Digital Innovation Hubs

DIH Profile

BI-REX - BIG DATA INNOVATION & RESEARCH EXCELLENCE

Hub Information

Hub Name
BI-REX - BIG DATA INNOVATION & RESEARCH EXCELLENCE
Local Name
BI-REX - BIG DATA INNOVATION & RESEARCH EXCELLENCE
Evolutionary Stage
Fully operational
Geographical Scope
National

Description

BI-REX is one of the eight Competence Centres founded by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development within the 4.0 Industry National Plan framework. The centre, as reported in its Chart is a no for profit consortium which carries out external activities following non-profit aim and focused on Big Data.

BI-REX is a public-private Consortium born on the 11th of December 2018 in Bologna gathering in partnership 56 actors: 12 bodies between Universities and Research Centers and 44 enterprises of excellence working in the field of services finance and logistics, energy, automotive and aerospace, mechatronics, ICT, biomedical and agree-food. BI-REX collects the know-how of the Emilia Romagna High Technology network (existing industrial research laboratories, infrastructures, Digital innovation Hubs - DIH) but with a national and international road map. One of the main goals of the Centre is to assist companies, especially SMEs, in the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies.

In particular, BI-REX provides companies, especially SMEs with the following services:

Orientation and Consultancy

  • Awareness raising on Industry 4.0 technologies and related benefits for enterprises and SMEs, on Italian Industry 4.0 Strategy, in particular on the Italian Competence Center System and BiRex services.
  • Workshops, webinars and conferences, thematic working groups, reports and analyses on Key Enabling Technologies
  • Digital readiness assessment services and support services for the digital transition
  • Consultancy services on I4.0 technologies (e.g. cybersecurity, IoT, big data, AI, 3D printing, advanced robotics, etc.)
  • Demo, proof of concept and prototyping  activities to allow enterprises an SMEs understanding and testing the real advantages offered by Industry 4.0 technologies

Trainings

  • Several types of trainings: trainings on specific topics, technologies and tools related to Industry 4.0, trainings on innovation management. Trainings can be delivered:

(a) on site, using the learning centre or the digital capability center, which is the pilot plant for proof of concepts, testings and prototyping activities which require the use of the equipment.

(b) in e-learning or blended mode, using a dedicated web platform.

Innovation Projects and Fundraising Support

  • Possibility to implement collaborative projects of industrial research, experimental development and innovation through calls co-financed by Bi-Rex and Italian Ministry of the Economic Development
  • Scouting of funding opportunities and support in collaborative projects definition, proposal writing and submission

It’s important to remark that BI-REX headquarter is located in Bologna (Italy), its facilities cover 1.500 square meters inside the Opificio Golinelli, place of competence and activity contamination: training, research and business activities. In particular the competence center can rely on: offices area for its personnel, co-working area which will host professionals and researchers from different companies and research institutions, training laboratory hosting over 100 students/trainees and the Digital Capability Centre. The Digital Capability Centre is an advanced production pilot line, where new Industry 4.0 technologies are integrated with traditional ones, in a digitally interconnected environment. The Pilot Plant has been designed in order to: anticipate digital transformation processes; support technological innovation of enterprises; increase the added value of company products. The pilot plant is made of the following technologies and tools: selective laser melting, direct energy deposition-DED, mobile and collaborative robotics, a measuring station, a CNC machine center, edge computing, cloud and analytics, a 5G cell. This pilot line will allow the realization of advanced prototypes and high added value small series, making them available on the market and will allow SMEs testing technologies before invest.

On the website Bi-Rex company profile in English can be found at the following link: file:///C:/Users/Serena%20Dangelo/Downloads/BI-REX_Institutional-Presentation_ENG%20(2).pdf.

The translation into English of the whole website is on-going and will be available soon.

 

 

BI-REX è uno degli otto centri di competenza fondati dal Ministero Italiano dello Sviluppo Economico nel quadro del Piano nazionale Industria4.0. Il centro ha un focus specifico sui Big Data.

Il Centro, come riportato nel suo Statuto è un consorzio no profit che realizza attività focalizzate sulle tematiche dei Big Data senza scopo di lucro.

BI-REX è un Consorzio pubblico-privato nato l’11 dicembre 2018 a Bologna, che raccoglie in partenariato 56 attori: 12 tra Enti, Università e Centri di Ricerca e 44 Imprese di eccellenza operanti nei settori di servizi finanza e logistica, energia, automotive e aerospace, meccatronica, ICT, biomedicale e agrifood. BI-REX raccoglie il know -how della rete Alta Tecnologia dell’Emilia Romagna - laboratori di ricerca industriale esistenti, infrastrutture, Digital Innovation Hubs (DIH) - ma con una missione e una roadmap nazionale ed internazionale.

