Horizon 2020’s New Project Eur3ka will Fight Pandemic with a Manufacturing Network

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01.12.2020

Milestone

Engineering Ingegneria Informatica announced the launch of the H2020 Eur3ka project, a major research and innovation effort focused on helping the manufacturing and health care industries respond quickly and efficiently to current and future major medical crises. The project, coordinated by Engineering Ingegneria Informatica, is part of the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme and brings together 24 partners of excellence from 11 countries to improve global emergency preparedness.

Angelo Marguglio, Engineering’s Research Area Manager and Eur3ka Project Coordinator said, “When unexpected events happen, there’s no time to custom-model individual approaches for different industries and production facilities to work at scale — and we’ve seen this play out with the COVID-19 pandemic. We need flexible, robust and pre-certified solutions, rather than static and predefined ones. Eur3ka will help to define and implement those solutions for the global health care and medical space, supported by a secure and sovereign data-exchange ecosystem.”

Dr. Oscar Lazaro, Innovalia Association Managing Director and Eur3ka Innovation Manager said, “In order to master rapid manufacturing response protocols with impact; as it is the ambition of the Eur3ka project, we should consider transformations at multiple levels: factory, manufacturing and supply networks as well as regulatory level. Only with new protocols, digital infrastructures and investments in the modernisation of European factories at large with best of breed Industry 4.0 advanced production platforms, our countries will be empowered with the critical manufacturing capabilities to successfully address future global outbreaks: i.e. better preparedness, agility, information sharing mechanisms, anticipation, coordination, availability, efficiency and efficacy. Individual initiatives, will not suffice. Coordination and collaboration are the key to succeed at global scale.

For this reason, we the Eur3ka project, are calling public authorities, digital and manufacturing industries of all sizes to join forces with us under the Digital Factory Alliance (www.digitalfactoryalliance.eu). This should become the trusted international digital factory community for manufacturing repurposing knowledge sharing in

(1) development of global, resilient and coordinated rapid manufacturing strategies to medical crisis and

(2) modernisation and digitisation of next generation European manufacturing capabilities, factories and supply chains to leverage a “Plug & Respond” manufacturing network at scale”.

Global and fair access to medical supplies

The global economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic in general but also in particular for the manufacturing sector has been tremendous. At the same time, the manufacturing sector has been a critical part in the response to the crisis. However, the manufacturing sector was not fit enough for this purpose and had to go through an unprecedented collaboration effort to meet this tremendous challenge. Eur3ka will facilitate the framework, knowledge and technological assets so European governments and industry can carry out smart investments in more resilient manufacturing networks that can be quickly repurposed. Such manufacturing networks will prevent us from repeating the current situation and will successfully and globally cope in a coordinated manner with peaks of demand associated with outbreaks such as COVID-19.

The Eur3ka Consortium is committed to develop a resilient global outbreak response and repurpose data ecosystem space for shared emergencies, that is digital oriented and regulation based. While trust is established at organizational and technical levels, the Eur3ka ecosystem will accelerate coordinated efforts and will keep growing building on top of key principles such as transparency, accountability, sovereignty, inclusivity, scalability, and empowerment of all existing and future networks and stakeholders active in the field at a worldwide level.

Eur3ka aims to develop a trusted federation of European and global manufacturing resources for health care. The work is expected to generate improvements in health care industry preparedness, including 3D printing initiatives and industrial additive manufacturing services networks. Traditional factories will be able to implement the most appropriate strategies for repurposing their production lines to achieve increases in capacity for producing vital PPE and other medical supplies to meet demand.

Eur3ka will enable global and fair access to:

• a Plug & Respond (P&R) repurposing resource coordination framework for assuring busines continuity and effectiveness in pandemic crisis response;
• a common open standardized modular manufacturing reference architecture and solutions;
• top digitally sovereign cross-sectorial manufacturing networks and capacities.

Eur3ka will therefore create the basis for linking global manufacturing capacities, supply chains and medical knowledge according to demand and realigning them in the shortest possible time. The "as-a-service concept", fair intellectual property management and the need of clear and shared certification processes and guidelines are among the driving principles of the Eur3ka project.

Connect regional production ecosystems to transform production

The project will draw on the latest achievements from research and development in these areas:
• Industry 4.0 standards, open automation modular manufacturing production line enablers.
• Industrial international common data space enablers and digital infrastructures.
• Global on-demand and manufacturing-as-a-service platforms.
• Connected and smarter supply networks, and global medical supplies and equipment repositories.
• A vibrant European and global network of manufacturing DIH network innovation services and open experimental facilities.

Eur3ka has received funding from the European Union‘s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under Grant Agreement Nº 101016175.