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CPSELabs Report Summary

Project ID: 644400
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - CPSELabs (CPS Engineering Labs - expediting and accelerating the realization of cyber-physical systems)

Reporting period: 2016-02-01 to 2017-01-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Smart cyber-physical systems (CPS) are considered to be the next revolution in ICT with lots of game-changing business potential for integrated services and products. Mastering the engineering of complex and trustworthy CPS is key to implementing CPS-based business models. Current CPS, however, are often engineered and maintained at very high cost and sometimes with unknown risks, and recent technological progress from R&D projects is not readily available to most innovators. The CPS Engineering Labs (CPSE Labs) aim at expediting and accelerating the realisation of trustworthy CPS by addressing bottlenecks in the innovation system and by creating and strengthening synergies among relevant stakeholders and efforts. The CPSE Labs therefore equips innovators - businesses, researchers, and students - with CPS engineering infrastructure, knowledge, and tools for realizing novel CPS-based products and services. The CPSE Labs build upon existing R&D centres and turn these excellent regional clusters into world-class hotspots for CPS engineering. Based on a common strategic innovation agenda the CPSE Labs build up and maintain a portfolio of added-value experiments. Experiments are focused and fast-track and they have a clear innovation objective; they build upon results and achievements from large-scale national and European projects. Experience gained from experiments, validation results, and best practices, cross-cutting engineering principles that underpin the integration of cyber and physical elements of CPS are continuously integrated and disseminated by the CPSE Labs.
The main objectives of CPSE Labs are:
I. Foster an open, pan-European network of Design Centres committed to transitioning science and technology for engineering trustworthy and dependable CPS into the marketplace.
II. Identify, define, and execute focused and fast-track experiments with a specific innovation focus.
III. Spread best CPS engineering practices and promote cross-regional and cross-sectoral learning among industry and academia.
IV. Establish a marketplace for CPS engineering assets.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

CPSE Labs carries out activities to address all four objectives mentioned above. With respect to objective I the CPSE Labs partners fostered collaboration between the 6 Design Centres established in the first year. Each Design Centre provides its specific CPS engineering competencies and supported technologies and platforms for relevant CPS applications domains, which are presented on the CPSE Labs project website. The strategic objectives of the Centres with respect to fostering innovation in their specific fields and related technologies have been described in the project’s Strategic Innovation Agenda. Furthermore, the second project year focused on consolidating and expanding the CPSE Labs network, through intensifying collaboration between experiment partners and CPSE Labs partners, and across the six Design Centres.
Addressing objective II, CPSE Labs has defined and implemented a coherent process to create and run innovation experiments with third parties. Experiments are initiated through competitive Open Calls where European businesses can submit proposals for innovative experiments for the topics offered by the Design Centres. Three rounds of Open calls have been conducted; independent experts evaluated the 59 submitted proposals for the 1st and 2nd call round, out of which 14 experiments were selected for funding. 6 experiments selected in the first round and the 8 experiments from the second call started during the first and second project year, respectively. During the 3rd call round 43 proposals were received with applicants drawn from 17 separate countries (largest group of applicants are SMEs). The 9 experiments selected from this call have started in the second half of 2016. The CPSE Labs Design Centres provide extensive support to the experiments, by offering targeted trainings on the selected Design Centre technologies and collaborative development work.
Concerning objective III, CPSE Labs carried out investigations to create a solid understanding of the innovation and engineering eco-systems surrounding the Design Centres. Work was done on the establishment of regional learning networks and identified industrial needs for professional training that would match the offerings of CPSE Labs. For this purpose CPSE Labs designed a questionnaire and conducted further interviews with key stakeholders that work within, or are closely aligned to, the Design Centres to ensure that the output of CPSE Labs experiments is suitable for use in training. A first CPSE Labs course pilot has been created. Communication and dissemination plans have been implemented further and related activities have been executed to publicise the offerings of the CPSE Labs network.
CPSE Labs has made efforts towards the creation of a market place pilot, cf. objective IV, by: eliciting areas where marketplaces and related open forums have already formed; conducting a workshop to gather best practices on digital marketplaces, to better understand key considerations for establishing a marketplace, lessons learnt and “reference” efforts from which experiences can be drawn; and investigating concrete areas for marketplace pilots, stakeholders and their needs. A particular emphasis was given to open-source communities. As a result an initial market place pilot has been implemented during the second project year.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

CPSE Labs expects to facilitate lower cost and faster adoption of CPSs by increasing scalability of pre-competitive infrastructure deployment and de facto standardization of architectures and platforms. To achieve this, CPSE Labs built a portfolio of innovative experiments through Open Calls, requiring that each experiment demonstrates measurable improvements, including reduction of development time and effort, as well as reduction of operation and maintenance costs. The communication and dissemination activities of CPSE Labs further ensure that this knowledge spread out from the experiments and through the network, in order to create a widespread reduction in development time outside the experiments.
The network of Design Centres established by CPSE Labs stimulates stronger pan-European collaboration across value chains and technology levels, building an ecosystem around the Centres committed to transitioning CPS technology into the marketplace, and provides physical and virtual meeting points for all relevant stakeholders for CPS innovations. CPSE Labs facilitates the implementation of innovative CPS products and services by integrating, sharing, and disseminating best practices, know-how, and CPS engineering technology, tools, and infrastructure. The started innovation experiments constitute key steps to achieve this. The CPSE Labs Design Centres provide their assets from middleware to development tools for safe and secure CPS, as well as experiences from their involvement in corresponding European/national projects.
Through the Design Centres and the experiments, CPSE Labs provides access to state-of-the-art CPS engineering infrastructures for market participants – in particular SMEs – as well as researchers and students to uplift their innovation capacity. The experiments, each with a focused innovation objective, contribute to advancing emerging key enabling technologies of CPS engineering by means of the validate-leverage-disseminate improvement cycle.

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