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[Berlin, Germany, November 13, 2018] Recently, at the second Edge Computing Forum (ECF), a cooperation agreement was signed between Huawei, Analog Devices, ARM, Bombardier, B&R Automation, Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems (FOKUS), German Edge Cloud (GEC), German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), HARTING IT, IBM, Intel, KUKA, National Instruments, Renesas Electronics, Schneider Electric, Software AG, Spirent, and TTTech. The agreement stipulates that they will jointly establish the Edge Computing Consortium Europe (ECCE) with the aim of providing a comprehensive edge computing industry cooperation platform for enterprises and organizations in the fields of smart manufacturing, operators, and enterprise IoT. Such an approach will ultimately deepen the digital transformation of the industry and jointly promote the prosperity of the edge computing industry through industrial coordination, open innovation, demonstration, and promotion.
Edge computing is a bridge that connects the physical and digital worlds. Specifically, it is a distributed open platform that works at the edge of the network (close to things or the source of data), integrating core capabilities of the network, computing and storage devices, and applications. It provides edge intelligence services to meet key requirements of the industry regarding digital agility, connectivity, real-time services, data optimization, application intelligence, security, and privacy protection. According to the predictions of an analyst firm, the amount of data processed at the edge will continue to grow rapidly, with 75% of enterprise-generated data being created and processed outside data centers or the cloud by 2025, up from less than 20% today.
The purpose of ECCE is to help small, medium-sized, and large enterprises in Europe and the rest of the world adopt related technologies, with a particular focus on the augmentation of Operational Technologies (OT) with Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Its mission is to drive the adoption of the Edge Computing paradigm within manufacturing and other industrial markets. It will emphasize utilizing and contributing to existing solutions, standards, and initiatives to ensure that industrial needs and requirements are optimally addressed in member products. Therefore, goals of this initiative include the specification of a Reference Architecture Model for Edge Computing (ECCE RAMEC), the development of reference technology stacks (ECCE edge nodes), the identification of gaps and recommendation of best practices by evaluating approaches within multiple scenarios (ECCE Pathfinders), as well as the synchronization with related initiatives/standardization organizations and the promotion of the results.
“Edge computing is fundamental to Analog Devices’ core business. We enable our customers to interpret the world around us by intelligently bridging the physical and digital with unmatched technologies that sense, measure, power, connect and interpret. Analog Devices is participating in the ECCE because it provides a vision for unlocking the power of the Industrial Internet with a standards-based approach to interoperable, deterministic communication.”
––Brendan O’Dowd, Industrial Automation, Analog Devices, U.S.
“As we move to a world with a trillion connected devices, the magnitude of data is growing significantly and the Arm® Neoverse™ ecosystem is uniquely positioned to deliver on the diverse set of compute requirements of the infrastructure. From the edge to the core datacenter, ecosystem collaboration in relevant industry initiatives, such as the ECCE, are fundamental to supporting the performance, security, and scalability required.”
––Mohamed Awad, Vice President of Marketing, Infrastructure Line of Business, ARM, U.K
“Edge Computing is a key technology aspect of cyber-physical systems in the data-driven era. Bombardier’s interests drive the company concern for appropriate standardization. As a global company, Bombardier is used to actuating with local ecosystem partners that can support the ECCE digital initiative to deploy a worldwide footprint. Bombardier will ensure the ECCE strategic advisory board produces an appropriate global vision and key requirements.”
––Dr. Yannick Fourastier, Head of Industry Digital Transformation, Bombardier, Germany
“We are fully convinced that edge computing will be essential for the factory of the future. Processing of data at the proximity of data sources will ideally complement IoT solutions based on public clouds. B&R is committed to quickly extending our edge portfolio and providing a full-scale edge offering based on OPC UA and TSN to the market. The ECCE is helping to align our activities with a rich ecosystem of valuable partners, which helps to accelerate adoption and drive innovation.”
––Stefan Schönegger, Vice President of Product Strategy and Innovation, B&R, Germany
“The German Edge Cloud and Rittal, as early promoters of the edge cloud computing paradigm for the industrial sector, actively support the planned Edge Computing Consortium Europe. Edge computing is a key enabling technology for the digital transformation of the industrial sector and vital for Germany’s and Europe’s future competitive position, especially in areas like industrial AI, which require edge computing. The proposed best practice approach of the ECCE will help guide companies in adopting edge computing in a hands-on manner.”
––Sebastian Ritz, CEO of German Edge Cloud (a Friedhelm Loh Group company), Germany
“Edge computing is an important foundation for the Industrial Internet and a key technology for a digital, networked, and intelligent society. Huawei will work with many European and worldwide enterprises, as well as related industries and standardization organizations, to actively promote the establishment of the ECCE for promoting not only edge computing technologies and standards, but also outstanding industrial achievements, as well as for working together to promote the prosperous development of edge computing in Europe.”
