ICT-based service and product innovation is curtailed by the growing vertical chain of dependence on poorly interoperable proprietary technologies in Europe. This issue was identified to have high impact on European innovation productivity by the Report of the Independent Expert Group on R&D and Innovation, commonly known as the Aho-report. The report demanded incentives for the convergence of shared technologies and markets as a remedy. Actions creating standardized, commercially exploitable yet widely accessible ecosystems in European priority area should be publicly supported. Real-time applications for heterogeneous, networked, embedded many-core systems suffer from the lack of trusted pathways to system realization and application deployment. Service and product development efforts are high with many uncertainties discouraging such ventures.
CRAFTERS project brings to bear a holistically designed ecosystem from application to silicon. The ecosystem is realized as a tightly integrated multi-vendor solution and tool chain complementing existing standards. Feature-limited releases of reference tools and platforms are made available under favourable licensing conditions to support the evaluation and adoption of the results. Full-fledged versions are retained for commercial exploitation and standardization of the overall ecosystem is pursued. As direct effects of the project results 30% reduction of the total cost of ownership, 50% shorter time-to-market, and 30% decrease of the number of development assets are expected. Marketable lead applications driving ecosystem development and benchmarking on the fields of industrial & intelligent transport systems, video & image processing, and wireless communications are produced. Key challenges include guaranteeing secure, reliable, and timely operation, back-annotation based forward system governance, tool-tool, tool-middleware, and middleware-hardware exchange interfaces, and energy management with minimal run-time overhead.