Internet of Things and Future Internet Enterprise Systems
The primary mission of the Unit "Networked Enterprise and RFID" (D4) of the European Commission's Directorate-General Information Society and Media is to support and coordinate research for the development of technologies relating to the Internet of Things and to Enterprise Systems in the Future Internet. Research on e-business technologies and on RFID – which was supported during a decade under FP5 and FP6, and still under Call 1 of FP7 ICT – is no longer a priority for the EU Research Framework Programme.
Established in the late 1990's as "e-Business", unit D4 has moved over the years to addressing the full spectrum of issues in the field of Enterprise Interoperability (EI), as defined in the Enterprise Interoperability Research Roadmap, with a view to enabling enterprises to build partnerships, deliver innovative and sustainable value through new products and services, and/or become more cost efficient. The changing nature of companies and business-level innovation will have a major impact on the future needs of interoperability for enterprises. A new generation of enterprise systems needs to be developed within the perspective of the Future Internet, building upon the delivery of IT functions as services and of interoperability as a utility-like capability.
Furthermore, since 2005 unit D4 has re-focused its activities on the Internet of Things. This shift of priority came to strengthen the policy work on the RFID Communication and its follow-up. The phrase 'Internet of Things' has been coined by members of the RFID development community at the end of 1990's to refer to the possibility of discovering information about a tagged object by browsing an Internet address or database entry that corresponds to a particular RFID. Today, the Internet of Things refers to the general idea of things, including everyday objects, which are readable, recognisable, locatable, addressable and/or controllable via the Internet. Communications in the Internet of Things can be 'thing-to-person' communications or 'thing-to-thing' communications. EU-funded research on the Internet of Things started with Call 5 of FP7-ICT (2009-2010 Work Programme). It will continue under Call 7 (2011-2012 Work Programme). This research priority is strongly related to the overall development of the Future Internet: management, scalability and heterogeneity of devices (sensors, RFID enabled objects, actuators) and users (humans but also machines); networked, context-aware knowledge; privacy, security and trust; etc.