Obiettivo principale del centro è quello di supportare le aziende e in particolare le PMI nell’adozione delle tecnologie abilitanti dell’Industria 4.0.

In particolare, BI-REX fornirà alle imprese, specialmente alle PMI, i seguenti servizi:

Orientamento e Consulenza

  • Sensibilizzazione sulle tecnologie dell'Industria 4.0 e relativi benefici per imprese e PMI, sulla Strategia Industria 4.0 Italiana, in particolare sul Sistema dei Centri di Competenza Italiano e sui servizi di BiRex..
  • Workshop, webinar e conferenze, gruppi di lavoro tematici, relazioni e analisi sulle tecnologie abilitanti chiave
  • Servizi di valutazione della maturità digitale e di supporto alla transizione digitale
  • Servizi di consulenza su tecnologie I4.0 (es. Cybersecurity, IoT, big data, AI, stampa 3D, robotica avanzata, ecc.)
  • Demo, proof of concept e attività di prototipazione per consentire alle imprese e alle PMI di comprendere e testare i reali vantaggi offerti dalle tecnologie Industria 4.0

Formazione

  • Numerose tipologie di formazione: corsi di formazione su temi, tecnologie e strumenti specifici legati all'Industria 4.0, corsi di formazione sulla gestione dell'innovazione. I corsi possono essere impartiti:

(a) in presenza, utilizzando la sala formazione di Bi-Rex e il digital capability center, dove è possibile effettuare proof of concepts, sperimentare macchinari, realizzare prototipi che richiedono l’utilizzo della linea pilota.

(b) in modalità e-learning o mista attraverso l’uso di una piattaforma formativa specializzata.

Progetti di innovazione e Fundraising

  • Possibilità di implementare progetti collaborativi di ricerca industriale o sviluppo sperimentale attraverso la partecipazione a bandi co-finanziati da Bi-Rex e dal Ministero Italiano dello Sviluppo Economico.
  • Selezione dell’opportunità di finanziamento e supporto alla redazione di progetti di ricerca collaborativi per la partecipazione a call regionali, nazionali, europee

È importante sottolineare che la sede di Bi-Rex è situata in Bologna (Italia), la sua struttura copre circa 1.500 metri quadrati all’interno dell’Opificio Golinelli, spazio di contaminazione per la formazione, la ricerca e il business. In particolare Bi-Rex si articola in: un’area uffici per il suo personale, un’area di co-working per ospitare professionisti e ricercatori provenienti da diverse imprese e istituti di ricerca, una sala formazione che può ospitare fino a 100 studenti, e la linea pilota.  Quest’ultima è una vera propria Digital Capability Centre ospitato all’interno di Bi-Rex facilities, è una linea produttiva all’avanguardia dove le nuove tecnologie I4.o sono integrate con le tecnologie tradizionali in un ambiente digitale interconnesso.  La linea pilota è stata progettata per: anticipare I processi di trasformazione digitale, supportare le aziende nell’innovazione tecnologica, aumentare il valore aggiunto nei prodotti industriali. La linea è costituita dalle seguenti tecnologie e macchine: selective laser melting, deposizione diretta-DED, robotica mobile e collaborative, edge computing, cloud and analytics, cella 5G, stazioni di misura, centro di lavoro CNC. Tale linea permetterà la realizzazione di prototipi avanzati e di e piccole serie ad alto valore aggiunto, da rendere disponibili a mercato e la realizzazione di programmi di formazione «hands-on» per partner  e PMI, permettendo alle PMI di testare le tecnologie prime di investire in esse.

Il company profile in inglese di Bi-Rex è disponibile al seguente link: file:///C:/Users/Serena%20Dangelo/Downloads/BI-REX_Institutional-Presentation_ENG%20(2).pdf.

È in corso la traduzione in inglese del sito web Bi-rex che sarà presto disponibile.

