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H2020

EPIC Report Summary

Project ID: 664404
Funded under: H2020-EU.4.a.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EPIC (Centre of Excellence in Production Informatics and Control)

Reporting period: 2015-06-01 to 2016-05-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

EPIC: Centre of Excellence in Production Informatics and Control
Vision: We see the future of manufacturing in the efficient and sustainable cooperation of all partners along the product life-cycle, in the value creation chain, and within the enterprise. The convergence of manufacturing, information and communication sciences has established not only the key cyber-physical enabling technologies for tomorrow’s production, but has also initiated a fundamental, revolutionary change affecting science, industry, education and society alike. EPIC will be in the European forefront of this move by identifying, addressing and, responding to main challenges in the service of smart, competitive, sustainable and cooperative manufacturing. This vision will be pursued in the following directions:
• Research, development and innovation: EPIC will conduct cutting-edge theoretical and experimental scientific explorations in all main research fields related to cyber-physical production systems, typically in a multi- and interdisciplinary setting.
• Technology transfer: EPIC will establish institutional channels for transferring state-of-the-art research result from academic and university research laboratories to innovative industrial applications. Special attention will be paid to advanced but affordable services for small- and medium size enterprises. It is also foreseen that sectors like smart cities and energy will take up relevant scientific results.
• Education of professionals: Beyond directly contributing to graduate and postgraduate education, EPIC will create new job opportunities by training knowledgeable workers to find and fit their right place in cyber-physical production. Through EPIC’s network of exchange relationships, the training programs will provide a broad and up-to-date European perspective.
• Ecosystem formation: EPIC will shape the local ecosystem so as to improve innovation performance, foster interoperability and compliance with emerging standards; to warrant cyber security and safety; to build and maintain trust between business partners and, to elaborate incentives for competitive, but at the same time cooperative and sustainable manufacturing.

The main, overall objective of the project to be proposed is to establish the Centre of Excellence in Production Informatics and Control (EPIC) as a leading, internationally acknowledged focus point in the field of production informatics, management and control representing excellence in R&D&I. EPIC will be constituted and run through the cooperation of the Institute for Computer Science and Control, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA SZTAKI), two faculties of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME) and four institutions of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft (FhG) under the coordination of the National Research, Development and Innovation Office (NKFIH), Hungary as a national authority responsible for research, technology and innovation. Through the cooperation of one of the leading institutes of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, BME and NKFIH on the one hand, and of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, an acknowledged world-leader in applied research, on the other hand.
The EPIC consortium as a whole has all the assets that are essential to make the above vision a reality: the critical momentum, multi- and interdisciplinary research background, international scientific network, industrial experience, well-proven innovation and technology transfer culture, educational praxis and impact on policy-making.
EPIC will respond not only to the needs of its home country, Hungary, but especially through the cooperation with the German and Austrian Fraunhofer partners it will have a cross-border regional character and will support Central East Europe (CEE) as well.
Mission: EPIC, as a leading European knowledge centre of cyber-physical production systems invents novel methods, realizes industrial solutions, brings up new generations of highly qualified professionals and works for establishing a competitive and sustainable ecosystem for tomorrow’s manufacturing.

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 main goal of EPIC in the Phase 1 project was the elaboration of a feasible business plan that can take off and sustainably remain in practice in a competence centre leveraging innovation in the selected domains and therefore activities in EPIC work packages are laid down accordingly.
WP1 (Project management) ensured that communication between consortium members and across work packages was seamless, tasks were completed on schedule, and correcting actions taken in a timely manner whenever the need for such was detected.
WP2 (Requirement analysis and R&D&I potential) delivered a comprehensive analysis of market and technical demands and the current embedding of R&D&I in today’s industrial and socio-economic environment in Hungary. Being the target domain, Production Informatics and Control has received particular attention when domain-specific problems or interrelations were addressed. WP2 relied heavily on existing experience of consortium member FhG, the latter having gained thoroughly founded insight in comparable context in Germany. Eventually, WP2 has provided the necessary insight, along with an extensive SWOT and gap analysis, a structured approach to the main risk factors and a roadmap for establishing a Centre of Excellence in adequate response to the current needs and opportunities.
WP3 (Business Plan Development) added the “how” once the roadmap has determined the “what” in WP2. In WP3, a business plan has been elaborated that ensures that the Centre of Excellence on Production Informatics and Control will make a proper start in today’s R&D&I in Hungary, and will be able to secure its operation in a self-sustaining way. This includes market/domain-related strategies (e.g. response to demands, proactive orientation activities), as well as financial plans for the duration of the project and beyond. The goal was to develop a business model that guarantees the continued existence of the Centre of Excellence and its responsiveness to unforeseen changes in the future.
In WP4 (Dissemination) what was meant to be the interface towards the potential “customers” of the Centre of Excellence we have communicated the information on the EPIC initiative, our intermediary results through various channels and also started a campaign to gain future partners through raising awareness in the targeted communities.

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)

Expected potential impacts:
• Research and innovation culture, links to innovative clusters – Strengthening the overall innovation capacity and business creation is the main theme of the EPIC CoE and it will be implemented through the knowledge triangle integration of education, business and research.
• Economic (long term growth opportunities) – EPIC CoE as being among the manufacturing ‘game changers’ go across the strategic pillars of the CPPS and change significantly the manufacturing business landscape transforming every link in the manufacturing value chain. The EPIC CoE aims at facilitating growth opportunities for the manufacturing companies in order to secure existing jobs and to facilitate the creation of new enterprises and the creation of new jobs in high-end production areas in the European manufacturing, thus bringing a significant impact on employment and economic rise
• Educational – The EPIC initiative aims to reformulate the role of humans in manufacturing and revalue people and their capacity to run enterprises, by giving more weight in the current education system of academic and separated specialised trainings rather to the more holistic Learning Factories. With this new paradigm EPIC will strengthen the position of humans through the education. The EPIC educational programs – a cornerstone of our Vision – will focus on the needs of business to close the gap between the business and educational practice
• Social – Services for awareness raising and job market mobility will impact economic growth through the increase in the quality of the human capital working in manufacturing and will allow young talents and professionals to expand their knowledge through diversified experiences based on mobility. Operations addressing both business and innovation will impact on creating new jobs through the EPIC enrichment projects.
• Legal / political – Having now the full backing of the respective governmental bodies (both from side of the Ministry for National Economy and the National Research, Development and Innovation Office) the success of the EPIC initiative will invariably have a positive feedback to the Government policy: the re-industrialisation programme might be strengthened, new topics added in line with our EPIC objectives, more commitment could be given even in financial terms to our research and educational programmes which would underpin the financial stability of the EPIC CoE.

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