ActionPlanT - The European ICT Forum for Factories of the Future


ICT plays multiple roles in all of Europes major industrial sectors, and manufacturing is no exception. Its contribution to the industry is set to increase even more markedly in the near future and it will become increasingly interwoven within the Factories of the Future initiative over the coming years. Europe has been investing heavily in efficient ICT-enabled manufacturing over the past decade, but in spite of this, Europe’s profitability and innovative capacities have been on the decline. To counter this, a thorough analysis is needed to determine how to deploy R&D resources most effectively so that productivity and innovation may once again contribute to Europe’s economic growth to the fullest degree. Such an analysis will take into account current trends in technology and business, as well as social, environmental and political considerations. To do this, the project has three main objectives: - To draw up a ‘vision’ for ICT-enabled manufacturing to serve future users and service providers, based on the above-mentioned analysis. - To elaborate a detailed roadmap which will prioritise and schedule the most promising topics submitted for the upcoming Eighth Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (FP8). - To develop a concept for ‘industrial learning’ within the framework of ActionPlanT, which means defining methods for bringing results into application through dialogue with the various industrial stakeholders, bringing the latter into contact with the results of research already carried out. This concept will be validated and extensively piloted through summer schools and workshops held for all the relevant stakeholders, from industry, academia and the various European technology platforms.

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Start date: 01-06-2010
End date: 31-05-2012
Total budget - Public funding: 2 104 954,00 Euro - 1 499 964,00 Euro
Call topic: Smart Factories: ICT for agile and environmentally friendly manufacturing (FoF.ICT.2010.10.1)
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ICT plays a multifaceted role in all major European industrial sectors and its contribution to the manufacturing sector has become paramount over the last few years. Quite undeniably, ICT will become increasingly intertwined with Factories of the Future and will be seen developing efficient business processes through dynamically evolving business models. Although Europe has been investing in the efficient usage of ICT-enabled manufacturing in the last decade, its innovation and profitability has been waning compared to other major economies such as the United States and Japan. In order to ensure the sustainable competitiveness of Europe's manufacturing industry, a thorough analysis is required such that R&D resources are applied most efficiently. This analysis will consider technology and business trends as well as politics, environment, and societal needs.
The threefold objective of ActionPlanT is to first come up with an ICT-enabled manufacturing vision for use cases and services of the future using this analysis as a basis. Secondly, this vision would pave the way for a detailed roadmap which will prioritise and schedule most promising topics for the upcoming work programme of Framework Programme 8. Lastly, within the scope of ActionPlanT, a validated concept for industrial learning will be developed and extensively piloted via summer schools and workshops amongst stakeholders in industry, academia, and the European technology platforms alike.



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