Born as a start-up company at the University of L’Aquila in December 2004, WEST Aquila S.r.l. (Wireless Embedded Systems Technologies L’Aquila) matured into a high-technology and well-established Italian Small Medium Enterprise (SME) with independent premises. Its main activities lie in the area of wireless networked embedded systems. The company’s background relies upon system design methodologies, wireless networked embedded systems, and heterogeneous distributed networks. The co-founders have brought into the company the experience gained through participation in European-funded projects and long-lasting R&D collaborations with many companies, e.g., Thales Communications, Magneti-Marelli, Synopsys, Selex Communications (Finmeccanica Group), Accent S.p.A., PARADES, and Wiski.
The background of the company relies upon system design methodologies, wireless networked embedded systems, and heterogeneous distributed networks. The co-founders have brought into the company the experience gained through participation in European-funded projects and through long-lasting R&D collaborations with many companies. WEST’s main expertise lies in the development of innovative solutions and technologies for networked embedded systems, which encompass the development of large-scale system-level simulators and network testbeds. Offices and laboratories of WEST are equipped with state-of-the-art hardware and computing facilities, including servers, workstations, kits, and gateways for WSNs, RF generators, Matlab licenses, and FPGA-based tools for design and analysis. Furthermore, WEST has developed its own platform for WSNs, “WEST-Lab,” to analyze and design novel algorithms and protocol stacks for networked embedded systems, including source/channel coding, routing, and distributed localization, and tracking algorithms.
On the EU-level, co-founders of WEST have played leading roles in FP5-IST-COLUMBUS and FP6-HYCON NoE. Currently, they play major roles in the European Embedded Control Institute (EECI), FP7-HYCON2 NoE. In the recent past, WEST has participated in several EU projects, including GREENET (an Initial Training Network (ITN) Marie Curie project that is focused on the analysis, design, and optimization of energy-efficient wireless communication systems and networks), WSN4QoL (Wireless Sensor Networks for Quality of Life, “FP7 – People – Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways”), SmartNRG (“FP7 – People – Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways”), and CASPER (“Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange”). WEST is currently actively involved in AQUASENSE (an ITN Marie Curie project focused on water quality monitoring through efficient and reliable WSNs) and SALSETH (a RISE Marie Curie project focused on developing innovative bio-inspired sensors and microfluidic devices for saliva-based theranostics of oral and systemic diseases). WEST Aquila has been a member of NetWorld2020, the European Technology Platform (ETP), for communications networks and services (refer to www.networld2020.eu/sria-and-whitepapers for the latest strategic agenda) and a founding member of the SME Working Group (www.networld2020.eu/find-the-sme-you-need).
On the National level, it is worth mentioning that WEST has participated in several activities in collaboration with the University of L’Aquila. In particular, a Structural Health Monitoring project, in which a WSN has been designed and deployed to monitor structures’ vibrations after the earthquake of 2009 in L’Aquila, and UbiCare, a project aimed at monitoring aged people and patients who have Down syndrome remotely from their home.
As a highly dynamic and innovative company, WEST aims at bridging the gap between the academic and industry sectors. In this light, in any projects involved, it envisions the possibility of exploiting cutting-edge technologies in multiple application domains. As an R&D company, there is always a strong interest in fostering new cooperation to study, analyze, and prototyping solutions in the field of wirelessly interconnected and networked embedded systems.