SYNERGIA consortium project

June 28, 2020

Smartia’s MAIO providing the intelligence technology to the Toshiba led £2.2m SYNERGIA consortium project
SYNERGIA is a £2.2 million project consisting of Toshiba Europe, Smartia, Ioetec, MAC Ltd, Configured Things, and the University of Bristol. The project will devise, develop, and demonstrate a secure endpoint-to-core IoT Platform for large-scale networks of low-power resource-constrained devices. We are looking forward to working on this and make IoT networks secure for everyone.

Smartia’s MAIO will provide the edge processing and distributed artificial intelligence for IoT intrusion detection systems.

Project Background
The digitisation of the UK economy is described by the government in the National Cyber Security Strategy 2016-2021 as vital for national prosperity. However, as identified in the Horizons toolkit, 1 in 3 business leaders do not trust the information they use to make decisions. To address this, more trustworthy and well-informed applications must be developed exploiting data from multiple sources, including large-scale Operational Technology (OT) systems. However, exposing OT assets to external networks raises major security issues. Advances in IoT technology have pushed the use of dedicated IoT platforms in an effort to distinguish OT from IT systems and provide the information needed for application development.

The majority of IoT platforms currently available on the market adopt a cloud-based approach, with some of them also offering backend installation at customer premises. This approach implies a requirement to transmit, process and store all data points at the Cloud or user backend. In addition to raising privacy concerns, this design pattern is unsustainable due to the volume of data and network latency, especially for applications that rely on data from battery-powered, resource-constrained devices deployed at massively large scales (e.g., as required in national transport or utility networks).

Pushing some of the computation to the Edge alleviates issues with cloud infrastructures, providing better scalability, lowering latency and therefore improving performance. However, this results in new technological challenges and a need for further industry research. How can we compute at the Edge in an energy-efficient fashion? How do we assure the security and resilience of such distributed and resource-constrained systems? How do we manage and monitor devices at massively large scale? State-of-the-art edge solutions, such as Nvidia’s EGX edge platform, do not consider the resilience and security issues between the Edge and the low-power resource-constrained devices as well as in the devices themselves. The technological challenges that arise along with the inefficient existing solutions creates a huge business opportunity that this project aims to grasp.

By bringing together partners with expertise in secure configurations management for IoT systems (Configured Things), security architectures for battery-powered resource-constrained devices (Ioetec, University of Bristol), distributed AI and edge processing (Smartia and Toshiba Europe) and IoT applications (MAC Ltd), the partners of the consortium cover all three tiers of the IoT architecture (Endpoints, Edge, Backend). The project team has the experience and expertise to address the identified needs and challenges in a holistic and endpoint-to-core manner.

For further information please contact Asim Majid (

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