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CPS Engineering Labs - expediting and accelerating the realization of cyber-physical systems

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - CPSELabs (CPS Engineering Labs - expediting and accelerating the realization of cyber-physical systems)

Reporting period: 2017-02-01 to 2018-04-30

Smart cyber-physical systems (CPS) are considered to be the next revolution in ICT with lots of game-changing business potential for integrated services and products. Mastering the engineering of complex and trustworthy CPS is key to implementing CPS-based business models. Current CPS, however, are often engineered and maintained at very high cost and sometimes with unknown risks, and recent technological progress from R&D projects is not readily available to most innovators. The CPS Engineering Labs (CPSE Labs) aimed at expediting and accelerating the realisation of trustworthy CPS by addressing bottlenecks in the innovation system and by creating and strengthening synergies among relevant stakeholders and efforts. The CPSE Labs therefore equipped innovators - businesses, researchers, and students - with CPS engineering infrastructure, knowledge, and tools for realizing novel CPS-based products and services. The CPSE Labs built upon existing R&D centres and turned these excellent regional clusters into world-class hotspots for CPS engineering. Based on a common strategic innovation agenda the CPSE Labs built up and maintained a portfolio of added-value experiments. Experiments were focused and fast-track and they had a clear innovation objective. Experience gained from experiments, validation results, and best practices, cross-cutting engineering principles that underpin the integration of cyber and physical elements of CPS were continuously integrated and disseminated by the CPSE Labs.
The main objectives of CPSE Labs were:
I. Foster an open, pan-European network of Design Centres committed to transitioning science and technology for engineering trustworthy and dependable CPS into the marketplace.
II. Identify, define, and execute focused and fast-track experiments with a specific innovation focus.
III. Spread best CPS engineering practices and promote cross-regional and cross-sectoral learning among industry and academia.
IV. Establish a marketplace for CPS engineering assets.
CPSE Labs created six CPS Design Centres in five European countries, each providing specific CPS engineering competencies and supported technologies and platforms for relevant CPS applications domains. A Strategic Innovation Agenda was developed to describe the objectives of the Centres to foster innovation in their specific fields. The Design Centres grew ecosystems of stakeholders around their technology focus, and also established new and reinforced existing links to achieve sustained long-term collaboration between the Design Centres. To progress towards sustainability, several Design Centres became part of larger regional investments towards building Digital Innovation Hubs.
CPSE Labs defined and implemented a coherent process to create and run innovation experiments with third parties. Experiments were initiated through competitive Open Calls, where European businesses could submit proposals for innovative experiments for the topics offered by the Design Centres. The topics for these three calls were aligned with and derived from the Strategic Innovation Agenda of CPSE Labs. Three rounds of Open calls were conducted; independent experts evaluated the 102 proposals received from 178 organisations, of which 119 were industrial (102 SMEs), covering 21 European countries. Altogether, 22 experiments were executed and completed by a total of 39 third parties from 15 countries, including 19 SMEs. The CPSE Labs Design Centres provided extensive support to the experiments, offering targeted trainings on the selected Design Centre technologies and collaborative development work. Third parties involved in experiments developed prototypes and demonstrators for innovative CPS solutions, increased their knowledge on deployment of digital technologies for their business, stimulated innovation capacity, identified business opportunities, and created further collaborations with Design Centres, among experiment partners, and with customers. Experiment outcomes provide prime examples for successful technology transfer from research to industry.
To establish regional learning networks at the Design Centres, CPSE Labs carried out investigations to create a solid understanding of the innovation and engineering eco-systems surrounding the Design Centres, and identified industrial needs for professional training that would match the offerings of CPSE Labs. Various learning and training events have been organised both collaboratively across Design Centres and locally, including a 2-day training course on “Modelling and Design of Smart Systems”, a CPS summer school in collaboration with the INTO-CPS project, or Sofia2 master classes and hackathons at UPM. Training course material and experiment results are shared via the CPSE Labs website.
CPSE Labs implemented and launched an initial CPSE Labs market place pilot, based on findings made by eliciting areas where marketplaces and related open forums have already formed, and by investigating concrete areas for marketplace pilots, stakeholders and their needs. Several Design Centre platforms and experiment developments are included in the pilot, and continued hosting is ensured by Spanish Design Centre. Further continuity is aimed through alignment or integration with similar efforts by other SAE projects.
The activities performed by the CPSE Labs project aimed to address all four impact areas defined in the H2020 Work Programme. The central measures to achieve this impact were the development of a European network of CPS Design Centres and the building of a portfolio of innovative experiments through open calls.
Technological impact: The experiments allowed the Design Centres to further mature their technologies, create demonstrations for new use cases, and increase the number of addressable application domains. Experiments provided useful feedback for further development needs, and helped increase the use base and visibility of the technologies, thus contributing to establish a competitive offer of ICT platforms for the design and development of future CPS.
Economic impact: Through the experiments, the participating businesses got access to leading-edge CPS design technologies from the Design Centres, and received support in terms of innovation management and dissemination. This enabled the companies to build prototypes for new or improved products and services, which helps strengthening their competitive market position as early adopters of CPS technologies, and by reducing development or validation costs. Several experiment partners have identified new business opportunities.
Environmental impact: Some of the experiments addressed environmental topics, for instance on measuring and reducing water consumption, or on balancing supply and demand of electricity. Results of applying new CPS technology helps to achieve a more efficient usage of environmental resources.
Societal impact: It is expected that the broad adoption of CPS technology will have a huge impact on all aspects of daily life of people. CPS have the potential to disrupt industry sectors, and will transform the way we interact with technology. Several of the experiments tackled topics of societal importance, including those related Industry 4.0 experiments that addressed safety aspects of
autonomous systems, or the experiment on public safety through eCall services.