Chris Decubber, EFFRA

What are the most relevant Cyber-Physical Systems and Internet of Things trends which the community talks about?

One of the key issues in the domain of Cyber-Physical Systems and the Internet of Things trends is semantic interoperability. Especially in terms of CPS, the integration with physical legacy machines and factories is a very big point. Of course you can build a new factory from scratch but in most cases you will upgrade your factory. You would probably buy new machines and those machines will be 'CPS enabled' or more CPS enabled then other machines in your factory. Next to that, security as well as safety aspects in an industrial environment are highly relevant trends which concern the community.

How could politics help to promote the introduction of Cyber-Physical Systems and the Internet of Things in Small and Medium size companies?

Increasing the introduction of new technologies  is really a matter of that one lower barriers. Before one adopts a technology one should have a fair understanding of this technology and how it can support one's business case. Of course the technology providers have to tell a convincing story to their potential users. Primarily, politician could inter alia support awareness making. I think politics can support the networks that share best practices and bring it to the companies that are inspired by these examples and then think about how these technologies can solve their manufacturing challenges. This involves also a sometimes slow but steady process of building trust.  Related to the trust in the technology are of course the Intellectual Property  and liability issues, but still, what matters first is that companies are made aware about how IoT and CPS technologies bring them value and how the adoption of these technologies would look in practice. Therefore, supporting initiatives that raise awareness and that tell the story in a pragmatic way are important. And there is already a lot ongoing. For example, the ConnectedFactories project (www.connectedfactories.eu) coordinated by EFFRA will develop industrial scenario's on the transformation towards digitised manufacturing.

Chris Decubber
Technical Director
EFFRA

After obtaining his master of electro-mechanical engineering at the University of Leuven, Chris got involved fairly quickly in European research and innovation programmes. At EFFRA, Chris Decubber aims at generating consensus on research and innovation priorities among the industrial and research community for the 'Factories of the Future' PPP. Chris is coordination the monitoring of the outcome and progress of the 'Factories of the Future' PPP and works on knowledge transfer mechanisms that enhance the impact of the FoF PPP. 

EFFRA

The European Factories of the Future Research Association (EFFRA) is an industry-driven association promoting the development of new and innovative production technologies. It is the official representative of the private side in the 'Factories of the Future' public-private partnership under Horizon 2020. The partnership aims at bringing together private and public resources in an industry-led research and innovation programme that generates and demonstrates technologies for a wide range of manufacturing sectors.

Other current topics related to CPS and IoT can also be found on the EFFRA website: www.effra.eu