Contact Data

Coordinator (Other)
BI-REX BIG DATA INNOVATION & RESEARCH EXCELLENCE
https://bi-rex.it/
Year Established
2018
Location
VIA PAOLO NANNI COSTA 14, 40133, BOLOGNA (Italy)
Website
https://bi-rex.it/
Social Media
Contact information
Serena d'angelo
serena.dangelo@bi-rex.it
0039 3668726552
Contact information
Silvia Vecchi
silvia.vecchi@bi-rex.it
0039 3355468424
Contact information
Simona Campo
simona.campo@bi-rex.it
0039 3475954130
Contact information
Giampaolo Amadori
giampaolo.amadori@bi-rex.it
0039 3668726544

Organisation

Organizational form
Public Private Partnership
Turnover
1.000.000-5.000.000
Number of employees
10-25

Technologies

  • Communication networks
  • Cyber physical systems
  • Robotics
  • Internet of things
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Mobility & Location based technologies
  • Interaction technologies
  • Cyber security
  • Advanced, or high performance computing
  • Big data, data analytics, data handling
  • Virtual, augmented and extended reality
  • Simulation, modelling and digital twins
  • Software as a service and service architectures
  • Cloud computing
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Laser based manufacturing
  • Logistics

NATIONAL INITIATIVE

BI-REX is one of the eight competence centers founded by Italian Minister of Economic Development in the framework of Italy’s Industry 4.0 National Plan.

This plan includes strategic guidelines that are to be implemented by 2020, an effort that will transform traditional manufacturing methods with a focus on skills and advanced technology, as well as support the digitization of the Italian economy. It also emphasizes a future based on collaboration with other countries and even joined forces with other key initiatives.

The Plan provides a wide array of measures in the short and medium term for the period 2017-2020, as well as long term, collectively ensuring the foundation of an efficient framework. The strategic measures focus on innovation, competitiveness and the development of skills.

Moreover, complementary measures are put in place supporting efforts of Industry 4.0 in different areas. Altogether, the Government has earmarked €18billion of financial funds for the purposes of the initiative.

The target audience are SMEs, micro enterprises and large companies. The core activities comprise innovative investment, stimulating private investment in the uptake of I4.0 technology, expenditures in R&D, and development of skills.

The first group of measures is based on tax incentives.

The second group of measures ensures easy access to finance.

The third group puts an emphasis on the development of skills related to new technologies and innovative processes stemming from the fourth industrial revolution. I4.0 launched the ‘Digital Innovation Hubs’, which serve as a contact point between companies, investors and research institutions, supporting and facilitating innovative investment plans, and the ‘I4.0 Competence Centres’. The I4.0 Competence Centres which provide training, live demos, presentation of best practices, technical advisory services for SMEs, launching and accelerating innovative projects and technological development. Furthermore, the Plan foresees several measures focusing on empowerment of skills through educational programmes.

More info on Italy's I4.0 Plan can be found at the following link:

https://www.mise.gov.it/images/stories/documenti/2017_01_16-Industria_40_English.pdf

REGIONAL INITIATIVE RIS3

The activity of BiRex, as reported in the following summary table, is highly consistent and synergistic with Regional strategies for innovation.

Strategic priorities and Regional policies on Industry 4.0 topics

Description

Consistency with BI-REX activities program

Regional Law on Innovation #7/2000

It provides the framework for the realization of Emilia-Romagna High Technology Network

The High Technology network laboratories belonging to Bi-Rex partners were the main interlocutors in the elaboration of Bi-Rex proposal, in accordance with the Regional Law n. 7

The Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3) defines the framework for the 2014-2020 ERDF and ESF structural Funds

S3 addresses the Industry 4.0 enabling technologies within the strategic priority “Innovation of services” and in “mechatronics and engines”  specialization field

The target sectors identified by BI-REX coincide with 3 of the 5 regional specialization areas (agri-food, mechatronics, automotive, health and wellness)

 

DGR 2287/2015 Regional Infrastructural Plan

It concerns the infrastructures strengthening for supercomputing and for big data storage and processing

BI-REX main focus on Big Data and the presence of the most important stakeholders dealing with computing infrastructures operating in Emilia-Romagna Region express the consistency of regional investments with our activities

 

 

Regional initiatives to support aggregation processes among players involved in technology transfer

Consistency with BI-REX activities program

Regional Clusters constitution; aggregation of High Technology network laboratories and companies able to coordinate research and innovation regional policies with professional training, internationalization and entrepreneurship development ones

Regional clusters are focused on innovation actions that take place within value chains. BI-REX will focus on research and innovation needs, mainly through collaborative projects. Therefore, the actions will be complementary and synergical.

Regional project for the establishment of the Big Data Technopole at the former Tobacco Factory in Bologna

The project foresees the future BI-REX headquarters within the Technopole: this aspect is part of the integration strategy among the main regional actors focused on big data and supercomputing.  

SMILE is the Digital Innovation Hub founded by Parma Entrepreneurs’ Association and University of Parma. SMILE is part of the Italian network of DIH and was born within the European initiative I4MS

BI-REX will make SMILE and DIH network available within the regional system. The presence of University of Parma in BI-REX partnership guarantees the complementarity of interventions and the interaction among all initiatives.

