August 18, 2020

1757 words 9 mins read

New digital partnerships to promote Europes push for technology sovereignty

New digital partnerships to promote Europes push for technology sovereignty

Next year will see the launch of five new public-private research partnerships in digital technologies that aim to put more flesh on the bones of EU ambitions to achieve greater technology sovereignty and to ensure European principles and ethics underpin products such as robots, machine learning, autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence.

“We are doing this for our European values,” said Th

omas Hahn, the president of the Big Data Value Association (BDVA), the industry group behind the one of the partnerships, in Artificial Intelligence, Data and Robotics, and chief software expert at Siemens. “We have to increase our momentum in Europe,” Hahn said. “We have to push this forward in a clever way.”

The AI partnership has set the objectives of boosting new markets and applications and attracting investment, to create technical, economic and societal value for business, citizens and the environment. “Europe can and must be in seven years the pacemaker – and we have a powerful network between startups, SMEs, big companies, research institutes and government doing this,” said Hahn.

Similarly, Colin Willcock, chair of the 5G Infrastructure Association, the group behind the partnership in smart networks and services, and head of radio network standardisation at Nokia, said Europe must be able to shape its cellular networks to align with European values in areas like data protection. “If we are basing all our future industry on this infrastructure, the ability to influence it is very important,” he said.

Cellular networks are stretching their tentacles into more and more communication-dependent applications. Faster networks are key to autonomous vehicles, the internet of things, smart cities and virtual reality. “All of these [are] areas we can apply these mobile communication and we can get huge advantages,” said Willcock.

The goal of the smart networks partnership is to strengthen 5G networks, to enable industrial leadership, while simultaneously laying the foundation for next generation 6G. Working together, industry partners, including non-European companies, can set the route to 6G, working on proof of concept for the underpinning technologies, in preparation for the start of deployment in 2030.

“If we do not have the ability to create and influence that technology in Europe, it will not meet the requirement and constraints of the European market,” said Willcock. “It is vital that we have some sort of technological sovereignty.”

The other three digital technology partnerships are in high performance computing; key digital technologies; and photonics. Taken together, the five public private partnerships will form the digital cluster of the 40 or so research partnerships due to be set up under EU’s next research programme, Horizon Europe.

Within the digital cluster, all five are interlinked and interdependent. Many AI tools need 5G to run efficiently, while AI is needed to process the massive amount of data generated by 5G networks. For Europe to be able to shape the development of these sectors according to its regulations and priorities, such as protection of personal data and human-centric AI, it must have a grip on all the key technologies.

However, this does not mean that Europe should produce all its own technology. It is about shaping the technology that is coming out according to Europe’s priorities. The key is understanding the whole value chain from digital infrastructure to dataspaces, on to applying data solutions in different industries, while involving players from other parts of the world in the process, says Hahn.

The goal is to empower the entire value chain, not just the producers of the technology, said Ana Garcia, director general of BDVA. “We really want to see in 2027 that we have developed the trust, the skills, the tools, and make sure that different sectors, including the public sector can safely adopt technologies based on safe AI, data, robotics.”

A BVDA position paper published this week says Europe’s two major internationally distinguishing realities in this area - of a diversified business landscape and an ethics-driven regulatory framework, “Should be considered as strengths, rather than weaknesses.” If appropriately tapped into, Europe’s higher business diversity can enable it to compete with regions dominated by large players that monopolise the market and possess large data assets, the paper says.

The five digital partnerships plan to work with each other to ensure take-up of their respective technologies. “We do not only want to develop the [data and AI] usage part, but we want our technology providers to be competitive with non-European ones in a way that we develop our own technologies. This takes into consideration the whole technology value chain,” said Garcia.

However, Willcock said that despite ongoing discussions with different partnerships, the talks lack structure. “It is a worry how we can work with so many at the same time,” he said. One answer could be bringing all digital cluster partnerships together once a year to discuss how they can take a joint approach. “We have been trying to break these silos, but there is no overall picture. It is pretty hazy,” he said.

The European Commission is currently assessing the partnership proposals. Once the 2021 – 2027 EU budget is agreed, the European Parliament and the Council must agree the plans, including details of potential synergies between partnerships.

Other digital partnerships include:

High performance computing

In 2018, the commission launched a public-private partnership to acquiring and install supercomputers around Europe. In September, it announced the EU budget, member state and industry investment in the partnership will be boosted to €8 billion for the next seven years.

With more money, the EU hopes to improve its supercomputer capacity and produce its own machines, reducing Europe’s dependence on foreign hardware suppliers. EuroHPC will set Europe on the path to becoming “the most modern continent when it comes to data processing,” said EU internal market commissioner, Thierry Breton.

