ASSIST-IoT aims at design, implementation and validation of an open, decentralized reference architecture, associated enablers, services and tools, to assist human-centric applications in multiple verticals. Instances of the architecture will be supported by key enablers, like edge/fog computing, (semi-)autonomy, distributed AI, smart devices, interoperability, Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) atop a smart network infrastructure, with low latency capabilities, allowing execution of context-aware applications with new interaction interfaces (e.g. AR/VR/MR), etc. The proposed solution will integrate AI-based functions transferring intelligence closer to the edge (data sources), including devices. The reference architecture, and developed enablers, will be validated in three realistic pilots: (i) port automation; (ii) smart safety of workers, and (iii) cohesive vehicle monitoring and diagnostics. The proposed approach is focused on the edge-fog-cloud continuum model. However, to simplify the narrative the word “edge” captures all generic situations, in which data processing takes place in the appropriate location within the IoT ecosystem. This location is as close as possible to sensing/actuating. This means that the “edge node” is the one that was specifically selected, within the continuum, to perform given function(s).

To meet its main goal, ASSIST-IoT will focus on the following Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely (S.M.A.R.T.) objectives, along with related Key Validation Indicators (KVIs), showing different validation measures regarding objectives completion.

The objectives related to the ASSIST-IoT concept and validation are mentioned below:

Objective 1: Design, implementation and validation of an NGIoT Reference Architecture.

ASSIST-IoT architecture will fully address issues not covered, or deficiently covered, by current IoT solutions

Objective 2: Definition and implementation of distributed smart networking components.

ASSIST-IoT will identify business drivers, technical requirements and best practices for adoption of smart networks, combining smart connectivity, decentralised edge nodes, AI-based data analytics, efficient distributed computing, and security by design.

Objective 3: Definition and implementation of decentralized security and privacy exploiting DLT.

Security, privacy and data protection by design will be founding assumptions for the ASSIST-IoT to guarantee security, interoperability, confidentiality, integrity and availability. Thus, ASSIST-IoT will introduce a holistic cross-plane solution for security, trust and privacy across NGIoT ecosystems.

Objective 4: Definition and implementation of smart distributed AI enablers.

Develop an AI-based framework, by means of modular features (both hardware and software), dynamically deployable to heterogeneous IoT nodes (e.g. devices) in the edge-cloud continuum, combined with smart networking to instantiate applications explored within pilots.

Objective 5: Definition and implementation of human-centric tools and interfaces.

Enablers for implementation of semi-autonomous services, traditionally falling under human responsibility/liability will be developed. This will assist augmentation of workforce intelligence, via: visualisation; decision support; or control of work environment, by tightening collaboration of cyber-physical systems, human beings, and virtual services.

Objective 6: Definition, deployment and evaluation of real-life pilots.

Three industry-driven pilots will demonstrate the value of the architecture, as an innovation tool. Pilots will be validated using heterogeneous data sources in real-life settings and based on actual deployments. ASSIST-IoT outcomes will be validated from both technical and business perspective.

Objective 7: Establishment of an innovative cooperation and business framework.

ASSIST-IoT will define and validate credible, scalable business models, which will ensure wide and sustainable use of deployed solutions. Business modelling will be fully aligned with technical capabilities of results,  ecosystem, and functionalities of deployed pilots.

Objective 8: Impact creation: Showcasing ASSIST-IoT and Disrupting the current market.

Besides standard dissemination activities, e.g. presenting and promoting the approach and its results, at conferences, website, exhibitions, social media, publications and workshops, ASSIST-IoT will perform several showcases, including small demonstrations, to widely present main outcomes and to show concrete advantages of using ASSIST-IoT architecture and enabling technologies, to stakeholders and potential clients, targeting diverse verticals, mobilising key actors, including the security area.