Digital twins bringing agility and innovation to manufacturing SMEs, by empowering a network of DIHs with an integrated digital platform that enables Manufacturing as a Service (MaaS)


The DIGITbrain project is deeply rooted in the innovation ecosystem of the I4MS project CloudiFacturing and the industrial platforms FIWARE and IDS, and it will build on these results, by means of extending the CloudiFacturing solution with an augmented digital-twin concept called 'Digital Product Brain' (DPB) and a smart business model called 'Manufacturing as a Service' (MaaS). By having access to on-demand data, models, algorithms, and resources for industrial products (i.e. mechatronic systems supporting the production of other products), the DBP will enable their customisation and adaptation according to individual conditions. The availability of industrial-product capacity will facilitate the implementation of MaaS, which will allow manufacturing SMEs to access advanced manufacturing facilities within their regions or to distribute their orders across different ones.

The DIGITbrain project will address four principles that will foster the uptake of advanced digital and manufacturing technologies.

A) Technology: leverage edge-, cloud- and HPC-based modelling, simulation, optimisation, analytics, and machine learning tools and augment the concept of digital twin with a memorizing capacity that records the provenance of the industrial product over its full lifecycle.

B) Feasibility: support more than 20 highly innovative cross-border experiments, bringing together technology providers and manufacturing end users, and facilitating cost-effective distributed and localised production, based on on-demand manufacturing machine capacity.

C) Sustainability: coach and empower DIHs to implement the smart business model MaaS and contribute to their long-term sustainability, by increasing their portfolio with services tailored to the industrial needs of their regions.

D) Network of DIHs: engage DIHs across Europe that implement MaaS, enable manufacturing SMEs to co-create and experiment with digital innovations before investing, and attract national and regional funding.

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Start date: 01-07-2020
End date: 31-12-2023
Total budget - Public funding: 9 392 812,00 Euro - 8 340 511,00 Euro
Call topic: I4MS (phase 4) - uptake of digital game changers (DT-ICT-03-2020)
Twitter: @digitbrain_EU
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Digital twins bringing agility and innovation to manufacturing SMEs, by empowering a network of DIHs with an integrated digital platform that enables Manufacturing as a Service (MaaS)
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Liza Ocklenburg
29/11/21 - 19:42
Open Call Announcement: Application Phase starts on February, 28th 10:00h (CET Time)

DIGITbrain - Second Open Call for Application Experiments 

H2020 DIGITbrain project, funded by EC under the Grant Agreement number 952071, includes Financial Support to Third Parties (FSTP) under two Open Calls. DIGITbrain has the ambition to transform the CloudiFacturing Solution and ecosystem (developed in the H2020 CloudiFacturing Project) towards the requirements of Manufacturing as a Service (MaaS), utilising the Digital Brain and its underlying technology components as the main innovation of the project.   

This Open Call is focused on attracting Third Parties (especially manufacturing and ISV SMEs and mid-caps) to perform experiments to validate the DIGITbrain solution and to make SMEs more competitive by transferring innovative solutions into the wider manufacturing community.  Experiments will be implemented in close collaboration with Digital Innovation Hubs and technical partners of Competence Centers. This interaction should start during proposal preparation, with DIHs and technical partners of competence centers acting as business and technical supporters for applicants. This collaboration will then continue during the experiments’ deployment and execution.


Key Call Details

Project full name: Digital twins bringing agility and innovation to manufacturing SMEs, by empowering a network of DIHs with an integrated digital platform that enables Manufacturing as a Service (MaaS)

Project acronym: DIGITbrain 

Call identifier: DIGITbrain – OC2

Project grant agreement number: 952071

Call opening:  28th February 2022, 10:00h (CET Time)

Submission Deadline:  31st May 2022, 17:00h (CEST Time)

Expected duration of participation in experiments: 12 months 

Total EC funding available for Third Parties in DIGITbrain-OC2: up to 684.600 EUR financial support for Third Parties is available to support 7 experiments. DIGITbrain considers that proposals requesting a contribution up to 97,800 EUR per experiment would allow the specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Maximum amount of financial support for each Third Party: 60,000 EUR

Language in which proposal should be submitted: English 

Weblink for further information (full call text/proposal guidelines/call results) on the official project website:

Email address for further information:


Expectations for Experiments

Grounding on the Digital Twin concept, experiments will be focused on enabling the customization of Industrial Products (intended as systems operated by manufacturing companies to support the production of the final consumer products) and facilitating cost-effective distributed and localised production for manufacturing SMEs or mid-caps, by leveraging edge, cloud and HPC-based modelling, simulation, optimisation, analysis, and machine learning tools. Experiments can cover any segments in the manufacturing sector at large, including (but not limited to) discrete manufacturing, continuous production, or construction.