Photonics

Another partnership will deal with photonics technologies that underpin smartphones, lasers, and many medical instruments. The goal of the partnership will be to strengthen core photonics technologies to ensure Europe’s competitiveness and technical sovereignty, enhance the photonics innovation ecosystem in Europe, and involve downstream sectors in setting priorities for the industry.

Author: Goda Naujokaitytė

Date: 2020-11-05

URL: https://sciencebusiness.net/news/new-digital-partnerships-promote-europes-push-technology-sovereignty

sciencebusiness.net

EU sets out plan for more independence in drugs manufacturing (2020-11-26) Margaritis SchinasVice-President of the European Commission Photo: European Commission The European Commission outlined its strategy for pharmaceuticals on Wednesday with the goal of boosting drug development in Europe making existing supplies more affordable and preventing the shortages seen in the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in March EU health commissioner Stella Kyriakides said much mo..
EU promises new guidelines against foreign spying in universities and labs (2020-11-26) The European Commission on Wednesday promised to publish new guidelines in 2021 on foreign interference targeting EU universities and higher education institutions as part of a broader strategy to strengthen and simplify patent protection while preventing foreign countries from wrongfully acquiring European research and innovation assets The commission says it will stand ready to use restrictive m..
‘Dread and cautious optimism’ as researchers await election outcome (2020-11-03) November 4 update: Vote counting continues in the too-close-to-call US election with president Trump already threatening legal action if the result doesnt go his way Below a reminderof where both candidates stand on science and technology As the US awaits an outcome to its election the two candidates approaches on science and technology couldnt be further apart Former vice president Joe Bidens pla.. ‘Dread and cautious optimism’ as researchers await election outcome
Save our soils: harmonising data essential to success of Horizon Europe research mission (2020-11-24) Next month will see the launchof the EU Soil Observatory a new programme for monitoring European soils which will merge information from the EUs Copernicus earth observation satellites and field assessments from the European Soil Centre to create a single database on the health of soils across Europe The database will lay the foundations for the EU mission on soils one of the five moonshot researc..
Spanish Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology invests €29M in 48 business R&D projects (2020-11-05) 53 companies of which 39 are SMEs participate in the development of these projects and 28 of them receive financing from the CDTI for the first time 3 approved projects are related to the health emergency caused by COVID-19 11 of the approved operations are co-financed with the Pluriregional Operational Program of Spain FEDER 2014-2020 The CDTI Board of Directors a Public Business Entity EPE attac..
Marshalling medtech in the fight against superbugs (2020-11-18) The rise of bacteria and fungi resistant to hitherto lifesaving antibiotics presents one of the worlds most pressing public health challenges But new medical technologiesmedtechcould help to slow the spread of these disease-causing superbugs both by preventing infections in the first place and by improving treatment Antimicrobial-resistant superbugs evolve through natural selection: over time bact..
Barcelona Supercomputing Centre makes available to scientists its data tool for COVID-19 cases and citizen mobility (2020-11-26) Covid-19 Flow-Maps integrates data from known COVID-19 cases and citizen mobility The tool can serve as support to the administrations for decision making;to epidemiologists to feed their models with updated data and to citizens to visualize the relationship of the pandemic mobility and its associated risk The Covid-19 Flow-Maps project is fed daily with data from the health administrations and th..
UK’s DARPA lookalike should ‘not be a toy’ of government (2020-11-03) Chi Onwurah shadow minister for business energy and industrial strategy Photo: UK parliament A UK version of the US Advanced Research Projects Agency risks being a toy for government according to Chi Onwurah shadow minister for business energy and industrial strategy who says the proposal Does seem like a way of moving control out of existing institutions and into Whitehall Its got to be about mor..
Recovery budget will fire up green energy research (2020-11-26) EU energy commissioner Kadri Simson Photo: European Commission EU energy commissioner Kadri Simson says the EUs historic 18 trillion spending package which includes the 750 billion recovery fund will provide the firepower for a research and innovation push towards more clean energy With 37 per cent of the recovery package allocated to green spending this will be the biggest instrument to finance t..
The Guild welcomes the EU Commission’s ambitious plan towards European health cooperation (2020-11-26) The Guild welcomes theCommission Communicationon the Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe as an essential step towards the creation of a European Health Union Research and innovation are key components of the pharmaceutical value chain The Guild strongly supports the Pharmaceutical Strategys acknowledgement of the importance of investment in this area and the planned support via the Horizon Europe a..