The European Commission-funded project Euro-India SPIRIT (EUIS) has published a set of recommendations for collaborative research & development potential in key priority areas ranging from future networks, cloud computing and trustworthy ICT to networked media and future Internet, ICT for public services and ICT for Inclusion. They are captured in a 32-page booklet titled The New Paradigm – Harnessing EU-India ICT Research Cooperation.
Information Communication Technologies are evolving at an unprecedented rate, and are now at the heart of economic growth and societal advancement in two of the world’s key markets: India and Europe. At the same time, the importance of being connected is becoming more and more central to the everyday lives people the world over, and in particular ICT superpowers such as Europe and India.
“Networks of the future need to address issues of very high capacity flexibility, heterogeneity, resilience and energy efficiency, while at the same time providing seamless end to end infrastructure security and dependability,” says Pierre Yves Danet of ASF Lab, France Telecom/Orange labs.
Euro-Indian collaboration will help in the development of “new wireless technologies which would reduce power required and transmitted per bit drastically, both to reduce energy usage and potential adverse impact that higher and higher electromagnetic transmission may have,” says Ashok Jhunjhunwala, from the Indian Institute of Technology, in Madras.
Shared investments in key areas such as Networked Media and Future Internet could boost innovation in areas such as system architectures and technologies, ultra-high capacity satellite communications systems, ubiquitous fast broadband access, novel radio network typologies and resilient and flexible networks. Euro-India collaboration could therefore leverage knowledge and experience across a number of application domains such as eGovernment, eEducation and eInclusion.
“EU-Indian collaboration can see the joint development of increasingly personalized tools and solutions that make eInclusion a game-changer in Europe and India,” says Mounib Mekhilef, Professor in ICT at University of Orléans and French Director, Ability Europe.
Areas for Euro-India collaboration could include social, affective and persuasive computing; smart, customized and personalized information; and personal assistive solutions. ICT plays a crucial role in ensuring that Public Services are delivered more efficiently, faster and at reduced costs to citizens and organizations. Joint initiatives with Europe could identify social trends, undertake policy modeling and validate next-generation infrastructures, services and tools to optimize public service delivery and language portability.
“There is a huge opportunity for Europe and India to jointly develop affordable biometric identification and authentication equipment and solutions, including application software, for easy access to and delivery of eGovernance services anytime, anywhere, and to anyone including seniors and those that are differently abled,” says Vinay Deshpande of Encore Technologies, India.
The emergence of cloud computing promises to enhance current public services in both Europe and India and transform the way business and research are conducted.
“Cloud computing [could enable] increased access to computer resources and empowering a broad set of users in science and enterprise. Improvements in network infrastructure, solutions for wireless and satellite technologies will enable access to cloud computing resources in India allowing remote access from less developed parts of the Indian sub-continent,” says Fabrizio Gagliardi, from Microsoft Research Connections.
It is important that EU-Indian Collaborative research focuses on intelligent and automatic management of cloud resources, scalable data management strategies, infrastructure virtualization support for mobile and context-aware applications as well as energy efficiency and sustainability of software and services. Developing a collaborative test bed to pilot the adoption of standards-based, interoperable cloud services would pave the ground for a level playing field of mutual benefit.
Jim Clarke, Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland, believes there is considerable potential to build collaborative partnerships between Europe in India for sharing research results and building common approaches in areas such as malware protection, privacy protecting identity management systems, a strong societal approach to security and usable, effective security in the mobile world. With such a broad range of common themes research cooperation between India and the European Union needs institutional mechanisms and horizontal measures to be put in place and mobilized. The creation of Indian Technology Platforms is required which could be based on the successful European Technology Platforms such as NESSO and EPoSS.
As the Euro-India SPIRIT project draws to a close, its success bringing European and Indian ICT stakeholders together is evident, with a growing online community of users able to access a variety of multi-media features including interviews, reports and training on Euro-India ICT collaboration.
- Nicholas Ferguson, Trust-IT Services