Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

EU offers free access to help power IoT devices

Steve Rogerson
August 23, 2018



The European Union is offering free-of-charge access to equipment, tools and expertise related to powering IoT devices. This is part of its Enables research infrastructure programme co-ordinated by the Tyndall National Institute in Ireland.
 
As part of the EU H2020 programme, it has launched its Transnational Access (TA) programme, which offers free-of-charge access to equipment, tools and expertise related to powering the IoT. It is being coordinated by Mike Hayes (pictured) from the Tyndall National Institute.
 
The vision of Enables is to eliminate the need for battery replacement by developing energy harvesting or by finding ways to reduce the power consumption of devices. The TA programme gives academic and industry developers and integrators of IoT devices access to advanced research infrastructure based on the technology pillars of energy harvesting, energy storage, micro-power management and system integration.
 
The TA providers are Tyndall, CEA (Leti & Liten), Fraunhofer IMS, Fraunhofer IIS and Imec the Netherlands. In addition, virtual access to databases of vibrational energy sources from real-life applications is being offered by the University of Perugia and the University of Southampton.
 
Enables also funds joint research activities (JRAs) between these partners along with Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Politecnico Di Torino and the University of Bologna. It is envisaged that the JRAs will lead to future TA offerings.
 
The access activities can be undertaken in many ways, ranging from characterising material or devices to carrying out physical or simulated feasibility studies to see if battery life in IoT devices can be prolonged. The potential impact of Enables is vast – the world will have a trillion IoT devices by 2025 most of which will require an embedded self-contained power source.
 
The access process is simple; examples of offerings can be viewed on the Enables web site and an online enquiry form is available at www.enables-project.eu. All outputs from the Enables TA and VA activities will be made openly available as part of the aim of Enables to build a collaborative ecosystem that creates miniaturised and autonomous sensors. The programme already brings together a consortium of 130 powering IoT researchers giving access to over €2bn worth of research infrastructure.
 
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement 730957.
 
The vision of Enables is to create self-sustaining energy technology to power the IoT based on energy harvesting, storage, micro-power management and system integration activities. Free of charge access to simulations, data libraries, equipment and expertise access along with feasibility studies will be provided in a fast-track manner via the TA programme.