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Abstract

The aim of EXPRESS is to support the development of an Ecosystem for Smart Systems Integration in Europe. In this context, ecosystem is defined as a sustaining environment to promote economic growth, skills growth, and growth in industrial capability and global competitiveness, fuelled by the extension of knowledge, the ambitions of innovators and the business and societal needs of the community at large. The ultimate aim is to accelerate the adoption and thereby bring forward the rewards of Smart Systems Integration.

Partial ecosystems exist in the form of national and regional groupings of business and public research actors, special interest groups, knowledge transfer networks, research collaborations, and the tiered supply chains of major industrial players. These groupings, although many of their members have relevant resources, are not yet marshalled to push EU capabilities in what is becoming a dominant and global industrial arena in the run-up to 2020.

EXPRESS will

  1. identify the existing strands of capability in groupings and value chain players from research to the marketplace,
  2. examine the gaps to be bridged and
  3. create strategies and tools to complete the eco-cycles of skills>research>investment>innovation>exploitation>re-investment that are vital if the economic opportunities and societal benefits of Smart Systems Integration are to be realised.

EXPRESS will also ally itself to other programmes and apply the experience of the extensive EPoSS membership, which has been translated into actions such as the Joint International Master in Smart Systems Integration funded under the Erasmus Mundus M.Sc. programme. This experience and capability will be deployed in tandem with the outputs of the CSA IRISS, which include a description of the activities and scope of players along the value chain; a Strategic Research Agenda; evidence of global capabilities; and an understanding of the valuable contributions to be made by SMEs.

The consortium of EXPRESS consists of 8 organisations from 6 European countries, representing major Smart Systems clusters from regions across Europe, the membership base of which together amounts to some 10,000 organisations, mostly companies, and more than 60 % of which SMEs.

Additional expertise, commitment to the mission of the project and channels to Smart Systems players are brought in by 15 associated partners from 10 countries, representing also Smart Systems communities outside Europe, including those from the US, Australia and Taiwan. Furthermore, the EPoSS Executive Committee is involved as the advisory board of the project. The group is made up of some 20 leading SSI companies from 10 countries in Europe and of major public and private research institutes from 7 European countries.