 

Bi-Rex activities are aligned with the following RIS3 goals:

  • To improve the innovation process: through Bi-Rex webinars on specific I4.0  technologies free of charge and addressed to companies, especially SMEs; through the promotion of several research and development innovative projects. At the moment Bi-Rex, with the support of Italian Ministry of Economic Development, is financing 16 innovation projects involving 47 Italian companies, 10 among Universities, with 3.2 million euros budget. 
  • To respond to economic and societal challenges and to develop and implement strategies for economic transformation: thank to the innovative approach and technologies such as big data and analytics, implemented within the digital capability center hosted by Bi-Rex, the center will create the essential conditions to deal with societal and economic changes. An example can be found on Covid-19 emergency and on the relevance of big data to fight the virus and to implement prevention measures.
  • To avoid overlaps and replication in development strategies: Bi-Rex works in synergy with other key Italian national and regional actors within I4.0 Sector in order to avoid duplication in terms of effort and to put ideas, technologies, funds together. Bi-Rex is cooperating with other 7 Italian competence centers to strengthen the I4.0 national strategy and plan.

 

EU Funded Projects we are involved in

  • “EUROCC - National Competence Centres in the framework of EuroHPC” (EuroHPC RIA). The project aims at bringing together the necessary expertise to set up a network of National Competence Centres in HPC across Europe in 31 participating, member and associated states, to provide a broad service portfolio tailored to the respective national needs of industry, academia and public administrations. BI-REX role within this project is to help companies and especially SMEs to became fully aware of the potential and benefits of HPC and HPDA technologies and get familiar with technology transfer measures and funding initiatives towards innovation through those technologies. To this aim, BI-REX will provide technology gap analysis, proof of concepts, will explain business models, etc.
  • “CASTIEL - Coordination and Support for National Competence Centres on a European Level” (EuroHPC CSA). The  project aims at contributing to the success of the activities of the National Competence Centres (as realized in EUROCC) by tackling both the maintenance and strengthening of excellence, while identifying and closing gaps due to the diverse levels of maturity between the different nations. BI-REX role within this project is to facilitate the interaction with industry, especially SMEs, and to promote the exchange of best practices on technology transfer.
  • IoTwins -  Distributed Digital Twins for industrial SMEs: a big-data platform” (H2020 IA). The project aims at enabling SMEs in the manufacturing and facility management/service sectors to access edge-enabled and cloud-based big-data analysis services to create hybrid digital companions to improve their production process and optimize the management of their facilities This project involves 6 Bi-Rex’s partners.

Market and Services

Sectors

  • Agriculture and food
  • Energy and utilities
  • Education
  • Manufacture of food products, beverages and tobacco
  • Manufacture of rubber and plastic products
  • Manufacture of basic metals and fabricated metal products
  • Manufacture of machinery and equipment
  • Manufacture of transport equipment
  • Other Manufacturing

TRL Focus

  • TRL3 - Analytical and experimental critical function and/or characteristic proof of concept
  • TRL4 - Component and/or breadboard validation in laboratory environment
  • TRL5 - Component and/or breadboard validation in relevant environment
  • TRL6 - System/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment
  • TRL7 - System prototype demonstration in an operational environment

Services provided

  • Awareness creation
  • Ecosystem building, scouting, brokerage, networking
  • Visioning and Strategy Development for Businesses
  • Collaborative Research
  • Concept validation and prototyping
  • Testing and validation
  • Pre-competitive series production
  • Digital Maturity Assessment
  • Access to Funding and Investor Readiness Services
  • Mentoring
  • Education and skills development

Service Examples

Research, Development and iInovation Projects

Client profile: SME working in the field of collaborative robotics.

Client needs: to design a management and power supply system for collaborative cells, including a human operator and a cobot, using advanced robotic AGV vehicle solutions. The system should be autonomous in feeding (selection, collection and storage) and handling of parts or components involved in productive processes.

Provided solutions: Bi-REX will support the SME in achieving its goal through two specific actions:

  1. Co-financing a collaborative innovation project involving the client, other SMEs, big companies and universities active in the robotics sector.
  2. Providing, through its pilot line, a collaborative assembly cell, and a fleet of AGVs for the physical connection between stations and warehouse;

This specific solution is implemented within the Bi-Rex call for proposals, which will fund industrial research and experimental development projects for a total amount of 5.7 million euros.

Webinars and training Courses on I4.0 Technologies

Client profile: small companies that ignore the impact of I4.0 enabling technologies on their company processes and productivity and/or believe those technologies require huge and long term investments and can be implemented only by big and structured companies.

