Published on 04 May 2016

EUREKA Innovation Week 2016: a convergence of collaborative innovation in Stockholm

ITEA, the EUREKA Cluster on Software-intensive Systems and Services, held its ITEA Event 2016 on 28 April 2016 at the Stockholm City Conference Centre in Sweden, as part of the EUREKA Innovation Week 2016 (26-29 April). The EUREKA Innovation Week was attended by around 900 participants - international industry, SMEs, academics, policymakers, representatives from funding agencies and public authorities - from all over Europe and beyond, including South Africa, South Korea and Canada among others. Organised by the Swedish EUREKA Chair, the overarching theme of the week was: Smart Cities - Sustainable and Attractive Communities.

Open and collaborative
At the start of the event, on 26 April, Per Tervahauta, who heads the Swedish EUREKA chairmanship, reiterated the need for a global platform for innovation as a basis to fulfil EUREKA's mission to create growth and jobs. Former ITEA Chairman, Rudolf Hagenmüller, in his role as EUREKA Intercluster spokesman, emphasised the concept of 'open' in his vision of EUREKA's role in globalisation and called on the community to embrace the "open innovation, open talent, open market and open money". These views were referred to regularly by the other speakers in the plenary session, which saw contributions also from Canada, South Korea and South Africa, all of whom extolled the benefits of collaborating in the framework of EUREKA. In the following panel on global collaboration, Zeynep Sarılar, the new ITEA Chairwoman, spoke of the value of the EUREKA Clusters in general and the ITEA Community in particular, pointing to the uniqueness of the global - in all its senses - collaboration that defines and sets EUREKA apart: "It's something I experienced myself as businesswoman. It is the opportunity the Clusters give for everyone to contribute to and benefit from all the expertise we have." In the afternoon the associated countries presented their own programmes and the informal networking that had begun throughout the venue continued at the Gala Dinner that evening in the Stockholm City Hall, an appropriate Nobel Prize venue and source of inspiration and innovation.

 

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Impactful projects
Day two, 27 April, saw the topic of Smart Cities take centre stage along with an impressive display of innovative projects from the EUREKA Clusters in the exhibition space. Ten ITEA projects in the area of Smart Cities, drew plenty of interest as they pitched their impressive projects and deliverables.

During this day, the ITEA 2 project DIAMONDS was the recipient of the EUREKA innovation Award 2016 in the Added Value category. DIAMONDS is a project that has produced an effective methodology capable of strengthening the practices of security testing that are commonly used in computer science and various industrial areas. The jury cited "the significance of the societal benefits of security for today's and future societies." Furthermore, the impressive pitch by the DIAMONDS team paid off in also scooping the Pitch Award selected by public vote.

Other ITEA highlights during the second day included the ITEA 2 projects C³PO and BaaS that both gave good accounts of their projects and achievements during the respective Living Labs and Frontrunner Cities parallel sessions. Barco's Andy de Mets gave a very lucid account of the power of collaboration in solving smart city challenges. Franz-Josef Stewing presented Building as a Service, incorporating a video of their model building showing how a range of challenges can be addressed by automated solutions.

ITEA Event 2016 – galaxies of opportunities
The event's third day focused on the EUREKA Clusters including the ITEA Event 2016. The morning gave attendees the opportunity to take a look behind the scenes of an Intercluster meeting as six cluster leaders, had an on-stage discussion of a few of today’s key issues facing EUREKA. There was a firmly held consensus about the notion of 'open' (innovation, talent, money, market) and the ongoing need to be collaborative. ITEA Chairwoman, Zeynep Sarılar, used the occasion to not only reaffirm the ITEA mission but also tweak it by emphasising the need to be a global player, encourage the participation of start-ups and the inclusion of venture capitalists in the open money notion. During the ITEA Community session in the afternoon, she also expressed her own conviction that "the challenges we face like smart health and smart mobility are galaxies, each one full of millions of stars. Each star is a successful project that focuses on a specific innovative solution, collaborates with valuable global partners and aims to create an economic impact in global markets."

Of course, no ITEA Event could be complete without a speech about the ITEA programme highlights by the ITEA Vice-chairman Philippe Letellier. He presented one year of project results, ITEA's vision of the digital transition and introduced the second international customer workshop on Smart Health. His speech was followed by the presentations of three winners of the 2016 ITEA Awards of Excellence. ADAX (cyber-attack detection and countermeasures simulation) and H4H (hybrid parallel programming for high-performance computing) won in the 'business impact' category while RECONSURVE (a reconfigurable surveillance system with smart sensors and communication) took the 'user focus' category award.

The ITEA Event was concluded with a joint session between ITEA and the EUREKA Telecom Cluster, Celtic-Plus, and included visionary keynotes from Lena Carlsson, of the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, who focused on strategic areas for future policy in digitalisation and Daniele Quercia, of the Social Dynamics group at Bell Labs in Cambridge, who focused on smart cities.

Swedish State Secretary to the Minister for Enterprise and Innovation, Oscar Stenström, summed up the Innovation Week in his closing address: "The response and number of participants of this event have far exceeded our expectations. Many countries have contributed with big delegations, and the EUREKA associated countries brought in a global perspective. It is clear to me that we as Europeans can provide a lot of solutions to the global challenges we face, but we have to bring our ideas together first – this is where EUREKA can help."

 

For a full event overview, including presentations and pictures: https://itea3.org/itea-event-2016/index.html.