A seminar on Industry 4.0, HPC and Big Data was held at the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce hosted by the Ministry of the Economy, FEDIL and Luxinnovation on October 19, 2017.  A number of speakers offered valuable insight to Luxembourg companies on the European strategy on Digitising Industry and the funding and support opportunities that are available for Luxembourg’s manufacturing industry.  The ball is now in the court of interested companies to make direct contact and find out more.  

The Industry 4.0, HPC and Big Data event was held at the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce. Prof. Dr Gabriel Crean, Advisor to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy, opened the event with a short introduction followed by Mr Nicolas Buck, President of Fedil.

Digitising European Industry is a critical topic and one which was covered by Dr Juha Heikkilä who is Head of Unit “Robotics and Artificial Intelligence” Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology of the European Commission.

Factories of the Future

Mr Patrick Kennedy, Communications Advisor, European Factories of the Future Research Association (EFFRA), gave a presentation on “Success stories within Factories of the Future”.  The EFFRA represents the private side in ‘Factories of the Future’ CPPP (Contractual Private Public Partnerships) and is the European Union’s pre-competitive, collaborative programme for manufacturing research and innovation. He explained how the EU and industry have committed to support European research and innovation, and spoke about the funding available through EU’s Horizon 2020 research & innovation programme.

One of the examples of a company that has received funding is robo-mate, which is an intelligent exoskeleton based on human-robot interaction for manipulation of heavy goods in Europe’s factories of the future and was realised with 11 partners. Another example is Fortissimo, which offers on-demand access to advanced simulation, modelling & data analytics resources including high-performance-computing software, hardware & expertise and was realised with 44 partners.

Luxembourg Digital Infrastructure

Mr Jean-Marie Spaus, who is Coordinator of the national HPC and Big Data initiative, Directorate General Research, Intellectual Property and New Technologies (DG7), gave a presentation that outlines how Luxembourg is putting into place an excellent Luxembourg Digital Infrastructure to support the digitalisation of industry.

The Ministry of the Economy’s (MECO) strategy contains four major policy and action levers:

  • Investments in computing infrastructures – High Performance Computing capacities and capabilities
  • Development of a “trusted” excellent cloud and data infrastructure that will provide Luxembourg companies with wide computing and data handling capacities
  • Supporting cross-border collaboration on innovative digital experimentation activities e.g.: “HPC and Big Data enabled Testbeds”.
  • Addressing new regulatory challenges arising from digitisation of the industrial fabric e.g.: subjects related to data generated by the multitude of new smart products, liability of autonomous systems …

The aim is for Luxembourg to take its place as a “digital pioneer” in Europe and be a leading world Class HPC & Big Data enabled Hub and Ecosystem.

Mr Benjamin Questier, Head of European Funding at Luxinnovation, spoke on the opportunities, support mechanisms for Luxembourg companies to access, and secure H2020 funding. Interested parties should contact the European Funding team for personalised support.

The event was closed by Mr Jean-Paul Schuler, CEO of Luxinnovation, who emphasised that it was up to the many Luxembourg companies present as well as in the country to make use of these opportunities by contacting Luxinnovation directly and making individual appointments so that they can discuss with Luxinnovation specialists how to best help formulate a plan to strengthen their company’s future prospects.

The Luxinnovation  presentation is available here

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