Actility and IMT Atlantique Launch 'lab.SCHC' for IoT Innovation and Global Connectivity

Press Release – Paris, France – April 18, 2024

Actility, the reference solution provider in industrial connectivity solutions for massive IoT for low-power, low-bandwidth connectivity (LPWAN or Low-Power Wide Area Networks), and IMT Atlantique have today unveiled their new joint laboratory focused on the international standard SCHC (Static Context Header Compression – pronounced “chic”), an Internet technology invented within the SRCD laboratory of IMT Atlantique in 2012 and now prevailing globally. This initiative will significantly enhance Actility’s capabilities.

Back to the Future

SCHC is an innovative method for compressing and fragmenting network protocol headers, initially used for low-bandwidth and low-power networks (LPWAN). This technology was initially commercialized by the startup Acklio, a spin-off from the engineering school IMT Atlantique, founded in March 2016 by Alexander Pelov and Laurent Toutain, both researchers within the Systems Networks, Cybersecurity, and Digital Law laboratory (SRCD). SCHC is particularly suited to the Internet of Things (IoT), where it offers significant gains. In August 2023, Actility acquired Acklio and opted for open sourcing a major part of its products, making the embedded code public while keeping the network core commercialized.

From Electric Meters to Interplanetary Communications

An initial application involved “smart grids” and “intelligent” meters, such as Linky, for electricity, as well as water and gas. Several countries have incorporated SCHC into their electric meter networks: Ivory Coast, Brazil, China… Others, like India, may follow suit. Meanwhile, Italy has launched a major project aimed at its gas meters. Currently in the pilot phase, it will encompass 8 million devices by 2029. And that’s not all; further applications are anticipated, such as charging stations for electric vehicles or connected homes. SCHC thus has tremendous growth potential. The IETF, the international internet standardization body, has recognized the multiple applications of this technology and decided to extend it across the entire internet. This is a significant achievement since the security protocols of the global network are particularly demanding. As a result, SCHC technology will be employed in various communication sectors, with ongoing projects involving WiFi, industrial networks, connected homes, satellite links, and even the next generation of telecommunications, 6G. It may also be used in the development of “Ambient IoT,” a futuristic concept of the Internet of Things that will incorporate
numerous low-power, intelligent, and wireless sensors, similar to RFID chips, often battery-less and based on 6G. SCHC might even prove useful in more surprising areas, such as interplanetary communications. Additionally, a project involving underwater links, such as for offshore wind turbines, has been initiated with IMT Atlantique, Nantes University, and several industrial partners, thus underscoring the great versatility of the SCHC technology.

Multiple Projects for a Common Laboratory

The inauguration of the joint laboratory with IMT Atlantique marks a significant milestone in this promising venture. The university will have access to all Actility’s products and industrial codes—for instance, to design charging stations for electric vehicles. Initially planned for two years, the laboratory presents an ambitious roadmap. The primary goal is to work on new improvements to SCHC technology based on field feedback. Research will also be conducted on various technological components, as well as on standardization, energy efficiency, and industrialization…

To maintain its development momentum, the lab.SCHC aims to become financially independent to preserve its key role in the development of this future technology on a global scale. Various forms of partnerships will be offered to major industrial players, whether French or international, either through bilateral collaborations or projects supported by national and international research agencies. The establishment of a Chair is also planned for 2025.

To support the rapid development of SCHC technology, the specialized training offered by IMT Atlantique for engineering students and international masters will be open to everyone in MOOC format starting in July 2024.

As a leader in this technology, Actility raised 16 million euros in 2023, with total funding exceeding 100 million euros since 2016. Its rise in a key area of global tech will greatly contribute to the visibility of IMT Atlantique.

Through the creation of this joint laboratory with IMT Atlantique, Actility not only strengthens its leadership position in low-power IoT technologies but also broadens its innovation horizon through direct access to the latest research and developments. This partnership provides Actility with a unique platform to test, refine, and deploy SCHC technology in various industrial applications, thereby enhancing the performance of SCHC through feedback from large-scale deployments. Actility will thus gain a competitive edge, anticipating market developments and more effectively meeting customer needs. This initiative also enhances its international visibility and opens new business opportunities in emerging and traditional sectors.

“Open sourcing will allow us to distribute SCHC more widely and reach much larger markets. Many IP protocols could benefit from SCHC, such as the OCPP protocol for electric vehicle charging.”

Olivier Hersent
CEO, Actility

“Through our collaboration with Kerlink, we’re not just integrating robust and reliable technologies, our companies are crafting a new paradigm for IoT connectivity. enabling seamless scaling from single gateways to large multisite deployments. This is a leap forward on the road to future proof IoT, where simplicity meets versatility, empowering our customers to transform data into actionable insights with unparalleled ease. For Actility, this collaboration leverages Kerlink’s deep expertise in building LoRaWAN® radio network products and signifies a strategic enhancement of our company’s product offerings and market position, the good news for customers is it promises to lower deployment barriers and costs across various sectors by enabling efficient, scalable IoT applications.”

Alexander Pelov
Tenured Associate Professor, IMT Atlantique

“Our laboratory starts on a solid foundation, with a unique positioning, knowledge, and products. From its inception, the lab.SCHC will have a global impact, with complete synergy between research, industry, societal impact, and education. We are thus poised to move towards the future evolutions of the Internet. SCHC is a technology of the future. By 2030, it will be present in more than half of the connected objects in the world.”

Laurent Toutain
Professor, IMT Atlantique

About IMT Atlantique

IMT Atlantique is one of the top 10 engineering schools in France, and one of the top 400 universities in the world in THE World University Ranking. It is a general engineering grande école financed by the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, and the first Institut Mines Télécom “Mines-Telecom” Technological university, founded on January 1st, 2017 from the merger of Mines Nantes and Télécom Bretagne.
IMT Atlantique is:
• a Higher Education Institution with first-rate research potential, internationally recognized for its research (present in 5 disciplines in the Shanghai, QS and THE rankings).
• a resolutely multi-site institution reflecting the world in which we live. An institution with a strong local presence, and a commitment to contributing to local development
• an institution which is aware of its environmental and societal responsibility. In 2019 it was awarded the sustainable development & social responsibility accreditation.
• and finally, an institution that trains executives capable of understanding and mastering the complexity of the highly interconnected systems of the future, by combining their knowledge of the systems with that of the networks that link them.

About Actility 

Actility is the world leader in low-power wide-area networks (LPWAN) industrial-grade connectivity solutions for the Internet of Things. Actility provides its ThingPark™ platform and network technology to deploy, operate and maintain public and private wireless IoT networks within a unified, scalable and versatile network infrastructure. The vast majority of nationwide LoRaWAN® network service providers (over 50) and hundreds of enterprises trust ThingPark™ all over the world. Through its subsidiary Abeeway, Actility also provides patented ultra-low power tracking solutions. ThingPark Market offers the largest selection of interoperable IoT gateways, devices and applications to simplify and accelerate deployment of numerous use cases.
For more information, visit

What is LoRa and LoRaWAN white paper techniical overview, benfits and use cases

Learn more about the LoRaWAN technology by downloading the Actility “What is LoRaWAN” white paper