University of Oulu joins 16 M€ ECSEL JU project FRACTAL – towards Industrial Edge Computing 


The kick-off meeting, held remotely, took place on the 16-17th September. 

The Center for Ubiquitous Computing (UBICOMP), at the ITEE Faculty of the University of Oulu (UOULU), has joined project FRACTAL – A Cognitive Fractal and Secure EDGE based on a unique Open-Safe-Reliable-Low Power Hardware Platform Node. The project is a 16 M€ ECSEL Joint Undertaking (JU), co-financed by the Horizon 2020 EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, and Business Finland. 

FRACTAL’s consortium spans across seven European countries and comprises a multidisciplinary team of 29 academic and industrial partners, including Finnish companies TietoEVRY and Offcode. “We are very excited to expand our co-operation networks to a number of new industrial and academic partners, spanning across the Europe, and we are looking forward to strong and fruitful collaboration in the consortium”, remarks Tuomas Paso from the Centre for Wireless Communications (CWC), the leader of UOULU’s partner collaboration in the project.

The project will last 36 months, starting from September 1st, 2020. Lead by IKERLAN S. COOP, a Spanish private non-profit technology think-tank, the project aims to design an edge computing node for AI, and implement novel, edge-native distributed AI methods for a network of such nodes.

According to Lauri Lovén, co-project manager of FRACTAL, the node network and the distributed AI methods will provide high performance in a number of demonstrative use cases in safety-related domains such as automotive, manufacturing, railway, and smart cities. A FRACTAL system will learn to improve its performance, deliver new services, and stay connected in extremely uncertain and dynamic environments.

UOULU is responsible for developing novel methods for edge-native artificial intelligence (EdgeAI), designing a test platform for these methods, and providing connectivity for the platform via the university 5G Test Network.

FRACTAL is expected to have a tremendous impact in industry, making products smarter, more interconnected, interdependent, collaborative and autonomous. The project targets major societal challenges, ranging from Health, to Transportation, Energy, and Digitalisation of Industry.

PIs (UOULU): Jukka Riekki & Susanna Pirttikangas

Project Managers (UOULU): Lauri Lovén & Tuomas Paso