Embedded systems enable innovation through intelligent products and at the same time pose a paradigm shift where existing product technologies are more or less completely replaced or complemented with embedded software, electronics, networks, sensing devices and actuators. A key fundamental challenge in developing embedded systems is that of managing their complexity while providing products of the desired quality, and at the right cost considering the whole life-cycle.
Embedded systems are of strategic relevance the world over, but in particular for Sweden, where they are key to those industrial areas where Sweden is highly successful. To maintain the leading edge of companies like ABB, Ericsson and Scania, more emphasis is required on embedded systems research and education. There are also many opportunities for new niches and businesses in this embedded arena because of the current lack of methods and tools, and the new emerging technical platforms.
Embedded systems require industry and academia to create new competences, product architectures, supporting processes, methods and tools. The fragmented situation facing academia and industry today needs to be overcome through new collaborative schemes to facilitate and enable the potential of embedded systems.
ICES – the Innovative Centre for Embedded Systems - was established in 2008 at KTH, driven by the need to better prepare KTH (Sweden’s largest technical university) and Swedish industry to deal with the opportunities and challenges posed by embedded systems. The industrial partners are system integrators and subsystem developers in the areas of automation, automotive and telecom, as well as tool, service and competence providers.
The guiding vision of ICES is to achieve a flourishing eco-system for industry and academia, excelling in embedded systems education, research and innovation .
To reach this vision, ICES has adopted the role of networker and catalyst, reaching out to Industry (engineers and management), KTH students (undergraduate and graduate) and KTH faculty as the main stakeholders.
The focal technical areas of ICES are embedded systems architecture, software verification and methodology.
Concrete goals for ICES include the development of a new Masters program in embedded systems; creating an active network for cross-domain exchange and learning; developing a graduate school; developing a research roadmap; and initiating research projects. An important future challenge for universities is to provide skilled embedded systems designers who have the additional necessary understanding of industrial applications. The long term goal of ICES is to be the preferred partner in embedded systems education and research in Sweden, and to become one of the leading centres in Europe.
KTH web, 2010.