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  • Periodic Reporting for period 2 - EuroCPS (European Network of competencies and platforms for Enabling SME from any sector building Innovative CPS products to sustain demand for European manufacturing)

EuroCPS Report Summary

Project ID: 644090
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - EuroCPS (European Network of competencies and platforms for Enabling SME from any sector building Innovative CPS products to sustain demand for European manufacturing)

Reporting period: 2016-02-01 to 2017-01-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

In the frame of H2020 and the SAE Initiative, EU is exploring the establishment of European pilot networks of embedded systems design centers, which help SMEs in any sector to embedded new electronic components in their products or services. The goal is to lower barriers for SMEs to enable them to build innovative CPS solutions and products, making use of high quality technology and knowledge available throughout Europe.

EuroCPS is targeting outcome ‘b’ “Innovation Actions” of the H2020 objective ICT-2014 “Smart Cyber-Physical Systems”. It aims to arm Europe with a network of design centers in order to initiate and boost synergies between SMEs, major CPS-platforms, and CPS-competency providers to capture the emerging CPS markets and create sustained demand for European manufacturing. EuroCPS goals are to:
• Bring innovative CPS to business from any sectors within the help of networking partners.
• Link user and supplier across value-chains and region within the help of the competence partners (coaching, development plan definition, service providers).
• Fund, manage and monitor selected Industrial Experiments (IE) by the cascade funding partners coming from large research centers and technology transfer-oriented university institutes.

To that end, EuroCPS design centers act as one-stop-shop. They provide technical expertise, coaching and access to advanced industrial CPS platforms in order to get SMEs up to speed on the innovation ecosystem of CPS products by facilitating access to the leading edge technologies and their implementation. In the process, design centers tap existing regional ecosystems in several countries to bring the full value chain from HW/SW platforms to high value-added CPS products and services.

To demonstrate this new cooperation model (leveraging software, system and nano-electronic industries), EuroCPS supports and funds industrial experiments (IE) considering their excellence, their impact on the ecosystem and their industrialization implementation possibility and prospects through 3 open calls. At least 30 granted IEs (6 and 18 months) are expected for developing innovative CPS products. 8 success stories with short path to the market are expected. The IE targeted products are designed, constructed and built on the 7 EuroCPS Platforms:
• Avionics platform - Thales
• INEMO platform - ST-I
• Integrated and open platform - AVL
• Power management platform - Infineon
• Quark platform - Intel
• Silicon processes and package technology platform - ST-F
• STM32F platform - ST-F

The 14 EuroCPS partners are major European system suppliers, world-class research centers and technology providers, all rooted in the top European regional ecosystems.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The 1st year of the project was meant to:
• Foster over all Europe the project (Website, Platform description, flyers, Press releases, Workshops, Events, …)
• Set-up the legal contract templates to formalize EuroCPS IE with SME (Standard Agreement)
• Set-up the cascade funding management procedure
• Set-up the IE selection procedure (template for proposal, guide for applicant)
• Set-up the IE monitoring procedure (documents, meetings)
• Set-up the IE evaluation process (External expert list, Evaluation committee, European Commission approval)
• Organize 2 open calls (launch, evaluate, select, notify)
• Start at least 10 IEs
• Evaluate the interest of this new cooperation model (Questionnaires)
• Disseminate on EuroCPS project

The 2nd period of the project was meant to:
• Manage the 3rd open call procedure
• Monitor all the selected IEs through the 3 calls
• Identify and set-up a solution to minimize the delay of the cascade funding payement in accordance with EC standard project funding rules
• Disseminate fisrt IE results
• Evaluate the impact of the first IE results on the SMEs and project beneficiaries

The results achieved are very promising with regards to what was initially planned:
• >6 000 SMEs are aware of the EuroCPS initiative (Initially 800 targeted)
• >150 SMEs were interested in proposing an IE.
• 118 IE submitted for the 3 calls (Initially 80 targeted in total for the 3 calls)
• 34 IE selected through the 3 calls (Initially at least 30 expected over the 3 calls)
• The 9 selected IE of the 1st call are in the completion phase. 4 of them are completed
• The 15 selected IE of the 2nd call are in the middle of their project. 1 of them is completed
• The 10 selected IE of the 3rd call started
• All the EuroCPS platforms support at least 3 IEs
• All the EuroCPS competence partners support at least 2 IEs
• The 3 project types (SW intensive project, System integration project, CPS with innovative components project) are covered by the IEs
• 82% of the IEs are cross-border involving at least 2 partners from different countries
• 2 IEs involve SMEs from countries not represented by EuroCPS consortium partners

Preliminary impacts show that IE helped SMEs to progress in their technology development and enabled to develop demonstrators. The achieved demonstrators enable a diffusion of the SME technology to prospects. SME' business plans are also improving and a comparison can be done between their initial targets and the current state of their exploitation. Updated business plan data show in average a shift of the start of the revenues. In contrast most of the SMEs keep nearly their target for new employment.

Regarding the dissemination, EuroCPS initiatives was fostering at both National and International level within the SAE initiative. Show trade events were also organized to disseminate SME results. The consortium leveraged multiple digital tools and organized and/or participated to several events. The EuroCPS website has been continuously updated and upgraded to facilitate better dissemination, outreach and project operation.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The first 2 years of the project has enabled to raise:
• The attractiveness for SMEs of the proposed design center model combined with financial support. It is highlighted by the high-quality of the 118 submitted proposals. The evenly use of the three kinds of projects supported by EuroCPS over the 34 selected IEs.
• The efficiency of the model to build on open tools, platforms and standards by allowing to build a tight consortium, submit easily a proposal (5 weeks) with fast acceptance notification (7 weeks) and launch IE in short time thanks to a dedicated standard agreement.
• The capacity to initiate and boost synergies between SMEs, technology supplier and competences inside and outside their region or traditional market place. Indeed, it is shown by the fact that more than 80% of the submitted IEs are crossborder and 2 IEs comes from European countries not represented by a EuroCPS partner.
• The preliminary impacts show that IE allowed SMEs to reach major progress in their technology development and enabled to develop demonstrators. The achieved demonstrators enable a diffusion of the SME technology to prospects. SME business plans are also reinforced.
• The intensity of the interaction between SME and platform providers showed a wide range. Complex Software platforms had substantial exchange of information due to the platform complexity. Regarding the Hardware platforms it is strongly dependent on the SMEs if they prefer to work on their own or to ask a platform provider. Of course they are keen to keep their proprietary know-how protected. The most requested interaction was any kind of training.

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