Embedded Intelligence - Introduction to the Special Theme
by Erwin Schoitsch and Amund Skavhaug
Embedded Systems are a key if Europe is to remain in the forefront of digital technology and as such they have been classified as an important research area for the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme - the main financial tool through which the EU supports research and development activities. The IST/FET (Future and Emerging Technologies) programme 'Beyond the Horizon', coordinated by ERCIM, points out that Embedded Systems, in combination with pervasive - or ubiquitous - computing, (cognitive) intelligence and software-intensive systems, which in fact means 'embedded intelligence', or 'smart systems' in the broader context of 'smart environments', are the most important challenge for strategic, long-term research, with a huge impact on society and the economy. The ITEA2 Roadmap (Information Technology for European Advancement) reaches the same conclusion - that Embedded Systems are a crucial technology for European competitiveness.