Praxis merger adds embedded capabilities

Altran Group is merging its UK-based critical systems business Praxis with SC2, its software competence centre in Sophia Antipolis, France.

The new organisation, called Altran Praxis, will focus on the engineering of software-intensive and embedded systems with demanding safety, security or innovation requirements.

One project where members of both teams are already working together is on the software development of the UK's ground-breaking iFACTS air traffic management system for NATS.

Praxis has focused on markets where safety is critical, including aerospace and defence, rail, air traffic management, nuclear power and security.

SC2, with a long pedigree as a software research centre in the automotive sector, has strengths in areas such as human-machine interface (HMI), multimedia and connectivity.

Headquartered in Bath, UK, Altran Praxis will operate globally through offices in France, India and the UK. It currently employs 270 people and plans to expand further in 2010.

"The launch of Altran Praxis will offer our clients a unique end-to-end capability," said Keith Williams, Altran Praxis managing director. "For example if you are an automotive, aircraft or train manufacturer, we can now build and assure your most critical control systems, such as engine management or braking, and also deliver the most innovative passenger infotainment systems for generating more revenue. With the increasing integration of systems this combined capability is of very high value."

Gesture-based HMI as one of the areas with potential for development, said Williams, particularly in medical and control-centre applications. "It's starting to be used in office applications, but we've been looking at how to practically apply it in industry," he said.

"Crucially, our staff are extremely supportive of the merger," Williams added, "as it provides opportunities for them to become involved in different technologies and markets as well as further extending our international reach."

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