Last week I attended the Itea2/Artemis co-summit. It's a showcase of Itea funded R&D projects.
This year apparently most projects are focused on embeded software (Artemis), M2M Networks and Green Energy.
There are several projects that focus on M2M architecture/applications, including ours A2Nets, which would allow M2M devices to connect and exchange information with each other. Notable applications would be determining when your bus will be at the bus stop or cars passing by sharing traffic data with each other.
It seems, at least in europe, smart readers will be more common in the future. There are numerous projects trying to build and manage different metering networks such as electric and gas metering.
MetaVerse1 was also an interesting project which attempts to enable interoperability among virtual worlds. One of the products of the project is the MPEG-V standard.