IBM, European Union sign deal to strengthen infrastructure -

Big Blue said it will cooperate with the European Union and other organisations to design tech that will help prevent important infrastructure computer systems from falling over.

The areas the EU is concerned about include nuclear power plants, transport, electric grids, and water.

IBM somewhat understates this saying "the consequences of a glitch in system upgrades can be global and costly". As these infrastructures are more and more governed by digital systems, detecting potential bugs in the software before disaster happens would be jolly useful.

IBM and the EU will build technology and share its research with the open source community.

The project is called Pincette, French for tweezers, the idea being that the tech will pick out small software bugs and cut on the cost of maintaining system software by auto testing software.

Parners in the venture include IBM Research in Haifa, the University of Oxford, Universita della Svizzera Italiana in Switzerland, Universita' degli Studi di Milano Bicocca, Valtion Teknillinen Tutkimuskeskus (VTT) in Finland, Israel Aerospace Industries, and ABB.

The EU will fund the Pincette venture although how much it is contributing doesn't seem to be clear. VTT in Finland will use Pincette to guarantee robots monitoring thermo-nuclear reactors will work properly. This is a 30 year project also funded by the EU with the aim of replacing nuclear reactors with "clean" machines using atomic fusion. Pincette is here.