Periodic Reporting for period 1 - NIMBLE (Collaboration Network for Industry, Manufacturing, Business and Logistics in Europe)

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) will cause disruptive changes in many sectors of the global economy and IoT in manufacturing will be one of the largest segments in this emerging global market. This means companies will have to invest to make their future products...\n\nThe Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) will cause disruptive changes in many sectors of the global economy and IoT in manufacturing will be one of the largest segments in this emerging global market. This means companies will have to invest to make their future products IoT-aware, and to make their own processes capable of utilising IoT. Businesses must be able to communicate and do transactions on and via such platforms. However, the World Economic also states that: ?The big winners will be platform owners and partners who can harness the network effect inherent in these new digital business models to create new kinds of value.?

If platforms are going to be the winners, then there should be more platform owners in Europe, and this is what the collaboration Network for Industry, Manufacturing, Business and Logistics (NIMBLE) project is about. NIMBLE will develop a federated, multi-sided and cloud services-based business ecosystem that supports:
a. B2B collaboration for industry, manufacturers, business and logistics;
b. ICT-based innovation of products and evolution of traditional business models;
c. federated, competitive yet interoperable instances of the platform

NIMBLE needs to achieve the following objectives:
1. create a platform ecosystem to attract early adopters;
2. ensure ease of entry and initial ease of use with quick rewards;
3. grow platform usage in a viral manner
4. master the usage of the platform step-by-step to evolve business cooperation;
5. from the earliest steps to master-level, ensure trust, security and privacy.

The project platform will be validated in 4 distinct use cases that involve 4 relevant EU industries: Whirlpool Europe srl (Italy), focusing on White Goods industry, Lindb├Ącks (Sweden), focusing Ready-made wooden buildings, Piacenza (Italy), focusing on High-value textile manufacturing, Micuna, s.l. (Spain), focusing on High-quality childcare furniture.\n\nThe project started in October 2016, and we are now (month 18) in the phase of validating the first prototype of the platform, through the use case partners.\n\nNIMBLE will progress the state-of-the-art in the following fields related to web-based collaboration platforms:

(1) Architecture: provide a federated business ecosystem based on a ?best-of? architectural baseline that takes into account the expertise provided by e.g. the IIRA, RAMI, FI-Ware and COMPOSE architectures.
(2) Interoperability: improve semantic interoperability to enable cross-platform and cross-sector business transactions. This will make enterprises more agile to move into new markets.
(3) Business Processes: make B2B business processes easy to handle for smaller enterprises that lack ICT support. We will first provide process templates and successively, add support for sophisticated supply chain management.
(4) Optimisation: enhance the functionality of the collaboration platform with value added services not found elsewhere, so as to bring European manufacturers into a competitive lead when utilising the platform. We will bring to the platform, supply chain and logistics optimization tools based on game-theory mechanisms; the use of prefabricated business process templates; and tools for layered trust models that allow different degrees of cross-company information sharing.
(5) Trusted Infrastructure: Our assumption is that security, privacy and reputation are the defining elements of trust in web-based business environments. We propose an integrated model of trust to be used on the NIMBLE platform.
(6) Life-Cycle Data Management: As the world moves towards ubiquitous network access enabling the IoT, we need to view life cycle data management from this new perspective. Therefore, we propose new ways of managing and analysing data from many sensors, in real time and making the data actionable along the value chain. We will bring to the platform life cycle cost calculations across supply chains and applications for lifecycle data management.

The concept of a large ecosystem is paramount in our approach. This requires us to:

? Provide tools and interfaces to maintain openness towards third party services, be they already existing tools and services, or any future innovators wanting to make legitimate use of the platform.
? Base the implementation upon an open source technological baseline that represents hundreds of person years of tried and tested development, in order to focus the resources provided by the EU-funding, on shaping and creating, the novel aspects of the platform.

The concept and availability of federated agile business collaboration platforms for manufacturing is a European answer to the common difficulties created by the ?platform monopolies? that appear to dominate current thinking about global commerce. The enhanced business connectivity and innovative IoT and Cloud services available at low cost via a federated system will help to sustain the manufacturing sector worldwide, and particularly the SME ecosystems characteristic of the European sector.

In 2015, the World Economic Forum published a white paper on ?Industrial Internet of Things: Unleashing the Potential of Connected Products and Services?. The authors acknowledge the disruptive potential of the emerging technologies and point out four major areas of impact:

? vastly improved operational efficiency
? emergence of an outcome economy fuelled by measurable benefits
? new connected ecosystems building around software platforms
? collaboration between humans and machines leading to unprecedented productivity

We plan to contribute to a ?European federated ecosystem for Digital Automation? with many players that each take a smaller share of profits, but contribute to a sustainable, resilient digital infrastructure that supports more people in better paid jobs. The federation model creates a decentralised ecosystem of smaller, but interoperable, B2B platforms with more people able to participate in wealth creation across the entire federation.

There is currently not a single market in Europe. Therefore, d
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Collaboration Network for Industry, Manufacturing, Business and Logistics in Europe
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