Today, 80% of the processing and analysis of data takes place in data centres and centralised computing facilities, and 20% in smart connected objects. Within the next 5 years, 75% or more of the data processing and analytics will run at the edge of the network. Within this paradigm shift, Europe must take advantage of the decentralisation trend through new Internet of Things (IoT) and edge computing capabilities, and leverage the expertise of its communities in the physical, industrial world and in the digital world to bring the best of both worlds towards the Europe’s next-generation IoT and edge computing infrastructure.
Edge computing will change how we sense, evaluate and control our environment. It will impact the cloud, artificial intelligence, energy aggregation, precision farming, manufacturing, data centres, electro mobility and autonomous vehicles, bringing forth a wave of innovation that will dramatically improve our lives.
To mark the end of the project’s lifecycle, the NGIoT project published in January 2022 its White Paper on a roadmap for IoT research, innovation and deployment priorities in the EU, presenting its findings as recommendations to experts in the field. The roadmap, which outlines a broad view across relevant IoT research and innovation aspects, consolidates various outcomes of stakeholder engagements, surveys and evenrs, such as the Next-Generation IoT & Edge Computing Strategy Forum and the workshop on Digital Autonomy in the Computing Continuum.
Figure 1: R&I dimensions of the next-generation IoT roadmap.
The NGIoT roadmap shines a light on emerging next-generation IoT and edge technologies as well as potential application use cases. Perhaps the biggest opportunity is in the space of smart edge IoT devices where, for example, billions of intelligent, AI-driven sensors and actuators will collect, process and analyse data in real time, individually or as a swarm. The IoT research, innovation and deployment priorities in the EU roadmap presents the project’s final recommendations and can be retrieved via the NGIoT portal.
The next steps and a follow-up will take place during the upcoming IoT Week, taking place in Dublin from 20-23 June 2022.
Download the NGIoT report here.
Considering the speed of technological evolution and innovation in the ICT sector (microelectronics, processing capacity, connectivity, for example), this roadmap displays different research and innovation roots that may not be feasible altogether today, but integration will pave the way for new applications and services. This paradigm towards the far edge will have huge economic potential by leveraging a local, distributed computing infrastructure, and will facilitate the creation of new services and business models, with special attention paid to the role of SMEs and start-ups.
Far edge or device edge systems are much more rooted in vertical sectors around the applications, than today’s more general-purpose cloud business models; an area where 75% of the European cloud market is dominated by non-EU players. In this wave of innovation, open source will play a key role, and edge computing has already begun its journey as an inherently open ecosystem. It is supported under the Horizon Europe programme’s Cluster 4 Destination 3: From Cloud to Edge to IoT to support industrial collaboration through open platforms and standards, achieving European leadership across the entire edge ecosystem.