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TagItSmart! - Smart Tags driven service platform for enabling ecosystems of connected objects

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - TagItSmart (TagItSmart! - Smart Tags driven service platform for enabling ecosystems of connected objects)

Reporting period: 2017-07-01 to 2018-12-31

The overall objective of TagItSmart! is to create a set of tools and enabling technologies integrated into a platform with open interfaces enabling users across the value chain to fully exploit the power of condition-dependent functional codes to connect mass-market products with the digital world across multiple application sectors.
The project is leveraging printed technologies (functional inks, printed circuit NFC), smartphones pervasiveness and cloud computing. Functional inks and printed NFCs are used to create functional codes which provide sensing capabilities to the objects they are attached to. Smart tag scanners (fixed and provided by existing infrastructure, or supported by participatory engagement of consumers) are used to obtain data from functional codes throughout the product life cycle.
Specific technical and ecosystem/exploitation objectives are:
- create flexible and adaptable tags and related enablers applicable in multiple application sectors
- create an open platform with a set of tools, enabling technologies and interfaces
- create ecosystem comprising all relevant stakeholders to ensure wide take up and sustainable development
- increase visibility of TagItSmart partners and create new exploitation opportunities.
Overall, the project achieved all specified tasks and the objectives has been successfully fulfilled. The consortium faced different challenges, from those related to creating a functional team spread across Europe and organizations hugely differing in size and corporate culture, to the concrete technical challenges. Setting up pilots in real environment required a lot of effort, including alignment with specific business constraints as well as engagement of end users in appropriate and efficient manner. On the administration side, execution of 3 open calls and integration of 15 new organizations into the consortium, presented a significant challenge. However, all these challenges were successfully addressed, and the consortium is satisfied with the overall quality of the outcomes and, especially, the exploitation potential.
The interest that the project generated among commercial companies is one of the main highlights of the project overall. The project was approached by several companies (not related to the consortium partners) interested in collaboration with the project, the goal being using project outcomes to drive their digital transformation and creating novel services and added value to their users. This is a consequence of very active community engagement activities, done both on our own, but also to a large extent done in collaboration with other projects from the IoT EPI initiative (organized and facilitated by the two CSA projects Be-IoT and Unify IoT). This work represented an important activity for successful engagement of stakeholders. The commercial potential is further supported by achievements on the standardization side: GS1 Digital Link specification, which was driven and influenced by a consortium partner, has been published during the project lifetime providing strong basis for rapid exploitation of TagItSmart outcomes.
Exploitation activities were numerous, ranging from meetings with potential stakeholders to co-creation workshops and participation at trade exhibitions. One new company was set up by one of the partners to exploit project outcomes, two SMEs which provided IoT platforms for execution of pilots are expanding on the work done in the project, extending own solution portfolios with discussions with potential customers ongoing. End users taking part in the project pilots are planning changes in own processes based on the experience from the pilots.
The project ran 8 pilots covering a range of application domains: retail, cold supply chain, health, honey and wine supply chains, recycling and manufacturing. In these activities, developed technology was successfully evaluated. More than 18000 smart tags were deployed, 25 companies involved and over 1300 users engaged.
All deliverables due by M36 were submitted. Throughout project duration, 10 face to face project meetings were held (including review), hosted by different project partners, during which progress of the project was assessed, technical topics discussed and plans for the coming period agreed. Having in mind the structure of the consortium (the majority of partners are industrial, size of partners hugely different, more than half of consortium without previous H2020 experience), these meetings were fundamental to ensuring active and aligned participation of all partners towards achieving project objectives. Between the F2F project meetings, regular bi-weekly WP meetings were held online.

The main project outcomes are the following:
- validated smart tag designs for 7 different application domains
- fully functional TagItSmart system implementation tailored for deployment on two IoT platforms (Evrythng & AWS, DunavNET&Azure)
- validated TagItSmart performance and feedback obtained from end users and supply chain stakeholders in 7 pilots addressing different domains
- designed and validated security and data privacy mechanisms
- One new company set up, a new product initiated and extensions of the existing products created.
TagItSmart is addressing smart packaging which permeates across numerous industries and affects the complete life cycle of the products from the original manufacturer to a disposal/recycling site. The project combines a number of technologies and integrates them together into an efficient service framework which not only gives unique identity to every single product, but also provides tools enabling these products to capture their immediate environmental context and transfer that information towards various services built atop. Such an integrated combination represents the main advancement of the state of the art. It not only advances the technology forefront, but enables novel business constellations, digital transformation of organizations and, finally, supports establishment of circular economy based on the digital product passport concept combined with the ability to imprint sensing capability to FMCG products. Socio-economic impact of such approach is huge as it opens the path for full transparency in handling products, from the moment they are manufactured to the moment they are being disposed of or recycled, which in turn creates foundation for fundamental change in the way products are used.

On the technological side, the most important progress beyond state of the art is made in the following domains:
- using different types of functional ink combined with printed technologies (NFC) to create varied types of smart tags suited for specific applications.
- approaches to encode relevant information into the tags, while ensuring maximum reuse of existing standards and readibility of the tags.
- creation of a semantic model covering different aspects of the smart tags and the environment in which they will be used
- creation of a service framework leveraging unique capabilities of smart tags and the ability to mash this information with varied cloud services.
- validation of the concept in different business environments.
TagItSmart concept overview