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Brussels, 22 February 2008

Europe speeds up industrial research in Micro-Computers

The European Commission is launching today a major Joint Technology Initiative (JTI) called ARTEMIS. With an unprecedented investment of € 2.5 billion, this initiative, that has been endorsed by the Council of Ministers and by the European Parliament at the end of 2007, addresses embedded computer systems that – while running almost unnoticed by users – improve the performance of all kinds of machines: from cars, planes and phones, to factories, washing machines and televisions. The Governing Boards of ARTEMIS – where public and private stakeholders take decisions jointly – met for the first time in Brussels today.

"Invisible computers embedded in all devices of industrial application can have a tremendously positive impact on Europe's economy", said Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media. "More and more, useful applications affecting the daily life of consumers rely on such embedded systems, whether in credit cards or in cars. Also the new Airbus includes many embedded technologies from fly-by-wire to cabin pressure control. This is why €2.5 billion of European public and private research investment into embedded system over 10 years is very worthwhile, ensuring that European technology remains at the forefront worldwide. I am grateful to the European Parliament and to the Council of Ministers for having given their full support to this new form of pooling research efforts in Europe."

98 % of computing devices are embedded in all kinds of electronic equipment and machines. Computers are now present in everyday devices like mobile phones, credit cards, cars and planes or places like homes, offices and factories. Over 4 billion embedded processors were sold last year and the global market is worth € 60 billion with annual growth rates of 14 %. Forecasts predict more than 16 billion embedded devices by 2010 and over 40 billion by 2020. This is the commercial opportunity to be addressed by the € 2.5 billion of research invested during the next 10 years. In the meantime, the share of embedded systems in the value of final products is expected to continue to rise in key industrial sectors. Taking the example of a car, by 2010 over 35 % of its value will be attributable to embedded electronics.

To promote economies of scale, cost savings and much shorter times to market for products based on embedded computer technologies, and to keep European industry at the forefront of global developments in these fields, the EU has decided, following a European Commission proposal from May 2007 (see IP/07/668)) to pioneer an entirely new way of funding this research in Europe. The Commission and the EU Member States who wish to participate will pool their public funding with universities and industry, including many innovative SMEs, by setting up a public-private partnership. While research funding in embedded systems so far tends to be fragmented in small projects funded by individual Member States and agencies, the new "open" consortium – with the name ARTEMIS – allows Member States and the Commission to co-operate and co-finance pan-European research initiatives focussed on a strategic agenda set by Industry itself. Private and public stakeholders are equally represented in the Governing Boards to jointly take all strategic decisions.

At the moment, the following Member States participate in ARTEMIS:

Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom

ARTEMISIA, the Artemis Industrial Association currently has over a hundred members including 50% research organisations, 22% SMEs and 28% corporate members. The ARTEMISIA Steering Board includes the following companies: ABB AB Corporate Research, AIRBUS, Ardaco, A.S., AVL List GmbH, Critical Software SA, Daimler A.G., Ericsson AB, Finmeccanica-Società per azioni, Hellenic, Aerospace Industry S.A., Infineon Technologies AG, Inspire AG, Nokia Corporation, NXP, Philips Electronics, Siemens AG, ST Microelectronics, Telelogic AB, Thales Corporate.


Agreement on ARTEMIS was reached first by the Competitiveness Council on 23 November (see MEMO/07/479) and then by the European Parliament on 11 December (see IP/07/1896). EU Regulations allowing ARTEMIS to be set up were formally approved by the Council on 20 December 2007 and published in the EU's Official Journal on 7 February 2008.

Within the next few months they will be fully operational as organisations based in Brussels with their own rules, own staff, premises and budgets. Their tasks will include co-ordinating research through calls for proposals and funding of research projects of European scale. The idea of such Joint Undertakings is to streamline the provision of project funding from both the public and private sector, in order to bring innovations to the market quicker.

The European Commission also launched today a second Joint Technology Initiative called ENIAC which targets nanoelectronics (see IP/08/284). These two JTIs represent a breakthrough in efficient implementation of research programmes at the scale and speed needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global competition.

For more information on Joint Technology Initiatives, see:


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