“Productive4.0”, the largest European research initiative to date in the field of Industry 4.0, was launched last Friday at Infineon Technologies in Dresden. Coordinated by Infineon Technologies AG, more than 100 partners from 19 European countries will work on digitizing and networking industry. Involved in the project are partners such as BMW, Bosch, Philips, Thales, NXP, STM, SAP, ABB, Volvo and Ericsson, and leading institutes such as the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft and the TU Dresden. At the kick-off event, representatives from politics, business and research discussed the importance of research programs for connected production.
"Real-time connected value chains will dramatically increase agility in development and production. They will thus help shorten time to market," said Dr. Reinhard Ploss, CEO of Infineon Technologies AG. "Microelectronics is a key enabler for further digitization of the manufacturing industry and for an optimized and integrated supply chain management. With its high level of automation, our industry can serve as a blueprint showing how to secure important parts of the value chain and qualified jobs in Europe. We now want to share our know-how with other industrial sectors."
Europe and, in particular, Germany have special strengths in the field of microelectronics in automotive, energy, safety and industrial electronics. Productive4.0 is part of ECSEL, the European funding program for microelectronics. Its aim is to strengthen expertise in microelectronics with a view to broad digitization. Thirty partners from Germany and a further 79 participants will work together for three years. The project has a volume of 106 million euros. The EU and the participating Member States are funding the project as part of ECSEL with around 51 million euros. The Free State of Saxony and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) will jointly contribute 9.6 million euros to the project.
The aim is to create a user platform across value chains and industries, that especially promotes the digital networking of manufacturing companies, production machines and products. The participating partners will examine methods, concepts and technologies for service-oriented architecture as well as for components and infrastructure in the Internet of Things.
Other aspects are standardization and process virtualization, in other words, simulating manufacturing processes to optimize real workflows. The platform can be used in the three interlocked process pillars for managing the supply chains, the product life cycle and digital production. The Productive4.0 project will run until 30 April 2020.
The kick-off event in Dresden was attended by the project partners and government representatives. Dr. Reinhard Ploss welcomed Saxony's Minister President Stanislaw Tillich and Prof. Wolf-Dieter Lukas, Ministerial Director at the BMBF. Dr. Max Lemke, Head of the "Technology & Systems for Digitizing Industry" unit of the Directorate General for Communication Networks, Content and Technologies, took part, representing the EU Commission.
Saxony's Prime Minister Stanislaw Tillich said: "The project 'Productive4.0' is an important milestone for strengthening Europe as a site for microelectronics and digitalization. In Saxony, we can contribute much in order to keep up in competing with Asia and America: from basic research and development to the point of manufacturing of digital products, the whole value chain has its footprint in the Free State of Saxony. I am glad that 8 out of the 30 project partners from Germany are located in Saxony. With their expertise they will make 'Productive4.0' a success for all participants, for industry and science, as well as for Germany and Europe."
Prof. Wolf-Dieter Lukas stressed: "Germany has cutting-edge expertise in microelectronics! This is a strength, which we can leverage and have to leverage for the implementation of Industry 4.0. This is exactly what we are doing with the new project 'Productive4.0': we are strengthening the semiconductor industry and at the same time boost the broad implementation in various industry sectors across Europe."
Dr. Max Lemke, representing the European Commission, summed up the project from a European viewpoint: "'Productive4.0'is one of the first Lighthouse projects funded under the ECSEL Joint Undertaking (Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership). The platform approach and the collaboration across value chains and sectors, which is strongly promoted in the Digitizing European Industry strategy of the European Commission, promises sustainable impact on the collaboration between and across companies in production and beyond. The 'Productive4.0' financing approach of co-funding the strategic concept from regional, Member States, and European sources can be considered as an example for Europe."