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Coordination and Support Action for Industry4.E

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - CSA-Industry4.E (Coordination and Support Action for Industry4.E)

Reporting period: 2019-10-01 to 2021-03-31

The digitalisation of industry is rapidly transforming all stages of the production value chain globally. Advances in robotics, data collection, cybersecurity and other technologies are creating increasingly efficient, sustainable, flexible and tailored manufacturing processes. If exploited, these technologies could create huge growth in European industries, enabling production of innovative and highly tailored end products for citizens in a cost, energy, resource and time efficient way. The Industry4.E (I4.E) Lighthouse is a ECSEL-JU initiative, was established to coordinate and link Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) activities, and to help European industry achieve digital transition and strengthen Europe’s competitiveness.

The overall objectives of the project has been to:
1. To support the establishment of the I4.E Lighthouse and its coordination with other national activities in the field;
2. To coordinate the relevant stakeholders, project consortia and policy makers along the Electronic Components and Systems (ECS) value chain in Europe, in full collaboration with the Lighthouse Initiative Advisory Service (LIASE);
3. To actively assist the LIASE in the continuous refining of the Major Challenges (MCs) defined in the Digital Industry chapter of the ECS-SRIA and ECSEL-JU MASP enabling the successful execution of the roadmap; and
4. To support the LIASE in facilitating the collaboration of the RDI communities, in promoting Industry4.E visibility and in their reporting obligations to the ECSEL JU Governing Board(GB)
This holistic approach has realised, developed and expanded the project impacts and enhanced European capability, capacity and competitiveness for the future digitalisation of industry.

CSA-Industry4.E (CSA-I4.E) brought together a select team from across Europe, to promote the I4.E Lighthouse vision of greater interaction and cooperation between stakeholders from digital industry. These stakeholders have included industry, SMEs, research institutes, universities, policymakers, and end users. Uptake of results from pioneering research projects has been accelerated through targeted activities including (but not limited to) the establishment of a www.ECSEL-portal.eu linked to the project website, facilitating sharing of knowledge, networking and interaction between projects, participants, and the wider RDI community. Bringing project participants together has enabled the major challenges of our time to be addressed. These activities, many digital in nature, have been informed by emerging policy and trends (European Green Deal, A Europe fit for a digital age, An economy that works for people) including Industry 5.0 policy towards more sustainable, resilient and human-centric industry, helping the community prepare for low-probability, yet high-impact events, most recently experienced through the global pandemic.
CSA-I4.E has supported and facilitated the goals of the I4.E Lighthouse Initiative through proactive actions designed and delivered to promote an environment in which projects and stakeholders can more readily network, interact and cooperate. By identifying and capitalising on complementary opportunities in strategic planning, networking, and coordination between initiatives across Europe, this CSA has and continues to help I4.E related projects and programmes achieve their full synergistic potential.

The work performed by the CSA-I4.E:
1. Identifing overlaps, complementarity and added value regarding relevant roadmaps, programmes, activities and project;
2. Supporting the LIASE in developing a strategy for engaging the different RDI communities in collaboration;
3. Supporting the I4.E projects internal needs by providing them with assistance to effectively exploit the project results, transfer knowledge, measure impact and communicate successes; &
4. Developed and implemented a public engagement and outreach strategy to raise the visibility of I4.E to the broader public and related initiatives.

Four major activities and results beyond initial project plan:
1 The link with the LIASE has been additionally strengthened through intensive efforts of the CSA, with regular productive interaction;
2 Digital opportunities have been exploited, as the consortium and community adapted to travel-restrictions brought on by the global pandemic, achieving positive results;
3 The fully operational portal, offering unique features, beyond the initial scope, enabling further impact and knowledge sharing, working in synergy; &
4 The important contributions to the ECS-SRIA research and writing process, realised through additional effort of the CSA-I4.E.

The project progress has been in complete alignment with the objectives and work plan, however an amendment was made at M23 for the project to adjust to changes taking place outside the project, this required a no-cost project extension and the addition extra effort. Info at: D5.5.

The success of the project has relied on the dialogue between projects, participation of research, industry and policy stakeholders, as well as societal buy-in to the methodology and outputs from these projects. The inter-project cooperation has significantly delivered beyond its potential building momentum towards a more competitive digital industry. The project has demonstrated outstanding capacity by leading the mapping, research and implementation of digital industry concepts (e.g. ECS-SRIA 2021), a strong social media reach (e.g. @Industry4E) and a workshop participatory rate which has been beyond DoA expectation (e.g. Bringing Projects Together). The reach of the CSA-I4.E partners, in combination with the LIASE (extended in 2020), has been invaluable in ensuring participation of the community and added research impact.
The project objectives and milestones have been achieved, providing results with significant impact. This includes (but is not limited to):
• a more detailed analysis of existing work on road-mapping ensuring increased complementarity and alignment. Info at: ECS-SRIA 2021 and D1.3;
• a series of additional interventions to reinforce the “spirit” of the community have been implemented with significant participation and reach as demonstrated at our virtual events and digital workshops detailed in D4.4;
• increased linkages to the ICT Innovation for Manufacturing SMEs (I4MS) community, influencing the Digital Europe Programme 2021-2027 (particularly the European Digital Innovation Hub initiative) and emerging policy related to Industry 5.0;
• the ECSEL portal is now in active use, operating in complete harmony with the EC offering, and in complete alignment with the innovation portal activities of the FoF community with a niche value proposition for the ECSEL community. Info at: www.industry4e.eu;
• an e-book ‘Navigating EU projects’ has been published, complimented by a series of 5 virtual (well attended) workshops focusing on “success stories” to stimulate discussion on the new SoA after the large-scale piloting within the I4.E projects. Info at: www.ecsel.eu and D3.3;
• an analysis in relation to KPIs and inputs provided by the CSA to the LIASE have been achieved as detailed in D5.1/D5.2/D5.4; &
• a white paper has been the subject of considerable effort, complimented by a new brand, a ‘visionary’ presentation, all delivered at key events and engagements to ensure a vigorous consultation process. Info at: www.ecsel.eu and D2.6/D5.5
Partners of the CSA-Industry4.E project
Projects of the Industry4.E Lighthouse Initiative