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Centre of Excellence in Production Informatics and Control

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - EPIC (Centre of Excellence in Production Informatics and Control)

Reporting period: 2018-07-01 to 2019-09-30

The high-level goal of the project is to establish a leading-edge knowledge Centre of Excellence in Production Informatics and Control (EPIC CoE) with the mission - as a leading-edge knowledge centre of cyber-physical production systems - to accelerate innovation, realize industrial solutions, train new generations of highly qualified professionals and support the development of a sustainable and competitive European manufacturing ecosystem.
The main strategic objectives of EPIC CoE are to:
• Initiate and accelerate focused basic research excellence, and application-oriented development;
• Raise the scientific profile and soft skill base of staff and institutions involved in seven selected Priority Research Fields (PRF) and several Complementary Skills;
• Attract international talents and also enable industry talents to enter into academia and vice versa;
• Significantly improve technology transfer and industry innovation in Hungary;
• Intrinsically and sustainably impact on the development of education and training programs for engineers and researchers in the field of CPP;
• Develop and shape a regional CPPS ecosystem by stimulating and strengthening triple-helix (industry & regional clusters – academia & university - government) relationships;
• Promote and enable new international collaborations;
• Contribute to better public understanding of science and scientific literacy;
• Create new opportunities for Hungarian SMEs by facilitating their participation in research projects and thus develop their innovation capabilities;
• Launch cooperative, customer centered value creation processes.
The EPIC project activities so far have had a high and intense focus on a number of key actions, leading to achievements going beyond even the originally foreseen internal indicators, such as:
• New demonstrators have been implemented in the Cyber-Physical Production Systems (CPPS) laboratory at SZTAKI premises in Győr
• EPIC members work in really close cooperation with each-other and additional Joint projects & proposals were thought of and started
• EPIC Ltd. has acquired 32 domestic industrial projects and 2 strategic industrial projects in the field of data analytics and optimization
• 22 more staff visits took place, and 6 more scientific/complementary skills training sessions took place
• 2 journal guest-editing (1 completed and 1 new issue started)
• 37 scientific articles
• 52 conference participations
• 18 industrial publications
• 9 EPIC organised / co-organised thematic events (conference, industry day etc.)
• All Use-cases and Pilot Factories in the consortium were collected. Moreover, the “Smart Maintenance” HoloLens use-case, developed in the TU Wien Pilot Factory Industrie 4.0 was transferred in the SZTAKI Pilot Factory in Györ
• The joint Project: “Digital Assistance Systems as a Service” was initiated and will be further developed
• The trend radar has been established
• User/industry-driven innovation workshop series run intensively
• A CPPS maturity model and training schemes for the targeted market were set-up
• The EPIC Collaboration Portal was set-up and released
• The CPS factory of the year prize was continued
• The Plan for supporting innovation and fostering cooperation with industry was successfully completed
• A new communication channel was established: EPIC YouTube
• The EPIC Flipboard Magazine, EPIC LinkedIn page and the project web-page were regularly updated
• Active participation both in national and international non-scientific events, workshops and info days to promote industrial digitalization
• 2 television interviews
• 2 radio interviews
• 19 press releases.
The greater part of actions completed or started in the reporting period has leveraged the background knowledge of consortium members, their presence in the scientific community, but, above all, in the mutual recognition of academic and industrial parties involved in the actions.

Staff visits and secondments of longer duration allowed better insight into each other’s fields of expertise, and facilitated the exchange of domain-related perspectives, tried-and-proven approaches, as well as complementary skills supporting R&D activities within a wider community. This has led to the recognition of interdisciplinary links between domains, and adoption of new practices. Staff interaction has also brought about a better understanding of each other’s fields of expertise with regard to domain-specific priorities and the position of domains within a wider research and application context.

Consortium members’ joint publications contributed to increased recognition in the scientific community (both within each other’s narrower expert communities and in wider circles). Also important are the achievements of joint publications regarding the synthesis across different domains—such results have been shared with the scientific community, and have raised awareness of interdependencies not captured previously by separate domains. Joint publication activities spanned a wide spectrum from journal articles and conference papers to jointly organised special sessions of conferences and jointly edited special issues of journals.

Strengthening the links between academia and industry has been a key priority to the consortium. To this end, several thematic workshops and information days were held specifically for raising awareness of each other’s perspectives and priorities, and providing a breeding ground for the exchange and synthesis of new knowledge and solutions. Recognition of each other’s needs and situation was facilitated by targeted surveys conducted within the industry, as well as face-to-face consultation between selected industrial and academic partners. Very important in this regard is also the establishment of infrastructure for experiments and pilot implementations open to the industry but detached from the risks and binding technological and business legacies of live industrial environments.

The transition of the EPIC consortium towards a sustainable organization ensuring academia-industry technology transfer also proceeded as planned: a joint SZTAKI–Fraunhofer legal entity has been established (EPIC InnoLabs Nonprofit Ltd.)
EPIC CoE’s vision and mission