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ICT Policy, Research and Innovation for a Smart Society: towards new avenues in EU-US ICT collaboration

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - PICASSO (ICT Policy, Research and Innovation for a Smart Society: towards new avenues in EU-US ICT collaboration)

Reporting period: 2017-04-01 to 2018-06-30

The aim of the 30-months PICASSO project was to firstly reinforce EU-US collaboration in ICT research and innovation, and secondly to support the EU-US ICT policy dialogue in these fields. The PICASSO project provided an exchange platform for EU and US experts through three EU-US thematic ICT Expert Groups (5G Networks, Big Data, and IoT/CPS) and one EU-US ICT Policy Expert Group. The synergy between experts in ICT policies and in ICT technologies was a unique feature of PICASSO which brought benefits to both the policy and the technology communities in the EU and the US. Furthermore, interested EU and US specialists were invited to contribute to the analytical materials of the project, as well as to participate in project activities.

More specifically, the project objectives were:

Objective 1. To enhance ICT cooperation focusing on the pre-competitive research and innovation between EU and US industry and academia in ICT fields of common interest related to the societal challenges. The target group consisted of ICT companies, end users and researchers, especially those who were involved in industry-driven projects.

Objective 2. To provide specific contributions to the EU-US dialogue on ICT policy, standardisation and regulatory issues in the ICT sector as one of the key drivers of sustainable and inclusive growth. The target group of this activity were policy makers.

Objective 3. Propose new avenues and develop strategic initiatives in core ICT technology areas: 5G Networks, Big Data, Internet of Things and Cyber Physical Systems, related to societal challenges, aiming at facilitating EU-US ICT collaboration between industry and academia. The target groups were policy makers, funding agencies, multi-stakeholder platforms, and networks.
In order to set directions for the project activity, several analyses have been concluded. These analyses have identified 130+ ICT Networks and Projects in EU, and 300+ in the US, have studied over 35 Policy documents and regulations from EU and US side and covered over 45 EU and US ICT programmes in the overview.

The first major analysis provided the Panorama of the ICT landscape in the EU and the US, including information on policies, regulations, programmes and networks in the EU and US. The document identifies gaps and opportunities, the key challenges in the selected domains and open problems, and the needs for supporting policy measures and strategic EU-US initiatives (both policy and research related).

The second major analysis relating to industrial drivers, societal needs, and priorities for EU-US ICT collaboration was performed on the basis of 70+ interviews with industry representatives from both large and small companies in Europe and the US, covering 18 industry sectors. Overall this produced 61 recommendations, however, there were common themes put forward by different sectors such as standards for interoperability of interconnects, wireless communications, protocols for data exchange, the need for data governance, clarity on data ownership, regulation for privacy and the strong need for security. The most fertile areas for collaboration were identified to be in the areas of Smart Transportation and Smart Cities.
Together with the results stemming from the analysis of opportunities in relevant US programmes for EU organisations and vice versa, all the information has been integrated into a mobile application and online tool, the so-called PICASSO “CROSSROADS – Your EU-US ICT info-hub”, aimed at being the EU-US ICT collaboration info hub. These web pages and mobile app gather valuable information specifically for the three technical focus areas of the project, cover 80+ main ICT open Calls (EU and US) and over 350+ ICT projects and networks’ lists organised by topics, as well as information on numerous other relevant events and documents.
All PICASSO Expert Groups have worked in a core team of at least 6 members from the EU and the US each, but ensured taking into account the insights of the wider community. Public events have been organised for this purpose by each Expert Group, such as the Trans-Atlantic Workshop on Public Private Partnerships for Big Data, which took place in Versailles, France, on November 20th, 2017 in conjunction with the European Big Data Value Forum 2017 and which was organised by National Science Foundation (NSF) Big Data Innovation Hubs, in collaboration with the PICASSO Big Data Expert Group, BDVA and INRIA. In addition, two Symposia have been organised by PICASSO in collaboration with other relevant initiatives and organisations, that brought together technical and policy experts, as the agendas combined key notes and sessions from all PICASSO domains. Co-organisation partners had contributed to the agenda through additional sessions, providing thus an outlook to complementary topics such as transport, cybersecurity, etc. The first Symposium, organised as “Trans-Atlantic Symposium on ICT Technology and Policy - 5G Networks, Big Data, Internet of Things and Cyber Physical Systems for a smart society” took place in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on June 19-20, 2017 and gathered some 90 attendees from industry, governmental agencies, and academia. The second edition co-organised with the Wilson Center as “2nd Annual Transatlantic Symposium on ICT Technology and Policy - Leveraging People, Technology, and Information for a Smart and Connected Society” in Washington, DC, on June 18-19, 2018 and featured on a live webcast, ensuring wider outreach and impact.

All relevant information can be found on the public project website:
The impact of the initiatives like PICASSO are usually visible a few years after project completion. However, it can be already stated that PICASSO:
• Identified industrial drivers, societal needs and challenges for industry to collaborate in the topics of PICASSO interest;
• Reinforced the strategic partnership with US in the areas of mutual interests: IoT/CPS, 5G Networks, Big Data and policy related to these technological domains through an expert-driven approach bringing together high-level stakeholders and strengthening the community build-up;
• Increased visibility for EU and US R&D activities and research excellence and promoted funding opportunities in H2020 and US programs;
• Increased visibility for EU ad US initiatives, networks and projects by setting up strong partnerships and promoting their complementary activities in PICASSO events and communication channels;
• Created a widely used e-tool (mobile app and web pages) to strengthen information and knowledge exchange for EU-US ICT collaboration;
• Established a vision for key technologies supporting smart cities, smart energy and smart transportation through wide analyses and exchange with experts in PICASSO Symposia;
• Pin-pointed and analysed policy gaps or overregulation in ICT policies and regulations related to the technology fields and societal challenges;
• Investigated and put forward recommendations and proposed 12 strategic initiatives to policy makers to further enhance and facilitate EU-US ICT collaboration;
• Explored options and proposed and promoted topics for exclusive EU-US collaboration.