Digital technologies are the backbone of future competitiveness and better societies

16 Dec 2019 | Network Updates | Update from NTNU
These updates are republished press releases and communications from members of the Science|Business Network

On 8 - 9 October 2019, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and SINTEF, Scandinavia’s largest independent research institute, gathered more than 100 top-level representatives from the Norwegian private and public sectors in Brussels, including CEOs, presidents and vice presidents, to discuss Norwegian contributions to and participation in European research and innovation.

One of the main challenges we see is digitalization. Public and private investment in R&D in digital technologies must be strengthened.

The need for research and innovation is key for these topics:

  • Key digital technologies
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Big Data
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Cyber Security and Autonomous Systems should be prioritized to support digitalization.

In particular, a collective and decisive EU research and innovation agenda for industrial AI will be instrumental in bringing its benefits to all citizens and businesses. The potential of AI in the public and health sectors needs special attention. Moreover, advances and capabilities in explainable and trustworthy AI and robotics are crucial.

Research that strengthens our ability to extract the value of data and share data in different ecosystems is crucial. Open science and data are important for the advancement of science but are also vital for enterprises. Issues related to privacy need to be addressed so we can make use of new and existing data collections, particularly related to health. Devising instruments for data sharing and use that address these issues are vital for European competitiveness.

The Next Generation Internet (NGI) initiative, which has as its goal to develop the key technologies, building blocks and infrastructures for the Internet of Tomorrow must also include future mobile communication systems, i.e. beyond 5G/6G; IoT and sensor networks; and the interplay between these technologies. Incorporating these mobile systems will allow important tasks such as environmental surveillance, especially in the Arctic, as well as monitoring for road safety and maintenance and marine aquaculture, to name just a few.

Digitalization entails a critical dependency on digital systems. Digitalization and Cyber Security are two sides of the same coin. The race to detect and deflect malevolent attacks and safeguard against accidents and natural disasters is ever ongoing and requires significant investment in research, knowledge building and educational capacity. We need to understand the effects of these technologies on citizens and on society at large. In this context, social sciences have an important role to play. Moreover, successful implementation of digital technologies in the public sector and industry will require research in areas related to people, organizations, processes and technology. Horizon Europe should facilitate projects that combine leading digital technology and industrial domain competency to develop innovative and disruptive solutions. Indeed, interplay between the application areas and core digital technology is key. In order to secure European independence of international supply, research in advanced electronics components and architectures must be supplemented by a focus on high-capacity, high-yield production of state-of-the-art components.

The full Horizon Europe position paper that resulted from the two days of discussions can be found here

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