Client needs: to increase efficacy and productivity, to increase awareness on the I4.0 technologies impact, to know and understand use cases for possible application

Provided solution: BI-Rex provides free webinars in order to introduce the main issues and challenges related to I4.0 technologies and their implementation into industrial contexts. Several webinars have already been organized involving more than 600 people working in SMEs on the following topics: Innovative Solutions for sanitizing work environments (with reference to the COVID-19 emergency), Smart Environments, Robot and improvement of productive processes, Cross reality: possible resources to support productive economic recovery, Cybersecurity, etc. After this first webinar phase, structured courses will be soon organized in cooperation with companies, professional associations (Confindustria, Legacoop, CNA, etc.), Universities and other key actors. We strongly believe in training and in the importance on acquire new skills related to innovation and management sector.

Online reference: https://bi-rex.it/en/media-2/news/

Digital Capability Center

Client profile: a company working in the additive manufacturing sector. The company is very small, but aims at improving the level of its production by investing on 3d-metal-printing technology. Before investing on this technology, the company needs to test the 3d-metal-printing equipment in order to be sure it responds to its expectations.

Client needs: to access 3d-metal-printing technology to test its suitability with reference to the company business.

Provided solutions: Bi-Rex Digital Capability Center is an advanced production line, a smart factory pilot where new Industry 4.0 technologies are integrated with traditional ones, in a digitally interconnected environment. This pilot plant hosts the main innovative I4.0 technologies, among them the selective laser melting machine is available for companies and SMEs, with the assistance of a highly specialized technician. It is important to remark that the digital capability center will be continuously under development, to add the last I4.0 technologies. In this way, client companies will always have the opportunities to test the most innovative tools and equipment, in order to be competitive towards national and foreign enterprises working in the same field.

 

https://bi-rex.it/en/linea-pilota-en/

The English version of the website will be soon available

 

Funding

  • Horizon 2020
  • European Regional Development Fund
  • National specific innovation funding
  • Regional funding
  • Private funding
  • Partner resources
  • Memberships

Customers

Number of customers annually
>50
Type of customers
  • Start-up companies
  • SMEs (<250 employees)
  • MidCaps (between €2-10 billion turnover)
  • Large companies, multi-nationals
  • Partners

    H2020 Projects

    • Fortissimo 2
      Factories of the Future Resources, Technology, Infrastructure and Services for Simulation and Modelling 2

      Factories of the Future Resources, Technology, Infrastructure and Services for Simulation and Modelling 2


      Fortissimo 2 will drive the uptake of advanced modelling, simulation and data analytics by European engineering and manufacturing SMEs and mid-caps. Such an uptake will deliver improved design processes, better products and services, and improved competitiveness. For the European Union as a whole this means improved employment opportunities and economic growth.

      The importance of advanced ICT to the competitiveness of both large and small companies in the engineering and manufacturing domain is well established. Despite early successes in this area, there are still many barriers to the uptake of such solutions, not least of which are the initial cost and complexity of adoption, particularly in the context of challenging trading conditions. This proposal targets the ICT Innovation for Manufacturing SMEs (I4MS) action line (Phase 2) and builds on Phase 1 of that initiative.

      Phase 2 addresses the adoption of next generation ICT advances in the manufacturing domain. At the core of Fortissimo 2 are three tranches of Application Experiments (~35 in total). An initial set is included in this proposal and two further sets will be obtained through Open Calls for proposals. These experiments will be driven by the requirements of first-time users (predominately SMEs) and will bring together actors from across the value chain, from cycle providers to domain experts via the Fortissimo Marketplace. This will enable innovative solutions to manufacturing challenges, leading to new and improved design processes, products and services. A key feature of Fortissimo 2 will be the adaption of the Marketplace to meet the needs of end-users. It will offer a responsive and reliable service to companies which want to access HPC and Big resources and expertise.

      Fortissimo 2 initially involves 732 months of effort, a total cost of €11.1m and EC funding of €10m over a duration of three years, commensurate with achieving its ambitious goals.

    • EPRISE
      Empowering Photonics through Regional Innovation Strategies in Europe

      Empowering Photonics through Regional Innovation Strategies in Europe


      EPRISE project aims to promote and support Photonics as a KET with focus on Life Science applications in 4 target markets where Europe holds a leading position – Medical Technologies, Pharmaceuticals, Agriculture and Food. Companies developing photonics-based products for these markets face highly specific  Go-to-Market challenges such as long time to market adoption, complex regulatory frameworks and high barriers to market entry to name but a few.

