At the second French/German Embedded Systems Symposium held at Bercy in Paris, France, it was announced that Microsoft, Esterel Technologies and Geensys have taken a leadership role in helping advance the development of technologies and methods in the embedded industries of France and Germany. In order to keep European system and software development engineering in a leadership position, the three companies have agreed to offer a unique set of software development tools at either free or extremely low prices to a network of selected universities and academic institutions offering embedded systems development programmes. This agreement followed the recommendations of the Embedded Systems Committee of Syntec Informatique at this event.

Within the embedded software development industry, Microsoft provides MSDN Academic Alliance, formerly known as MSDN AA, with the easiest and most inexpensive way for universities to make the Microsoft software available in labs, classrooms, and on student PCs (totally free for students). This membership enables science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) departments to outfit their machines with the latest Microsoft development tools, operating systems, server software, documentation and technical references (including embedded technology). In addition, students will have complete access to these tools and references for use on their personal computers.

Free conferences for students on their campus

Microsoft and its partners invite students to attend technological conferences on embedded topics. Four conferences are available: a range of presentations, from discovery to high level on Robotics Developer Studio, Windows Embedded CE and Net Micro Framework, have been proposed.

Train the trainers

Microsoft and its partners give courses to Higher-Ed teachers on embedded development. 45 teachers have been taught this year.

Imagine Cup competition – embedded development category

The object of the embedded development competition is to unleash students’ creativity in an effort to change the world into a better place. They will develop their own embedded device whose function it is to better us all. The embedded development competition challenges students from everywhere in the world to go beyond the PC desktop and work in both hardware and software to build an embedded solution using Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R2 and the provided embedded platform.

Esterel Technologies provides certified development solutions for critical embedded applications with its SCADE® family of products. SCADE Suite and SCADE Display formalise, simplify, and optimise critical embedded control systems and critical embedded graphics display applications, respectively. Esterel Technologies’ customers are focused on critical application development in domains such as aerospace, defence, rail transportation, industrial, and nuclear instrumentation and control. With over 100 universities and academic institutions already engaged in the Esterel Technologies’ academic programme, there is an established academic community which continues to expand and develop embedded system technology. The SCADE academic community continues to flourish by having unlimited access to all SCADE functionality, training material, and electronic documentation.

Geensys, rounding out the software development life-cycle and tool chain, provides on one side REQTIFY and on the other side CONTROLBUILD. REQTIFY is Geensys’ flagship tool for the automated management of embedded hardware and software requirements capture, traceability and impact analysis throughout the entire development lifecycle. CONTROLBUILD is Geensys’ front-to-back environment covering IEC 61131-3, C and electrical circuit diagrams for the design, development, validation, deployment and maintenance of control and automation systems across a diverse range of industries. These industries include automotive, manufacturing automation, pharmaceutical production, power energy, railway transportation, ship building and water treatment.