innovation, exploitation and dissemination.

As ITEA 2 aims to make Europe’s industry more competitive, effective industrial exploitation of project results is crucial. This can include: highly innovative solutions; implementation of standards and the adoption and diffusion of platforms; new services based on the software, including those used within industries; application of the software in basic network operations; licensing and spin-offs; and product sales – directly, in packages or via original equipment manufacturers (OEMs)..

Piloting smart interactive services

NFC offers short-range wireless connectivity enabling smart consumer devices to interact quickly and easily when brought close together or touching. Gold award winner SmartTouch designed and tested an NFC platform and concepts for corresponding business chains for payment and ticketing, access control, infotainment and entertainment services. It was the largest effort on piloting NFC technology in the EU and has achieved worldwide impact.

research organisation VTT. "NFC is now ready and our project tested business models. Consortium member Gemalto has successful sold a full-scale NFC solution to Taiwan Mobile covering payment and loyalty cards as well as smart devices. pubic transport company RAV is continuing to exploit NFC technology for ticketing and looking at expanding functionality. Spring 2010 should see some significant announcements on NFC."

First card protocol for ISO

Silver award winner EPAS developed three major card-based protocols to overcome obstacles to the interoperability of electronic payment schemes to support the successful creation of the Single European Payment Area (SEPA). The acquirer, retailer and terminal protocols are based on open standards and will be supported by the newly-established EPASOrg.

“EPAS created the necessary momentum to achieve a series of universally-accepted standards worldwide,” says project co-ordinator William Vanobberghen of Groupement des Cartes Bancaires. “It is the very first card payment protocol to become a standard as ISO 20022. This is a key prerequisite to ensure the further interoperability and development of card-payment business worldwide.”

Boost to product lines

Bronze award winner SODA made a major contribution to the ‘web of objects’ by embedding of web services providing intelligence in low cost – under €5 – devices. Exploiting the results of earlier ITEA projects, SODA demonstrated its approach in domains from industrial and home automation to medical care, speeding introduction of innovative services – enabling consortium partners to extend and integrate their product lines. And it promoted global standardisation through the OASIS Devices Profile for Web Services (DPWS).

SODA developed the overall ecosystem to manage embedded web services, exploiting service-oriented architecture to allow seamless system integration of device services with higher-level business processes. “We made three key innovations: interoperability to allow direct communication from simple devices to IT systems; plug and play for automatic detection and management; and integration thanks to modularisation,” explains project co-ordinator Francois Jammes of Schneider Electric.

More information:

SmartTouch (ITEA 05024) http://www.smarttouch.org/

EPAS (ITEA 05008) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EPAS

SODA (ITEA 05022) http://www.soda-itea.org/

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