This article provides a brief summary of Lighthouse Initiatives: More details can be found via the appropriate project pages.
What is a “Lighthouse Initiative”?
A “Lighthouse Initiative” is a concept introduced by ECSEL Joint Undertaking to signpost specific subjects of common European interest. This calls for coordinated activities, for example facilitating the cooperation of several ECSEL project (RIAs and/or IAs), with H2020 (e.g. FET Flagships), Eureka, national or regional projects, etc. They will facilitate the contribution to standardisation or assist in the uptake of technology to address societal challenges. Lighthouse Initiatives provide a "container” (or “umbrella") for a set of well-coordinated activities.
The ECSEL JU Governing Board plays a pivotal role, as it is uniquely positioned to raise the agenda of the Lighthouse Initiatives with the ECSEL Participating States, the European Commission, the industry and other relevant stakeholders/ communities.
In summary, a Lighthouse Initiative will:
- Build on well identified market-pull demands related to societal needs
- Offer visionary solutions for those demands creating ecosystems along the relevant value and supply chains
- Have a strong pan-European dimension in each of the steps: demands, solutions, ecosystems, technologies, demonstrators.
- Have a strategic IP management policy when possible and agreed by the consortia.
- Whenever appropriate, work towards clustering of projects in the identified areas and therefore organize the attraction of other contributing projects as needed, through a transparent competitive process
- Establish a standardization strategy when relevant and drive it
- Address the relevant non-technical aspects (such as legislative, regulatory, social, etc) and where possible develop concepts and take concrete steps for resolving issues linked to those aspects
In this sense, Lighthouse Initiatives combine bottom-up and top-down approaches:
- Bottom-up refers to the application for Lighthouse Initiatives and actual project submissions by consortia, as well as to the implementation of the Lighthouse Initiative as an activity.
- Top-down refers to the selection/endorsement of Lighthouse Initiatives and later strategic guidance provided by the ECSEL Governing Board and built upon an approved ECSEL project.
Why Lighthouse Initiatives?
The goal of Lighthouse Initiatives is to focus part of the ECSEL JU activities on achieving concrete socio-economic objectives along an agreed approach. Lighthouse Initiatives should improve and accelerate the impact of relevant projects by:
- engaging all needed actors in the supply/value chain to achieve these goals, and
- connecting investment in R&I in ECSEL JU to investments done, for example, in relevant areas of HORIZON 2020 or EUREKA,
- giving recommendations to R&I investments in ECSEL that are in accordance with other policy measures such as standardisation, deployment or regulatory measures.
What Lighthouse Initiatives are there so far?
To date, the ECSEL JU has established the following Lighthouse Initaitives:
- Mobility.E (centred on the ECSEL project AUTODRIVE)
- Industry4.E (centred on the ECSEL project Productive4.0)
Mobility.E focusses attention on the considerable technological, legislative and infrastructure difficulties facing large-scale deployment of safe, electrically powered, intelligent vehicles: the goal being to deploy a zero-emission / zero-accident mobility system accessible by all.
Industry4.E pulls together the necessary work that is core to the “digitalisation of industry”. To keep production industries competitive, more and more IT- and ECS-driven know-how is needed, based on platforms, standards and appropriate certifications for safety. Present day fragmentation stands in the way of reaping the full benefits offered by digitalisation: Industry4.E will address these issues.