Through its projects ITEA is pushing clear innovations that are defined
in comparison to the State of the Art (SotA). To help the ITEA Community
to position its innovation ideas, ITEA has gathered the latest, interesting
SotAs from ITEA projects on various technologies. Writing the State
of the Art (SotA) should not be considered as a formal exercise that is
mandatory for your Project Outline (PO) and Full Project Proposal (FPP).
It will help your project to sharpen its focus and to start on a good basis.
First, we present some reasons for investing in a SotA analysis and then
propose some advice on how to prepare it.
Why define a SotA?
First of all, the SotA will give the status of the
technologies that are important for your project.
The knowledge of what has been achieved so
far in the field is mandatory to know from where
you start and to have a reference to define the
progress you want to make. Taking into account
recent research results, commercially available
products and/or services and key players is
crucial to position the activities of the project
and to see what your project will bring as
additional elements to make it a success. It can
also help to select relevant KPIs that will guide
the execution of the project.
Furthermore, the SotA can help you to identify
interesting work that could be reused in your
project. Nowadays, complexity we must deal
with is very high and so any element that is
already developed is welcome to enable to focus
the effort on new developments: we do not want
to reinvent the wheel.
Next to that, at the PO phase, the SotA can serve
to identify relevant additional partners. If you
find a very strong actor in the field belonging
to a Eureka country, you can invite them to join
Fourth, the SotA is a way for you to convince the
reviewers and the Public Authorities that you
master the domain of your project. A PO or FPP
that clearly documents that you are aware of the
current SotA has a strong impact on the positive
assessment of the quality of your PO or FPP.
To continue with a last reason (of course this list
is not exhaustive), the SotA of your project is
used to provide the Living Roadmap for ITEA 3.
Thanks to this effort we have a continuous
technology intelligence that helps our
Community to follow innovations arising every
How to prepare a good SotA?
It is important in the SotA to describe the current
technological situation in the project’s domains
in terms of both industry and academia. So, it
is essential to look at the research activity of
the field. This leads to a search of the latest
developments in conferences or journals
of the domains. This activity can also help
to identify key research players of which a
further investigation of their works can be
interesting. Another source of information is
current or past research projects. The main
State of the Art A compass for your project
project funding instruments provide lists
of projects (ITEA website, Cordis database,
national programmes…) that are relevant to find
information on the recent research results. It is
important to comment potential collaboration
with these other projects in the same field.
The analysis of the state of the industry is also
very important to position your project. To find
knowledge about the current products/services
some browsing of the public information is
most of the time interesting. You can also look
at analysts’ sources that often position the
different players of the domain and provide their
view on the current trends.
To perform an analysis of the standards of
your domains is also very valuable. It can give
indications on elements that you can build on
or, conversely, information on what you must
For these different elements of the SotA, it is
important to describe them with the right level
of detail and the right focus. The enumeration of
too many different works or presenting only one
element will not be very effective. The selection
of the research papers, the existing projects and
the industrial solutions must be made according
to their connection with the technologies central
for your project. Presenting the information in
a precise and concise way with a reference to
the source of information is of course of great
value for the readers of the SotA. The quality
of the SotA will definitely depend more on its
connection with the objectives of the project
than on its exhaustivity.
Finally, it is useful to update your SotA during
the project. It is important to check that no actor
has moved quicker than the project and to keep
an eye open to detect potentially disruptive new
In summary, the SotA is a central element, a
guiding compass, to start a successful project.
In addition, the SotA delivered by the projects is
also at the heart of the Living Roadmap of ITEA
and so has a very special role in the life of our
Cluster. All good reasons to write your next SotA