The Networked European Software and Services Initiative


NESSI sponsored the European Big Data Value Forum held in Versailles from 21 to 23 November 2017. There were numerous visitors to the NESSI booth, where Partners, Members and other attendees enjoyed many fuitful discussions.
EBDVF keynotes and presentations covered cutting-edge industrial applications of Big Data technologies, innovative business cases in the data economy, inspiring future visions, and insights on EU policy-making and R&D&I funding in this area. Ideas exchanged at the Forum will have an impact on the design of research and innovation programmes and policy decisions both at the EU and Member States levels. This will drive data-driven innovation further and strengthen the European data economy as well as enhancing its positioning worldwide.

> NESSI Contribution to the ICT Proposers' day

The European Commission, in partnership with the Hungarian Ministry of National Development, organized the ICT Proposers’ Day on 9-10 November 2017 in Budapest, Hungary. The event centred on European ICT Research & Innovation with a special focus paid on the Horizon 2020 Work Programme for 2018-20. NESSI contributed to the event participating in two different panels, both held on November, 10: Research & Innovation Trends Beyond 2020; and Software Technologies.

Colin Upstill, NESSI SC Chair, participated in the panel on Research & Innovation Trends Beyond 2020. In his intervention, Colin stressed the importance of cross-cutting technologies, especially software. He underlined that in Europe we need a culture change to facilitate the scaling-up of start-ups. He also highlighted that one change that he would like to see in FP9 is rapid development of annual Work Programmes to keep up with the current state of research and innovation.

Josef Urban, NESSI Board Chair, participated in the session on Software Technologies. The EC referenced NESSI’s paper on recommendations for Work Programme 2018-20 as a key contribution. Josef presented these recommendations, in the context of NESSI’s Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda 2017, highlighting the needs to be met by advanced software technologies.

> NESSI Members' Evening in Budapest

Alongside the ICT Proposers' day NESSI held a successful Members' evening in Budapest, at the Buddha-Bar Hotel Budapest Klotild Palace, on Thursday 9 November. Over 50 Members met for informal networking and consortium building.

> Consultation on the evaluation and review of the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA)

NESSI recently responded to a public consultation on ENISA, in which the European Commission was seeking views of experts and stakeholders to evaluate ENISA's contribution to the cybersecurity landscape. The questionnaire was in two parts.

Backward looking ex-post evaluation of ENISA in the period 2013-2016.
NESSI members interacted with ENISA or used ENISA's products and services one to two times per year, mainly by the use of reports (e.g. NIS Threats Landscape) and research publications. The documents provided by ENISA where thought to be relevant with some room for improvement.
ENISA did useful work on: developing and maintaining a high level of expertise in cybersecurity; supporting the development and implementation of EU policy; supporting the EU institutions, agencies, bodies and member states to strengthen their capability and preparedness to prevent, detect and respond to network and information security problems and incidents; and supporting cooperation in the cybersecurity community, e.g. through public-private cooperation, information sharing, enhancing community building, coordinating the Cyber Europe exercise.
ENISA’s most useful achievements were the collection of information on a wide range of cybersecurity-related topics and the formulation of strategy to support improved cybersecurity, especially roadmaps on areas where further research is needed.

Forward looking focusing on the needs and challenges in the cybersecurity landscape and possible policy options for a revision of ENISA's mandate.
In NESSI’s view the most urgent needs are: capacity to prevent, detect and resolve large scale cyber attacks; protection of critical infrastructure from cyber attacks; cooperation across Member States in matters related to cybersecurity; innovative IT security solutions; and skills development, education, training of professionals in the area of cybersecurity.
The current instruments and mechanisms at the European level, e.g. regulatory frameworks, cooperation mechanisms, funding programmes, EU agencies and bodies are barely adequate to promote and ensure cybersecurity and address the urgent needs.
NESSI’s opinion is that there is a role for an EU-level body in improving cybersecurity and ENISA could take this role, in close interaction with the legislative initiatives.

For a full report on the consultation results, please follow this link.

For the final report on the Evaluation of ENISA, please follow this link.

