OPENCOSS: Open Platform for EvolutioNary Certification of Safety-critical Systems

OPENCOSS: Open Platform for EvolutioNary Certification of Safety-critical Systems


Open Platform for EvolutioNary Certification of Safety-critical Systems, or OPENCOSS, is a project devoted to the reduction of spending on software certification. Safety assurance and certification are amongst the most expensive and time-consuming tasks in the development of safety-critical embedded systems. European innovation and productivity in this market is curtailed by the lack of affordable (re)certification approaches. Major problems arise when evolutions to a system entail reconstruction of the entire body of certification arguments and evidence. Further, market trends strongly suggest that many future embedded systems will be comprised of heterogeneous, dynamic coalitions of systems of systems. As such, they will have to be built and assessed according to numerous standards and regulations. Current certification practices will be prohibitively costly to apply to this kind of embedded systems.

The main purpose of OPENCOSS is to both reduce time and cost for safety (re)certification via compositional and evolutionary certification, and by realizing the first European-wide open safety certification platform spanning different vertical embedded system markets like the railway, avionics and automotive domains. The platform will be realised as a tightly integrated solution, supporting interoperability with existing development and assurance tools.

OPENCOSS promotes a compositional and evolutionary certification approach with the capability to reuse safety arguments, safety evidence, and contextual information about system components, in a way that makes certification more cost-effective, repeatable, and scalable. The technical approach to achieve the project’s goals consists of the following key elements:

  1. Defining a common safety certification language to improve mutual recognition of safety approvals based on a shared cross-domain nomenclature;
  2. Developing rigorous methods for reuse of safety information, so that components are easier to certify when integrated into different systems and different application domains;
  3. Developing an open-source infrastructure to facilitate collection of safety evidence, construction of safety arguments based on the evidence, and conducting safety assessments;
  4. Benchmarking the developed tool infrastructure against industrial cases studies from the railway, avionics and automotive industries;
  5. Community building and standardisation of the project outcomes.

The overall goals of OPENCOSS

  1. To demonstrate a potential reduction of recurring costs for component/product safety certification across systems by 40% and across vertical markets by 30%;
  2. To demonstrate a potential reduction of product safety risks by 20%;
  3. To demonstrate a potential gain for product innovation and upgrading by 20%

Funding source

EU (FP7)

All partners

Adacore (FR), Alstom Transport (FR), Altreonic (BE), Atego (FR & UK), Centro Ricerche Fiat (IT), Eindhoven University of Technology (NL), HPDahle (NO), Inspearit (FR & NL), ikv++ (DE), Intecs (IT), Parasoft (PL), Rina Services (IT), Tecnalia R&I (ES), Thales Avionics (FR), University of York (UK)