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The European Commission has launched a new initiative, in partnership with industry, aimed a securing Europe a leading position in the developing embedded systems market.

European Technology Platform in Advanced R&D on Embedded Intelligent Systems (ARTEMIS), is a public/private collaboration, comprised of EC officials and 17 senior executives from the industry. The group will be in place by the end of 2004.

Its role will be to to mobilise and co-ordinate the private and public resources needed to meet business, technical and structural challenges. As part of that remit, it will be responsible for ensuring that vendor solutions are developed to industry standards, for example.

Speaking at the second high level meeting for the Embedded Systems Technology Platform in Rome, today, Erkki Liikanen the European Commissioner responsible for Enterprise and Information Society will point out the growing importance of embedded systems in our every day lives.

In a prepared statement, Liikanen says that his goal is to bolster the areas where Europe facing tough competition from the US and Asia, but where it has a decent hand to play. This means the automotive, avionics, telecoms, consumer and manufacturing sectors, he explains, where Europe "leads the world".

Cars are a particularly good example, he says, adding that an estimated 70 per cent of car innovations over the past 20 years are due to embedded technologies.

"Embedded ICTs are radically changing the processes of industrial production and distribution in traditional sectors," he goes on. "The new technologies are constantly adding intelligence to the control processes in manufacturing shop floors and improving the logistic and distribution chains, resulting in increasing productivity on a wide range of industrial processes." ®

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