Industrial Manufacturing in Europe: what are the challenges?

Industrial manufacturing is a central and foundational pillar of the European economy that supports growth and employment across economic sectors and plays an important role in innovation and economic growth.

Europe has a long tradition of industrial innovation and is home to a number of companies that are global leaders in industry. However, despite Europe’s success in industrial manufacturing, several challenges have emerged. The value added by industry to gross domestic product (GDP) has been in consistent decline over recent years, and increasing instances of deindustrialization, the reduction of industrial manufacturing,  has resulted in the loss of 3.8 million jobs in the EU between 2008 and 2012. At the same time, the EU faces increased competition in this domain by global players such as the People’s Republic of China.

Increased technological innovation must be a part of a multi-pronged strategy in building resilient and sustainable industry in Europe.

Optimising Manufacturing Processes through Artificial Intelligence and Virtualisation

The OPTIMAI project aims to support industrial manufacturing by developing a set of technologies that will improve the efficiency and quality of production, using Sensors, Smart Instrumentation, Metrology, Artificial Intelligence, Virtualisation and Augmented Reality, supported by Blockchain smart contract technology for secure data exchange. These technologies will be integrated in a Decision Support Framework to ensure:

  • zero-defect manufacturing, using intelligent monitoring and control of production
  • smart, secure and traceable data collection based on a distributed ledger
  • advanced interaction mechanisms for rapid and efficient reconfiguration of equipment
  • optimal production planning via virtualisation and AI

Ethical Monitoring, and the Identification and Analysis of Ethical, Legal, and Societal Risks

Trilateral will help guide the process of responsible research and innovation by identifying ethical, legal and societal risks that arise from the development of these technologies and their impact on society. We will collaborate with partners to ensure our research and the project outputs respect ethical principles, values, human rights, and international regulations such as the GDPR. Trilateral will provide ongoing monitoring and advice to partners in order to support them in meeting these goals.

For more information and updates visit the OPTIMAI website and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under grant agreement No 958264

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