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Monitoring and Control

Intelligent functions embedded at all levels, from components and devices to entire systems, is a key factor in revolutionising business processes, from the design to the development and distribution of products and services. Technologies that add intelligence to control and adjust the operation processes result in an increasing productivity and efficiency in a wide range of industrial/business areas, such as energy control and distribution, traffic/transport management, logistics, industrial production, etc.

The European Union has a long and successful tradition in fundamental and/or basic research including developments in ICT systems for monitoring and control, and complex systems engineering. European developments in these areas have been extensive for more than five decades and the infrastructure, academic resources and application fields for control and monitoring related technologies, are very rich. R&D leaders in control and related disciplines from both industry and academic institutions across the EU have been aware for some time of the strong developments in control and monitoring and the potential benefits this offers to modern complex, technological and business systems. During the last 20 years, the advent of ever-increasing computer, networking and communication technologies have facilitated the development of applications of control and sensor networks that were considered impossible few years before. Many tools are available, and the integrated discipline of control and monitoring now seeks to deal with problems of the “Information-Rich World” (Murray, 2002). Typical examples of such information-rich areas are power generation & distribution systems (especially under market de-regulation), control of communication/ traffic networks, intelligent industrial environments, etc.

These areas face also significant challenges. The steady increase in complexity of modern systems and infrastructures has placed strong demands on the requirements for the development of ICT systems for Monitoring and Control and the underpinning methodologies. A complex system is characterized by its display of patterns of structure or behaviour at one level of organization of the system that are diagnostic of interactions among parts of the system at other levels. Meanwhile, the emergent behaviours or structures are not evident from considering only the system's separate components. 

Moreover, safe, cost efficient, energy aware, stable and reliable systems that monitor their ‘environment’ and adjust their operation, enable the emergence and development of completely new society-scale applications and not only improve the economic growth but also the quality of life. Thus, the development of ICT systems for monitoring and control is a key driver for product, service and process innovation and creativity and, thus, contribute to improve the competitiveness of European industry and enable Europe to master and shape future developments in ICT so that the demands of its society and economy are met.