––Liu Shaowei, Vice President of Edge Computing Consortium and President of Huawei's network R&D department
“Europe is driving the innovation of major 5G industrial vertical domains, such as the manufacturing and automotive industries. The availability of high performance, reliable, and open edge computing platforms represents a key foundation for the establishment of a rich ecosystem for edge computing based industry solutions. This new European edge initiative will fill the gap between existing industry initiatives and will enable German and European industrial partners to meet their business requirements enabled by edge computing in a faster and more economical way.”
––Prof. Dr. Thomas Magedanz, Director of Software-based Networks, Fraunhofer Institute FOKUS, Germany
“The paradigm of edge computing is taking shape at an increasing rate. However, our current industrial production has specific requirements as we have to deal with brownfield applications as well as existing real-time controllers and supervisory computers. In order for edge computing to be widely adopted in industry, a common reference model based on existing solutions such as the Plattform Industrie 4.0 RAMI or the SmartFactory-KL reference architecture is the necessary basis. The DFKI, with its application partner SmartFactory-KL, supports the ECCE as an industry-driven initiative to create a common understanding and architecture for edge computing.”
––Prof. Dr. Martin Ruskowski, Head of Innovative Factory Systems (IFS), German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI GmbH), Germany
“IIoT is the future of efficient industrial manufacturing. The possibilities of today’s computing are incredible. However, cloud alone is not the answer to all questions. Without the edge and edge computing, there is no data for condition monitoring and preventive maintenance. HARTING believes in the idea of edge computing. We have set up a hybrid edge/cloud architecture in our own connector production facilities. Data becomes “smart data” right at the edge.”
––Dr. Jan Regtmeier, Director of Product Management, HARTING IT GmbH & Co KG, Germany
“For KUKA, the edge will play an important role as it is pushed from two sides. First, the cloud is decentralizing to the edge. This is because the classic cloud has various disadvantages for IIoT, such as being “too far away” and having high latency, low bandwidth, high transportation costs, etc. Second, tasks that come from the devices will be centralized at the edge. Such tasks include data filtering, preprocessing and concentration that is system-related rather than component-related, or common programming and configuration of several devices such as robots controlled by an edge cloud controller.”
––Reinhold Stammeier, Chief Digital Officer, KUKA, Germany
“A core capability of the National Instruments platform has always been open and interoperable connectivity with products from other vendors. We are proud of the role we are playing in general and by participating in the ECCE in particular to make OPC over TSN a premier offering for synchronized, deterministic communication; assuring that our customer can create interoperable test, measurement, and control systems.”
––Rahman Jamal, Global Technology & Marketing Director, National Instruments, US
“Renesas sees strong demand for edge computing equipment in the factory floor in order to further accelerate the implementation of digitization of the manufacturing industry. Industrie 4.0, IIoT, and other initiatives already provide comprehensive operating models and testbeds for new technologies such as TSN and OPC UA. An initiative to specifically consider a role of edge computing under these operating models is required and necessary to position edge application properly and make equipment easy to integrate into brownfield and greenfield.”
––Niels Trapp, Global Head of Marketing, Industrial Automation, Renesas Electronics, Japan
“EcoStruxure is providing all means for edge computing to provide additional capabilities including the ability to predict problems before a fault occurs. Traditionally, machine learning runs exclusively on the cloud, but that isn’t good enough for many IoT scenarios as there are a number of advantages or even constraints requiring the application to execute as close as possible to the field events. Whilst most industrial controllers that exist in the market are reactive, their evolution is to become proactive and capable of including predictive analytics at the edge.”
––Fabrice Jadot, Chief Technology Officer, SchneiderElectric, France
“We couldn’t be more excited to join the Edge Computing Consortium Europe. This initiative is an outstanding exchange platform of leading IoT players who will influence the future of edge computing and set common standards for all. As a market leader in Industrial IoT solutions, with our Cumulocity IoT platform, Software AG views our participation in this Consortium to be a critical step in creating a shared knowledge base of ideas, a collaborative approach to exchange best practices from many successful engagements, and also an ecosystem of forward-looking IoT leaders who will increase the value and practical use of edge computing – making it ready for prime time.”
––Frank Schiewer, SVP of Alliance & Channel, Software AG
“TTTech is very pleased to join the ECCE initiative. As a company, we are actively engaged in developing edge computing solutions that are shaping the convergence of IT and industry. We believe that a standard approach to edge computing and fog/cloud architectures is crucial to truly delivering on the promise of Industrial IoT.”
––Wolfgang Leindecker, Vice President of TTTech Computertechnik AG, Austria
The ECCE welcomes more industry partners who are committed to digital transformation. For more information, please visit the ECCE homepage: https://ecconsortium.eu.
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