CORDIS - EU research results

EUropean Vital Medical Supplies and Equipment Resilient and Reliable Repurposing Manufacturing as a Service NetworK for Fast PAndemic Reaction

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Eur3ka (EUropean Vital Medical Supplies and Equipment Resilient and Reliable Repurposing Manufacturing as a Service NetworK for Fast PAndemic Reaction)

Reporting period: 2022-02-01 to 2023-02-28

The Eur3ka - European Vital Medical Supplies and Equipment Resilient and Reliable Repurposing Manufacturing as a Service Network for fast Pandemic Reaction - is repurposing the manufacturing for vital medical supplies and equipment, enhancing personal skills, new industrial value chains, service innovation, technological innovation, innovation methodologies, and process innovation to fight Pandemics like Covid-19.
Recent events have demonstrated the need for readiness for medical supply and equipment rapid manufacturing repurposing. The Covid-19 pandemic rapidly spread across countries and regions, causing a huge impact on people's lives and communities. The Covid-19 pandemic has created an urgent problem with the shortage of critical supplies and equipment for both the healthcare sector and the wider society.
This situation has put Europe's manufacturing system under very high pressure as the need for vital medical equipment is huge and pressing and the system is not managing to meet the needs. The dramatic rise in demand for medical supplies (e.g. surgical masks, goggles, gloves, gowns) as well as equipment (e.g. diagnostic technologies, biotechnologies etc.) has depleted stockpiles and prompted significant price increases and led to production backlogs of 4-6 months in fulfilling orders.
Eur3ka delivers a trusted and unique capability to plug and collectively respond to a sudden increase in demand in a coordinated and effective manner at an unprecedented scale. The main ambition is to enable and facilitate global and fair access to a Plug & Respond (P&R) repurposing resource coordination framework for pandemic crisis response, a common open standardized modular manufacturing reference architecture and top digitally sovereign solutions for cross-sectorial manufacturing networks and on-demand capacities.
During the project lifecycle, the Consortium has been able to develop and complete the Plug & Respond (P&R) Network, which is capable of grouping networks and interconnecting providers and consumers of health products so that the demand for goods can be met in moments of crisis. One of the goals of the P&R is to be able to do this interconnection in a fast and reliable manner. Users who have access to the Network can have access to health products that are certified and ready for manufacturing. Manufacturing facilities and technology providers in the industry can also find other agents who are able to certify their products or manufacturing lines.
This is supported by a pool of services, tailored for manufacturing needs, to optimize cross-sectorial supply network, enabled by Data Space for Manufacturing Repurposing and Eur3ka Ontology and Data Models.
The Digital Factory Alliance (DFA) acts as the overreaching umbrella of the P&R and it is the portal used for access. When users register to the website and have access to the P&R Network, they can see products, designs, and the production capacities of both searchers and providers.

Moreover, a pool of services has been developed to satisfy the experiments needs, grouped in:
· Pre-crisis Assessment: the services to repurpose the infrastructures, validating the processes and risks that can occur in supply chains.
· Pre-crisis Preparation: production continuity services in terms of advanced AI-powered data-driven decision support.
· Crisis Response: the services oriented to address the crisis response, such as smart matching & mediation services, a smart search engine to match medical product manufacturing specifications, and Eur3ka manufacturing network resources such as the quality control tools and the catalogue containing the resources.
The focus is put on the cross-sectorial supply network, ensuring the resilience and the dynamic configuration of production capabilities and a way to guarantee the production continuity respecting at the same time security needs and finally the services useful to obtain flexible manufacturing automation and products. Particular attention was put on crisis response category of services smart matching & mediation services and Q-Med Tech platform belong to.
In addition, a series of Technical Building Blocks was developed to propose an innovative and sound approach to leverage flexible on-demand capabilities of European and global manufacturing service networks, favoring their growth and the creation of a Manufacturing Repurposing Data Space.

Four Grand Scenarios were the main business pillars of the project, and they have driven the architectural design and its relative services, putting the focus on: the optimisation and alignment of cross-sectorial supply network, the assessment of supply chain resilience, smart matching & mediation, production continuity guided by AI-powered data driven decision support for risk, virtual assessment for virtual repurposing and commissioning and the extensions to manufacturing equipment for remote, connected operation.
As part of the piloting activities, five-certified repurposing strategies have been defined, within the Validation and Verification Framework.
The project Consortium has also prepared and followed a strategy for dissemination and communication and an exploitation plan, that consists of the project’s exploitation strategy, as well as individual exploitation plans of partners, identifying 18 Key exploitable results.
Eur3ka faces critical challenges in terms of significantly reducing the response time and the capacity of the European manufacturing industry to provide PPE and CCE. This has been so far implemented by companies in a "pro-bono" approach, which has resulted somehow effective but not as efficient as it is may be necessary to reach impact at scale and derive clear economic incentives for a more formal repurposing strategy for European industry. Eur3ka impact is addressing such lessons learned hardly during the CORONA crisis.
Eur3ka impact on increased capacity, robustness and speed will derive from increased preparedness for repurposing either through pre-approval of medical product models and pre-certified modular re-configurable manufacturing lines adding value to day-to-day flexible manufacturing lines ensuring that such lines are ready to offer their production capacity in the case of a pandemic, supporting not only the medical community but also mitigating the impact of low production demand in the industries repurposed.
Eur3ka project enables the modularity, adaptability and responsiveness of a production line by the integration of Plug and Respond modules in a closed-loop lifecycle management, for continuous production adaptation, optimization and improvement, in a fast and flexible manner.
The main impact pillars of the project are:
-Trusted medical product manufacturing models pre-approved by medical authorities and regulators will definitely lead to shorter reaction times.
-Reliable manufacturing repurposing networks, such as additive manufacturing service management networks, able to provide an immediate solution for local production of such approved products.
-The sovereign and common repurposing data spaces and platforms enacted by IDS-compliant Eur3ka technology will be instrumental in making sure that the right models reach immediately the right manufacturing equipment with minimal delay and that this can be done at scale.
-The concept of networked supply chains to harmonize and orchestrate complex cross-sectorial supply chains that can better react to the pandemic context.
Eur3ka Publications Summary