      They are often in need of support from public funding to help them cross the “Valley of death” between innovation ready phase (TRL 4), and investment ready phase (TRL 7). During this time, they are also in need of advice from market specific experts who can guide them on non-technological (business) topics.

      EPRISE consortium will organise a “European Photonics Roadshow”, a series of 7 major events hosted by European regions, with the aim of providing SMEs with concrete solutions from market experts on how to overcome market barriers and boosting collaboration along the complete value chain via pre-arranged B2B meetings.

      Photonics clusters involved in EPRISE have both local connections and technology understanding to set-up, together with Regional Authorities, an efficient framework that will encourage creation of funding synergies between regional and European funds in order to better exploit potential of European Photonics industry. The project aims to provide regional policy makers with an overview of funding synergies to be considered in the current or following Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF).

      Furthermore, the project aims to establish a formal collaboration with the ongoing European Photonics projects offering technology support (ActPhast, Pix4Life) that can address potential technology issues linked to SMEs access to market.

    • ACTPHAST 4.0
      ACceleraTing PHotonics innovAtion for SME’s: a one STop-shop-incubator

      ACceleraTing PHotonics innovAtion for SME’s: a one STop-shop-incubator


      ACTPHAST 4.0 (ACceleraTing PHotonics innovAtion for SMEs: a one STop-shop-incubator) is a unique photonics innovation incubator for Europe which is perfectly aligned with the needs of SMEs in overcoming the challenges and seizing the opportunities afforded by the new digital revolution of Industry 4.0 in which photonics technologies are a key enabler. ACTPHAST 4.0 will directly support the broader and faster take-up of photonics by a critical mass of SMEs by providing action-oriented solutions on two complementary levels, driven by the business needs of the companies: (i) ready-made access to rapid prototyping services using the top photonics technologies and expert know-how of Europe’s leading photonics competence centers covering the entire integrated supply chain of photonics technology platform capabilities to make deep interventions in the SMEs’ new product development through focused short-duration co-innovation projects; combined with (ii) professional coaching on the technical, business and financial aspects of the innovation process, from concept feasibility through to a mass-manufacturable marketable product. ACTPHAST 4.0 is designed to ensure that all of Europe’s SMEs, in particular first users and early adopters across a wide range of end user industries, have open access to the incubator for timely, efficient and cost-effective photonics innovation support. As a result, ACTPHAST 4.0 expects to boost photonics innovation in Europe at a scale and with a leveraging factor never seen before, delivering a substantial increase in the revenues, venture capital and jobs across all of the supported companies. In addition, through its tight links with the EU pilot lines, as well as its collaboration with smart “first mover” regions across the EU on best practices for co-funding on SME innovation, ACTPHAST 4.0 will act as a game-changer in revitalizing European manufacturing and as one of the vital catalysts to the successful digitization of European industry.

    • COVR
      Being safe around collaborative and versatile robots in shared spaces

      Being safe around collaborative and versatile robots in shared spaces


      Increasing demand from the growing and aging population can be assuaged by ever closer safe human-robot collaboration (HRI): to improve productivity, reduce health limitations and provide services. HRI and safety are both major topics in the Work Programme. Safety regulations will be a barrier to cobot deployment unless they are easy to access, understand and apply. COVR collates existing safety regulations relating to cobots in e.g. manufacturing and fills in regulatory gaps for newer cobot fields e.g. rehabilitation to present detailed safety assessment instructions to coboteers. Making the safety assessment process clearer allows cobots to be used with more confidence in more situations, increasing the variety of cobots on the market and the variety of services cobots can offer to the general population.
      TRYG provides a one-stop shop which uses a common approach to safety assessment and is valid across all fields and applications. TRYG will provide clear and simple online access to best-practice safety testing protocols via a user-friendly decision tree, guided by questions about the cobot and its intended behaviours. Resulting application-specific testing protocols specify how to assess safety and document compliance with regulations.
      We support coboteers by providing safety-relevant services based in well-equipped facilities at each partner site. TRYG services cover all stages of cobot development from design through final system sign-off to safety in use and maintenance, provided through consultancy, risk analysis, actual testing, workshops, courses, demonstrations, etc. – all designed to inspire people to increase cobot safety.
      All TRYG elements will be beta-tested by external cobot developers etc. financed by FSTP. By using project elements  “live”, these FSTP beneficiaries not only develop their cobots further towards market, but also contribute their knowledge to the TRYG system and provide valuable feedback to both partners and standards developers.