> NESSI Questionnaire on Horizon 2020

NESSI recently invited Members to complete a questionnaire regarding their satisfaction with Horizon 2020. We thank all those who participated.
Responses were equally divided between Partners and Members, coming from a good distribution of enterprises, SMEs, academia and research centres. The conclusions that can be drawn cover all aspects of proposal preparation and project participation.
There is consensus that the funding rules are better and more clearly explained than those of FP7.
There is strong agreement that the area of software has not been sufficiently covered in H2020.
On the topic of consortium building, the results show that support is inadequate. NESSI had the opportunity to discuss this topic with DG CONNECT of the European Commission, who confirmed that they will organize more brokerage events and info days in the remaining years of H2020.
Replies have also shown a desire for pre-screening of proposals, which in previous Framework programmes was much valued.
Responses have indicated that a clear explanation of evaluation process is available, the results are mixed as to whether the evaluation criteria are clearly explained. The other problem remarked on by respondents is that the evaluation summary report does not provide useful comments on problems with the proposals.
Replies have shown that the time and process for contract preparation, and the payment scheme and the execution of the project, are generally acceptable. Moreover, replies have shown a general agreement that H2020 has improved the process for initiating a project compared to FP7.
NESSI is using the results of the questionnaire to inform the EC. Whilst we do not expect many changes in H2020, we expect the EC to consider our views in the planning of FP9.

> NESSI Recommendations for ICT Work Programme 2018+

NESSI has provided the EC with recommendations towards the ICT Work Programme 2018 – 2020, focussing on the key role that generic software engineering principles, techniques and tools will play. It argues for key software engineering challenges to be addressed by research and innovation actions towards realizing a Software Continuum. To avoid replicating investments and research effort, NESSI advocates setting up centralized activities on generic software engineering principles, techniques and tools, which may feed complementary more domain specific activities.

The NESSI recommendations are available at NESSI > Publications > Position Papers.

> NESSI White Paper on Security and Privacy - From the Perspective of Software, Services, Cloud and Data

This white paper focuses on the increasing role of security and privacy and highlights research directions from a NESSI perspective. The paper does not aim to look at security and privacy from all angles, but on the impact on software, services, cloud and data of all kinds.

Managing risks – Tools to improve the analysis and treatment of risks by reducing the reliance on labour intensive and potentially error-prone analysis by experts is required.
In the cloud – Privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs) and cryptographic mechanisms are to be enabled for applications in cloud environments. Standardized frameworks would support making transparency-related information available to cloud customers and would enable automated security and privacy enforcement and traceability in federated clouds.
While analysing data – Technologies exist to detect security incidents and violations; little exists in the area of privacy. Statistical privacy, research on implementing measures directly to the core of the system and a categorization and formulation of principles is also needed.
Awareness in life cycle – Privacy-enabled applications must be ‘certified’ or ‘labelled’ to existing regulations and legal requirements. Clearly defined automatic policy handling could be achieved, if data are equipped with sticky policies.
Data analytics for security and privacy – Analytics could automatically detect, identify and classify sensitive information. Existing privacy technologies should be improved such that they become useful and usable by guaranteeing performance, scalability, availability, and utility.

Finally the white paper highlights some example application sectors in which NESSI Partners are active.

You can access the full text of the Security and Privacy White Paper
at NESSI > Publications > Position Papers.

> NESSI White Paper on Cyber Physical Systems

The NESSI White Paper on Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) identifies relevant challenges and opportunities for CPS, focussing on the impact of CPS on the main areas of NESSI and vice versa. In particular the paper assesses the impact of having more and more software-intensive elements in CPS. The White Paper is organized along four main themes:

Software engineering for CPS: The intelligence, dynamics and flexibility of future CPS lies in the ability to be context-aware and to produce software that is both dependable and adapts to real time change, which goes beyond today's software engineering state of the art and practices.
Cloud for CPS: Cloud computing is a key element to obtain ubiquitous system deployment, execution and interaction, and provides key principles (such as adaptation and multi-tenancy) that may be leveraged for all kinds of devices.
CPS and Big Data: CPS with its computational power on the devices (including edge computing) will be a major source, collector, processor and distributer of data, not only in volume, but also in velocity, variety and veracity.
Software-based services on top of CPS: Software-based services constitute a key enabler for leveraging, packaging and delivering the core capabilities of a CPS infrastructure, realizing the potential that lies in creating value to business applications.

The NESSI CPS White Paper is available at NESSI > Publications > Position Papers


NESSI is the European Technology Platform (ETP) dedicated to Software, Services and Data. NESSI provides input to EU Institutions on research actions and technology matters of particular importance to the software domain, and the overall aim is to enable the software and services sector help vitalize the great potential of the European economy and society. NESSI gathers Partners and Members from all over Europe, from industry, research centres and academia, and engages in close dialogue with the European Commission and other stakeholders on topics of relevance to NESSI, including cloud computing, cyber physical systems, and everything-as-a-service.
NESSI takes an active role in addressing future challenges of Europe, by working to ensure that sufficient resources are invested in leading-edge research and innovation for technologies in the software and service domain. Europe has to turn its outstanding R&I potential, its infrastructure and its technological environment into successful product development and marketable products in order to maintain its competitive edge.

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