Development, certification and maintenance of safety-critical software systems are complex and costly. In particular, having a high safety integrity system certified according to mandatory standards such as IEC61508 is fundamental to keep a competitive advantage but also one of the most severe cost drivers. For example, producing proof of conformance to standards may impose as much as 50% of total development costs.
The trend is that more of design and development now shifts from hardware design towards software due to more powerful and generic hardware platforms. This calls for new approaches for efficient software development and certification, and has created a clear interest in adopting best practices from the non-safety critical software domain to the safety-critical domain.
The Safe Software network will bring together leading European actors from Norwegian industry (represented by NCEI) and leading European ICT- and safety-research groups to share expertise, experience, research results and establish a platform for mutual learning and collaboration.
The partners will take on the following activities:
1. An operational arena for exchange of research and industrial experience
2. New international cooperation
3. New research- and improvement-project initiatives with funding from national and European authorities
4. Improved practice for software development and certification with the industry partners (better performing software development)
5. Academic leadership within effective development of high-integrity systems, including influence on education (NTNU)
6. Influence the new version of the IEC61508 standard, fitting modern software development principles.
7. Dialogue with certification bodies, such as TÜV to ensure compatibility with assessment practices
8. Development of new continuing education course(s), to ensure that new knowledge gets transferred into practical use