IoT-EPI is a European Union funded initiative about Internet of Things (IoT) platform development with seven core projects: Inter-IoT, BIG IoT, AGILE, symbIoTe, TagItSmart!, VICINITY and bIoTope. If you are a SME, start-up, university etc. you can apply in a so called Open Call to get funded from 30,000 to EUR150,000.
The concept of IoT or Internet of Things is to make it possible to connect every device that has an on/off switch to the internet or to each other. It is estimated that by 2020 there will be more than 10 billion connected devices. Anything with an on/off button such as cellphones, lamps, coffee machines or even components of machines for example the engine of a car will be connected, hence the name Internet of Things. How will this affect the day to day lives of people? Well, on daily basis the picture can look a bit like a sci-fi movie where most of your daily activities are automated. For example, by switching off your alarm clock in the morning, it will notify your coffee machine to start making coffee (Hopefully, it can also sensor if there is a mug ready, so it does not make a mess in the morning). On a broader scale IoT can help make cities smarter by offering endless opportunities like improving the efficiency of transportation networks. The following picture shows a wide view of a “smart world” is made possible by IoT.
However, there are many challenges on the way of IoT and the biggest one of them might be security. With billions of devices connected, how is it possible to make sure that hackers won’t be able to hack into your coffee machine for example and then gain access to all your personal information. Or how to make sure that no unauthorized person gets access to interfere with the transportation networks of a “smart city”.
Timm and I attended the IoT Innovation Night Stockholm at Norrsken Foundation, on October 9th, 2017 where a few companies working with the IoT concept presented themselves and you could learn how to get funded by the IoT-European Platforms Initiative. IoT-EPI is a European Union funded initiative about Internet of Things (IoT) platform development with seven core projects: Inter-IoT, BIG IoT, AGILE, symbIoTe, TagItSmart!, VICINITY and bIoTope. If you are a SME, start-up, university etc. you can apply in a so called Open Call to get funded from 30,000 to EUR150,000.Two projects that were represented at the event were TagItSmart! and symbloTe
TagItSmart is a company that wants to help people make smarter choices when it comes to purchasing goods by utilizing the NFC technology and QR code. Their objective is to connect real-life objects with the digital world. By scanning the QR code on the objects the costumer will be able to see information such as product name, manufacturer, date of arrival in store, tracked quality, authenticity, nutritional information, waste type and closest recycling point.
Another way of using this technology is in life cycle management where a reward system is used to increase the number of consumers who recycle and obtain valuable consumer behavior information. It can also be used for home services by managing the maintenance schedule of customer’s appliances.
In our smart and connected world you can already interact with the environment via applications on your smartphone. SymbloTe is facing the challenge that you mostly must change the applications if your change the environment. For example, take smart lights: You can switch on/off your light at home with one app, in the garden with another and maybe in the office with even another app. SymbIoTe wants to create an interoperable platform where all the applications are bundled: a universal light switch on your smartphone to switch on/off the lights at home, in the office and in public spaces – wherever you can do so.
The presentations ended with a Greek company called QR-Patrol – they bring the Internet of Things technology to security companies, e.g. real-time monitoring for security guards and indoor location. They got funded by the IoT-EPI and shared their experiences – what to hand in, how to prepare and etc.
All in all, we think that this was a great event to get to know a possibility to get funded if you are working on a IoT technology. Often you don’t even know which opportunities are out there. It was nice to hear from both sides: the fund giver and taker.
Thank you for reading,
Shiva and Timm