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Digital Single Market
Digital Economy & Society

Industrial platforms and large scale pilots

Article
The current challenge for Europe is to seize the opportunities arising from digitisation to establish a European leadership in the digital technologies.

The Digitising European Industry initiative aims to establish next generation digital platforms and re-build the underlying digital supply chain on which all economic sectors are dependent. Removing cross-border and other obstacles which prevent large-scale testing, experimentation and block the full deployment of these technologies into the market is another objective of this initiative. This is particularly relevant for the autonomous connected vehicles and the connected smart factory.

A first batch of platform-related projects and large scale integration, testing and experimentation pilots already exist under H2020 Work Programme 2016/17. Hence, further EU and national platform-related projects as well as large scale testing and experimentation pilots are necessary to:

  • Enable integration of relevant digital technologies such as IoT, big data, cloud, and HPC; autonomous systems, artificial intelligence and 3D printing, into integration platforms addressing cross-sector challenges. 
  • Integrate converging digital innovations into sectorial platforms and full solutions, testing them across national borders.
  • Develop Europe-wide facilities for experimentation to foster rapid development of ICT standardisation leading to new or better standards as outlined in the Communication on Priorities of ICT Standardisation for the Digital Single Market.  

The following initiatives under preparation require additional efforts and co-investments with Member States and industry to develop the necessary platforms, large scale pilots and standards.

Integration platforms addressing cross-sector challenges

  • Leadership in IoT: The investment will address open platforms cutting across sectors and accelerate innovation by companies and communities of developers It will build on existing open service platforms, such as FIWARE.
  • Industrial Data Platforms:  Supports the development of competitive open data platforms and the availability of world class data infrastructure in Europe. Cyber-security solutions for restoring trust in  a data-driven economy and to help safe and secure use of data for businesses are some key aspects.
  • 5G demonstration, e.g. at a big event. This should be considered as a result of the 5G action plan in which several options are being considered.

Sectorial platforms and full solutions

  • Connected smart factory: Prepares Europe for the next generation of production systems including:
    • digital innovation based on HPC and data analytics,
    • collaborative robotics,
    • integrated logistics solutions,
    • 3D printing.
  • Connected and automated driving: Aims to set-up a cross-border testing facility pooling investments across Europe and connecting various stakeholders  (AI-experts, automotive OEMs, communication service providers and more). The Commission supports the facilitation and acceleration of Connected and automated driving, including the platform on Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems . It will build on large-scale pilot deployment, testing and experimenting facilities available across Member States. This will stimulate EU-wide interoperability and continuity of services.
  • Robotics, IoT and AI for healthy living and active ageing cover areas such as smart hospitals and healthy living. This would bring together activities and stakeholders from the PPP in Robotics, the EIP on Active and Healthy Ageing, big data and IoT.

Here, investments in the Factories of the Future (FoF), Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and energy Efficiency (SPIRE) and Bio-Based Industries (BBI) PPPs allow industry to seize new opportunities offered by new technologies.

The example of the ECSEL Joint Technology Initiative shows that alignments of regional, national and EU strategies are feasible and can draw considerable private investments and achieve ground-breaking impact on competitiveness.

Public-Private Partnerships (PPP)

Cooperation with Member States is essential to focus investments in PPPs to:

  • Reinforce the role of PPPs as coordinators of EU-wide R&I effort, national initiatives and industrial strategies by focusing on key technologies and their integration through large scale federating projects;
  • Address a significant part of the PPPs and national investments on cross-sectoral and integrated digital platforms and ecosystems including reference implementation and experimentation environments in real setting.

The Commission will monitor the commitment by the private sector to invest, on average, at least four times as much as the EU investments in the PPPs and the use of the opportunities offered by financial instruments under EFSI and ESIF.

Last updated on 20/09/2016 - 11:54
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