MUNICH, Germany Five German companies and research institutes have announced to bundle their R&D activities in information and communication technologies. The initiative is intended to strengthen the competitiveness of the members.
Deutsche Telekom, Siemens, DaimlerChrysler, Fraunhofer Gesellschaft and the Technical University of Berlin have jointly founded an institution to coordinate their R&D activities. The scope of the European Center for Information and Communication Technologies (EICT) will be to bundle the members' R&D activities in information and communication technologies and create well-defined projects in these areas.
With the EICT foundation, the members are targeting to strengthen their competitiveness in the respective technology segments. By bringing together partners from industry, research and science communities, EICT will have the task to improve innovation transfer and speed up the implementation of real world products, the organization informed. Also, with the move the members intend to offer attractive, practical jobs to scientists within their institutions.
"Facing the persistent leading role of the USA in information and communication technology and increasing competition from Asia, we need to bundle our R&D competencies and create an European platform", described Christopher Schlaeffer, Corporate Development Officer for Deutsche Telekom, the EICT scope.
EICT founding members have defined seven cooperation areas as the basis for their joint application and research projects. These are multimedia and multimodal communications, services and platforms, security, ambient intelligence, machine-to-machine communication, terabit data networks, and access technologies. "EICT will develop best-in-class products, solutions and services and bring them to the public in an optimized way", explained Thorsten Heins, CTO and member of the board for the Siemens communications division.
Initially, the EICT partners started research works for three of these cooperation areas. The development of these first projects is focused on applications and services in an ageing society, broadband networking technologies, and sensor networks with applications for vehicles and mobile users.
The projects will be coordinated and funded from early research phases through market launch, the organization said. "We are convinced that the close cooperation of research institutions and industry within the EICT we will be able to identify relevant issues faster, speed up innovation cycles and transform fundamental research results faster to applications", explained Stefan Jaehnichen, manager of the Fraunhofer institute for computing architectures and software technology.
The EICT is open for further interested parties. For the time being, it remains unclear if the initiative is meant to be a purely German one, since despite its European ambition, so far there is no non-German member on board.
The institution is headquartered on the campus of the Technical University of Berlin.