Experiments should aim at covering the development and uptake of digital technologies especially in segments where these are underexploited. 

An experiment consortium has to meet the following requirements:

  1. The minimum number of partners in an experiment consortium must include:
    • One End User (mainly SMEs); and
    • One Technical partner acting as Independent Software Vendor (ISV), engineering or software consultant.
  2. All Third Parties must come from European Member States, Associated Countries or the United Kingdom [1].
  3. According to the EC rules, no Third Party is allowed to have received more than 100,000 EUR from Horizon 2020 I4MS and SAE Open Calls [2].

[2] DIGITbrain will receive assistance from the European Commission to cross-check if an organization that has been shortlisted for funding under the current DIGITbrain’s OC2 has already received FSTP via an Open Call under any other H2020 I4MS/ SAE Project and to ensure that the right funding is allocated to a Third Party in case it exceeds the above threshold (including any DIGITbrain potential funding).

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Andrea Hanninger
25/03/21 - 11:32
Digital twins for manufacturing: EU innovation Project DIGITbrain will give SMEs easy access to digital twins through Open Call

DIGITbrain Project, which is funded by the EU Research and Innovation Programme Horizon 2020, aims to enable small and medium-sized European manufacturing companies (SMEs & mid-caps) to benefit from AI-based Manufacturing-as-a-Service (MaaS). In its first Open Call from March 2021 to June 2021 the project will accept new applicants and support the implementation of seven industrial use cases in the field of manufacturing with up to 100K Euros.

DIGITbrain in a nutshell

The Digital Brain is a completely novel concept that extends the Digital Twin to cover the full lifecycle of industrial products and thereby expands it to a smart entity having analysis and decision support capabilities. By having access to on-demand data, models, algorithms, and resources for industrial products the "Digital Product Brain" will, enable their customisation and adaptation according to very individual conditions and thus, facilitate the implementation of Manufacturing as a Service for SMEs. This will not only accelerate adaptation of manufacturing and products to changing conditions, and enable personalized manufacturing in an affordable way, but also facilitate cost-effective distributed and localised production, allowing them to access advanced manufacturing facilities within their regions or to distribute their orders across different ones.

Apply for the project until the end of June 2021 with your industrial use case and join a Pan-European Team that helps solving it!

In its lifetime the project will implement 21 highly innovative experiments, each bringing together suitable manufacturing end-users, technology providers, research organisations, High Performance Computing providers or Digital Innovation Hubs, in order to implement an individual use case-based Digital Twin.

Who can apply?

Companies from the above mentioned groups, located in the EU, a Horizon 2020 associated country or the UK, can apply in one of the two Open Calls, with their specific use case. Experiments can cover all segments of the entire manufacturing sector, e.g. discrete manufacturing, continuous production or construction. In its first Open Call, open from 31st March 2021 to 30th June 2021, it will add 7 new experiments, eligible by up to 100K Euros each. The experiments will be integrated to a Digital Marketplace, which provides the necessary graphical user interfaces (GUIs) in view of configuring and monitoring the Digital Brain for an industrial-product instance and will handle the access rights to the Digital Brain’s instances.

The Project is funded by the EU Research and Innovation Programme Horizon 2020 under grant agreement number 952071 and currently composed of a consortium of 36 partners.

DIGITbrain Open Call Details:

  • DIGITbrain will be running 2 Open Calls for experiments all over Europe with a budget of: 1 400 000 € which you can apply to
    • 1st Open Call: From March 2021 to June 2021
    • 2nd Open Call: From March 2022 to June 2022
  • 7 application experiments will be accepted in every Open Call and receive
    • up to 100K Euros per experiment
    • up to 60K Euros (possible) per third party

DIGITbrain Open Call timeline

  • Opening date: March 31st, 2021 - 10:00h (CEST Time)
  • Proposal submission deadline: June 30th, 2021 - 17:00h (CEST Time)
  • Proposal evaluation phase: from June 30th to the end of September 2021
  • Announcement of accepted proposals: September 2021
  • Support throughout the process (application, design and implementation of the experiment) by the participating Digital Innovation Hubs.
  • Begin of implementation phase: October 2021
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26/01/2022 09:00:02 - DIGITbrain -@digitbrain_EU
DIGITbrain will support #SMEs with #digitaltwins! --> Up to 100K per use case experiment! --> apply for Open Call from Feb 28th to May 31st #DigitalTwin for #manufacturing #SMEs #smartmanufacturing #H2020 #OpenCall #EUfunding [Go to tweet]

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