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Summary ISA-EUNET:
Intensive Software Systems for Safety Appli-cations: A High-Tech Software European lean Network of experts in Safety Applica-tions to support directly SMEs at regional level

Motivation and business relevance of the project versus needs of audience

Software Intensive Systems (SIS) for Safety Applications (SA) is becoming one of the major issues for many industries which adopt outsourcing policies towards external IT specialised SMEs mainly in Design and Prototypal phase of com-plex systems implementation. The economic world-wide dimension of this specific new expanding market is rapidly increasing from less than 50 MECU in 1995-96 to more than 600 MECU forecast for 1999-2000 (at an average yearly cumulative rate > 80%) involving directly more than 1000 European IT SMEs (with more than 12.000 specialists, the majority of which need specific and focused re-training and/or technology updating).

This exceptional yearly rate depends at 35-40% on inter-sectorial movement of resources (within the same companies so without generating additional cash) and at 45-40% on a real market expansion. In the same period the safety related systems sales present an average yearly rate of growth of 18%.

In front of this new and relevant business, the European SMEs which are the target of our proposed action, have a big challenge and, at the same time, they show specific points of cultural issues. They must remain competitive if they want to survive in the new world-wide scenario. which will become larger and larger (from the business point of view) in consideration of the (additional) opportunities generated by the new expanding area of "extensively deployed products with embedded IT and/or embedded SIS".

All the European SMEs working in SIS.SA technological area (which includes energy and process industry, medical equipment, automotive and transport systems, robotics, informatics, avionics, telecom, aerospace, aeronautics and in the immediate future also a number of consumer products, etc.) have in common the need of a personalised and direct support in order to solve successfully the practical problems they have to face in their day-by-day activity.

This means also hands-on, direct training on consolidated European Best Practices and local support and tutoring on a wider set of subjects related to the solution of their practical problems on safety issues for concentrated/central systems and for extensively deployed consumer and non-consumer products and services.

Specific objectives of the Project

The specific objectives of this project are: to raise awareness of SMEs on the different aspects of SIS.SA, to support the same SMEs with proper training on European SBP, methods and tools, to provide on-site tutoring, to promote the circulation of "validated" information in the specific technological area, to improve the effectiveness of European SMEs business operation and, finally, to create a new market niche for the "safety technology" operators. In this scenario SIS.SA and extensively deployed systems embedding SIS. SA are becoming relevant parts of "safety technology".

All partners (including co-ordinator) do implement specific direct actions towards SMEs at regional level according to the Work Plan, and take part in the central supporting activity of the TEchnical KNowledge Office ("TEKNO") and activate links with national ESPINODES.

Common needs of all European target SMEs

The problem to assure safety and reliability of Software Intensive Systems for Safety Applications has been recognised to be a central problem not only for the IT Industries but in all industries/products that make use of IT technology. We are placing every day greater dependence on machines and systems using IT technology, to ensure our well being and safety. Nowadays "dependability" concept is becoming broader, it is not limited to nuclear power stations or to space missions, but it presents a clear impact on everyday life.

A few examples show the range:

In general the fundamentals of our existence, food, houses, materials, power, transport, are all related to complex software intensive system modules. inside an architecture which is highly dependable.

Many systems must be built-up starting from components and subsystems designed, tested and produced by different manufacturers. For commercial reasons, the manufacturers often refuse to transfer technical details (referring to internal working of their systems) to the "system integrator". This means that it is often impossible to get an overall view of dependability, safety and reliability of the elements we are using. The producers of subsystems often do not know how critical and dependable their projects are, nor they have a clear idea of the majority of side effects of their design decisions.

Eventually our target SMEs have to deal with this "chaotic" environment; this appears to be the problem and trying to solve this problem, ISA-EUNET is giving its free of charge contribution to the Target SMEs (on a limited and focussed scale, of course, dependent on funding).

Key aspects characterising European Territories:

In consideration of the extension of the territory covered by this ISA-EUNET project and the existing cultural and economic differences, each partner is entitled to take his regional approach (but consistent with the overall strategy).

Partners are:
QLAB (Italy), ENEA (Italy), ARCS (Austria), Delta (Denmark), GRS (Germany), AUEB (Greece), KEMA (Netherlands), SP (Sweden), CSR (UK)

Dr.Ing. Pierluigi MODOTTI
Consorzio QualityLab
Via Jervis 22
I-10015 IVREA, Italy
Tel. +39 - 0125 - 40507
FAX +39 - 0125 - 40397

Dipl.-Ing. Erwin Schoitsch
Austrian Research Centers
A-2444 Seibersdorf, AUSTRIA
Tel. +43 2254 780 3117
FAX +43 2254 72133

Dr. Peter KAFKA
D - 85748 Garching/München
Tel. +49 - 89 32004 - 475
Fax +49 - 89 32004 - 306

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