    • SmartAgriHubs
      Connecting the dots to unleash the innovation potential for digital transformation of the European agri-food sector

      Connecting the dots to unleash the innovation potential for digital transformation of the European agri-food sector


      SmartAgriHubs is dedicated to accelerate the digital transformation of the European agri-food sector. It will consolidate, activate and extend the current ecosystem by building a network of Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) that will boost the uptake of digital solutions by the farming sector. This will be achieved by integrating technology and business support in a local one-stop-shop approach involving all regions and all relevant players in Europe. The heart of the project is formed by 28 flagship innovation experiments demonstrating digital innovations in agriculture, facilitated by DIHs from 9 Regional Clusters including all European member states. Concurrently, SmartAgriHubs will improve the maturity of innovation services of DIHs so that digital innovations will be replicated across Europe and widely adopted by European farmers. A lean multi-actor approach focusing on user acceptability, stakeholder engagement and sustainable business models will boost technology and market readiness levels and bring user adoption to the next level. This will be enhanced by synergetic effects between SmartAgriHubs and RIS3, since SmartAgriHubs will work in lock step with European regions to maximize the return of European investments, including regional structural funds and private capital. Open Calls with a total budget of ±6 M€ will expand the network and ensure that technological developments and emerging challenges of the agri-food sector are incorporated in the DIH service portfolio. SmartAgriHubs’ inclusive structure and ambitious targets will bring the entire European ecosystem together, connecting the dots to ensure global leadership for Europe in the AgTech market. The consortium, led by Wageningen Research and other partners of previous key projects such as IoF2020, FIWARE, S3P Agri-Food and I4MS, will leverage the existing ecosystem and guarantee a maximum ROI for European taxpayers and a vital agri-food sector producing adequate and safe food for future generations.

    • agROBOfood
      agROBOfood: Business-Oriented Support to the European Robotics and Agri-food Sector, towards a network of Digital Innovation Hubs in Robotics

      agROBOfood: Business-Oriented Support to the European Robotics and Agri-food Sector, towards a network of Digital Innovation Hubs in Robotics


      agROBOfood is dedicated to accelerate the digital transformation of the European agri-food sector through the adoption of robotic technologies. It will consolidate, extend and strengthen the current ecosystem by establishing a sustainable network of DIHs. This will boost the uptake of robotic solutions by the agri-food sector: a huge challenge requiring an inclusive approach involving all relevant European players. The agROBOfood consortium has 39 partners, led by Wageningen University & Research and other core partners of previous key projects such as IoF2020, ROBOTT-NET, PicknPack and I4MS, to leverage the ecosystem that was established in those projects. The heart of the project is formed by Innovation Experiments (IEs), organized and monitored by the DIHs. In each of the 7 Regional Clusters, an initial IE will demonstrate the robotics innovations in agri-food in a manner that ensures replicability across Europe, wide adoption and sustainability of the DIHs network. agROBOfood will work in lockstep with the European robotics community, ensuring synergetic effects with initiatives such as EU-Robotics. This will maximize the return of European, including private capital, investments in the digital transformation of agri-food. A key instrument to achieve this objective is the Industrial Advisory Board. They will provide strategic guidance and also define priorities for the selection of solutions to be funded. Open Calls of 8MEUR will attract additional Innovation Experiments (12) and Industrial Challenges (8). These will expand the network and ensure that vast technological developments and emerging challenges of the agri-food sector are incorporated in the service portfolio of DIHs. Through its inclusive structure and ambitious targets, agROBOfood aims to bring the entire European ecosystem together; connecting the dots in a way that ensures effective adoption of robotics technologies in the European agri-food sector.

    • EUHubs4Data
      European Federation of Data Driven Innovation Hubs

      European Federation of Data Driven Innovation Hubs


      EUHubs4Data will set up a European federation of Big Data Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs), with the ambition of becoming a reference instrument for data-driven cross-border experimentation and innovation, and support the growth of European SMEs and start-ups in a global Data Economy.
      Based on the concept “European catalogue, local offer”, EUHubs4Data will establish a Europe-wide, sustainable ecosystem drawing upon local expertise and achievements of European initiatives and national/regional Big Data DIHs, with the three-fold objective of:
      (1) creating a European catalogue of data sources and federated data-driven services and solutions;
      (2) making this offer accessible at the regional level so that European SMEs, start-ups and web entrepreneurs have access to the most valuable assets and expertise on the continent;
      (3) fostering cross-border and cross-sector data-driven experimentation facilitated through data sharing, and data & service interoperability.
      To achieve these objectives, the project relies on:
      • a strong initial ecosystem of 12 Big Data DIHs from the 4 EU poles, linked to European Data Incubators and SME networks;
      • a multi-dimensional approach (governance, operations, technical, ethical and legal aspects, interoperability, skills) for the expansion of the federation (growing up to 30 DIHs);
      • a strong offer of services and access to data sources, based on an initial set of solutions for data and service interoperability, and including a coherent and diverse training programme;
      • the capacity to attract, support and engage SMEs, start-ups and web entrepreneurs (40 cross-border experiments, and 60-80 companies directly involved in the data-driven innovation programme);
      • a community and ongoing collaborations with 60 relevant European Initiatives;
      EUHubs4Data initially covers 12 EU regions in 9 countries, and plans to expand to more than 20 regions and 14 countries during the project, establishing a long-lasting sustainable ecosystem

