Proposals for innovation actions targeted under this topic should address the re-orientation and repurposing of production capacities to meet the urgent needs of our societies for vital medical supplies and equipment.
The scope covers:
- The repurposing, adaptation and ramp-up of production lines to quickly adjust to new and urgent production needs, notably medical equipment (e.g. personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators), diagnostic technologies already deployed based on advanced materials and/or biotechnologies, as well as service systems and automated systems of disinfection,
- Demonstrate flexibility models for the supply chain for the repurposing of production lines and proper risk management in case of disruption of supply chains (or other necessary means for enabling production, such as energy feedstock),
- Automation technologies that are less dependent on work force present in factories, certification/calibration/accreditation of production lines that have been repurposed or restarted after a shutdown,
- Qualification of operators/technicians for new/repurposed production lines.
This focus area addresses any manufacturer able to deliver demonstrators of a flexible 48-hour industrial response capability at scale, to cope with sudden spikes in demand of strategic products (for instance medical equipment such as PPE, respirators), for requalification or release of production lines. Open Innovation Testbeds, laboratories, other technology infrastructures and maker communities may in particular be relevant. The modular solutions for a faster or repurposed production need to be integrated into the appropriate value chains. Also, projects can develop collaborative solutions, such as supply back-up squads, cooperatives, joint adaptations, industrial conversion and technology sharing.
Proposals are expected to foster links with relevant R&I projects and initiatives at national, European and global level regardless of the origin of funding, in order to accelerate and maximise the impact.
Activities should start at least at TRL 6 and achieve TRL 8 at the end of the project.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 5 and 6 million would allow these specific challenges to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
- To foster industry’s adaptation capacity and resilience in strategic sectors (e.g. manufacturing of medical equipment, PPE, etc.).
- Demonstrate a flexible 48-hour industrial response capability for requalification or release of repurposed production lines.
- To support industry and interested parties, in particular SMEs, by providing services for design, assessment, testing and regulatory issues.
- Deliver results within 3-18 months to end-users at scale.
- Solutions should foresee their application to other industrial sectors that might be explored in future calls.