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Manufacturing Industry Digital Innovation Hubs

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - MIDIH (Manufacturing Industry Digital Innovation Hubs)

Reporting period: 2019-04-01 to 2020-09-30

MIDIH wanted to provide a European CPS/IOT Open Digital Platform connecting the Real World with digital Enterprise Systems through common open standards. The growing process in digitization for the Manufacturing Industries will be facilitated by the ICT SMEs that could provide competencies and technologies in data-driven smart Industry 4.0 services.
MIDIH is complementing the manufacturing side of the innovation with the ICT side of the Digital Transformation coin. MIDIH DIHs not only provide the manufacturing SMEs with the right technological CPS/IoT technologies also ICT innovators with a protected and trusted environment, really open-to-all and not dominated by any proprietary technology, offering them access to technology, knowledge, market services. This way, ICT innovators can customize, integrate, test and validate their solutions in a neutral open environment (e.g. Training Factories).
The MIDIH objectives were to support the Digitization of the European Industry (DEI) by making available to developers, corporates, SMEs and start-ups a network of Competence Centers and Digital Innovation Hubs providing them with i) technological services including access to IoT platform, support to customization and project design, ii) business services: incubation, business acceleration, access to market, access to finance, and iii) skill building services: webinars, virtual experiments in physical teaching factories, professional courses for industry professionals and executives.
MIDIH, in alignment with the Digitising European Industry (DEI) strategy and vision, wanted to provide industry with access to the most advanced digital solutions, validated in relevant industrial experiments, as well as a wide range of experts and industrial competencies and access to “ICT for Manufacturing” market and financial opportunities. MIDIH from the beginning of the project has addressed the DEI four pillars:
a) developing an Open Digital Platform. MIDIH has developed an Open Source Digital Manufacturing Platform, integrating the cutting-edge open source solutions available for the Manufacturing Industries such as FIWARE and APACHE, with reference architectures such as MindSphere or Arrowhead. The platform has been tested and validated in the MIDIH Lighthouse experiments: in FCA, NECO (Tivoly Group) and ThyssenKrupp. In parallel MIDIH has setup 32 different open call experiments as innovation boosters of MIDIH technologies that have used part of the MIDIH Open-Source Platform with the aim to increase their business services.
b) setting up a network of Competence Centers and Digital Innovation Hubs. MIDIH has identified processes and services that a DIH should have, mapped over ecosystem, technology, business, skills and data. A collaboration platform, DIHIWARE, has been implemented in MIDIH serving as an example how a DIH could provide such services with the aim to guarantee to his ecosystems the access to knowledge, to expertise, to technology, to market and finance, finding connections, and a collaboration tool. Furthermore, a dedicate open community, DIH4INDUSTRY, has been launched as an exploitation vehicle, built on top of the DIHIWARE and connecting all the DIHs active in Europe in the manufacturing domain, where all the DIHs from MIDIH Consortium are disseminating services, assets and best practices.
c) providing data driven services using IDSA as role model, MIDIH has developed business and technical innovations in Data Sovereignty and defined rules and processes for the data access and ownership thanks to the MIDIH partners, under the coordination of IDSA, and the activities performed in the Lighthouse experiments.
d) providing skill building services. MIDIH has provided recommendation for the Industry 4.0 skills development thanks to the defined 6Ps migration methodology, dedicated to the SMEs that want to assess their digital maturity and want to know which steps have to be performed to migrate their 6P assets towards the new technologies.
MIDIH focused on several areas going beyond the state of the art, providing the three main Unique Selling Points of MIDIH.
1. Networks of DIHs and related Business Model: Many European initiatives are inventorying DIHs as individual autonomous entities, some of them also developing a socio-business evaluation framework. MIDIH has contributed to improve this scenario by boosting collaboration and knowledge exchange among them, fostering the adoption of a five-dimensional framework, given by the following categorization of ECOSYSTEM, TECHNOLOGY, BUSINESS, SKILLS and DATA DIH services. To this end and to support an effective exploitation of the real value provided by operating a network of DIHs, the MIDIH Consortium has developed driving principles, both at technical and business level. In this perspective, along the whole project timespan, the MIDIH Consortium has continuously worked to define a pan-European network of multidisciplinary services to be offered by the “MIDIH Marketplace”, now represented by the main joint exploitation vehicle named DIH4Industry. By the end of the project, the MIDIH Consortium has gone ahead with establishing this virtuous mechanism to help DIHs to provide locally support to their customers to innovate, even exploiting synergies with other H2020 actions, such as AI REGIO and HUBCAP, as well as other Europe wide initiatives. Finally, a new “DIH Innovation Management and Sustainability Model” has been analysed with the aim to define an open innovation framework driving the MIDIH Innovation Strategy, covering a) access to technology needs, through the support of the CCs covering the different CPS/IoT technologies, and b) access to market needs. The proposed approach is digitally supported by the above mentioned DIH4Industry initiative.
2. Aligning Reference Architectures: MIDIH has proposed reference implementations in three main gran-scenario identified (namely Smart Product, Smart Factory and Smart Supply Chain) based on the defined MIDIH Open Source Reference Architecture. This categorization, and the corresponding architectural building blocks, have been validated in the industrial experiments (both by the lighthouse projects in the project lighthouses and by the 32 Open Call winners). The final work on this pillar has been mainly oriented towards the integration of new capabilities, mainly focusing on improve connectivity and interoperability among the different systems/solutions located at Shoop-floor, in order provide AI-enabled Data Analytics capabilities. In sum, thanks to project activities, the existing MIDIH network of CCs and DIHs has been able to support manufacturing SMEs to uptake, implement and use advanced CPS/IoT components in order to implement their Digital Transformation journey.
3. Conducting cross-border industrial experimentations: with the help of the two waves of Open Calls the MIDIH Consortium has realized 32 successful experiments, registering a good success of industrial participation, despite the complexity of managing the experiments in this pandemic context. In the project, the whole Consortium (technology providers, end users, Competence Centers and DIHs) have worked in synergy to carry out a critical mass of cross-border experiments, bringing together different key actors along the full value chain to customize the CPS/IoT technologies according to the requirements of the users.