M2M applications finally interoperable, enabling new ways to use IT
Towards the end of 2011, the European ITEA 2 research program honored the UseNet project with a ‘Silver Achievement Award’. Overall coordination of the project was taken on by VTT (the Technical Research Center of Finland), together with Bull taking responsibility in France. UseNet has involved 18 European companies, from Belgium, France, Finland and Spain. Based on Machine-to-Machine (M2M) technologies, the project has developed a standard, generic platform able to provide all the services needed to implement new M2M applications, aimed at supporting new uses of IT in a whole variety of industry sectors, from transport, home automation, healthcare and manufacturing, to building control, the environment and leisure.
UseNet: a pioneering M2M project
M2M applications provide services where little or no human intervention is needed. They are characterized by the use of communicating devices – whether fixed or mobile – and dedicated services platforms, that can be accessed either by the hardware directly or by users. The main advantage of UseNet is to provide a universal, generic and standardized platform enabling interoperation between M2M applications, via ubiquitous networks: something that has been sorely lacking until now, due to the highly fragmented nature of the vertical markets involved. Another major benefit is that UseNet has facilitated the standardization of M2M architectures via ETSI.
UseNet real-life applications already appearing
The results of the European UseNet project have been rapidly put to use, and new avenues of complex and dynamic research have opened up in the networks that are active in the M2M field. The results have been used to improve the security of critical infrastructures at airports and border control. Additional examples:
- Alcatel Lucent has used them in its wireless mobile networks
- Bull has built a generic solution for the transport sector, which tracks vehicle fleets and provides real-time geolocation: a solution that has already been implemented for fleet management company Transdev and urban transport in the Polish city of Bialystok. A security solution for children’s transport in also being developed on behalf of the Aquitaine regional council in France (the AGATE project)
- Fagor Electrodomesticos has used the results to develop new and innovative home automation products, especially designed to provide better technical support.
Bull: actively involved in innovative new European projects
The advent of mobile connectivity and Internet use has brought Bull’s expertise in embedded systems and geolocation applications under the spotlight. Boosted by this latest award, the Group’s experts are now involved in a new project, A2Nets (Automatic Services in M2M Networks), aimed at simplifying the management of M2M networks, especially using performance issues with the explosion of connected machines and interoperability between different areas of activity. To validate its results, the A2Nets project will be using its solutions in three real-life areas: intelligent measurement of green energies, healthcare and car pooling.
The latest accolade comes in the wake of Bull Evidian’s achievement, when the Multipol project – aimed at co-ordinating security policies across the extended enterprise – scooped the ITEA 2 Gold Award at the end of 2011. In 2010, it was the turn of the ParMA program (Parallel Programming for Multi-Cores Architectures), also led by Bull, to achieve the highest distinction; with the judging panel declaring themselves to be: “impressed by the innovative character and rapid results achieved by ParMA”.
About ITEA 2
ITEA 2 is a strategic pan-European program for advanced, pre-competitive R&D in Software-intensive Systems and Services (SiSS). ITEA 2 stimulates and supports projects that will give European industry a leading edge in the area of SiSS (in which software represents a significant segment in terms of system functionality, system development cost and risk, and system development time). Its ambition is to mobilize a total of 20,000 person-years over the full eight-year period of the program.
 ITEA: Information Technology for European Advancement
 ETSI: European Telecommunications Standards Institute