ICT Policy, Research and Innovation for a Smart Society: towards new avenues in EU-US ICT collaboration

Tackling societal concerns through collaboration in key technology areas is today’s challenge for both the EU and the USA. It is at the same time a generator of business opportunities and a source for wealth creation and growth.

The PICASSO project provided an exchange platform for EU and US experts through dedicated technology-oriented working groups in order to propose solutions for a smart society (smart cities, smart transport, smart energy…). In addition, a policy working group aimed at supporting the EU-US policy dialogue by contributions related to topics such as privacy, security, internet governance, interoperability, and ethics.

Based on an in-depth analysis of policy gaps in the three technology domains 5G Networks, Big Data, Internet of Things/Cyber Physical Systems, the analysis of industrial drivers, societal needs, and priorities for EU-US ICT collaboration, the working groups proposed measures to stimulate the policy dialogue in these areas. This synergy between experts in ICT policies and in ICT technologies was a unique feature of PICASSO with benefit to both the policy and the technology communities in the EU and the USA.

The PICASSO working group experts met regularly in order to prepare an Opportunity Report for EU-US ICT collaboration dedicated to large and small industries, academia and networks that would point out new avenues for EU-US research, innovation and policy collaboration. An “ICT Industry Toolkit” was made available online and as a mobile application, providing information on funding programmes and collaboration opportunities (Horizon 2020 and US ICT programmes) in order to support company and academia exchange, and to provide access to reciprocal programmes.

Sustainable growth in the ICT sector is dependent on policy, standardization and regulatory issues. Policy experts from the EU and US who were brought together through PICASSO identified policy gaps and prepared Policy Briefs that focused on specific aspects such as the potential needs for common standardization, for privacy and confidentiality or cyber security. An ICT White Paper was developed, proposing the way forward to achieve fair competition and equal access to markets and technologies and means to help improve the mutual understanding of the differences in approaches and policies to overcome unproductive blocking situations.

PICASSO investigated options for strategic initiatives (e.g. on standardization, regulation and de- regulation…) and put forward topics for exclusive EU-US collaboration under joint coordinated schemes to support EU-US pre-competitive research and innovation related to the core ICT technological areas and societal challenges. The technology and policy specialists were invited to participate in additional activities. PICASSO proposed such as events, the development of success stories’ factsheets, info sessions and webinars.

The PICASSO consortium was combining academic, industrial and policy support experience and includes the EU-based partners Technische Universität Dortmund and Technische Universität Dresden, Germany, THHINK Wireless Technologies, UK, Athens Technology Center, Greece, Agenzia per la Promozione delle Ricerca Europea, Italy, GNKS Consult, The Netherlands, and the US-based partners Honeywell International, The Miami-Florida Jean Monnet Center of Excellence (MFJMCE) at Florida International University, and the Technological Leadership Institute, University of Minnesota, USA. The project is supported by NIST – the National Institute of Standard and Technology, USA. The PICASSO partnership was led by inno TSD, France.

ATC chaired the EU-US Big Data expert group responsible for the big data expert group while also led the dissemination activities of all expert groups.

The project started in January 2016 and had a duration of 30 months.

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