Tag Archives: IoT

Opportunity for innovative SMEs in the Internet of Things

Technology transfer is a very complex process, but highly necessary. Knowledge tends to be generated in environments such as universities and research centres that differ from those in which it is applied and marketed. Transfer from these institutions to the markets has a very high failure rate (known as the technological ‘Death Valley’ by the Anglo-Saxons).

Various mechanisms exist to encourage technology transfer, based on the same premise: the key is promoting contact between the production sector and the environment in which research is undertaken.

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In this area, an ambitious European project has been launched called TETRAMAX. To sum it up in a paragraph: the aim is to stimulate innovation by promoting a range of technology transfer experiences, to identify the best models and encourage collaboration between universities, research centres, and companies in different European countries, with a focus on the Internet of Things (IoT).

The Data Management Group (DAMA UPC), a member of CIT UPC, is participating in the project, which has a budget of 7 million euros and forms part of the Horizon 2020 strategy.

In the next four years, the 22 project members will work on various areas. One of them is centred on designing, organizing, cofunding and assessing a range of technology transfer models at European level, bringing together universities, companies and funders to complete the cycle from the creation of knowledge to its arrival on the market in the form of innovative products or services. The project is focused on the participation of small and medium-sized companies, which find it most difficult to incorporate innovation into their production processes.

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For companies that work in the Internet of Things, DAMA UPC is organizing an Info Day on 11 January. This day is a good opportunity for small and medium-sized companies in the sector and for universities or research centres with an interest in exploiting business opportunities in the Internet of Things, supported by a bilateral consortium with offices in two European countries. The result of the project should be applicable and its impact measurable, in terms of revenue or jobs created.

TETRAMAX has a call open until the 28 February (Bilateral TTX Call) to join the project.

Further information:
Jordi Martín
Business Development
Telephone: 93 405 46 90
Email: info.cit@upc.edu

 

Industry 4.0: New solutions for old problems

In the era of telecommunications and the hyperconnected world, a new concept has arisen that is already opening up new paths in the history of science and technology: industry 4.0.

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Smart factories and production centres, in which all of the systems are interconnected and can send, receive and analyse data are no longer a novelty.

The internet of things, artificial intelligence and cloud computing are transforming production processes, and communication between systems is becoming vital to industrial activities. Concepts such as predictive maintenance are becoming a key factor in any factory.

The benefits of this new production system are clear: cost and time savings, improved efficiency and energy consumption, fewer incidents and greater capacity to concentrate resources on new added-value activities.

Certainly, we could consider that this technological change will decrease people’s employability. This situation appears to be very new. However, if we look back, we can see how society has experienced transformations just as significant as this before. We could consider the first industrial revolution, when the rapid mechanization of the textile sector made it possible to increase output at the cost of initial job cuts.

What was the reaction to this process? There were those who blamed technology for taking jobs, and a movement (luddites) emerged to destroy and boycott the new machines and production systems; but the process was unstoppable. Most workers had to increase their knowledge and transform their skills to keep ahead of technology.

The question of jobs is the issue that causes most concerns in relation to industry 4.0. According to the Davos Forum, in the initial phase, a total of five million jobs would be lost worldwide. A high percentage of the most repetitive activities that contribute the least added value would disappear. However, as occurred in the nineteenth century, other possibilities and job profiles will emerge. Companies need workers with specific training in certain areas associated with each department or task, but they will also require knowledge of communication and programming. This will lead to new training pathways, and strengthen the concept of lifelong learning.

Furthermore, the use of machines and smart systems in mechanical activities will contribute to reducing accidents and incidents, so that employees can undertake less hazardous tasks that contribute more value to the entire production activity.

From the perspective of business innovation, we are still not capable of assessing the opportunities that are opening up in the field of advanced manufacturing, energy management, urban mobility or cybersecurity, for example.

There is a business demand to improve production processes that, in many cases, could be achieved by improving communication systems. A development by MCIA UPC that has been implemented in a metal company is a good example of this.

However, the real revolution is in taking advantage of full interconnection between all processes, to foster the creation of new products and services that meet some of the challenges that we face in the short-term in applications: the synchronized enterprise, improved production efficiency and energy distribution, waste optimisation, urban mobility and the use of robots in non-industrial activities (collaborative robots), to give just some examples.

shutterstock_411428653In this endless race to contribute to improvements in industrial and business activity, through applied innovation, the challenges are as exciting as those faced by the companies and employees themselves: the advantages of technology must be take advantage of to continue to progress. We are faced by a new model that required more and better training, as well as increased collaboration with the production sector.

It is a difficult challenge, but exciting. The history of technology is jumping forward a step, and we are there with it.

CIT UPC
Technology made real