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New ICT infrastructure and reference architecture to support Operations in future PI Logistics NETworks

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ICONET (New ICT infrastructure and reference architecture to support Operations in future PI Logistics NETworks)

Reporting period: 2018-09-01 to 2020-02-29

Modular load units, in combination with smoother supply chain interfaces, is expected to improve transportation efficiency by achieving greater load factors, higher infrastructure utilisation, faster transportation, better security, less emission, and fewer damages and losses. ICONET is coming to facilitate end to end optimised PI flow is circumventing a key internet semantic that differs in the PI world, namely packet size and hence ICONET needs to factor differential load units in to PI optimisation equations. The industry and ICONET have to consider intelligent cargo capabilities and modular load units as a fundamental prerequisite to a successful PI. Consequently, special attention has to be given to complementary and emerging architectures, ultimately enhancing M2M specifications and associated data models in order to design a fully interoperable IoT segment.

ICONET will (a) provide roadmap recommendations as to how the PI will accelerate the strategic evolution of the T&L sector with new logistic models and technologies, such as ports as PI hubs, mega-hubs, modular loading units, mobile distribution points, autonomous (unmanned) delivery vehicles, and others; (b) Analyse and evaluate the impact of the proposed PI approach and investigate financing and investment sharing strategies and therefore prove the value of PI, in improving operational efficiency, (c) prove and promote the environmental benefits of the project to target audiences across Europe and (e) through the project's Transferability Framework will enhance the capacity of external actors with EU, to adopt the PI Concepts.

O1. Establish the ICONET PI Framework formalising business and governance models that support the aforementioned four PI Capabilities and the broader PI concept and produce a PI Hubs Plan for the strategic positioning, size and optimal number of hubs needed to effectively link the long-distance network to urban centres.
O2. Research and investigate an experimental Cloud-based PI Control and Management Platform, appropriately transferring successful and proven Digital Internet counterparts, including Networking, Cloud, IoT and Blockchain technologies, so as to compose a digital PoC that will encompass:
O3. Deploy and test the PoC in four (4) industry-representative Living Labs with the end goal of measuring, demonstrating and quantifying business value, economic viability, innovation, deployment-related issues, and cost- benefit analyses. As well as revealing key areas for future R&D, this will in turn pave the way towards the first operational PI Network involving members from three leading associations – European Shippers Council, UIRR and ELUPEG.
O4. Establish Impact, Communication, Capacity building and Commercialisation strategies, plans and activities to deliver a comprehensive feasibility study, market analyses and business plan with a view to assessing both the potential and cost dimensions for a commercial grade platform that implements ICONET’s Control and Management Platform at enterprise SaaS scale.
"ICONET WP1, generated:
• a report on PI-aligned digital and physical interconnectivity models and standards, consolidating research finding on the physical and digital assets,
• PI’s business and governance models that can support the PI concept realisation
• two reports on PI network optimisation strategies at different scales and granularity levels, exploring strategies relative to target PI KPIs, including throughput, cost and environmental performance, and at different levels of abstraction,
• requirements and high-level specifications for IoT-based smart PI containers, defining the supporting architecture and the components used to realise the proposed architecture were presented,
• two evolutions, of the Generic PI Case Study, that instantiated and complexified the GPICS Framework with a number of configuration parameters, and
• two reports on the PI Protocol Stack and the enabling networking technologies evaluating the layered service-oriented PI models proposed under the OLI model and proposing the fundamental capabilities of PI that would effectively be applied to inform subsequent design activities.
The ICONET PoC Integration activities formulated the following outputs:
• the initial blueprint for the architecture required to support PI network operations, defining the associated connectivity models, architectural modules and data structures,
• two consecutive releases of the PI networking, routing, shipping and encapsulation layer algorithms and services focusing on fundamental functions that will take place in PI and providing a more extensive description of the processes purposed to realise at each layer of the protocol stack executable modules with well-defined interface (as per the attached figure ""PI Hub PI Services Workflow""),
• the materialization of Smart PI Containers through Tracking & Reporting as a Service, contextualizing the IoT infrastructure in the PI environment, and through the construction of a NB-IoT/GPRS tracker, a Smart Router and a Smart Gateway,
• a blockchain implementation using the bare-bones Tendermint solution along with the actual smart contract that resides on the blockchain and acts as the logical interface between the contract's storage and the underlying computations,
• the development of Local Optimization Algorithm Implemented in python and tailored to address the Port of Antwerp use cases relating to loading containers onto wagons and building trains from wagons in a shunting yard for movement within the port to deep-sea terminals.
• the digital and physical simulation models necessary to assess different scenarios with central focus the evaluation and design of the Generic Physical Internet Case Study (GPICS) simulation components, and validation through the results generate from their execution of simulation on all living labs, utilizing Warehousing as a service, and
• the ICONET PI Control and Management Platform, utilizing the definition of the service sequences and interactions, and deploying all developed services and assets along with the necessary simulation infrastructure."
"ICONET has been exploring and creating a set of innovative PI network services and their interaction workflow that optimise cargo flows against throughput, cost and environmental performance, based on Governance policies and SLAs, constantly and fully aware of network operations and status. ICONET research and innovation. ICONET is going beyond the state of the art by investigating and developing (a) the architecture required to support PI network operations, (b) the PI networking, routing, shipping and encapsulation layer algorithms and services (as per the attached figure ""PI Hub PI Services Workflow""), (c) designing and implementing IoT Architecture in the context of PI (d) a blockchain implementation of the actual smart contract, and (e) a PI Hub Optimization Algorithm related to loading containers onto wagons and building trains (f) the digital and physical simulation models necessary to assess different scenarios.
ICONET’s is planning to open source the majority of the innovation and technology advancements and is already under the process of filing a 4 patents, in the areas of (a) Authenticated Container Access, (b) Authenticated Document Container Access by Geography/Role/Time, (c) Self-Auditing of Route by Container and (d) Physical Internet Twin Generation"