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Smart Manufacturing Advanced Research Training for Industry 4.0

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SMART 4.0 (Smart Manufacturing Advanced Research Training for Industry 4.0)

Reporting period: 2019-06-01 to 2021-05-31

Confirm Centre for Smart Manufacturing has implemented an international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral training program for postdoctoral researchers, focusing on smart manufacturing. Rather than addressing disparate challenges, Confirm focuses on the system-level approach that offers the greatest potential for significant advances and impact across multiple manufacturing sectors. Through the SMART 4.0 Fellowship Programme, CONFIRM has established and delivered a world‐class training and research opportunity to post‐doctoral fellows aimed at increasing Europe’s critical mass in the field of smart manufacturing. The main objective of SMART 4.0 is to deliver the next generation of Smart Manufacturing leaders with strong “systems thinking” and interdisciplinary skills garnered at academia-industry interface.

On a national level, SMART 4.0 enables Confirm to host talent in relevant scientific areas to deliver on the ambitions of Industry 4.0. SMART 4.0 has offered 16 fellowships for experienced researchers, each 24 months in duration. Through the publication of open international calls, SMART 4.0 was globally disseminated. SMART 4.0 applied an individually‐driven, bottom‐up approach, meaning that fellows had full freedom to choose their core research topic, host institution (a choice of 8) and supervisor, with due regard to the end‐use applications in Confirm’s Industry targeted spoke themes (Smart Products, Smart Machines, Smart Production Systems and Smart Supply Chains). Fellows are embedded in a diverse international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral environment. SMART 4.0 is committed to tackle gender inequalities within the smart manufacturing field, paying specific attention to attracting female researchers, and to provide them dedicated support during their fellowship.
Below is an overview of the completed work only for the period RP1 of SMART 4.0. A complete view of the current status of project tasks may be seen in the uploaded image 'SMART 4.0 Project Task Status.jpg'.

1 - Management
1.3 Management structure
PM will be appointed - Complete D3.4
1.4 Contractual issues
Fellowship offers - Complete, Call 1 & 2 cohort
Inter-Institutional Agreements with academic partners - Complete Call 1 & Call 2 cohorts - institutional agreements in place (Fellow, HR and industry partner organisation)
MS1 PM Role Recruited - Complete

2 - Evaluation & Selection
2.1 Organisation & Implementation of ESR processes
Eligibility check - Complete, Call 1 & 2 cohort
Remote peer review + ethics check - Complete
Interviews, funding decision - Complete
2.2 Reviewer database: Confirm will set up a up a Reviewer Database with at least 75 reviewers per call - Complete, Call 1 & 2 cohort
2.3 Establish a Code of Conduct for all involved in the evaluation and selection process, to be signed by all involved in the evaluation and selection process - Complete; D2.2 D1.3
2.4 Prepare a Guide for Reviewers and Interviewers, and a webcast to for all reviewers and interviewers. All reviewers and interviewers will follow implicit gender bias training - Complete; D2.2 D1.3
2.5 All feedback (acknowledgement of receipt, ineligibility information or ESR) will be sent to the applicants by the PM through email - Complete; D1.3 see Phase 1 Outcome letter example: Appendix III
2.6 Redress procedure: applicants will be informed about possibility of and modalities for a Redress procedure - Complete; D1.3 - see §6 of Guide for Applicants: Appendix I

3 - Dissemination of the Programme & its Calls
3.1 Design and implementation of the PR strategy: inform target groups about the SMART 4.0 - Complete D3.1 D3.6; Call 1 & Call 2 cohorts
3.2 Set up a website with online submission system, with associated social media and maintain throughout programme - Complete; D3.3 D3.4 Call 1 & Call 2 cohorts
3.3 Set up support mechanisms for applicants: Helpdesk set up including dedicated email address and telephone number, applicant documentation - call text, GfA, Ts&Cs and FAQ - Complete; D3.4 also ongoing as part of routine program management
3.4 Publication of 2 (or 3) calls for proposals - Complete; D3.2 D3.5; Call 1 & Call 2 cohorts
MS2 Publication of the 1st Call - Complete; Call 1 officially launched - see D3.2 D 3.6
MS3 Publication of the 2nd Call - Complete; Call 2 officially launched - see D3.5 D3.7
MS4 Publication of the 3rd Call - Complete; Call 3 officially launched
MS6 Launch of Website - Complete; successful launch of official website; see D3.3

4 - Ethical Issues
4.1 GfA will provide information about the SMART 4.0 ethical policy, protection of personal data, and how to address in their proposals (ethics self-assessment) - Complete; see D1.3 - Ethics Self-Assessment- Appendix IV
4.2 Ethics issues in the evaluation and selection process: Research Ethics Committee will follow-up to ethics issues identified by fellows and/or reviewers - Complete; see D4.1 D4.2

5 - Training & Career Development
Tasks 5.1 - 5.4 - Ongoing

6 - Dissemination, Exploitation, Communication & Public Engagement
6.1 PEDR and CPEP prepared and updated yearly - Complete; see D6.1
The main objective of SMART 4.0 is to deliver the next generation smart manufacturing leaders with strong “systems thinking” and interdisciplinary skills to help drive Industry 4.0 forward for Europe. This has been achieved be providing an excellent research & training environments, and a program dedicated to the individual development of each SMART 4.0 fellow.

[1] Excellent research environment: leveraging the established Confirm Centre network, fellows benefit from an interdisciplinary and intersectoral working environment, which provides for excellent opportunities to develop key skills.

[2] Excellent training environment: SMART 4.0 focuses on the system‐level approach that offers the greatest potential for significant advances and impact across multiple manufacturing sectors. The training programme includes the 24‐month research project with a compulsory secondment to a non‐academic host, a spring and a summer school, a set of transferable skills and, (if needed and chosen) a set of additional scientific skills. All elements of the programme have a truly interdisciplinary approach: both academic and non‐academic supervisors provide guidance during proposal preparation, are involved in the design and implementation of the training programme, and are involved in the monitoring of the projects and their outcomes.

[3] Career perspectives: SMART 4.0 aims to deliver 16 smart manufacturing leaders. The Europe 2020 strategy highlights the clear demand for smart manufacturing leaders with strong “systems thinking” interdisciplinary skills, as provided by SMART 4.0. Industry partners have an important role in the SMART 4.0 programme - they are engaged from project conception, through implementation to application of project outcomes. As part of a Fellow's supervisory team, industry imparts key knowledge on vital topics such as entrepreneurship and commercialisation of research outcomes. Exposure to industry not only gives the fellows insight into how industry works, it is also an opportunity to engage with industry and potentially secure a position after the fellowship or maintain meaningful collaborative links in their research space of choice.
Overview of current status of SMART 4.0 tasks, deliverables and milestones.