Digital and Green Transitions of the European Manufacturing Sector through beyond 5G-enabled technologies and innovations

Zero-enabling smart networked control framework for agile cyber physical production systems of systems (Zero-SWARM), is a project with a total public private investment of almost €10 million launched on the 1st June 2022, aiming to accelerate the uptake of advanced 5G technologies by European manufacturing sector. The project mission is to achieve climate neutral and digitized production via a multidisciplinary, human centric, objective oriented innovative approach resulting in technical solutions for open swarm framework, non-public 5G network, active information continuum and digital twin. In essence,

The project establishes a unique forum where separately maturing technologies of 5G and cloud-edge continuum, data technologies and analysis (including data spaces and GAIA-X) and operational technology (automation and agility) break their siloes to co-design and co-create through 10 trials. It will showcase key achievements such as smart assembly, sustainable powertrains, improved resilience with remote operation, 5G powered programmable logic controllers (PLCs) for real time distributed control systems, safe and autonomous transport of goods in factory, 5G enabled process aware Automated guided vehicles (AGVs), plug & connect 5G for industry, mobile intelligent agents for zero plastic waste, smart maintenance and optimization, remote quality control for zero defect resilient manufacturing. The project includes 3 testbed groups (in the north, center and south of Europe) with industrial test facilities from previous public/private investments co/creating with reputable industry players. Aligned with the technical activities, Zero-SWARM includes a tailored engagement program towards a wide audience, including collaboration with Digital Innovation Hubs and key initiatives in Europe. In addition, open innovation practices involve industry players as clients of developed technologies via Zero-SWARM community and the expression of interest mechanism.

The 30-month initiative, which has received close to €8 million contribution from the European Commission (Grant Agreement no. 101057083), is coordinated by the Ethniko Kentro Erevnas Kai Technologikis Anaptyxis (CERTH), a non-profit research and innovation center located in Greece. Dr. Anastasios Drosou, Principal Researcher at CERTH with years of experience in ICT sector will be the coordinator of Zero-SWARM. Dr. Pouria Sayyad Khodashenas, 5.5G / 6G Expert at Huawei Technologies Sweden, specialist on the Industry 4.0 green & digital transformation will be the technical manager of the project. Mr. Nicola Ciulli, form Nextworks, will play the role of Zero-SWARM exploitation and innovation manager. Zero-SWARM community is managed by FundingBox, the Europe’s largest deep tech ecosystem.  

Zero-SWARM in line with the European Union prioritizes such as the Green Deal and A Europe fit for the digital age brings together 27 organizations from 10 European countries with complementary expertise and skills. The project partners are, CERTH from Greece; Huawei, Luleå University of Technology, from Sweden; ABB, Visual Components, AALTO University, from Finland; nxtControl from Austria; Reepack, Technology Transfer System, Research Wings, Nextworks, from Italy; SICK, Opticoms, Center Connected Industry, Fraunhofer, RWTH Aachen University, SMS Digital, International Data Spaces Association, from Germany; Accelleran from Belgium; Ubiwhere from Portugal; FundingBox from Poland; AIMEN, Innovalia, S21Sec, i2CAT, Universidad Miguel Hernández, Neutroon, from Spain.

The consortium aims to contribute to the consolidation of Europe’s leading role on sustainable data-driven manufacturing arena, paving the way for boosting the European innovation capacity and creating new market opportunities.