    • AI REGIO
      Regions and DIHs alliance for AI-driven digital transformation of European Manufacturing SMEs

      Regions and DIHs alliance for AI-driven digital transformation of European Manufacturing SMEs


      The AI REGIO project aims at filling 3 major gaps currently preventing AI-driven DIHs from implementing fully effective digital transformation pathways for their Manufacturing SMEs: at policy level the Regional vs. EU gap; at technological level the Digital Manufacturing vs. Innovation Collaboration Platform gap; at business level the Innovative AI (Industry 5.0) vs Industry 4.0 gap.
      POLICY. Regional smart specialization strategies for Efficient Sustainable Manufacturing and Digital Transformation (VANGUARD initiative for Industrial Modcernisation) are so far insufficiently coordinated and integrated at cross-regional and pan-EU level. SME-driven >AI innovations cannot scale up to become pan-EU accessible in global marketplaces as well as SME-driven experiments remain trapped into a too local dimension without achieving a large scale dimension. Regional vs. EU Gap.
      TECHNOLOGY. Digital Manufacturing Platforms DMP and Digital Innovation Hubs DIH play a fundamental role in the implementation of the Digital Single Market and Digitsing European Industry directives to SMEs, but so far such initiatives, communities, innovation actions are running in a quite independent if not siloed way, where very often Platform-related challenges are not of interest for DIHs and Socio-Business impact not of interest for DMP. DMP vs. DIH Gap.
      BUSINESS. Many Industrial Data Platforms based on IOT Data in Motion and Analytics Data at Rest have been recently developed to implement effective Industry 4.0 pilots (I4MS Phase III platforms). The AI revolution and the new relationship between autonomous systems and humans (Industry 5.0) has not been properly addressed in I4MS so far. AI I5.0 vs. I4.0 Gap.
      AI REGIO is following the 4 steps for VANGUARD innovation strategy (learn-connect-demonstrate-commercialize) by constantly aligning its methods with the AI DIH Network initiative and its assets with I4MS/DIH BEinCPPS Phase II and MIDIH / L4MS Phase III projects. AI REGIO: Industry 5.0 for SMEs

    • PhotonHub Europe
      One-Stop-Shop Open Access to Photonics Innovation Support for a Digital Europe

      One-Stop-Shop Open Access to Photonics Innovation Support for a Digital Europe


      PhotonHub Europe will establish a single pan-EU Photonics Innovation Hub which integrates the best-in-class photonics technologies, facilities, expertise and experience of 53 partners from all over Europe, including the coordinators of EU pilot lines and local photonics hubs representing 18 regions, as a one-stop-shop solution offering a comprehensive range of supports to industry for the accelerated uptake and deployment of photonics. PhotonHub will provide European companies, in particular “non-photonics” SMEs and mid-caps that are first users and early adopters of photonics, with open access and guided orienteering to the following key support services: training and upskilling opportunities within PhotonHub’s Demo and Experience Centres throughout Europe and enhanced by digital tools for online learning; “test before invest” innovation support capabilities to engage with companies on highly collaborative Innovation Projects aimed at TRL acceleration from prototyping (TRL3-4) to upscaling (TRL5-6) to manufacturing (TRL7-8), and complemented by targeted business and IP advisory supports; and support to find investment through investment-readiness coaching and investor match-making organised in collaboration with major regional and European venture fora and deep tech Investor Days. PhotonHub will uniquely support cross-border innovation activities of European companies, while simultaneously working closely with the local photonics hubs to develop and roll out best practices of the “lighthouse” regions for ongoing regional financial support of SME innovation activities and to support the creation of new innovation hubs covering most regions of Europe. Finally, PhotonHub will fine-tune and implement its business plan for long-term sustainability in the form of the PhotonHub Europe Association as a durable entity which is deeply rooted within the wider ecosystem of local, regional and EU-DIHs for maximum leverage and impact on European competitiveness and sovereignty.

    Last updated: 29/09/20 18:05